Apr 24, 2018

Sewing Instructions Provided by Sure-Fit Designs

I'm often asked if Sure-Fit Designs provides sewing instruction steps.  Beginners are particularly worried that they might not know how to sew the pieces together and what should happen first.

Even though Sure-Fit Designs is primarily a fitting and designing system, there are sewing construction steps provided for specific designs in all the Dress, Pants, Shirt, Children's kits and in the Men's Instructional Package.  Here's where you'll find the information and though construction illustrations are not always provided, the instructions tell you what to do and in what order.

Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit:  
  • How to sew basic pants together is provided on page 11 of the Pans Kit Instruction book. 
  • Sewing jeans is provided on page 23.
  • Sewing an elastic waist is on page 24.
  • Inserting a pocket opening (eliminates the need for a zipper and is extremely comfortable) is on page 25.
  • Inserting an inseam pocket is on page 25. 
  • Sewing a zipper fly front is on page 27.                                                                                                                                                                              

     Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit:
  • Bodice sewing construction steps are found on the following video tutorials:       
    D.8.a Pt. 1-Fabric Choice/Layout/Cutting                                                         
    D.8.b Pt. 2-How to Sew and Press Darts                                                        
    Pt. 3-Sewing Shoulder & Side Seams                                                  
    D.8.d Pt. 4-How to Set in the Sleeve                                                                
    D.8.e Pt. 5-Staystitching/Pressing/Fit Evaluation  
  • Sewing a V-Neck (Dress or Shirt pattern)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit:          

    Sure-Fit Designs Children's Kit:
  • General instructions for sewing elastic back pants are found on page 16 of the Children's Kit Instruction book.
  • How to insert a zipper fly front is on page 17.
  • How to attach a bib to a waist edge is on page 18.
  • General instructions for sewing a shirt/blouse are on page 20.
  • Sewing a child's cross-over shoulder T-shirt is on page 21.
  • Sewing a hood on to a neck edge is found on page 22.
  • How to sew a tab neckline treatment is on page 26.
  • General skirt sewing instructions are on page 27.
  • How to sew a tab front is found on page 29. 
  • How to sew children's robes are on pages 30 & 31.
  • How to sew a girl's party dress is on page 32.                                                                                                                                                                                        

 Sure-Fit Designs Men's Instructional Package:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  •   General sewing construction steps for men's pants is on page 12.              

Sure-Fit Designs Newest downloadable Fashion Leaflets (Digital Sewing Patterns:                                                                                                  
  •  Go to https://surefitdesigns.com/collections/digital-e-goods                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Sure-Fit Designs designing book/DVD combinations:                                                                                                                                                            All new designs - each with complete step-by-step sewing construction instructions.  (Each book/DVD is designed specifically to go hand-in-hand with the Pants Kit, shirt Kit and Dress Kit.) In an effort to give you sewing guidance, first analyze your current resources.  Did you know all of these how-to sewing instructions existed in the Sure-Fit Designs kits, patterns, books and leaflets?  Use this information as a handy guide to find what you might be looking for. Second, so you have a stockpile of existing commercial patterns?  The sewing steps provided on the accompanying guide sheets provide an excellent source of instruction.  Their pattern may not be exactly what you are wanting to sew, but if there is any similarity in design to what you are creating, their instructions can be a great resource. Third, do you have any general sewing construction resource books?  There are a number of comprehensive books available that not only provide construction techniques, but will also provide step-by-step procedures.  My favorite is the Vogue Sewing Book.  It's a thick resource guide and well worth the investment.  For more information on how to sew the garment together read this article Part 1: Sewing Construction Guidelines
  •  Pants that Mix 'n' Multiply  
  • Sew Sensational Shirts 
  • Beyond Bodice Basics   
  • As you can see (and read) there are truly lots and lots of sewing tutorials and sewing construction steps given with the Sure-Fit Designs fitting and sewing system.
  • Happy Sewing! Glenda the Good Stitch!                                                                                

Apr 17, 2018



April is the month to draw attention to our streaming video option and Sure-Fit Designs Sew Alongs.  For those of you not familiar with this site, we at Sure-Fit Designs wanted to provide you with an alternative to watch all your Sure-Fit Designs DVD tutorials in a streaming video format.  Why?  Because so many of you no longer have DVD drives in your viewing device.  Laptops are being sold without DVD players and smart phones and tablets definitely don't have DVD players...hence the need for streaming all of our Sure-Fit Designs DVD content.  We're simply keeping up with the technology times.

At SewFitAcademyOnline we provide you with the streaming video for the following DVD tutorials:
* Introductory How-To DVD
* Pants Fitting Course DVD
* Bodice Fitting Course DVD
* Shirt Fitting Course DVD
* Darts: Versatile & Amazing
* Jeans: Behind the Scenes
* Fitting Commercial Patterns 
* Pants that Mix n Multiply
* Beyond Bodice Basics
* Sew Sensational Shirts

If you already own these DVDs and have not yet received your 100% Discount Code, please email directly to Glenda - info@surefitdesigns.com.  Please include proof of purchase or approximate date that you purchased the product.  Our files go back through 2015 and I'll cross-reference your order.  Your discount code(s) will then be sent to you via email.

SAVE 10% - TAKE10 - when buying the digital version...
BUT...if you don't already own any one of the above DVDs, you can purchase it online at www.sewfitacademyonline.com - save 10% by using the Coupon Code 'take10' at check out.  Please keep in mind that if you buy the streaming video version from this site, you will not receive the physical version, which only comes if you've also paid for postage for the item.

We also have 6 Sew Alongs.  If you'd like to participate in all 6, you'll receive a 20% discount - no coupon code necessary.

However, if you just want a couple of them, you can save 10% by using the 'take10' coupon code during checkout as this discount code applies to Sew Alongs as well as the DVD courses.

April is the month to get online and on board with video tutorials and Sew Alongs.

Happy Fitting & Sewing!
Glenda the Good Stitch

Apr 10, 2018

The Long-Tailed Big Shirt - Sew Along with Glenda the Good Stitch


The Long Tailed Big Shirt is the newest Sew Along with Glenda the Good Stitch.  You'll love this comfy shirt designed and sewn from your Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit.

It's designed with a longer back hem and is perfect to wear with skinny pants or leggings.

Designed and sewn from your Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit, the Long Tailed Big Shirt is designed to be worn untucked over skinny-legged pants or leggings.  It's comfortable and casual.  This 19-lesson Sew Along will teach you all the necessary steps to design and sew a front placket, how to sew the collar and collar stand and how to sew the 3/4 length sleeve with a pert turn back cuff.

 The front...

 The back...

 The side view...

Save 10% on this new Sew Along.  Join me, Glenda the Good Stitch, participate in the Long Tailed Big Shirt Sew Along and save 10%.  Use Coupon Code 'take10' at checkout.  Watch for the small window that asks if you have a Coupon??

Have fun sewing along with this streaming video 19-lesson Sew Along.

Or...you might be interested in our Bundle & Save 20% Sew Along package.  With this bundle you'll get all 6 of the Sure-Fit Designs Sew Alongs.  Please click here.

See you there!
Glenda the Good Stitch

Apr 3, 2018

Princess Line Perfection - Free Master Series


Princess lines are generally so flattering for so many different figure shapes.  Why? Because the design line flows up to either the armhole or shoulder line and lends visual height to your frame.

The princess line design actually dates back to the 1870's with the designer Charles Frederick Worth, who initiated this design to take flat pieces of fabric and conform them to the female shape.  He named the style after the elegant Princess Alexandra.

This design line has a long and successful history because it is so flattering on so many different shapes of figures.  The one caveat is that the shape of the design line curvature needs to flow smoothly over your bust line no matter the position of your bust level or the fullness of your bust.

With the Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit bodice pattern, you can achieve just that - a seam that shapes for the fullness and position of your bust.

With the Sure-Fit Designs Princess Line Perfection Master Series you'll see how to take your Dress Kit bodice (your personalized bodice blueprint) and convert it into the ever-flattering princess seam.
This Master Series is in the form of streaming video and can be found here - https://www.sewfitacademyonline.com/  (Look for the image shown below for this course).

Participation is totally free but if you haven't already, you need to establish an account with username and password.
(PS - this fits me better than it fits the mannequin which is fuller busted than I am).  This is a faux-suede jacket with princess seams up into the shoulder line.  I love it!

Princess Line Perfection - Master Series - offers 7 totally free videos to help you design the best-fitting princess line from your Sure-Fit Designs patterns - both bodice and pants.

Glenda the Good Stitch

Mar 27, 2018

Unsure how to sew it all together? This Resource Guide is a Must!


When you’ve sewn for ages your mind kicks into gear when constructing a garment.  What do you do first?  What do you sew next?  You kind of know the order in which things should be done.  But for the novice, it might not be so obvious. Use these guidelines and you’ll generally be well on your way to a comfortable level of knowing how to sew something together.
First, do as much work on a major pattern piece as possible before joining them to another major piece.  All darts, pleats, tucks and style lines (like princess lines) would be sewn first.  Sew side seams and shoulder seams only when you can’t do anything more on the major piece.  This makes pressing easier, simplifies the sewing process, makes the garment easier to handle in the machine and the entire construction process will take less time.  

Read through these steps first, then analyze them in relation to the garment you want to sew.  Eliminate those that don’t apply, but stay with the general flow of steps.
  1. Attach any interfacing.  Whether for a blouse, dress, coat, shirt or waistband of pants or shirt, do this first.
  2. Darts, tucks, pleats.  Do these next.
  3. Sew style lines.  Does your pattern have style lines like princess lines or yokes?  Anything that is not a shoulder or side seam should be sewn now.
  4. Pockets.  Apply them to the major piece taking care that they are balanced from one side to the other.
  5. Insert the zipper.  If possible insert the zipper while the major piece is still flat, but if it is a dress with a waist seam and the zipper extends into the skirt, it will be applied later.
  6. Shoulder seams generally come next.
  7. Sew a 'shirt-style' sleeve.  The lower, flatter sleeve cap lends itself to sewing into the front and back armscye at this time.
  8. For shirts, sew side seams from hem up through underarm to sleeve hem edge.  For pants, sew inseams and side seams.  For a dress, if the design has an attached skirt, sew the skirt and bodice side seams separately, but don't attach skirt the skirt to the bodice yet.
  9. For pants, sew crotch seams.
  10. Sew waistband or facings for pants/skirts. Finish elastic waists at this time.
  11. Sew collar.  Prepare collar.  Make sure facings have been prepped.  Attach collar.
  12. Prepare sleeve.  Prepare any detailing like plackets, gathers, etc. before stitching the underarm seam.  Apply cuffs if applicable.
  13. Set in sleeve.
  14. Neckline/armhole facings.  Sew the neckline or armhole facings if there is no collar.
  15. Dress waist seam.  For 2-piece dresses, sew bodice to skirt at waistline.
  16. Apply zipper.  For dresses with waistline seams, add the zipper now.
  17. Finish hem.
  18. Closures.  Buttons, buttonholes, hooks and eyes, frog closures, snaps should be sewn at this time.
  19. Belts, bows or additional trimmings may happen now.
  20. Always Press As You Sew!
The more you sew, the more your confidence grows.

(Adapted from Industry Guide to Sewing Order by Connie Crawford)

(PS - Sometimes I really detest Blogger...I simply couldn't get the text and the images lined up where I wanted them to display...But I'm sure you'll get the picture.  LOL) 

Happy Sewing!
Glenda The Good Stitch

Mar 20, 2018

Garment Linings


I'm sure you've often wondered whether to line a garment or not. Yes, it does take extra time, effort and cost, but usually the instances when you'd line a garment are well worth the extra investment. Here are a few pointers, facts and details - what lining is, why to use it and some fabric choices.

Basically, a lining is a replica of a garment that is attached to the inside of the garment at various points. It is an inner garment made of thin, silky fabric that is sewn on the inside of the fashion garment.

The following are excellent reasons why you'd line a garment.
It is used to cover internal constructions details.
Lining makes garments hang better, fit smoothly and hang more comfortably.
Lining a garment makes it easier to put on and take off.
Lining is often a hallmark of quality clothing.
A lining will conceal the raw edges of a garment and prevent fraying.
Lining provides a beautiful finish to armholes and neck edges.
It provides warmth.
It replaces the need for a slip.

Silk-type fabrics are often used for the lining fabric, however, there are many choices available. A general rule is that the lining fabric should never be heavier than the garment fabric. It is also wise to choose an anti-static fabric to avoid static cling in the finished project.

Typically the lining is cut the same dimensions as the fashion fabric, though if you want prevent some of the stress on the outer fabric, the lengthwise seams of the lining can be sewn just slightly wider than those of the fashion fabric. When wearing, the stress on the fabric will then be on the lining, not on the fashion fabric. Also, you'll want to shorten the hem of the lining about 1/2" to 1" shorter than the fashion fabric.

Some fabric choices for linings are:
Silk Crêpe de Chine - softly textured, available in a variety weights, provides excellent drape, does not fray.
Acetate Satin - beautiful drape and sheen, easy to take on and off, no static
Polyester Habotai (also know as China silk) - economical, durable, drapes well, wrinkle and stain resistant.
Though linings are often the same or similar color tones to the fashion fabric, you can also choose more bold colors or attractive prints.

There is a difference between lining and underlining. Underlining is a second layer of fabric cut from the pattern and sewn as one piece with the fashion fabric. It is used to add weight, firmness and stability to the fashion fabric.

As an alternative to lining, underlining backs the fashion fabric and is attached by hand or machine basting wrong side to wrong side of each garment piece before sewing the garment together. Then the underlining and the fashion fabric are treated as one piece.

This method does not conceal the raw edges, which must still be finished.
It does, however, reduce clinging, stretching and wrinkling.
It provides firmness to the outer garment and can reduce the buildup of static electricity in some fabrics.

Underlinings may also be referred to as Mounting.

Some fabric choices for underlinings are:
Cotton Voile - sheer and thin, provides stability for light to medium weight silk, absorbent
Rayon Challis - soft and light, adds depth but not bulk to garments
Cotton Flannel - provides warmth and absorbency, lightly napped surface 

And then there's interlining. This is a term used for a layer that sits between the fashion fabric and the lining fabric. Batting or wool would be a good example for interlining.

Happy Sewing!
Glenda the Good Stitch!

Mar 13, 2018

The Sheath Dress & Removing the Waist/Hip Darts


How simple it is to convert your Sure-Fit Designs dress blueprint from a woven sheath dress to sewing with a knit fabric for a similar style of dress.  If you want a simple sew and go dress, this would be it.

First, you need to take your skirt and bodice patterns, line them up together following the directions on page 32 of your Dress Kit Instruction book. If you'd like to see a short video showing you this process, please click on this link as the video may not show up in your email client.

Then, you'll subtract some of the waist/hip fitting darts at the side seam waist point.  But...each waist fitting dart is 1.5" wide.  In my estimation, that's a little too much to come of in one fell swoop on the side seam.  Even though you'll be sewing with a stretchy knit fabric, I suggest you start by initially removing half this amount or 3/4" from the side seam waist point.
And depending on how stretchy your knit fabric is, you may want to 'size down' all the circumference dots to remove some of the built-in wearing ease that is provided when sewing with your woven fabrics.  See page 6 of the Dress Kit Instruction book for the guidelines: 'Sewing with Knit/Stretchy Fabric'.

The back of the dress has the darts removed in a similar manner.  And if you've sized the front of the pattern down for sewing with your specific knit fabric, make sure you do this to the back as well.

 And if you have a back shoulder dart, you may or may not want to sew it in place...again, it depends on how stretchy the fabric is and how curved your shoulder blades and back is.  But if you choose to remove the dart, you can do so by taking off the dart equivalent right at the intersection of the shoulder line and armscye.
Now for a visual presentation of this entire process, make sure to watch this short video - it's the latest to be added to the Sure-Fit Designs YouTube channel as well as to the SFD Learning Center.


And...when you've got this 'sew and go' dress completed, make sure to send a photo or post your creation in our SFDChallenge2018.  Get your free SFD Challenge Planner by joining now at this link.

Happy Designing & Sewing!