Aug 29, 2016

LIVE Broadcast from the Fit & Sew Retreat

Sure-Fit Designs Blog
I am so pleased to announce our 2nd LIVE Facebook event which will be broadcast from the August Fit & Sew Retreat here in our Eugene/Springfield location.  I am so fortunate to be able to use Our Sewing Room, a fabulous facility and sewing studio.

Please join us.  This is our 2nd Facebook LIVE stream broadcast.

Event details: Where and When?
  • In Eugene Oregon - Wednesday Aug. 31 at 4 PM (PDT - Pacific Daylight Time - Oregon)
  • In Sydney Australia - this is 9 AM Friday morning Sept. 1
  • In the UK & Ireland - this will be midnight August 31
  • In South Africa - this will be 1 AM Friday morning Sept 1 (sorry it's so late for you ladies in countries that are east of the USA)
  • To determine the time in your specific geographical location, do an internet search to convert 4PM (Portland OR) to your local time.
  • Upon completion, this LIVE broadcast will be shared in our SFD (Closed) Group.  To join this group if you're not already a member, see instructions below.
  • We'd love to have you join us.  Click this link -  When the video pops up at the scheduled time, make sure to click on the video image which will allow you to hear the audio.
  • Be prepared - make sure your Flash player is up to date.  If you are watching from your mobile device, make sure you use either Chrome, Fire Fox or Internet Explorer as your browser - Safari does NOT support Flash which is required to see videos.
  • You'll learn an essential bust dart drawing tip to ensure excellent bodice fit.

About 3-4 years ago, Vogue magazine wrote an article featuring sewing studios throughout the US - Our Sewing Room was one of the six situated in the Pacific Northwest.  And yours truly (Glenda the Good Stitch) was teaching in their accompanying photo. This sewing studio is fully equipped with high cutting tables, necessary sewing supplies (like shears, rotary cutters, marking equipment, tape measures, quilting rulers, you name it... etc), pressing stations, sewing machines, sergers and even a kitchenette and sitting/chatting area.

As I said, I'm so fortunate to have a sewing studio of this caliber so close by to hold the SFD Fit & Sew Retreats.  I hope that lots of you will be able to join us for the Facebook LIVE event - 8-31-16 - 4PM.

My understanding is that you don't have to have a Facebook account in order to watch the Live Stream, but if you would like to join our SFD (Closed) Group, you can request to do so on this page -

See you all there!

Aug 23, 2016

Oh my Sway Back

Let's discuss help for your sway back (if you have one).  Do you have quite a dip in your lower back and it sways 'inward' more than normal?  If so, this video is going to address the issue, identify why fabric bunches or pushes up, and then how to deal with modifying your pattern to accommodate your low back curve.

I hope you've watched the video all the way through as it shows you a very acceptable process of adding a Center Back seam and then curving that seam for a good fit.

We did just that for this SFD blouse.  First, add a 5/8" seam allowance to CB.  Also make sure - that as the video recommends, that the hip circumference is fitting you properly and that this is not the culprit that is pushing fabric up into your waist area (because the hips are too tight).  Then, place a few vertical pins that will nip in the excess fabric in the hollow of your back.

Then baste the curved seam and try on.  Make sure that you taper and true the seam in the longest distance possible so that you achieve an even transition from the center out to either end.  When all is said and done, you can see how beautifully the bodice back now fit to her torso.

 You'll also want to take a few moments to read this article -

For those of you with a sway back, this is a very easy remedy.

Happy Fitting,

Aug 16, 2016

Leggings...White Hot Fashion...& new Video!

Sure-Fit Designs Blog
Leggings are the new casual pants.  While at our local shopping mall recently, and browsing at the window displays, one dominated all the hot leggings are.  They are being worn by all ages and all figure shapes.  Every store is featuring leggings in all colors, all patterns, and in all different types of stretch fabric.

Watch our latest instructional video for Leggings without a side seam.  See below.

I wear mine primarily to go to the gym, but many are wearing these skin tight pants as part of their daily wardrobe.

About 2 years ago I wrote up a downloadable Fashion Leaflet specifically teaching you how to size down your personal pants body blueprint so that all wearing ease was removed and additional was taken out for the super stretch of the leggings fabric.

If you're interested in obtaining the Leggings Fashion Leaflet, you can do so on this page - Digital E-Goods.

When following these instructions, you'll end up with leggings that have a side seam.  But many of the leggings we see today do not have a side seam.  Hence I've just released this video on how to remove the side seam.  It's informative and easy to follow.  You should be able to see the video within this blog - if not, click on the link/arrow and it should take you directly in to YouTube.

With only 3 major seams - 2 inseams and a crotch seam - these leggings definitely qualify for a Made in a Day project.

Be comfortable, have fun and enjoy the project.

Happy Fitting & Sewing!

Aug 9, 2016

Hot August Special

Sure-Fit Designs Blog
From time to time I offer in-house specials for a limited period of time.  The current Hot August Special is specifically for those of you either new to Sure-Fit Designs and/or new to sewing or maybe you're to SFD and new to sewing.
Here's a great starting place:

Now through August 17, save 50% on the new Make It Sew 4-DVD set for beginner and intermediate seamstresses, when you purchase the Dress Kit Combo (which is already discounted 11%).

You'll receive the following:
  • The introductory SFD How-To DVD showing you how to draw your body blueprint with the SFD master patterns.
  • The designing book - Beyond Bodice Basics (with it's own DVD) - showing you 7 different designs to utilize your Dress Kit.
  • And...the latest Make It Sew DVD set (4 DVDs with 28 lessons) all designed with the beginner and intermediate sewist in mind. - with a savings of 50% for this DVD set.
If you've been thinking about getting started with Sure-Fit Designs for all your fitting and sewing needs, here's a great beginning.  Just click here to our special promo page to place your order.  No coupon code necessary.

And for all orders filled from the USA, if you sign up for our Sure-Fit Designs newsletter at the same time (sign up forms are available at the bottom of each website page) you'll also receive a free getting-started gift of the Designer's Companion (a $7.95 value).  It's a great drawing tool for all the tight, tiny curves of your pattern work.

Your savings?  All up...$43.65!     Click Here ... Hot August Special

And if you are from either South Africa, the UK or Ireland, we now have distributors to look after your order. 
For South Africa customers, please go to or call 011 453 3117 (Elsabe Hurn).
For UK & Ireland customers, please go to or call 0756 214 0245 (Judith Johnson).

Happy Fitting & Sewing!

Aug 2, 2016

Love my Yoga class, but...

I love my Yoga classes, but is the workout room ever cold!  I usually wear multiple layers, but while fabric shopping in Portland OR on a recent visit, I went to the coolest, little fabric store called Bolt Fabrics and they just happened to be having an annual sale.  Was I ever in luck!  Let me show you what I sewed - the warmest, most comfortable and soft-to-wear top to go with the leggings I talked about a few months ago. They are sewn from a Nicole Miller Scooba Fabric.  If you're interested in reading about the leggings just click this link - leggings.

I know it's a pretty basic style, but oh is truly one of the softest, most comfortable fabrics I've ever put against my skin.  It's a very low loop terry knit with an unusual fiber content - 47.5% Soy, 47.5% Organic Cotton and 5% Spandex.  Yes, it stretches in both horizontal and vertical directions, and yes my pattern was sized down about 1 measurement dot all the way around.

6 Simple Seams - that's all it takes. 2 shoulder seams, 2 side seams and 2 underarm seams - couldn't be more simple.  This top definitely qualifies as one of our SFD Made in a Day projects.
How to design the top?
I used my pre-drawn pattern for a Dress Kit T-Shirt.  You may remember there is an article on T-Shirt Tactics in the SFD Learning Center that tells you how to remove the dart from your Dress Kit Bodice to make a closer fitting T-Shirt.
Previously, I'd used these directions to draw this Color-Blocked T-Shirt.  Some of you will remember this design.

If you want the instructions for designing this color-blocked T-Shirt, they are only $1.99 and can be found on this page.
So for my new cream-colored top, I simply joined the front pieces together from the color-blocked T-Shirt pattern and cut the front all as one unit - meaning no diagonal cuts for the color blocking. Then re-drew the T-Shirt front so that I ended up with a new front pattern piece. The back was just the same - no special designs or cuts for color blocking.  And the sleeve was exactly the same length - I just didn't add the elastic shirring at the hem level.  And if it helps you in designing your desired length, my side seam length is 19" long from the underarm point to the finished hem level.  This entire pattern was just super simple.

I used self fabric for the neck edge trim since it definitely stretched enough to go easily around the neck curves.
And I finished the hems and neck edge seam with my cover stitch machine (which I absolutely love...did I ever tell you this before?)

If you haven't yet seen my free Cover Stitch machine videos, make sure to hop on over to the SFD Learning Center - to Cover Stitch Machine Videos.  There's a series of 3 to watch.

I might not be doing the yoga poses exactly right, but you'll get the idea.  This fabric stretches exactly where and when it needs to.

Have fun and happy sewing!

Jul 26, 2016

Sew Excited! SFD Representatives in South Africa & the UK!

We are sew excited to announce to you that we now have Representatives/Distributors in both South Africa and in the United Kingdom.

Drum roll.....
Let me introduce you to Elsabe Hurn in South Africa.
She is a local Bernina dealer in the Johannesburg (Edenvale) area and is now stocking Sure-Fit Designs Kits, tools & DVDs.
You'll find her at:

Ph# 011 453 3117
Email: Website: 

This is Elsabe while here in Eugene OR during her SFD training and while participating in a Fit & Sew Retreat.

Drum roll...
And due to much demand, we now have a Representative/Distributor in the United Kingdom & Ireland.
Let me introduce you to Judith Johnson.

You can reach her at:
Ph# 07562 140245

Many of you may already know of Jude, as she is an active member of the Sure-Fit Designs Facebook group and has been sewing with the SFD kits for about 1 year.  She attended the June Fit & Sew Retreat as a student as the photos below show.  She'll be returning in August for her training as a Sure-Fit Designs Representative.

SFD Fitting Kits/Products
Local Support
And...put the fun back into garment sewing!

Both representatives are carrying all the Sure-Fit Designs Kits, tools and DVD's, and when Jude's training is complete (August 2016) they will be authorized to give SFD presentations as well as hands-on workshops and classes.  Put a little excitement in your sewing group - contact either directly for details.

Congratulations ladies and thanks so much for 'spreading the SFD word' in your geographical locations.  We are delighted to have you onboard!

Happy Fitting!

Jul 19, 2016

What a Difference Leg Width Can Make

A recent student at the June Fit & Sew Retreat had a great-fitting pants blueprint (sloper), and though the pants fit really well in the waist, hips and crotch locations (the most important ones), she preferred to have a narrower leg width.

In the following photo, you'll see I've identified the shape of the leg seams with the regular pattern leg width being highlighted in yellow and the narrowed leg with is highlighted in red.

Please always keep in mind that leg width is not a 'fit issue' - it is a personal preference.  To help you with narrowing the leg width of the pants pattern, you might want to take a look at the following video.

Happy fitting and sewing!

Jul 12, 2016

Love my Summery Top!

If you remember a few posts ago, I showed you the skinny, cropped leg pants I sewed in a white stretch denim.  Well, I finally found a day to sew this comfy top to go with them.  This top is definitely a draft and Made in a Day project.  (PS That's fragrant star jasmine in the background.)

The fabric I choose was a Nicole Miller colorful knit.  I just loved the colors and the bold summery pattern.

It was is a 2-way stretch knit - meaning it stretches both horizontally and vertically.

To test the stretch of the knit, pick up 10"  and stretch comfortably.  The first photo shows 10" from 'pinch to pinch' in a horizontal (crosswise) direction.  The second photo shows it stretching easily to 13".  This qualifies as a Limited to Moderate stretch knit.  Therefore I sized my pattern down 1 dot.

This fabric also has vertical stretch.  See both the following photos where you can see that I'm now doing the stretch test parallel to the selvage (meaning vertical stretch).  10" stretches comfortably to 14".  So this means I sized down 1 measurement dot ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ENTIRE PATTERN.

Because the fabric was so stretchy, I definitely used fusible stay tape on the shoulder seams.  You can see I used Emma Seabrooke's Stay Tape.

For the design of the top, I used a combination of the diagonal hem Tank Top (which you can find on this page - ) and moved the bust dart down into the waist fitting dart as is shown for the High/Low Hemmed Swing Top which is on page 38 of the 6th edition Dress Kit Instruction book.

What I did differently?  I scooped the neck only 2" at CF and I didn't add the extra flare at CF or the side seams of the High/Low Hemmed Swing Top.  The sleeve is a slim, 3/4 length sleeve from the Dress Kit Sleeve for Stretchy/Knit fabrics.

 And, in case you like the asymmetrical side seam lengths on my 5'4" tall body, the short side measures 16" long and the longer side measures 24" long finished.

The pattern was drawn and fabric cut out in the morning.  The entire top was sewn in the afternoon.  It really does qualify for a Made in a Day project.

 Happy Sewing!

Jul 5, 2016

Large Upper Arm - Effective Alternative

Those of you with large upper arms (large biceps) in relation to the bodice armscye opening, often struggle to make the sleeve cap fit nicely into the bodice.  The wider you make the underarm width of your sleeve pattern, the longer the sleeve cap becomes and this in turn can result in a gathered sleeve cap.  If you don't want a gathered cap, then you're often instructed to widen the bodice at the underarm thereby making the armscye curve longer to accept the widened sleeve.  But this means that the bodice circumference becomes excessively large for you.

In a recent Fit & Sew Retreat, we incorporated a different alternative so that extra width was added for the large upper arm, but it did not require either widening the bodice or gathering the sleeve cap.  Here's what we did.  We widened the underarm seam by curving it outward a sufficient amount to equal her bicep circumference measurement plus about 2" of wearing ease.  The minimum amount of ease in a sleeve is 1 1/2".  Without this ease, the sleeve will feel way too tight.

The following illustration shows how the underarm was drawn.  For clarity, this illustration does not include seam allowances.  Notice how at the underarm point as you would sew from there to the hem level, the new red stitching line would follow the original seam line.  But at the 5/8" level, it then begins a curved journey outward to allow for the fullness of the bicep plus wearing ease.

It's kind of a novel approach, but it works very you can see in the following photos.

And when set in to the armscye, the sleeve looks like this.  This is definitely an acceptable alternative to traditional techniques for widening the upper arm of the sleeve pattern.

Here's what her actual sleeve pattern looked like.  You'll see the red lines on either side of the underarm which indicates where she actually stitched to begin the underarm curve. We kept the remaining underarm extension on the pattern just in case we didn't like the result so that's why it looks a little different from the illustration above.  And of course, this sleeve pattern has the seam allowances in place and we needed to make one other minor tune-up for the re-positioning of the sleeve cap notch due to a forward-thrusted shoulder bone.  I'll cover that tune up in a different blog.

If you happen to have a large upper arm and the sleeve pattern needs widening for your wearing comfort, next pattern you draw you might want to give this a try.

Happy Sewing,