blender for garment design

does anyone use/or know how to use blender to translate a sewing pattern to a 3d image?

All I can think of is use the sewing pattern as a reference, or perhaps cloth simulation with vertex pinning?

This company has a program designed for this.
DAZ 3D uses a version of it in their ‘Dynamic Clothing’ simulation for Studio. I haven’t looked at the site (I’ve got a slow dial-up connection) but I believe the main program is expensive.

Cloth simulation would be the way to go if attempting to use Blender.

The problem would be how to get the clothes onto a model without distorting the “cut” of the cloth.

A possible way that springs to mind might be to model the clothing pattern and assemble the garment so it is nearly flat. Place a model of your person into the garment. The character could be scaled down to be nearly flat on one axis so that the character model could fit into the nearly flat clothing.

The character would be animated being scaled from it’s real person shape to the nearly flat shape that is placed into the clothing. A completely flat character would lose all relative vertex displacement.

Make the clothing into a soft body and then reverse the animation of the character scaling during a soft body simulation. If the variables associated with the soft body are set to match the cloth used for the garment then it might settle on the now expanded character.

I’ve not tested this, but it might work for fairly simple garments. I know a pattern cutter so am aware of the importance of maintaining the shape of the various pieces of cloth. This would be the biggest challenge. Ideally, you would need a script that keeps edge lengths constant as vertices are manipulated since I don’t think Blender supports this option. If you could keep edge lengths constant then stitching the pieces of fabric together would be trivial and less care would be required to dress a character with a garment.

The reason that I suggest soft bodies is that edge lengths are preserved during mesh deformation. The stretchiness of the edges can be set to simulate various coth types.

Hope you find a solution.

Edit: An alternative springs to mind…

Using pinning as suggested above, the cloth sections could be created with pinning points attached to them (maybe controlled using empties?)

The pinning points on one section of cloth would correspond directly to the pinning points on another section of cloth that is to be joined to it along the seams.

The pinning points would be animated to join together during a cloth simulation around the simple shell of a character to maintain a basic shape within the cloth.

Apply the deformation to the cloth sections when the pinning points are connected and the cloth has settled.

Weld the meshes of the various cloth sections together in their new “correct” shape after the seams have been aligned by merging vertices.

Place a scaled down, anatomically correct model into the completed garment so there is no overlap with the cloth and run a cloth simulation with the character being scaled up to the correct proportions so that the garment fills out correctly.

This second method might involve more steps, but I think it would be easier to obtain decent results in the long run, and no script would be required.