Oh My Stars, A Free Garment Designer Pattern!

Designing a Star on Garment Designer

Cochenille has many crafters using the Garment Designer program, so I thought I’d share a quick look at my craft project. Since we have a webinar later this month about Working with the Extras Menu, I thought I could show it being used in action! I will include the Garment Designer Pattern file as well as a half-scaled .pdf at the end of this post.

Now many of you may have noticed Garment Designer does not have stars included in the Style Sets, but if you’ve seen a few of our other posts, you know that we can modify these styles quite a bit simply by moving points around. My Fourth of July craft challenge to myself was to modify a style in Garment Designer into a star.

In order to draft a star I first needed to find any style with 10 points and all straight segments. Having curved segments would work as well, but it would not be ideal since I would also have to adjust the bezier curve handles. For this endeavor, I looked towards our collars, under the extras menu. The Collar Stand: Mandarin 1 collar to be exact.

You can find this by going to your Extras Menu, then selecting Joined at Back under the collar title (which will always be greyed out because it is just a title):

In the time-lapsed video for this project I had hidden my other pieces so I only had my ‘extras’ showing. You can choose which pieces are shown, and how they are displayed (joined, adjacent, independent) by going to Display > Pieces:

Allow me give you a general overview of what I did. There were a few times I got my math wrong so I would have to go back and fix points, you’ll notice me go ‘backwards’ pretty often and recheck measurements, then cross-check again.First I just moved the points into the general shape of a star. Then after calculating what my dimensions should be, I turned on the dimensions on my pattern to assist me (Display > Show Dimensions). I also used my info bar to measure between points or to measure segment.

If you are not familiar with selecting and measuring segments, read Chapter 3 in the Manual.

No, really, go read it. Learning how to select and measure segments and points is a must when working in Garment Designer.

Windows Users can find their Manual on their Desktop or by going to their C: Drive > Garment Designer folder. Mac users can find the Garment Designer folder located in Applications.

Info Bar Tip: Just because there is not a segment between two points does not mean you cannot measure the height or width between those two points. Select the two points you want to measure (you may have to suppress symmetry temporarily if it is turned on) then look at your info bar in the lower left corner of your screen for the information:

I planned on using this star template to make patriotic bunting out of glitter foam or felt pieces next time I run to the craft store. I will use the entire semi-circle to cut out the red. Then layer the white and blue pieces on top.

After completing the star I visited my Extras Menu again to pick a shape. I chose a ‘Round Shape’ and then moved the uppermost point level with the two points at the sides to make a semicircle.

To mark the other semicircles within my shape I used the facing option. I selected the circular outer segments then went to Additions > Add Facing.

I’ve included the file below if you’d like to take a peek, but try not to change any of the styles. You can also scale the display to print out a larger size or smaller sizes.

Cochenille Star Pattern and Printout

Enjoy your day and happy crafting!

Garment Designer: Copying Pattern Dimensions from Pinterest

Garment Designer: Copying Pattern Dimensions from Pinterest

Hello All!

Today we wanted to explore how one can use dimensions to copy a pattern. For the video we used a reference photo from Pinterest, but you can use the same process from any schematic you create, such as from a paper pattern or a garment itself.

Pinterest is a great source of design inspiration and patterning tips, as undoubtedly many of our creative users already know. One of my favorite pins to come across are the pattern analysis pins. There is usually a nice photo of a finished garment as well as a pattern with dimensions listed. These pictures are a great starting point if you’d like to pattern the garment but don’t really know what the flat pattern shape is or what the measurements are.

If you’ve attended any of our Garment Designer Webinars where we show you how to copy a Garment, the process is going to be feel very familiar. Cochenille rotates through our live webinars every month, but we do have some downloadable webinar videos that can be purchased at our web store.

Please enjoy the video and if you happen to be inspired to try your own project using this method, send us your photos! We will add it to this post so other readers can see.


Tracing a Garment Designer Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Tracing a Garment Designer Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Hello All!

We’ve created a short video showing how to move a Garment Designer .PDF into Adobe Illustrator for those users who use both programs and wish to create a vector file from a Garment Designer pattern.

As you may know Garment Designer only saves Garment Designer files and .pdfs of the patterns. Sometimes you may want a vector file of your Garment Pattern for whatever reason and if you have access to Adobe Illustrator and some background Illustrator knowledge, we can show you the simplest way we’ve found to do this. Below is our video where we show you how we accomplished this, essentially we just trace the existing Garment Designer pattern.

If you have done something similar to this, please let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below or by contacting stephanie@cochenille.com. We’d love to hear from you.




Happy Hogwarts Halloween

Creative With Cochenille

Garment Designer Hogwarts Robe

Hello All,

We hope that you have been busy crafting your homemade Halloween costumes this October. Fall is always a great time for sewing projects. Between Halloween and preparing for the holidays, it is a great time to tackle those projects you have put off, the costumes for halloween festivities or to start on those handmade holiday gifts for your loved ones.

Since Halloween is already upon us I wanted to share a ‘Creative With Cochenille’ Harry Potter costume pattern I made using Garment Designer.

My friend is a taller-than-average (6ft+) gentleman, and as such, most store-bought Hogwarts robes are just too short for him to look like a real wizard. Garment Designer made it easy for me to make a custom Hogwarts robe to fit.

To start this project I took his measurements and used a refined fit sloper so that I had as much information as possible to work with. I also made sure to measure where I wanted the hem to fall on him from his High Point Shoulder to the imagined hemline. I set this as the Dress Length (Options >Top/Dress Length).

As you can see below, I used a Basic A-line Dress with a V-neck and widened the hem of the style a bit more. I also used a flared sleeve style and flared the hem a bit as well.

Since I did add more flare to the hems, Garment Designer let me know in a warning message that I had to fix some of my angles to make a nice seam transition when sewing the garment together. I suppressed the warning message by checking the box when it came up, then after I was finished making all my design changes I went back and fixed the angles at the points were the seams intersected with the help of my Information & Recommendations Window (Generate > Information & Recommendations).

If you haven’t yet learned about Garment Designer’s ‘Pattern Smarts’, we have a great video available for you to watch. This will help explain the ‘Warning:i’ and yellow Hazard sign symbol that Garment Designer displays in the lower left info bar at times:

For the hood, I went to my Extras Menu and chose ‘Collars: Joined at Back’, which gave me a new style menu for collars. I chose a hood Collar Group and selected ‘Contoured 2 Style’:

We have a video that will help you locate the hood on our webs site as well:

I was able to modify the round contoured style to the pointed hood style of the Hogwarts robes by moving the points around and the straightening the bezier curve points.

I ended up lining the entire robe instead of using a facing and I was so happy with how it turned out.

Pictured on my ladies dress form

The robe fit him on the first try! (face photoshopped face for privacy)If you have any projects you would like to share with us, feel free to email us at info@cochenille.com.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by Creative with Cochenille, have a happy crafting season!


Transferring a Flat Pattern to Garment Designer

Transferring a Flat Pattern to Garment Designer

Hello Everyone and Happy Valentines Day!

We haven’t posted in a while since we have been busy making downloadable webinar videos and gearing up for Stitches West 2018. It’s about time that I share another Garment Designer transformation, but this time I will show you how I copied one of my flat patterns onto Garment Designer and transformed a style set in the process.

So here we go!

I have a pattern for a pair of shorts I hand-drafted long ago, I just keep tracing them/modifying them when needed (which is often since they were made for a specific stretch fabric). I decided it was high time to transfer it over to Garment Designer so that I can just make the modifications I need easily and print it out whenever I please.

I taped my pattern down and grabbed my pencil, notebook and assorted rulers. I chose later on to use my Hurth Ruler instead of using multiple rulers.

First I need to get some measurements from my pattern. I generally sketch this out by hand in a notebook, but I made it nice and pretty for this post. This is the front pattern piece, you would do the same for the back:

You will notice that I am measuring the pattern itself, as well as the negative space which is important to include. This is where the Hurth Ruler came in handy for me:

I also take my measurements starting at the top left and making my way around clockwise so I don’t miss anything.

After I am done taking my measurements, I do a little cross-check to make sure everything adds up. For example in the picture below #1 should be equal to k+l+a+b and so on with #2, #3 and #4…

When I had all my measurements and checked them over I was ready to go over to Garment Designer!

Now I know what some of you are thinking…”I haven’t seen a shorts style set like that in Garment Designer…”. It’s time we think out of the box again! I just needed to find a style set to transform, which was easy enough. Can you guess which one I chose?

If you thought bell bottoms, you were right! Why did I choose this? Well I knew I needed a curved hem for the leg holes, and I know the bell bottoms has bezier curves at the hem (circular points=bezier handles)

I turned my front/back symmetry off just because I knew I had major differences from front to back and I had all the measurements I needed to adjust each piece.

Don’t forget about the little Symmetry Options shortcut in the bottom left corner. I clicked it and it displayed my Symmetry Options.

Then, with my dimensions turned on (Display>Show Dimensions), I started matching up the pattern on Garment Designer to my sketch. I also switched over to decimals duringthis time to be a little more precise.

The Garment Designer warning message popped up, which was to be expected when making these kinds of changes. I checked the box so it wouldn’t bother me anymore and continued. If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, see this video or look in your manual:


I made a slideshow showing how I was adjusting some of the points:

Something to note: I ended up having to put a couple points close together to essentially ‘merge’ them (you’ll have to really zoom in to see the two points). You can zoom in on Garment Designer by going to your Display menu and going to ‘Scale To’, then choosing your zoom factor.

It is worth the time to learn the keyboard shortcuts for scaling. You can find these shortcuts in the shortcuts handout located in your Help Sheets folder within the Garment Designer Folder.

Near the end, once I have my dimensions matching and all I need to do is fix some of the curves, I will go back and measure the actual lengths of the segments on my pattern and compare them to the segments on Garments Designer and adjust the curves as necessary. If I need a curved segment to be longer I add more of a curve to the segment, if it needs to be shorter I straighten the segment out.

I also used this opportunity to make any changes I had been meaning to make to the flat pattern, which in this case was changing the leg hole and crotch shape. If I want to change it some more, I now have it on Garment Designer which will make modifying the shape easy (and will save me on some pattern paper!)



Once I had my basic shorts pattern in Garment Designer I was easily able to modify it for my bloomers pattern. It is a fun pattern I have used in the past for costumes that I based off my shorts pattern. In Garment Designer, it was just a matter of expanding the pattern for gathering.

I was also able to mark my channels by using the facing option in Garment Designer. Susan has taught me that using the facings option is a great way to create a demarcation on a garment.

Thank you for reading and good luck on your next Garment Designer project!

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