Oct 25, 2016

Look Ma...No Hem!

Remember last week I introduced you to the new Waterfall Jacket Fashion Leaflet?  I had plenty of fabric to sew a coordinating tank top to go with it.

The fabric was really interesting as you could use either the right or the wrong side as the finished right side.

And the selvage?  Well...it was like a mini-fringe.  It was so interesting that I decided to use it as the hem of the tank top as well as on the diagonal decorative seam.

When laying out the pattern, it meant that the straight of grain line would be PERPENDICULAR to the selvage, not parallel as in a traditional layout.  And I added the diagonal seam going from the right armhole to the lower left side seam.  I wanted the pattern to meet at basically a 45 degree angle when the diagonal seam was sewn.  And yes, I laid the upper bodice over the lower front bodice rather than sewing a traditional seam where right sides are together.  I wanted that fringy selvage to be the decorative element on the front of the tank.

This design was fraught with a few challenges, as when the pattern was laid on perpendicular to the selvage, I discovered that it was not knit on the straight of grain so to speak.  It was knit crooked.  This next photo shows that with the selvages edges together, the fold it created was not totally on grain. 

This meant that the back of the tank hangs a little wonky, but I was willing to live with that so that I could use the fringy selvage at the hem line.

For the bust dart, I simply left it in its original side seam position.  If you want, you could transfer it to the lower side seam but I didn't want it to conflict with the decorative diagonal front seam.

Lastly, I trimmed the neckline and armholes with bias binding cut from the same stretchy fabric, but used the wrong side as the outside for emphasis.

All up, it turned out great.  The General Tank Top directions are basically all that's needed to design this tank from your Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit.  If you don't already have them, please CLICK HERE.

In case you missed last week's blog on the new downloadable Waterfall Jacket Fashion Leaflet, here's what it looks like with this coordinating tank top underneath.

This tank top is definitely a 'Made in a Day' project.

Oct 18, 2016

The Waterfall Jacket - new Fashion Leaflet

Sure-Fit Designs Blog

You'll love this new downloadable Fashion Leaflet.  All the details and drawing instructions for the Waterfall Jacket are now available.

You'll want to consider using a nice, stretchy knit that drapes well.  The waterfall cascading effect is best shown in fabric that hangs and creates soft folds.
You'll notice in this top photo that I've combined it with a tank top of coordinating fabric.  In next weeks blog you'll see underneath the jacket at the interesting tank top details and how I utilized and laid out this very interesting novelty knit fabric.

Here's is a front view.  I loved the wrong side of the fabric as much as the right side.  You'll see the wrong side is dominantly black with pink dots.  My black tank top, sewn with Slinky, works perfectly underneath in contrast to the self-fabric tank top in the first photo.

In the line drawing above, you'll see you have a choice of a longer waterfall extension versus a shorter waterfall extension.  Those options will of course, be explained in the downloadable leaflet.

The back is pretty plain and simple as this prototype is showing:

 The above photo is a close-up view of the waterfall shorter extension.

For this design, I used the Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit which so many of you already own.  This is simply another great fashion idea of how to design with your body blueprint.  For this jacket, I transferred the bust dart up to the shoulder line...and it fits beautifully...but you could leave it in its basic side seam position or more it to the lower side seam if you want.

To purchase this Waterfall Jacket Fashion Leaflet - simply CLICK HERE.  Price...just #3.99.

Happy Sewing,

Oct 11, 2016

2017 Fit & Sew Retreats

Sure-Fit Designs Blog

This is the perfect time to plan your 2017 sewing events.  If you've ever wanted to attend a Sure-Fit Designs Fit & Sew Retreat, there is one in late March and late June 2017.

March 25 through 30, 2017
June 24 through 29, 2017

Come fulfill your dream and sew your passion!  There are currently 2 spaces remaining for the March Retreat and 3 spaces remaining for the June Retreat.

To get an up close look at where you'll spend 6 days, watch this short Facebook broadcast where I tour you through Our Sewing Room - the fabulous facility where I teach the Fit & Sew Retreats.

In the above video, you'll meet the lovely ladies who attended the August 2016 Retreat.  Everyone learned lots, plus fun was had by all.

We sew...

We fit... 

We draw patterns.... 

We have lessons...

We learn...

We help one another... 

We celebrate....

For complete 2017 Retreat details, please Click Here.

Please call to register - (541) 344-0422 in Eugene Oregon.

Hope to meet you soon.
Glenda...the Good Stitch!


Oct 4, 2016

Forward Thrusted Shoulder

If your blouses, tops and dresses typically ride back on your body and tend to choke you at the front neck, it's very possible that you'll need a forward thrusted shoulder tune-up.  It's generally quite easy to tell if you'll need to make this adjustment.
With your test bodice on, look at where the shoulder seam is sitting in relation to the top of your shoulder.  Does it look like it's riding too far back?  When you look at the shoulder seam, if you were to drop a tape measure down your arm, does it look like you're dividing your arm in half?
In this photo, you'll see a forward adjusted shoulder seam.  Where the tape measure is hanging is now dividing her arm basically in half.

Now, let's take a little closer look at where the original shoulder seam stitching line was.  Notice the red dotted line?  That's the original shoulder stitching line.  Notice that in blue, I've indicated that it is riding too far back on her shoulder.  If you follow the red line going downward, you'll see that it is not dividing her arm in half.

In this next photo, I've emphasized the new shoulder seam line which has been moved forward about 5/8".

When you make this change on your pattern, you also need to consider the effect on the sleeve cap notch.  It too needs to be moved forward the same amount.  To make this adjustment, you can see the V-shaped slash line on the pattern.  The center where the 'V' meets is the pivot point.  The front of the cap is overlapped and the back of the cap opens up the same amount that you moved the shoulder point forward.

The blue notch marks indicate where the sleeve cap notch has been repositioned.  The red line indicates the corrected straight of grain.  (This process of re-positioning the sleeve cap notch is shared by Louise Cutting in How to Fit a Changing Figure).

To see a video on drawing the forward-thrusted shoulder alteration, please watch this video:

For those of you needing this tune-up, I think you'll find the information straight forward and easy to do.

Happy Fitting,
Glenda...the Good Stitch!

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 comment...here'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 info@surefitdesigns.com 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.  http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/Adding-a-Shoulder-Dart.html

Happy Fitting!