News You Can Use
LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 20
Hat Shop 2 and
Revised Pants Collections
The best Dress Shop pants patterns are now
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
*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
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