Merge or combine .val files

new to seamly 2d.

(1) I’m still learning. Trying to understand the functional difference between “add new draft block” and “add new pattern”…can someone help?

(2) I created two separate .val files for my front and back bodice pieces (I guess I should have just created them in the same file at the start?). Now I want to combine those two .val files into one file. they have different point naming scheme. Is this possible or not?



Add new pattern creates a new project or (.val) pattern file. The pattern file contains the instructions to create all the tools.

Part of the pattern file is one or more draft blocks - depending on your drafting style or system used. Some systems will for example draft the front and back of a jacket as one, where others draft them separately. The former can be done with 1 draft block, while the latter would take 2.

Which brings us to Add new draft block. Lets say with your first draft block you drafted the back, and now you need another block to draft thd front - use Add new draft block. You can then use the drop down box in the Draft Block toolbar to switch between blocks. Inactive blocks will appear greyed out on the screen. You can see them, but not work with them. I should note that it’s also common for users to draft everything in one block, which allows access to variables within the block, where this may not be the case if multiple blocks are used. This could pertain if for ex you where drafting a bodice with raglan sleeves that requires manipulating parts of the block.

I should also note that draft blocks are not pattern pieces… they’re more like slopers which are used to create pattern pieces. Also from 1 draft block you can create an unlimited number of pattern pieces. For example you could draft a bodice front with a front facing… sharing some common seams. Then using the Add piece tool, you can create a front bodice piece and a front facing.

Once you’ve created pattern pieces, you can switch to “Piece mode” and futher detail the pieces with seam allowances, grainlines, labels, etc.

Hope this helps

Yes. A pattern file is a collection of pattern pieces created from draft blocks. Another thing to note is pattern piece can be created from 2 different blocks so to speak - if one were to merge 2 pieces created from 2 different blocks using the Union tool. To be honest though you can usually achieve the same results - often better - just using the operation tools to manipulate a draft block, and creating a piece from that.

No, not really. Depending on the complexity of the .val files, some of us may be able edit the files in an editor, but to be honest it would just be quicker (and safer) to just recreate the pattern. Also the pattern file is more complicated than just avoiding point name conflicts. Each tool has a unique Id, where each pattern starts at Id = 1, and increments with each new tool added. Therefore, while the point names won’t conflict, the Id’s will. Added to that there’s a system of incrementing and decrementing references of tool id’s. Everytime a tool is referenced in another tool, it’s use is incremented, and can’t be deleted until all references are decremented. So as you can see, trying go merge 2 .val files could quickly get out of hand. It’s not that in the future we couldnt figure out how program that functionality, it may take some user intervention… like renaming conflicting point names. :slight_smile:


thanks so much for the reply - especially the details on why…very helpful!
I will recreate the pattern - sure can use the practice. :grin:

in general – when it comes to conceptually drafting new patterns from one’s blocks – is the seamly2d method like you can “lock” your block visually (the way you lock objects in illustrator) and then you can eyeball style lines on top of it; while referring to the points and lines in the .val file…or is it more like i have to freehand the style lines from scratch, and then I can use the points and lines data as reference in the block?

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Hmmm. Well for starters you can’t lock any points or curves in Seamly. Seamly is a completely different paradigm than Illustrator or Corel, Inkscape, or other vector or CAD apps. It is based on creating points and curves in Draft mode using formulas… or basically referred to as parametric. The formulas allow a single pattern to automaticaly adjust to a diiferent set of body measurements… and referring back to the start - it would be against the way the app is meant to work by locking points and tools.

That being said… you are free to create any sequence of points and curves, and then connect the points and curves in any manner you want when you create a pattern piece. BTW Lines drawn in draft mode play no part in creating the ouline of a pattern piece. Lines are automatically added in piece mode between any sequential points. Lines using the Line tool are there either as a visual reference or if you need to know the length between 2 unrelated points. And basically all the other straight lines you see in draft mode, are simply construction lines - which you can change the color or line weight and type to suit your preferences.

So basically you could draft a block to a certain point, save it, then use that as a template to add style lines, darts, etc. It pretty much how many of the drafting system work , where you draft a basic block that locates various points on the body, and then from that you can add all the extras to create a style.


yes- this makes sense. thanks. I have redrawn my pattern now and I can see that i can use the block as a template to add styles to.

The relationship between blocks and patterns is still a bit murky to me.

Is the following correct… ?:

One opens seamly and a new BLOCK is spawned, which is connected to a new PATTERN (.val)…which is untitled until you save it, and which is like a container for all the BLOCKS you will henceforth create in this PATTERN (.val)…, and all these BLOCKS in this PATTERN/.val can all share the points in any BLOCK within that PATTERN/.val file. BLOCKS are not files that you find in a file system, they are only navigable/findable from within a PATTERN/.val via the Draft Block drop down.

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A pattern file - *.val - is simply an XML file. You can open and read them with any text editor. Within the pattern file are certain element sections… mainly < draw > for the draft blocks, and < details > for pattern pieces. I should note the previous dev is not a draftsman or patttern maker, so we still have some incorrectly named terms. Eventually I will change the tags to < draft block > and < piece >. Anyhow… within these sections are other elements… such as draw->point, line and spline, and detail->path… etc.

When you create a new pattern you’re asked to create the necessary 1st draft block. You need at least 1 block. It should be noted that not all points / curves can be shared. The app works on a time line, and an object will only know about objects created before it. So for example given Block A and B… Block B might be aware of objects in Block A, but Block A has no clue of what’s in Block B. This is one of the reasons a user may draft things in one block.

So yes… the blocks are within a pattern file, which you can switch to from the drop down in the menu bar. Yes and no, points can be shared.


Got it. Makes sense. Thanks.

Is there a way to make the origin point/first point of a new block equal to another known point? Eg: can I select the origin point of a new block and give it the same x and y as another blocks origin? Does that even make sense as a useful thing to to?


You can select the basepoint with the right mouse button menu. Select options… in the dialog you can then set the X and Y position of the point. OR you can edit the basepoint position in the Property Editor dock OR you can just click the point and drag it to wherever - which of course is not quite as accurate. The whole block moves with the basepoint. Also the mouse coordinates are displayed in the status bar (in the selected pattern units). Also note the Axis Origin is 0, 0… and the x axis coordinates go from approximately -16,000 pixels to +16,000 pixels and ditto for the y axis.

Is it useful to do so?.. could be if you want to overlay one block over another. Might also be useful to - at least move a block - to a certain position when I finish working on adding (background) images, but again that’s for another topic.


this software is very cool!!! :heart_eyes: :star_struck: now that i have a small amount of proficiency its so exciting to just be able to make changes to my patterns and adjust!

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Glad you’re making progress. It does get easier. :slight_smile:

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