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.


  1. Ginny, thank you for this post.
    I learned something new, I didn't know about Garment Designer. I just didn't like the bands in the front, but never thought, it could be done a different way.
    Even if you think you know Garment Designer well, you will find more and more tricks.
    I like it!

  2. Thank you for this great demo of your cardigan. I really learned about the Custom bands from it. I am new to GD and haven't used it much for knitting as yet. This was very informative and thank you for sharing.