Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Skull cap in Stitch Painter

Gabrielle gave us a great idea for using Garment Designer to create a cap. If you are going to knit the cap you can take it a step further and use Stitch Painter to include some graphics or color.

First Enter your Gauge in Garment Designer after you have drafted the shape of cap you want, and generate Shaping instructions. Write down your total number of Stitches wide by your total number of rows Tall.

Open a new document in Stitch Painter and set up the total number of rows Tall by the total number of Stitches wide you want the document to be. If you want to design the full cap you would multiply your single width by your total number of pieces. I chose to just do half so I multiplied it by 3. I ended up with 54 x 57 grid size.

Go back to Garment Designer and Generate Pixel-per-Stitch graphic, Select the piece and click on Edit Copy, this will copy the image to the clipboard.

Toggle back to your Stitch Painter and click on one upper most left stitch, and click on Edit Paste Special. Then click away to place the image on the grid. That will bring in and set one section of your cap. Select the image you just placed and click on Brush and then Capture. That will capture an image with the exact proportions you need to place down two more images.

After you have placed the three pieces you need you can add graphics or color:

You can then knit your cap following the gird. You can sew and knit just about anything with Garment Designer and Stitch Painter.

~Sonia Barton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Custom & Standard Bands in Garment Designer

We have a wonderful Guest Post from a great Cochenille Software customer:

No matter what level you are at, there is always something new to learn. I'm not talking about life, so not to worry, no lecture here! I'm talking design. For my latest, a cardi and matching hat for Baby Harlow (a.k.a. Sweet Pea), the new things I learned were on Garment Designer. And how the PrSc button does a screen capture (I know, who knew??) so I can share it visually with all of you. First, so you can set your GD options the same as mine and follow along, here is a screen shot of the choices I made on the top bars:

Custom sizing in place, I turned off the sloper, dimensions, and counts so as to keep the picture uncluttered. In fact, though, I work with the grid and dimensions showing. Here is my baby cardi:

You'll notice that my sleeve is upside down compared to what you get if you're following along with your copy of GD. I planned it that way on purpose. I am a machine knitter, and I like to rehang the garment body on the machine and work from the shoulder down to the wrist. More on that in another blog maybe. First let's work through what I learned on this project, and that is Standard Bands vs. Custom Bands. I wanted one-inch bands of ribbing around the neck, down the front, around the hem (or hip) edge, and around the wrist. Symmetry is on. Standard Bands are applied by Additions > Standard Bands, or Control D. Enter what you want in the fields, then click OK. At first, it seemed that Standard Bands would do the job, and quickly. But look at what happened:

Now, I work with both sides of the front and both sides of the back showing because I like to see a whole picture of what I'm going to knit. So, while the above pictures with standard bands are workable, they just didn't satisfy me. I wanted the front band to flow, and above, it's not flowing. I turned off the standard bands by returning to Additions > Standard Bands, entering 0 (zero) in the fields, and clicking OK. The next step has to be done before you add custom bands. Click on the sides you want banded. Not the pieces. Hold the Shift button, click on the center front line and the v line. Notice near the top, where the v touches the shoulder, a little bit might not be red. Still holding the Shift key, click on that tiny segment also.

The selected sides turn red on both pieces simultaneously because L-R symmetry is on. Now click Additions > Add Band. When the field box comes up, name it something distinctive, like center front band.

If (when) you need to adjust the size of the band in the future, go to Additions > Edit Custom Additions. The back neck band now has to be done under Custom also. If you try to add it under Standard Bands, you'll get an extra band on the front piece that is already finished, even if Symmetry is off. Once that was done, I moved on to the bottom ribbing. Look at these two hem bands. 1) Standard (Additions > Standard Bands) :

2) Custom: Select hem lines the same way you did the front band. Then click Additions > Add Band.

I chose the custom method because, again, I wanted the front band to flow the length of the garment. I use a knit contour (a.k.a. knit radar) to follow my printed pattern, so it really doesn't make a difference which one I print to follow, but I use GD to visualize the end result as well as to print a finished pattern, so to me it is important to the process. The wrist band can be done by the Standard method.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Skull Cap in Garment Designer

Someone recently posted pictures of a sweater and matching hat. They had designed the sweater using Garment Designer, but I misunderstood and thought they had designed the hat too. While I was corrected about this, it got me thinking about whether it would be possible to make a hat pattern using Garment Designer.

I opted for a simple 6-segment design, but you can change the number of panels easily.

First I took my measurements. Around my head from the nape, over the ears and across my temples I measure 22in. Over the top of my head from the nape to my forehead measures 14in, but from earlobe to earlobe measures 16in. I therefore decided that the segments should measure 3.5in wide (to allow for a little stretch) and 8in long.

I decided to use ëshapesí to develop this design, so the sloper size used is not important. I went into the Display Pieces dialog box and turned off all the standard garment pieces.

For the hat, I selected Shape 1 from the Extras menu, and set the shape to be Triangular, Curved-Medium. I also displayed dimensions.

I selected the bottom line of the triangular shape and dragged it downwards until the height measurement was 8in for the upper section of the side.

I selected the point at the centre of the bottom edge and moved it upwards until the measurement for the height of this segment disappeared completely, then adjusted the curve control points until they completely flattened this bottom line.

I selected the outer point of the bottom line and brought it inwards until the width at the bottom was 3.5in (i.e. 2x1.75), then adjusted the top of this line segment and its control points until the line at the edge looked ërightí. In my case this proved to be a line that is 5.66in high (from the statistics on the bottom left of the window), perpendicular to the bottom edge at the base, and with only a very small curve inwards at the top.
The final step is to reshape the curve at the top to flow more smoothly from the lower section.

If you are sewing, add seam allowances now, print the pattern and cut 6 identical pieces from fleece with the greatest stretch going across the pieces.

For knitting, you will be making either a circular or flat piece that is 6x the width of this pattern piece. The shaping at the edge of the pattern piece will be accomplished by decreasing at the 1/6th marks. You may want to manually stagger the left and right edge decreases so they don't appear on the same row.

You can see from this short tutorial that you could adjust the sides any way you want to get your desired shape of hat.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cochenille 2012 Workshops & Dec News

Our monthly email went out today. If you did not receive one, please sign up on the home page of our website www.cochenille.com or if you have already signed up and haven't received one check your spam folders and filters, you can also try adding info@cochenille.com to your address book or approved recipient lists.

Hi Everyone,


We have some final dates for our Design Retreats and Workshops for 2012, and
again a few questions. Thank you all for your responses they are useful in
order to get you what you need.

March 16 - 18, 2012 we will have a Garment Designer workshop in San Marcos,
CA. $200 for tuition. We can provide you with hotel information so that you
can make your reservations. Student limit is 8. Please call Sonia
858-259-1698 for more information or to register.

June 24 - July 2nd 2012 Cochenille Design Retreat in Verona, Italy. $1500
tuition. Some of the classes will be in artist studios, some on location (in
the fashion field so to say). If you would like more information or to
register please call Sonia at 858-259-1698 limited space available.

**Potentially Optional Italy Add-on: If you would be interested in doing an
'Italian Food' retreat just prior to the fashion one. Please reply with your
interest, so that we can plan accordingly.

It will only be 4-5 days.  So, some people could come and do both if they
wanted, or bring their hubby for that, then stay on for fashion.  The
Tentative food dates are June 17-21, or June 18 - 21.  There would be visits
to see Risotto, Olive Oil, Wine, and Cheese manufacturing, as well as
cooking classes, and related things.  Initially we are putting  out a feeler
to see if people are interested in that. Enrollment would be limited to 5

August 2 - 7, 2012 we will be having our annual Cochenille Design Retreat in
New Mexico. We would like to know if there are at least 10 Intermediate
students that would like to participate and make this retreat and
Intermediate workshop. Intermediate would mean that you are ready to push
ahead, you would need to have a good grasp of Garment Designer Basics and be
ready to move on...?? Also we have had feed back in the past that the
students would like to make the 'Day in Santa Fe' going around to the local
artist optional, and have that day be added to the days at the Inn to be
able to work further on Garment Designer, for those who wish to participate
your input would be very welcome??

Where We'll Be:

We don't have any Tradeshows or events in December, but this link will be
updated in early Dec with all the new information for 2012.

Thank you all for your support!

Susan Lazear

Sonia Barton

Business Blog

Monday, November 21, 2011

Retreat Group on Rodeo Drive

A few weeks back, we had our San Marcos Retreat. These are some shots of what the group, could view strolling down Rodeo Drive in the evening.

The ladies are 'posing' for you.

And now, a couple of street shots.

You can see some of the wonderful window displays as well as some garments.

Sonia at Mood Fabrics

Here is Sonia.... at Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles. Some of the fabrics are for Cochenille projects, in development. One piece is for her.

Hopefully we can share some of the finished results.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cochenille Design Retreat... Women in LA

This past weekend, we had ten Retreat Participants here for our design retreat. Saturday was 'Field Trip' day, we we ventured up to the Garment and Fashion districts of Los Angeles.

Here you can see the 'group' shopping at a sewing supply store, walking the street, and eating the famous 'bacon dog' on the street.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pattern draft a Cowl Neckline in Garment Designer

Two Cowl Neck Top Designs

Cowl Neck Top – Type A, a bias draped cowl at the front.

I decided to use a contoured top with cap sleeves, so I picked these options. The semi-fitted Top Style is the least fitted of the contoured options.

Top Group: Contoured Top Style: Semi-Fitted Shoulder: Sloped Neck Group: Boat Neck Style: Modified Darts: None Sleeve Group: Cap Cap Style: Angled

As I consider the waist and hip still a little too fitted, I selected those segments and moved them to a more pleasing position. I also made the cap not so wide, and the armhole shallower. I also raised the shoulder point slightly.

To make the cowl, I selected the centre front neck point and dragged it outwards to make the neckline longer. (Not forgetting to turn off F/B symmetry before doing this.) I also used the curve control points on the neck to straighten it out. Then I selected the centre hem point and dragged it slightly out, and downwards to increase the centre front length. I used the hem curve control points to make the hemline a better shape.

To complete the pattern piece, I created a facing for the neckline. When printing the pattern, print the pages with the facing a second time and cut it out separately, then flip it over and attach it to the neck edge so it forms an extension to the pattern piece. It will make a V shape at the shoulder. You may want to cut this out so it is wider at the centre front rather than parallel to the neckline for its whole length, as the inside of the neckline may show when worn.

When you cut out the fabric, the centre front should be cut so it is on the bias, NOT the straight grain, or the cowl will not drape correctly. (Unless of course you are using a knit fabric)

(Unfortunately, this pattern adaptation only works for sewing. I think you should be able to knit something with the front in one piece, but as the centre front is not at 45 degrees to the vertical, it is not possible to generate shaping instructions for this pattern piece with the centre front as a vertical line. There may be a way of doing this by moving the points for the shoulder and side seam instead, but I have not worked this out. )

It is the dragging of the neck point out and down, then cutting it on the bias, that creates the cowl, so here is a picture of an alternative cowl neck garment to give you the idea.

Cowl Neck Top – Type B, an exaggerated roll collar.

For this, I am going to look at the neckline only. For this reason I am not displaying the sleeve, but of course you will want to include it if you are creating a sleeved garment.

I selected a round neckline, and opted for the Wide Deep style. From the Extras menu I selected to have collars Joined At Back. This activates the Collar Group selection boxes. I changed the Collar Group to Full Roll.

The bottom edge of this collar will fit the neckline. I want a much deeper collar, so I selected the neck edge and moved it downwards until I got the collar depth I wanted. (You should display dimensions to help with this, but I have left them off to make the pictures easier to see.)

To make the outer edge looser, drag the outer points outwards.

For sewing, I would cut this double with the outer edge along a bias fold. Although the Full Roll collar is not available in a ‘joined at the front version, I would use a back seam for the collar. Do not make the outer edge too large or the collar will look strange.

For knitting, I wouldn’t use the shaping instructions as generated, as this will produce a strange neckline shape. Instead, I would look at the number of stitches to be increased from the neck to the outer edge, and the number of rows deep. I’d then decide how many increase points around the circumference of the neck, and divide the number of stitches to be increased by this, to determine how many increase rows I would need. For example, if I need to increase 36 stitches, and I decide to have 6 increase points, I would need to increase 6 stitches evenly around the row 6 times. With 30 rows, my increases would need to be every 5 rows (probably starting on row 2 or 3 then every 5th row 5 more times, then straight to row 30.

~Gabrielle Stanley
Cochenille Design Studio UK Educator/Dealer

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Theatre in Fashion, Beverly Hills, CA Oct. 14 – Nov. 13th, 2011

Want to be awed?
Need inspiration?
Just simply love couture fashion?

If so, I need to tell you about an amazing fashion exhibit in the Los Angeles area which has a limited engagement (four weeks). The name of the exhibit is Theatre in Fashion (Il Teatro alla Moda).

I first saw this exhibit in Milan last summer with my Verona Retreat group. We were all in awe as we walked through the galleries, and were pleased to hear that the garments were coming to Los Angeles area in the Fall.

Theatre in Fashion features 80 garments designed by top designers such as Armani, Capucci, Fendi, Marras, Missoni, Ungaro, Valentino, and Versace. These amazing structures were created for opera, drama, and ballet. Therefore, they are stage pieces and utterly fantastic. Sponsored by the Wallis Annenberg Center, the exhibition is located on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. As you tour the array of color, structure and creativity, you will walk through several galleries, laid out by designer. In numerous cases, you can see the concept sketch, and then the final garment.

I think what amazed me most is the fantastic architectural design that occurs when a garment is designed for the stage. I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed in what you see. Every fashion student should make a point of seeing this show, sketch book in hand, to learn from the masters.

Do hurry though, as the exhibit ends on November 13th, 2011. It is a four-week engagement.

Theatre in Fashion (hosted by Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)


Exhibit is located in a temporary space at

253 North Beverly Dr.

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Hours: Wed – Friday, noon -7 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per person, Thursday – Sunday;

Children under 12 and students with ID are free.

Admission on Wednesday is free.

Parking is free for two hours in a nearby lot.

And now.. to tempt you...

Missoni Costumes for the 1990 World Cup in Italy

Capriccio by Robert Capucci

Capriccio by Gianni Versace

photos provided with permission of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pool Cover-up Jumpsuit

Pool Cover-up Jumpsuit

A client brought a strapless jumpsuit to me for alteration recently. It has shirring at the top and at the waistline. When I mentioned it on the Designer School Yahoo List, someone asked how such a garment could be made using Garment Designer, so I put together this tutorial. I hope it will be useful, or at least interesting for you

Start by selecting the following:
Category: Top Plus Bottom
Top Group: Basic
Top Style: Semi-Fitted
Sleeve Group: Sleeveless
Armhole: Standard
Darts: None
Shoulder and neckline are not important as they will be cut off.
Subcategory; Pants
Pants Group: Women’s Template
Pants Style: Straight Low Crotch
Waist Treatment: No Treatment
Darts: None

Because there will be shirring at the waistline, I moved the point where the side seam meets the waist on the pants over to the side seam. This will show the point where the shirring will be added.

To add ease I grabbed all the points making up the side seam and moved them over (you could switch dimensions on to see how much ease you are adding, or use the gridlines.)

I also added some ease by moving the crotch point down, and the inseam over

Because we are making a strapless top, the armhole depth needs to be reduced to match up with the depth on the sloper. I selected the two points forming the underarm part of the armhole and moved them upwards.

Next I added extra length to the body to allow for some blousing. I did this by selecting the whole of both the front and back tops and moving them upwards. I used the Shift key when clicking the 2nd piece to make sure I had them both selected.

To draw the line for the top of the garment, I needed to see how long the side seam is, so I turned on Dimensions. I selected the hemline of the top and used the Additions menu to add a facing, setting the width to the same as the side seam length.

I then added a 2nd facing this width plus the amount I wanted to turn down as a hem at the top, and also a global seam allowance.

The final step is to turn off the dimensions and sloper and display the final pattern.

When printing this, ignore the portion above the ‘facing’ lines. Appy shirring above the pant waistline and at the top edge after sewing the garment together using your favorite pant construction sequence.

~Gabrielle Stanley
Cochenille Design Studio UK Educator