Stitches West 2020

Stitches West 2020

We are pleased to announce that Cochenille will be returning to Santa Clara for STITCHES West 2020 for another weekend full of excitement (and shopping!)

Cochenille will be vending at STITCHES West 2020 in Santa Clara, CA February 20th -23rd, Booth# 308. We will have show special pricing on our products and live demos.  Be sure to register for our classes as well as Susan Lazear, creator and owner of Cochenille, has a great class schedule lined up for the whole weekend.

In addition to being the owner and Creative Director of Cochenille Design Studio, Susan Lazear is a Professor of Fashion at Mesa College in San Diego where she teaches various fashion courses including Textiles, Patternmaking, Textile Design, Clothing Construction and Fashion History. Susan designs wearable art, mixed media clothing (e.g. sewing and knitting) and is a computer graphic artist.

She has taught fashion and design workshops around the world and now she will be teaching at STITCHES West 2020. You can view her STITCHES West class schedule below:

Friday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
This hands-on class is designed for people who want a refresher on the use of Garment Designer and Stitch Painter software or for those who want to test drive to determine if computer design may work for them.

In the morning we will walk through the use of Garment Designer to show you how to create patterns for sweaters — bottom-up, sideways, top-down — in any gauge or stitch pattern. Sewists will add hems, facings, and seams to their designs.

Learn how to tweak patterns for fashion, style, or fit.

In the afternoon, we will move to Stitch Painter, a grid-based software program (perfect for knitting, crochet, beading, etc), where you will learn how to design colored charts on a grid, using repeat modes, pre-determined palettes, etc. We will explore some of the more advanced features such as designing with symbols, importing a photograph, building motif libraries, etc.

If you are test driving, you must pre-arrange a digital download through, Please email You will be able to use the software for the day; Windows or Macintosh compatible.

Saturday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm 
Why not add mixed-media techniques to your creative repertoire? Learn to combine knit or crochet with commercial fabrics. Using hand-techniques, you will make samples that can be used along with your knit and crochet swatches in a garment or accessory.We will sample joining techniques, cut-and-sew our knits, add edgings, finishings, etc. and discuss knitting and crochet techniques for finishing your designs beautifully. Mixed Media is simple when you have the right techniques!Note: Basic sewing skills required. Susan will also discuss machine sewing techniques, so bring your own machine if you’d like to try them in class.



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

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


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