Posted by: bschutzgruber | January 31, 2017

Yup… there’s learning curve!

I like to make cloth – woven and felted cloth. I like playing with the colors, textures, and patterns and I rarely have an end product in mind when I start. Each piece is unique I never do the exact same thing twice.

I like to make garments out of the cloth I create and will use commercial patterns (i.e. McCall, Vogue or Simplicity). This works great as long as I am not selling the finished garment. If I want to sell the garment I need to get permission or make 3 significant changes to a commercial pattern. I have not been trained in pattern making so I use very simple generic shapes (not the most stylish nor figure flattering), have gotten permission from smaller independent pattern makers, or created ‘Frankenstein’ patterns (i.e. taking pieces from different patterns and putting them together to create a new garment) for the items I want to sell.



This past summer at Convergence (see City Mouse…. Country Mouse pt 1) I wandered the trade/vendors hall and came across Cochenille Design Studio. This company has developed garment and pattern design software. Being able to get dart placement and armhole/neckline curves accurate as well as making the pattern larger or smaller has always been a challenge for me when trying to come up with my own pattern so this looked interesting. After a long talk with the representative about what I’m looking for and what the program can do, I decided to give it a go!






That was back in August 2016  and it wasn’t until January 2017 that I finally had the time to sit down and begin to learn how to use the program. It has a 336 page PDF manual which I chose to print out as I am a ‘book with pages I can write notes on’ person. I played with several of the sample tutorials… which had moments of both frustrated ‘ARGH!!!’ and excited ‘ooh COOL!’.


I got a warp on the loom (8/2 Tencel) and wove my cloth (weft is 50/50 Wool/Silk blend). After washing I had 5 yards 14 inches of fabric that is 20″ wide.

img_20170114_112012007   img_20170117_093632073

I now began figuring out some designs filled with more ‘ARGH’ and ‘OK, I’m starting to get it’ moments.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-5-30-51-pm   screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-5-30-06-pm

I printed out patterns, made lots of muslin samples, and decided on the jacket.

img_20170128_143131  img_20170128_142906  img_20170128_142847

I wanted the jacket cut on the bias so I cut my fabric in 3 sections and sewed them together to make a piece large enough to fit the pattern. I cut a template so I could see what the jacket might look like.

img_20170130_171509  img_20170130_172024


I saw that there was enough fabric to make the jacket longer so more cutouts to make sure BOTH the front AND back fit before I actually cut the woven fabric.


And Tah-Dah!

img_20170130_232648  img_20170130_232338

There is still finishing/trim work to do and I need to decide whether or not I want to add a silk lining.

I knew this would not be a smooth process as computer programs and I do not have history of working well together.  What can I say… we just think differently.  Yes, there is a definite learning curve BUT even with all the ARGHs, Noooooo, and WHY is it doing this???? frustration, this is going to give me so many more options for my creativity!  Let the fun begin!!





  1. Gorgeous! Beautiful work, Barbara!! Love the colors!

  2. You are an amazing artist. I don’t think there is anything you can’t do. Thanks for shsring

  3. Barbara, I love your jacket. It drapes beautifully unlike so many handwoven garments that look so boxy.

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