Mistakes in Design and How to Fix Them

Mistakes in Design and How to Fix Them

One of my favorite things to do, is to recreate a favorite garment that I’ve purchased and worn to the point it is showing its age. I’m generally pretty good at doing it, but every now and then, I have an ‘oops’. Of course, I recently did this

Here is a dress that I purchased in Italy several years ago. It is a bit funky, and super comfortable to wear. It is a great travel dress, because it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are with your eating, it hides everything.

Inspiration Garment
This is the inspiration garment from Siena, Italy

So, several months ago, I decided it was time to recreate it, and thus I measured it, created a schematic, and then began to build the pattern in Garment Designer.

Here is the pattern.

Garment Designer Pattern. The front skirt was cut once and the back was cut X3. Note the slight difference in cut. The extra back panels straddle the side seam of the body.

Now… here is where my mistake came in.

The original dress was made out of a cotton jersey knit. I decided to use a spandex/synthetic blend for the new garment, and it was a heavier weight. It was a woven fabric, but definitely had stretch in it. 

The mistake? The amount of stretch in the new garment should match the amount of stretch in the old garment if you want it to fit the same. I KNOW this, and yet, I walked down that path.

I sewed up the bodice and decided to self-line it. So, there were lots of seams, etc., and it looked great. Then, I tried it on… OOPS… the sleeves were too tight… could barely get my arm into them.

And so, my weak spot has been identified. I don’t like fixing mistakes. It is too much like alterations. I had enough of alterations many years ago, when I took in all kinds of alterations so I could save up enough money to go to Australia and New Zealand.  I managed that for my husband and I, and even though I learned a tremendous amount about how clothing is put together, I really was ‘over’ the alteration phase.

So, I set the garment aside… for months… figuring it would come to me.  And, yes, finally, I got tired of looking at the dress sitting in a bag waiting for my attention.  The solution was really quite simple. I found a piece of stretch knit (with lots of spandex) and I inserted a wedge into the underarm area. Of course, I needed to find a way to tie that new fabric into the rest of the garment so I added a trim to the neckline.

Inserting a piece of super-stretch knit in the underarm and then adding a trim of the same fabric to the neckline to make it look like it was intentional all along. Whewww…No one need ever know.

Now my dress is done, and of course, I have not wear to wear it, given that we are still in lock-down. But I’m happy with the result.

I am a big believer that our mistakes force us down more creative paths, and so I generally embrace them. I still can’t believe I didn’t actually do a comparative stretch of the two fabrics. I should know better. But sometimes we need to remind ourselves of something that should be so basic. I’ll just call this my ‘couture touch’ to a basic dress. See the final dress below.

The final dress with its ‘couture touch’.

Holiday Sewing Time

It’s that time of year!

Make your family stockings using Garment Designer’s Holiday Collection Add-on, or the Stand-alone version of the software.

Time to think about making some new holiday decorations. Did you know that we here at Cochenille have a Holiday plug-in to Garment Designer? It is also available as a stand-alone program, meaning you do not need to own Garment Designer to run it. There are stockings (for people and animals), a bottle bag, various carriers for food, a tree skirt, and more.

I recently made holiday stockings for my son and his family. I chose the Stiletto shoe style for my daughter-in-law, an elf one for my granddaughter, and a standard stocking style for my son. I chose to use lightweight interior fabrics, in a somewhat darkened holiday palette.

Here you can see the stiletto pattern in Garment Designer.

The Stiletto pattern for a holiday stocking.

And here are the pattern pieces for all of the stockings. I spliced some of the patterns to allow me to have more fabrications involved.

My assortment of pattern pieces for holiday stockings using Garment Designer software.

These next few images will show you how I mixed and matched the fabrics within a given stocking.

The elf-style stocking, this one for my granddaughter.

Garment Designer’s Standard stocking, and look how you can dress it up!

The base of the stiletto stocking.

Then… on to the trims!

Lots of options for trims.

And I cut letters out of craft felt for the names.

Customizing the stockings with names.

Now… they hang every Christmas and My granddaughter can’t wait to see what’s in hers on Christmas morning.

Hanging in place, every year now.

and if you like, there are options for your dog or cat… Here is the Bone stocking pattern.

Make a stocking for the doggie in your world.

View our Holiday Collection video here: https://youtu.be/rmwZnaqMAqk

April Cochenille Design Challenge

April Cochenille Design Challenge

Our April Cochenille Design Challenge will help you keep track of your USB Hasp key! USB Hasp keys are small, easy to tuck away and sometimes feel like they have chameleon-like qualities. Poor little thing; we think she just needs some ‘glam’

For April’s Cochenille Design Challenge let’s dress it up! We invite you to make a keychain that will make your HASP key strut her stuff. She will stand out, so you won’t be able to miss her (or him).

April Key Fob Keychain Challenge: Fab Your Key Fob

We know Cochenille software users are creative, so let’s make our key fobs fabulously fun!

Let your creativity shine so bright you cannot miss it. Make it flashy, furry, fun, fluorescent…anything you would like, but most importantly UNFORGETTABLE.

Submit images of your easy-to-find key fob to info@cochenille.com and be entered to win a gift certificate for Cochenille product. We will post all the entries and a winner will be chosen by May 5th.

We don’t require that you use our software to design your keychain, but kudos to those that do!

If you have a story to go along with your keychain, please feel free to share it with us.

We look forward to seeing your submissions. As the month progresses you can see our staff entries at: http://www.cochenille.com/cochenilleblog/

Happy Crafting from Cochenille!

info@cochenille.com

(858) 259-1698

Fabric Inspiration for Garment Designer, Los Angeles Style

Fabric Inspiration for Garment Designer, Los Angeles Style

It’s Garment Designer project time! Earlier this month, I accompanied my advanced design fashion students to Los Angles garment district so that they could source fabrics for their collections. We started downtown in the fabric district and ended up at Mood Fabrics by day’s end.

On the streets of LA

Notions Store

Ribbon embellished fabric

closeup

Lace yardage

and lace trims

I managed to refrain from purchase… but then, we went to Mood Fabrics.

So, here you see my weakness. Here are some upcoming Garment Designer Projects.

A Digital Print fabric… whoa… it makes me dizzy, but it is so fun!

A linen open weave… perfect for a felting base.

A die-cut polyester which I will use for a sublimation project.

It’s Spring Break now,,, so maybe I can get one of these items made. Wish me luck!

Susan

More on the 2017 Italy Fashion and Food Retreat

Need some incentive to come join us in Italy?

June 14th – 23rd, 2017
Verona, Italy, with visits to Milan and Venice.

Come join us this June in Verona for our Food and Fashion retreat.

How about yarn shopping for Italian yarns?

Or maybe some fantastic food, cooked just for you.

Then, there are the fashions … oh how we love Italian style. In museums…

and in the store windows.

We’ll visit a weaving establishment in Venice where they weave velvet on traditional hand looms using jacquard punch cards. Customers include Dolce and Gabana, the Kremlin, etc.

bobbins… for color inlay.

And, maybe a cooking class with a chef, in the kitchen of his restaurant.

More temptations to come.  Details can be found at

http://www.cochenille.com/events/category/retreats-workshops/

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