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LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 20


Hat Shop 2 and
Revised Pants Collections

The best Dress Shop pants patterns are now available
in smaller, lower priced collections.

Pants patterns have always been some of sewing toughest challenges and the Dress Shop custom patterns have been the most popular patterns in the program. But, everyone's needs and interests vary and figuring out just how to package these patterns into groups that were convenient, affordable, and made some sense has always been difficult. During the past year, the Complete Pants Customizer tool was tried and it had some pros and cons. On the good side, everything you might need to make virtually any kind of pants was there in one place. On the down side, that meant there was often so much there to see that someone that just wanted some bermuda shorts got lost in all the other features and options.

With version 9.08 of Dress Shop, we are trying something a bit different - separating the patterns and the tool and packaging them in smaller bites, allowing anyone to get as much or as little as they wish.

First off - if you currently own either Dress Shop Pro or The Complete Pants Customizer, nothing will change for you. No update should ever take away any feature or pattern that you already own. This change is for new purchasers, to provide them a few more options. For later buyers, the Complete Pants Customizer tool will now be included with Dress Shop Pro. But, no patterns come with it. Pro users get the tool and may use it on any pants patterns that they otherwise own. The patterns are sold separately. Some come with Dress Shop itself. The others are grouped into the new collections pictured above. Each is small, low-priced - just $29 for an average of 10 patterns each. These are the best bargains Livingsoft has ever offered for these premier pants patterns if you do not already have them.

If you have not purchased The Complete Pants Customizer, come take a look at these new collections and get the best bargain in pants patterns you'll find anywhere. Every pattern in each of these collections can be customized in endless ways with the optional pants design tools. Change them if you wish, or use them as they come for the least effort. All of them, of course, will draft to your own personal measurements for the best fit you can get anywhere.

Full details and photos can be seen here:  /DS9/PantsCollections.htm.



Introducing Hat Shop 2

Also in this latest update is our new Hat Shop 2 design tool and pattern collection. The menu above shows the basic categories of included hats and purses. Each category is packed with custom designed patterns that again you can use immediately or customize to your heart's content. Whether you refine your design or use it as it comes, every hat and purse you make will be in the fabrics you have chosen to compliment your clothes and provide the the accessory you want.

This new version of Hat Shop is now included in Dress Shop. Look in the Designer Tools menu for "Hat and Purse Designer". That's the name for the future purchasers. We'll still think of it as Hat Shop!

Hat Shop Overview
While the original Hat Shop was very popular when it was released 10 years ago, this new updated version provides more than 30 new designs, including 66 hat and 10 purse patterns all of which can be customized to the size you want.

You can make everything from custom baseball caps, ski caps, and golfing visors. You can make costume hats, garden, beach hats, ivies and other casual caps.

Or, go formal and make fashionable Sunday hats, bridal party hats and fascinators. Purses include everything from small evening bags, every day purses to stuff bags for camping and going off to school. Yes, there is an iPad bag and a shoulder bag that’s designed to carry an iPad!
There are new categories of hats including the delightful Fascinators and cocktail hats that are getting more popular by the minute. Dress up your evening outfits and have as much fun making them as wearing them. Embellish with beads, flowers, bows and feathers.

Another new category is the costume hats which are great for Halloween, Masquerade parties, or children’s and adult theatricals. How much fun is it to make your child or grandchild a special hat for their dress up box? Just fill in the around head measurement using the adjust tool and you are on your way!  Use fun and colorful fabrics; embellish to your heart’s content with feathers, trim, flowers or beads or bows.

The adjust button lets you make each hat unique, changing the size of a brim, the height of the hat, or the dimension of the crown. Your purses, too, can be adjusted to any height, width, or depth you need! Complete construction details are included for every pattern.

Remember you can also use the patterns to produce hats and purses for craft fairs to make a little extra pin money when needed. So, whether it is for the extra income, a bit of fun, or to create a fashion masterpiece, Hat Shop has something for everyone!
Hat Shop History
The original Hat Shop program was published in 2002. It was cute, it was fun, and we all had a blast working on it and using it to make hats and purses for many years.

Kaaren Hoback was the designer and her grand-daughter Cady was a willing tester of many of the hats that Kaaren made.

The original Hat Shop was written in Microsoft's version of Java, a computer language that was originally developed by Sun Microsystems and which was intended to bridge the gap between PCs and Max and become a universal language that developers would use to write software that could then be used on any computer.

It was an inspiring idea and it worked somewhat. But, patent disputes between Sun and Microsoft got in the way and the court rulings eventually caused Microsoft's version to be removed from the market. We considered trying to revise Hat Shop to use the Sun version of Java, but many printer manufacturers chose to not support it to the extent that printing patterns required. Hat Shop was shelved.

10 years later, Hat Shop 2 is now available. Kaaren's favorite model has grown up and is now in grad school. Hat Shop, too, has grown up, with improved and updated designs, new fashion trends, easier tools to modify and customize your creations and over 30 all new pattern designs, each of which can be customized into the unique look that you want for yourself.

We hope you'll come by the Livingsoft web site and look over some of the photos of what is included in Hat Shop 2 as well as some photos of happy Hat Shop users with their creations. We're very proud of Hat Shop and hope you will enjoy playing with it as much as we have enjoyed developing it.
by Kaaren Hoback
A fascinator is a small and elegant headpiece, which may be worn instead of a hat on occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings—or as an evening accessory, when it may be called a cocktail hat. Fascinators work with any head/face shape and any hairdo!

Fascinators are often decorated with feathers, ribbons, bows, veils, rhinestones, or embroidery, or other decorative adornments. While the style has been around for quite some time, they have become very popular in Europe and Asia and are quickly gaining popularity in the America’s.

Even my first attempts were successful. A white ‘bridal’ style with silk organza flowers, seed beads and a crin ruffle.

Crin is the term for millinery crinoline sold as yardage or in 3” widths with a gathering thread on the upper edge. It is also sold pre pleated if desired and comes in many colors.
I next made a fascinator for my granddaughter Cady. It has 3 layers of sinamay, to form the hardened base, a wired edge covered with sheer bias tape for a clean hard edge. I then attached a short length of black net veiling, 3 homemade and beaded silk organza flowers and a feather. All stitched NO Glue.


Cady wanted a veil so this one is worn straight up on top of head but most can be worn at any angle.

Here’s Cady modeling her fascinator.

My personal fascinator is also going to be black; the block base is made, steamed and dry which hardens it. The flowers are also handmade using an inexpensive flower template sold by Clover famous for its sewing notions. Of course you can buy silk flowers almost anywhere. I am going to forgo the veil and use a pleated crin ruffle I think.

Crin is the term for millinery crinoline sold by the yard or in 3” widths, with a gathering thread on one edge. It may be flat or pre pleated.

The fascinators are so much fun to make I may offer a class at our local art center just so I have an excuse to make more!

Purse Suppliers
Molded Hats
by Kaaren Hoback
There are many different styles of hats and their method of construction varies almost as much as their appearance. But, there are several general categories that most hats fall into. The simplest are the sewn cloth hats and caps, using fabric similar to what you may have used to sew clothing.

Then, there are the stiffened hats that use interfacing, sinamay; heavy craft weight interfacing, timtex if you can find it, or buckram, sewn between layers of fabrics to produce a headpiece that can stand on its own. Hat Shop includes many examples of both cloth-sided and stiffened sided hats and caps for you to choose from and experiment with.

The third major category of hats is the molded hats. These use a malleable cloth like felt or sinamay that is shaped to either the head or to some more exotic shape using a form and steam.

The cloche above was made with Hat Shop 2. Millinery wool felt in available starting under 10.00/yard and is 66” wide! A suppliers list is available. This hat is a default draft.

The crown is simply 6 triangular panels that are sewn together with ¼ inch seam allowances. As you can see I do have a balsa head block but a bowl turned upside down and wrapped with a hand towel to bring it to your head size Can be used to help shape your hat.

Inexpensive pinnable poly head blocks in your size are available for under $40.00.

The crown is place on your ‘block’ then steamed liberally without pressing the iron down on the block so it is pretty damp, shape the hat to the block using your hands. I used a jiffy steamer. Then walk away and allow it to dry. While it is drying make your brim. Sew the two layers of felt together right sides together on the outside rim, turn, press and seam. I did not use wire or cotton cording (as that which fills piping) though either would have added even more support. The wire formed into a circle* would be slipped into the brim pushed up along the outer edge and catch stitched in place. I just turned up the outer edge ¼ inch, topstitched, steamed and shaped my brim with my fingers while still damp using a rolled bath towel to help support it.

When it was all dry I attached the brim to the crown, added a head band inside for comfort and attached a pretty pin I had in my jewelry box. Compared to my purchased hats this one is nicer goods to start with, FITS my head!! AND was way less expensive to make, using less than ½ a yard of the wool felt.

*brim wire is generally covered so you can stitch it and can be formed into a circle using a joiner and pliers to crimp the joiner to the wire, or a small rectangle of fabric made into a tight tube can be your joiner. Slip the wire ends into the tube overlapping them and take a few hand stitches to secure.

Millinery Suppliers

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