Cochenille Design Studio

Stitches United 2020 Hartford, CT

Stitches United 2020

Cochenille is heading eastward to Hartford, CT! It has been far too long since Cochenille has visited our friends out East and we are excited to meet with our users, host fun inspirational classes, offer special pricing on our products and present live demonstrations of the program’s abilities.

STITCHES United 2020 will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center & Marriott in Hartford Downtown Hartford, CT on March 26th-29th, 2020.

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 has taught 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.

Susan Lazear, has taught fashion and design workshops around the world and now she will traveling across the country to teach at STITCHES United 2020. Don’t miss this opportunity and sign up today! 

You can view Susan’s STITCHES United class schedule listed below

Thursday 03/26/2020, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Thursday 03/26/2020, 1:30 pm – 4:30 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 Cochenille.com. You will be able to use the software for the day; Windows or Macintosh compatible.

 

Upcycle Project by Susan Lazear

Upcycle and Design: A Signature Jacket (or Top)
Sunday 03/29/2020, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Upcycling and sustainability is all the rage. Why not join the movement and create a signature jacket from a well-loved sweatshirt?

Bring your knit/crochet/sewing/weaving skills together by making the piece with an existing (oversized) sweatshirt as your base. You will begin the process of adding yarn, swatches, fabric pieces, and embellishments to the base. This hands-on experience offers a lot of inspiration as Susan Lazear shares her ideas as you begin. The sweatshirt offers a quick-fit opportunity where you can focus on surface design and assemblage to create a contemporary and unique piece.

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 Cochenille.com, Please email info@cochenulle.com. 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.

 

 

The Pinch Test: Understanding Ease in Clothing

The Pinch Test: The Key to Understanding Fit in Clothing

By Susan Lazear

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the ones we don’t easily see. I would say this is true with sewers and knitters, and crocheters when it comes to understanding how much ease they like in their clothing. When I’m teaching patternmaking or fitting, and helping people create or edit patterns for themselves, I’ll often ask individuals how much ease they want in the style. And.. I’m often met with a questioning stare. There are some simple tactic, which I term “Understanding your Fit Preferences” and one of these involves an understanding of the ease you like in your garments.

What is Ease?

There are two types of ease: wearing and style. Wearing ease is what you need in a garment to breathe, sit, and move. On average, based on a size 10/12, one needs 2 inches at the bust and hips and 1 inch at the waist. This increases/decreases slightly if your body size is larger or smaller, respectively. Of course, if there is spandex in the fabric or you are working with a knit, you don’t need as much. Style ease is the added ease that helps define the style. An oversized boxy garment could have 32 inches of ease at bust/hip, and a fitted jacket might have simply the wearing ease of 2 inches at bust/hip.

If you are going to design or edit patterns for sewing, or fit commercial patterns prior to cutting them out, you need to develop a sense of how much ease you want in the garment. If you are going to knit or crochet, you need to take the time to understand the schematic of your pattern, and if it is not provided, you should make one based on stitches/rows and your gauge.  The best way to understand your personal ease preferences to make a date with your closet and use what I lovingly call the ‘Pinch Test’.

The Pinch Test

The Pinch Test involves simply putting a garment on, and pinching out the ease at the appropriate places, typically the bust and/or hip. Pay attention to the weight and drape of the fabric as this plays a key role in the amount of ease used. Typically, garments made with soft fluid fabrics may have much more ease than garments made with stiffer fabrics. Measure the pinch and multiply it by four to calculate how much ease is in the garment. For example, if you get a two-inch pinch, you will have eight inches of ease in the garment in total (2” X4, which includes the left and right, front and back). The goal is to learn as much as you can about your favorite garments, and ease preferences is a key item.

So, grab a notebook, a measuring tape, and a handful of your favorite pieces. Begin by measuring your own body measurements to notate your bust, waist. and hip. Now, make a chart and create columns; Garment, Style, Fabric, Ease Pinch: Bust, Ease Pinch: Waist, Ease Pinch: Hip.

Suggested Chart for Documenting Ease

Put a garment on and pinch out the ease. It helps to hold the center of the garment in place, as you pinch at the side. Now, measure the depth of the pinch. Write it down. Continue through your group of garments, completing the chart as you go.

Pinching and Measuring Ease at the Bust
Pinching and Measuring Ease at the Hip

Photos:

If you multiply the pinch depth by four and add it to your body measurement, you will know the circumference of the garment at that point.

Try a couple of different garments that have different fabrics, and levels of fit. My black top is fitted at the bust, but is an A-line, so less fitted at the hips. It has a 5/8” pinch at the bust which equals 2-1/2” total ease. (5/8” X 4). At the hips I get a 3” pinch which equates to 12 total inches of ease. If I add those two measurements to my body measurements (38” bust and 40” hip), then I can see that my pattern would need a total perimeter of 40-1/2” at the bust and 52” at the hip.

My print jacket is a semi-fitted double-knit which has some ‘body’ to the fabric. Both my bust and hip pinches are the same at 1-5/8”. Thus, the total ease at both the bust and hip is 6-1/2”.

Calculating ease in my print jacket.

My orange sweater is made with a firm knit, and it is a boxy style. The bust pinch is 3 inches and the hip pinch is 2-3/4 inches equaling a total of 12 inches ease at the bust and 11 inches of ease at the hip.

Calculating ease in my orange sweater.

Not only is the information you gain from the pinch test handy; it is invaluable. Use it prior to scrutinizing a commercial pattern, prior to cutting your fabric, or to adding ease when you are drafting your own. You have just given yourself the ammunition you need to create or modify patterns so that there is no surprise or disappointment… and what about the elimination of muslin sample? Now, that is cool!

You can seem my notations in the chart I created in Excel. Eventually, this information will become ingrained, as it moves to knowledge as opposed to data.

Recording Information.

Using What You Have Learned

There are many ways to use the knowledge you have just gained:

  • If I were working with commercial sewing patterns, I would lay the pattern flat on the table and measure its width at bust/waist/hip. Then, by subtracting your bust/waist/hip, you can easily calculate how much ease is built into the style and determine if it suits your fit preferences, given the choice of fabric. If it doesn’t modify the pattern.
  • If I were going to knit or crochet a pattern, I’d look at the schematic and compare it to my body + ease measurements to see if the pattern and its ease suit my taste and the hand/drape of the knit/crochet swatch I just made. If it doesn’t modify the pattern.
  • When I design patterns (by hand or on computer), I am beginning with my body and a style, and so I simply ensure that I have the desired ease.
  • Garment Designer software users can look at the ease easily when they create patterns, and if the Sloper is turned on, it is easy to see and measure the ease in any style. So, pinch test information can slide directly over to the pattern.
Viewing the ease in Garment Designer… can it get any simpler?

Over Time….

Keep adding to your chart; in fact, make it become a morning mantra to pinch out the ease on whatever garment you are wearing for the day. Always make a mental note of the style (fitted, semi-fitted, average, over-size, etc.), and the fabric.  Soon you won’t need to refer to the chart, and you will simply ‘know’.

Perk?

The Pinch Test is a great tool to use in the dressing room when you are trying on clothing. I use it all the time to evaluate a style so I can recreate it at home. I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeing the depth of my pinch and determining how many inches it is.

STITCHES SoCal 2019

STITCHES SoCal 2019

SAVE THE DATE!

Cochenille Design Studio will be vending and hosting classes at STITCHES November 14-17, 2019, Pasadena, CA.

Cochenille will be hosting live demonstrations in the booth and we will have an array of show specials. Come visit and try the software out for yourself!

Susan Lazear will be hosting two of her popular classes, please view the tentative schedule below. We will have more details, such as times, in the near future.

Sewing Techniques for Combining YarnCrafts with Fabric
Thursday, November 14th 2019 9 a.m – 12 p.m

Why not add mixed-media techniques to your creative repertoire? Learn to combine knit or crochet with commercial fabrics. Using sewing machines, sergers, and hand-techniques, students 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 and comfort with a sewing machine required. Machines will be provided for use in class.

Moving into the Electronic Age: Designing Knits or SewnClothing on your Computer
Sunday, November 17th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm – 4:30 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.

You will be able to use the software for the day; Windows or Macintosh compatible. If you are test driving the software, you can email stephanie@cochenille.com to pre-arrange a digital download which she will send out two weeks prior to the scheduled class.

Please email us at info@cochenille.com if you have any questions.

We are thrilled to be able to attend other great STITCHES events in 2019. You can also find us at STITCHES Midwest 2019 and STITCHES Salt Lake 2019.

 

STITCHES Salt Lake 2019

Cochenille at Stitches Salt Lake 2019

Save the Date!

 

Cochenille will be vending at STITCHES Salt Lake City, Utah October 2nd – 5th 2019. You can find at Booth # 405

This is the first STITCHES show to be hosted in Salt Lake and it will be a little different from the rest of the STITCHES events, as they are expanding the show to appeal to a multitude of crafters. STITCHES Salt Lake will have stimulating classes and shopping for ALL— knitters, crocheters, weavers, AND sewers, quilters, and others interested in all things yarn AND fabric. This is going to be an exciting show for Cochenille, as many of our users are multi-crafters.

We will be hosting classes and have special show pricing available on software, design aids, and webinars and more!

Susan Lazear has taught fashion and design workshops around the world and now she will be teaching at STITCHES Salt Lake 2019. If you are attending the show, don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy one of her classes.

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.

These classes are being hosted in-person at the STITCHES Salt Lake 2019 Convention so if you are in the area we’d love for you to join us!

For more information on Susan’s classes you can go to her STITCHES Salt Lake Teacher Page.

 


Moving into the Electronic Age: Designing Knits or Sewn Clothing on your Computer
Wednesday October 2nd 2019 at 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Wednesday 1:30 pm – 4:30 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.

You will be able to use the software for the day; Windows or Macintosh compatible. If you are test driving the software, you can email stephanie@cochenille.com to pre-arrange a digital download which she will send out two weeks prior to the scheduled class.

Sewing Techniques for Combining Yarn Crafts with Fabric
Saturday, October 5th 2019 at 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Why not add mixed-media techniques to your creative repertoire? Learn to combine knit or crochet with commercial fabrics. Using sewing machines, sergers, and hand-techniques, students 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 and comfort with a sewing machine required. Machines will be provided for use in class.


Please email us at info@cochenille.com if you have any questions.

We hope to see you at this exciting NEW show in Salt Lake!

Cochenille Team

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