Sep 27, 2016

Stripes Every Which Way!

Sure-Fit Designs Blog

What can you do with striped fabric?  Follow along as I show you a recent SFD Dress Kit T-Shirt design.  Here's the finished top.  But how did I get there?
I used my pre-drawn pattern for a Dress Kit T-Shirt.  You might remember an article on T-Shirt Tactics in the SFD Learning Center that shows you how to remove the dart from your Dress Kit Bodice Front to make a closer-fitting T-Shirt (than the SFD Shirt Kit would provide).

Previously, I'd used these directions to draw this Color-Blocked T-Shirt.  You might 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.
For this striped top, I used exactly the same pattern.  So that was just an easy tracing of what I already had.  Then I re-drew the midriff sections which looked like this.

I'd purchased this fabric during a sale and on top of that it was a remnant so I had limited yardage and had to be creative and conservative with the pattern layout.  Before I show you the result of stitching the segments together, the next illustration shows you the dimensions for each of the segments (keeping in mind my 5'4" body and the longer length that I wanted).

Once the actual fabric had been cut - (oh by the way - make sure when you cut your pattern apart on the relevant design lines that you MUST add seam allowances to each cut edge so that you don't loose any length) - I used the following angles for cutting the stripes.  The main top section, lower hip section and sleeves all had the stripes running horizontally.

Here's what it looked like when all the sections were sewn together:

It was OK, but just being gray with a black stripe, I thought it looked a little on the dull side.  What would it look like if it was solid black in segment #2?

So I ripped out the necessary seams, added the black, and the finished result looked like this:

I liked this a lot better knowing that I'd wear this top with either my gray paisley-patterned leggings or my black skinny leg pants.  I then used a narrow 2-thread cover stitch to decorate and hold the seam allowances in place.  You can barely see the cover stitching since the black thread blends in with the gray/black fabric.

Here's the finished top with the gray leggings and the second photo is with the black pants.

This fabric is another piece of the most comfortable cozy knit - it's a low loop terry that has a fiber content of 47.5% Soy, 47.5% Organic Cotton and 5% Spandex.  (This fabric came from Bolt Fabrics in NE Portland OR - a great little shop in a funky Portland community).  Yes it stretches in both directions and yes my pattern was sized down about 1 measurement dot all the way around.

One last's another option for you to lay out the stripes - the sleeves could either be vertical or horizontal.
 I know you'll enjoy this project...give it a try.

Happy Fitting & Sewing,
Glenda...the Good Stitch!

Sep 20, 2016

Laminate your Master Patterns?

Every now and again the question comes up of how best to preserve the Sure-Fit Designs Master Patterns.

Having them laminated is definitely an option.  I know a few SFD customers have done this.  One customer shared photos of her laminated patterns and how she then stores them.

And what a clever way to store them now that they can no longer be folded - use a tree clothes hanger.
(Thanks to Beatriz H. for granting permission to use her photos.)

However...I would like to offer a word of caution.  One customer frantically emailed me after she'd taken her Master Patterns to be laminated only to be told that the lamination machine had chewed up one of the patterns - I believe it was the Sleeve pattern.  It doesn't really matter which one it was, but rather for you to be aware that this can happen.  So if you are going to take your patterns for lamination, please check with the staff operating the equipment and make sure that nothing damaging is going to happen.  In the case of this particular customer, she did purchase a replacement pattern, but she was reimbursed by the shop.

And please also note that laminating is not copying the patterns.  This came up in a Facebook conversation.  Please let me clarify.  Yes, you have purchased the patterns from Sure-Fit Designs.  They are copyrighted patterns, meaning that you can not copy or reproduce these patterns.  Any reputable copy shop should recognize that these works are copyrighted and should not ever copy the patterns without express written permission from us - Sure-Fit Designs.  So if you ever need to copy one of the patterns for some personal reason, please write for permission to explaining the reason why.  You do not require permission to laminate the patterns.

Happy Sewing!

Sep 13, 2016

Rounded Back - Quick Fix

Some of you may struggle with a rounded upper back.  You might have a similar shape as this.
And if you do, a curve such as this will definitely require a center back seam to help shape and conform the fabric to your contours.

Let's look at what you should do to your pattern.
First, draw at least 2 or 3 horizontal slash lines starting at center back and going to the armscye seam allowance.  The seam of the armscye will become the pivot points.

Then, cut through center back up to the pivot point and spread the center back open.  You will likely need to guess approximately how much to spread each slash line open.  If you've sewn a test bodice without this tune-up, when you put it on, you should be able to measure from the neck stitching line of the bodice up the distance that you will need to spread the pattern in order to cover and shape for your neck curve.  In this situation, it was about 1" that was required.  Therefore each slash was spread open 1/2".  If you'd drawn 3 slash lines, you'd spread each open 3/8".

And once the pattern has been spread open as shown, then you must add 5/8" (1.5 cm) seam allowance to center back.  This does mean you'll have a seam in CB for all your garments, but it's better to have it fit properly than to not cover up to the base of your neck or have drag lines coming out from the curvature of your back

In addition to curving the center back seam, you'll likely notice that we also added back shoulder darts.  They definitely help too.

Here's a video on the rounded back and adding the shoulder dart.  You might want to watch it, particularly if you've never seen this process before.

And there is an article in the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center to help you achieve the exact steps for adding a shoulder dart.

Happy Fitting!

Sep 6, 2016

Tracing Vellum Annual Sale - Buy one Get one 1/2 price!

Sure-Fit Designs Blog
Those of you who use it - love it!  As most of you know, the Sure-Fit Designs Tracing Vellum is the best tracing medium to use when designing and drawing your sewing patterns.

All 3 sizes are at special sale prices.

The benefits?'s strong, durable, can be used as a press cloth and it's see-through which is great for seeing all the drawing details that you need to copy from the SFD Master Patterns and if you use any ink markers, there is absolutely no bleed-through.

it's totally erasable!  Unlike many other tracing mediums, it simply won't go into holes or shred when you need to remove unwanted pencil marks.

it's available in 3 size options:
**10 yd x 24" wide - Reg. $12.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off
(minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price). 
Total for 2 (10 yd rolls) = $19.43 +S&H

**20 yd x 24" wide - Reg. $18.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off (minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price). 
Total for 2 (20 yd rolls) = $28.43 +S&H

**50 yd x 18" wide - Reg. $35.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off (minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price).
Total for 2 (50 yd rolls) = $53.43 +S&H

It's great to have both the 24" and 18" wide options.  The 24" wide will be required for fuller bust and hip circumferences as well as for drawing wide sleeve patterns.  The 18" wide is great for smaller pattern pieces and there's simply less wastage with this narrower option. Consider having both widths to choose from for the most economical usage.

To purchase your supply, please click here -

These sale prices will be good through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 - midnight.  Take advantage of the $ savings.

If you'd like to see the Tracing Vellum in action, here's a short video:

I know you'll appreciate using this excellent quality tracing vellum.  Go to:

Thanks so much for your order.

Glenda...the Good Stitch!

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!