Jun 27, 2017

A shaped Back Shoulder Yoke

Vest Success continued...
In case you are wondering what to do with your back shoulder dart (if you have one)...see how to transfer it into a back yoke.  One of our SFD ladies designed the Reversible Vest (a relatively new SFD downloadable Fashion Leaflet).  This particular lady had a back shoulder dart that she needed to deal with.  She needed the back shoulder dart for her slightly rounded shoulder blades, but didn't want the dart appearing in her vest.  When drawing the vest pattern, she simply transferred this dart into the armscye and the resulting slightly curved seam took care of the dart and she ended up with a yoke detail in the back of her vest.

Because her photos were somewhat dark, I simply outlined the stitching lines that she designed.  Now you can see where the back yoke is.

First, let's review how to add a back shoulder dart.
Step 1: Draw line A to B as illustrated.  This line should be at a level where the most rounding or protruding fullness is on your back/shoulder blades.  Then draw line C to D as shown.  This line does not have to be at a right angle to A-B, but the angle that you choose will affect the final position of the dart, therefore, it should be at a pleasing angle for your specific body shape.  You may need to sew a couple of tests to make sure you're pleased with the results.
Step 2: Cut from A to B and from C to D, leaving a paper hinge at the armscye point B and at point D on line A-B.
Step 3: Spread the shoulder area of the pattern open as shown always maintaining the paper hinge points.  This will open up a small dart shape in the shoulder seam line and will automatically lengthen CB.  Often people with rounded, protruding shoulder blades also have some rounding at the upper back and this extra length will help the bodice back to sit more comfortably.  Additionally, depending on how rounded your entire back is, you may also want to add a CB seam which is shaped/curved to suit your body contours.

Step 4: The more you open/lengthen CB that results in a wider dart, the more the upper and lower center back line becomes 'jogged'.  To maintain CB on the fold of the fabric, simply draw/true a new CB from the back neck point to the waist point.  Also re-establish a parallel straight of grain marking.  Depending on how accurately you measured your CB waist length and where this length is actually needed, you may now need to shorten CB at the waist edge and gently true from CB to the side seam.
Step 5:  This technique for adding a shoulder dart shouldn't distort the armscye significantly.  However, if the armscye appears to angled at the armscye hinge pivot point, make sure to blend/true to create a smooth curve.
This is what it looks like in 'real life'.

Now, on to changing this back shoulder dart into a back shoulder yoke that is slightly curved.  It really is a simple process.  Please watch this video to see how to accomplish this technique.

Just click on the forward arrow to begin play.  It's a short video and a simple process.  I know you'll find it easy to do.

Glenda...the Good Stitch!

Jun 20, 2017

Raglan Sleeve Fleece Jacket


What am I doing on hot summer days sewing with cozy fleece?  Making a raglan sleeve bomber-style jacket to wear to the cold group exercise room at our gym.  I'm always cold particularly during my yoga classes and I've wanted to sew this ages ago but could never seem to find the days to do it.

It's done...it's cozy...it's comfortable and warm.

If you're interested in drawing a raglan sleeve from your Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit bodice blueprint, just follow the directions from Fashion Leaflet #1 for Raglan Sleeve DesigningJust click here - it's an easy download for just $1.49.  This particular raglan sleeve is called a one-piece raglan even though it has the shoulder dart.  A two-piece raglan sleeve splits the sleeve open to the sleeve hem and consequently conceals the shape of the shoulder dart in the seaming.

I wanted a bomber-style of jacket, so here are the modifications I made to the pattern:
1. Drop the CF neck line 5/8".
2. Drop and widen the bodice underarm 5/8".
3. Drop and widen the sleeve underarm 5/8".
4. Continue the extra side seam width (from widening the underarm) down to the hem level.
5. Add ribbing 2 3/4" wide at hip level and to finish the sleeve 'cuff''.
6. Add a curved, patch-style of pocket and finished the opening with 1" wide ribbing.

7. Use the CoverStitch machine to topstitch significant seams like the raglan, the bust dart, the shoulder dart and to attach the pocket to the jacket.

8. Then finished it off with an exposed zipper at center front and used the Mandarin Collar pattern from the Sure-Fit Designs Collar Collection to complete the neck edge.

The fit is comfortable over a regular T-Shirt, but if I wanted to wear it over top of something heavier (like a sweatshirt), I'd recommend widening the underarm approximately another 1/2" (1.3 cm) and lowering the underarm an additional 5/8" (1.6cm).  It all depends on how bulky the garment is that is being worn underneath.

Happy fitting and sewing!

Jun 13, 2017

Adding a Bust Dart to the Shirt Front Pattern


Most of you ladies with a full bust are going to achieve a better fit with the Shirt Kit pattern if you will add a side-fitting bust dart to the pattern.  And even though this process is covered clearly in the Shirt Kit Instruction Book - see page 13, it's always beneficial to see exactly what the steps look like in a real life example.

So here 'ya go...a step-by-step photo tutorial of adding a bust fitting dart.

Step 1 - Draw the appropriate slash/cutting lines as labeled in the above illustration.

Step 2 - It's difficult to see in this photo, but you need to cut from D to A, leaving a pivot point on the seam allowance at Pt D.  Then cut from A down through point B.  Also cut from C to A, leaving a very tiny pivot/hinge point at A.  From there you want to spread on the A-B line the amount required for your cup size.  You are spreading the side wider to allow for the dart width.  The following table tells you how much to spread open for your bra cup size:
C cup = 1/2" (1.3cm)
D cup = 3/4" (1.7cm)
DD cup = 1" (2.5cm)
E cup = 1 1/4" (3.2cm)

Step 3 - Then back the opening with additional tracing vellum.  Tape it down well.  Measure the width of the dart opening on the side seam.

Step 4 - Draw a line perpendicular from A through the side seam.  Mark this as E.  From E, measure down the side seam the width of the dart and mark as G (sorry you can't see G on this photo).

Step 5 - From G draw a straight line up to point F, which is positioned about 1" (2.5cm) away from point A.

Step 6 - Back the openings with tracing vellum, tape well and then 'perfect/true' the dart extension point by folding the bottom leg of the dart up to the top leg of the dart. 

Step 7 - Temporarily tape (using Removable Tape) the dart in position.

Step 8 - Then cut on the seam line. 

Step 9 - Remove the tape and when the dart opens up you will have created the exact dart extension shape.

That's the process.  If your shirt tends to hike up in the front due to a full bust, you'll appreciate having this dart to give better fit and shape for your body.

If you'd like to see the video process of adding this side seam dart, just watch this short video below.  You may need to watch it on your tablet or desktop computer if it doesn't open up in your email message.

Happy fitting & sewing!
Glenda...the Good Stitch.

Jun 6, 2017

Canadian Distributor for Sure-Fit Designs

We are so excited to announce that we now have a Sure-Fit Designs Canadian distributor.
In this short video, you'll meet Anna as I introduce her. -

(You may need to open this blog in a browser to watch as I introduce Anna)

Meet Anna Espindola
She is headquartered in Calgary AB and will be shipping all Canadian orders from there.  This is obviously a huge benefit for you.
  • You'll have considerably lower shipping/postage fees!
  • You'll have much quicker delivery time!  Your orders will most likely arrive within 2-3 days (not the 10-20 day delivery time from the USA).
  • Individual customs fees will be eliminated!
  • You'll be purchasing in CND dollars and not have to worry about currency conversion and the exchange rate!
  • It's definitely a Win-Win situation for everyone!

Anna will be offering the following:

  • The full range of Sure-Fit Designs fitting/sewing kits, designing tools, tracing vellum, designing books and fashion leaflets.
  • Sure-Fit Designs presentations and seminars.
  • Representation in Canadian Sewing Shows like the Creative Festival.
  • Sure-Fit Designs Fit & Sew Retreats in Calgary.

Do you want a Sure-Fit Designs presentation event for your sewing group?  Just connect with Anna!
You can reach Anna at:
Website: www.surefitdesigns.ca
Email: anna@surefitdesigns.ca
Phone: 403-701-0801

Please give Anna a big, warm welcome - send her a quick 'hello' email.

For all our Canadian Customers...fit & sew to your hearts content!
Glenda...the Good Stitch

May 30, 2017

Princess Seam in Pant Legs

www.surefitdesigns.com and www.SFDLearningCenter.com

Do you ever get baggies under your backside?  This often resisted design feature can be a tremendous benefit when getting pants to fit beautifully under your buttocks.  This is such a functional addition to your pants that it is definitely worthwhile repeating the information on how to add the Princess Line to either the Back or Front pant leg.

Let's take a look:

Step 1 - Extend the grainline through to the waist edge and hem level.
Step 2 - Draw/move the dart so that it now straddles either side of the extended grainline.  Curve the dart tip slightly.
Step 3 - Draw new grainlines on the Side Back and Center Back section equidistant from the original grainline.
Step 4 - Draw double matching notches at the top and bottom to help aid in sewing the 2 pant leg sections together.
           **Label each pattern section as Side Back and Center Back.

Step 5 - Cut the two sections apart.  Add a strip of tracing vellum so that you can add the appropriate 5/8" (1.6cm) seam allowance to each cut edge.  Extend the matching notches onto the seam allowance.
Step 6 - Curve and shape the princess line seam to shape the fabric under your backside.  This curved stitching line can be more or less curvy to best conform the fabric to the shape of your body.

Here's a video showing how to add the princess seam to the front of the pants leg, but no matter whether you insert it into the front or back pants leg, the process is the exact same.  (This video most likely will not show up in your email software - if that is where you are reading this blog.  You will need to watch it in either your tablet or computer).

  See the great fit in the back of these cropped leg pants.

Happy Fitting!
Glenda...the Good Stitch

May 16, 2017

Customer Appreciation Gift - Nautical Flare Sew Along


Many of you already know that periodically I extend to you Customer Appreciation Gifts.  Since we now have a new streaming video platform for our Sure-Fit Designs DVD tutorials and Sew Alongs, we thought this next gift should be a Sew Along.

Since we just went on a cruise and I made this top as part of my trip attire, I called it the Nautical Flare Sew Along.

It is designed from your Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit and is sewn with a comfy knit fabric.  I did not size down even though it is sewn with a knit.  Perhaps this is because the neck and shoulder seams were stabilized with stay tape.  So not too much of it really stretches. And where the yoke joins the body of the garment, it has been top-stitched with the cover stitch machine (you definitely can make do with regular top-stitching if you don't own a cover stitch machine).  The remainder of the body flares and drapes at the hem level.

It's great worn with cropped legged pants, leggings or skinny jeans - take your pick.  It's just super comfortable.  I know yours will be too.

Including today, Tuesday May 16, and until mid-night Thursday May 18, 2017, for 3 days this is my gift to you, our very much appreciated and valued customer.  Simply go to www.sewfitacademyonline.com - choose the Nautical Flare Sew Along - proceed as if you were to purchase this Sew Along - then just before checkout, enter the coupon code NF3FREE.

PS - We had 7 glorious days of blue skies and sunshine...very much needed after our worst rainy winter in 97 years!!

Have fun with your Nautical Flare!

Glenda the Good Stitch!

May 9, 2017

What do these abbreviations all mean?

Every now and again customers will email and ask what our Sure-Fit Designs product abbreviations mean.  What do I mean by this.  Well take the Bodice Fitting Course DVD as an example.  We abbreviate that BFC.  Why do we do this?  When we're creating the shopping cart drop-down options, I'm limited to the number of characters I can use in any given description which means I must use abbreviations.

Finally we've had time to prepare the Sure-Fit Designs Abbreviations list.  I've posted this list on www.surefitdesigns.com and hopefully this will clear up any further customer confusion.

I thought you blog readers might like to see this too.  I'll show it to you here, but if you'd like to download it, please Click Here.

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

Apr 25, 2017

Large Upper Arm Alternation Choices and Style Options


Some of you have large upper arms that you need to contend with.  What I'm referring to is when your bicep requires more ease than your current sleeve pattern is giving you.  If this occurs for you, then you must watch this short video on alteration alternatives...and what sleeve styles give the pattern more ease for your wearing comfort.

To view this video you will need to most likely go to the actual blog page www.surefitdesigns.blogspot.com, as it most likely won't show up or play within your email program.

I've also offered a great article on Option #3 which is where I discuss curving and widening the underarm of the sleeve pattern.  See the Learning Center article - http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/LargeUpperArmPatternAlteration.html

Then, consider an alternative sleeve style, like the flutter sleeve, pleated sleeve, sleeve with center (curved seam), sleeve with godet, dolman sleeve (as in our Holiday Happy Top Sew Along shown below) or a petal/tulip sleeve.  All are excellent style options when you have a large upper arm.

 The Sure-Fit Designs designing book - Beyond Bodice Basics - gives directions for the flared flutter sleeve, sleeve with godet and petal/tulip sleeve...enjoy!

And you'll want to read how to add the pleat down the center of the sleeve in this blog article - http://surefitdesigns.blogspot.com/2017/03/pleated-sleeve-detail.html   It's another great choice for a large upper arm sleeve style.
Make sure you give these options a try!
Happy Sewing!