Home Decorating with Marvelous Designer

Home Decorating with MD Video Script

I’ve gotten a few requests from viewers who want to make home decorating sewing projects in MD. Home dec projects include pillows, bed linens, curtains and other similar items used around the house.

In the real sewing world, there are two somewhat distinct types of people. There are those that sew apparel and those that do home dec. I’m kind of odd because I’ve always done both. I also do upholstery work, which is another facet of home dec.

When you go to a fabric store, this distinction is pretty clear. There’s a home dec fabric section as well as the apparel section. Home dec fabric is typically more robust, but it is not intended for regular washing. Some of it can’t even be washed at all.

When you are creating home dec fabrics in MD, you’ll want to keep this in mind. Formal curtains, drapes and bedspreads are typically a very dense fabric with a fair amount of mass.

In this video, we’re going to discuss this bed project that I made. There are a number of things that I should have done differently. I will point those out to you as we go along, so you don’t make the same mistakes that I did. The final project file is available over in the store, if you want to play around with it.

The bed is a canopy bed called a half tester. The canopy on these beds does not extend to the footboard supports, it only attaches at the head board and extends only part way over the bed itself.

I wanted to do this bed because it gave me the opportunity to show you curtains as part of it. This bed is queen sized and I made it in Blender. It is very low resolution. I put a couple bevels on it, but the bed wasn’t my focus. As usual, all I care about is the fabric.

I created two mattresses for the bed and used reference material to make sure their height was realistic. You’ll notice that I cheated a bit at the headboard and footboard. There’s a gap between the mattresses and the ends. I did this so that the bedding could fall between. In real life, there would be a support beam on each side that connects the headboard and footboard.

The first thing I made was the canopy cover. I create rectangles for the sides, top and back. You can see that I have some penetration here because the modeled bed has very sharp edges. MD doesn’t like sharp edges. This was my first mistake. The mattress and canopy overhang are much too sharp. I should have rounded them before bringing it into MD.

The front rectangle is about two times as wide as the front edge of the canopy. This provides a lot of fullness.

I created the bedspread center and it is a simple rectangle the exact same width and length as the mattress.

From here on out, the Freeze feature became critical. There is a lot of fabric in this project and MD will start to struggle very early on. Work on single components whenever you can and freeze the others. I had the Particle Distance set to 40 as I made the patterns to help with simulations.

Next, I made evenly spaced internal lines on the bedspread. Then I used Layer Clone to make the underside. I set the Pressure on the top to 6 and the underside to -6. This is mistake number 2. I should have increased the pressure so the quilting was more pronounced. You’ll see why I say this when we look at the finished project.

At this point, I got a little smarter about the penetration problems. I selected the bed and raised the Skin Offset to 10 in the Property Editor. This helped to push the fabric away from the bed and minimize the penetration.

I created the side and end skirts next. They are about 1.5 times the corresponding bedspread edge. I attached these one at a time, simulated, froze and then moved on to the next one. Once all three pieces were in place, I unfroze them, sewed the edge seams at the footboard and re-simulated.

Now I decided to go back to the canopy and create the side curtains. This is mistake number 3. The canopy patterns have little, if any interaction with the bedspread. I should have made the canopy separately and not combined it. It would have made things much easier and MD would have run faster.

I deleted the temporary canopy sides and replaced them with curtains. The curtains are a little over two times as wide as the canopy top edge. I sewed each one, simulated, froze and then sewed the other.

Once I was happy with the curtains, I created an internal line diagonally on each one. Then I applied the Elastic setting at a Ratio of 16 to pull the curtains back into a swag. I then used the Pin to Avatar to pin the edge of the curtain to the bed post, to keep them pulled into place.

I was ready to begin work on pillows at this point. I started with a regular bed pillow that appears to be in a pillow sham. I created a rectangle and used Layer Clone with pressure to puff it out. I created four strips of gathered fabric to go around the edges of the pillow and sewed them on.

I created two tie-backs for the curtains. These are simple patterns sewn into a loop. I used the Pin to Avatar to pin the tie-back to the bed post. The goal is to get the tie-back to cover the elastic line in the curtain.

I arranged my first pillow, which isn’t real easy by the way. You’ll see that I managed to flip it upside down and the normals are going the wrong direction. I didn’t fix this problem in MD. I flipped the normals in Blender before adding my texture to the pillow.

To make the second pillow, I simply copied the first one. Then I arranged it on the bed. Both pillows are pinned to the headboard, so they don’t fall down.

The next pillows I made were the bolsters. Bolsters are cylinder shaped pillows. There is no Pressure on these pillows. Trying to use pressure with this odd shape was not succesful. Instead, I used the Leather Belt fabric preset to get them to hold their shape.

After the first one was done, I copied it for the second.

I made two more little pillows. One is round with the front and back centers sewn together. It also has a ruffle around the edge. The other is in the shape of a heart with a ruffled edge.

Now that all the bedding was done, it was time to create the final arrangement.

At this point MD was really struggling. I would freeze everything except what I was working on. I got all the pillows arranged the way I wanted them.

This is the final project file in MD. Piece by piece I would unfreeze, lower the particle distance and simulate. I wanted to get all the fine gathers and details in MD.

I’ve got some pointy things on the canopy, but I knew I could fix them in Blender. At this point MD did start to crash on me, so I knew I had to stop detailing.

The bolsters and one big pillow have flipped normals, but those were easily fixed in Blender.

Normally when I output to Blender I convert all my cloth to quads. MD simply could not do that with this one. It just crashed, so I decided to just work with Tris in Blender.

I used a Velvet material in Blender for the curtains and the bedspread. You’ll notice that I didn’t use any fabric with designs on it. I chose to use Displacement maps instead to create rich embossed textures. These types of fabrics would be very expensive and that’s the look I was going for.

You can see my quilting on the bedspread was a complete fail. It was far too subtle and by the time I realized it, it was too late to fix. I should have left off the quilting or made it more pronounced with higher pressure.

So that’s home dec in Marvelous Designer. It’s really very easy as far as the patterns are concerned. There are just a lot of rectangles and the sizes will always be dependent on your base objects, such as beds or windows. Your biggest challenge will be the massive amount of fabric that is involved. Break the projects apart, if you can, to minimize problems.

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