Nov 13, 2018

October Fit & Sew Retreat - another success story

Late October/early November saw the completion of another successful Sure-Fit Designs Fit & Sew Retreat.

This Retreat had ladies from Washington, California, Iowa and Nevada.  Some drove to Eugene, other flew in...we all had a great time and learned lots.

We start this Fit & Sew Retreat with 3 days of pants drawing, fitting and project work.  They were a fabulous class...all of them completed their yoga pants projects.  This typically doesn't always happen.  Here they all are in their finished yoga/travel/comfort pants and happy to have completed their project work.  Anna (our SFD Canadian distributor) joined the group.  She's on the far left side and also wearing her yoga pants.

Then we began 3 days of bodice fitting and designing.  Everyone achieved an excellent fitting bodice and all got their tank top project underway, but none of them were quite finished - sorry no photo.  Mostly they had only the bias binding trim to complete which was easy enough to finish at home.

But we definitely got the certificate and farewell photo.  They were an awesome group of like-minded women.  We all worked hard and everyone was tired, but went home with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Maybe you'd like to attend a Fit & Sew Retreat, meet new sewing buddies, and go home with both pants and bodice/blouse patterns that fit your unique body shape.

You will receive the following:
6 days intense, individualized instruction and fitting assistance, including a lecture/demo on fitting commercial patterns.

•Pattern drafting/drawing experience with the Sure-Fit Designs patterns.

•Gift bag including (some) drawing/drafting supplies

•Non-stretch elastic for your Yoga/Travel/Comfort pants project from the designing book 'Pants that Mix n Multiply'.

•Waistband interfacing

•High cutting table – 1 per student – personal workspace - no need to share your space.

•Use of a sewing machine and serger – no need to bring your own when flying in.

•Lunch is provided on Day 1 – Saturday. Convenient restaurants are located near the Sewing Studio.

•Fabric shopping field trip - Thursday.

•Farewell event
The next SFD Fit & Sew Retreat will be held March 16 - 21, 2019.  If you'd like to read more details about this Retreat experience, please click here or call Glenda at 541-344-0422 (Oregon - PST).

Glenda...the Good Stitch!

Oct 31, 2018

Men's Pants - We have a new Video Lesson series!

Many of you have asked for the actual video directions for developing and drawing the Men's Pants pattern.  The good news is they're now available.  In these video lessons, you'll see lot of great close-ups which totally remove the guesswork when drawing both the men's pants back and front patterns.

These lessons are free for you if you already own the Men's Pants Instructional Package.  Those of you who bought this item individually or had it included with a Men's Combo or Works Combo, will have access to these video lessons totally free.  Simply contact your SFD distributor (see links below), provide proof of purchase or approximate date of purchase (so that we can cross-reference our files and your order), OR a photo of your Men's envelope, and the 100% Discount Code will be sent to you.

These lessons are now housed in our streaming video site:

To draw the men's pants pattern, you'll require both the ladies' Pants Kit and the Men's Pants Instructional Package.  If you already own the Men's Pants Package, contact your distributor to receive the 100% Discount Code giving you totally free access to these new video lessons.

Don't let yourself get 'fit to be tied!'  Eliminate any frustration.  Just follow along with these new video lessons on drawing the men's pants.  If you already own the Men's Pants Package, contact your distributor to receive the 100% Discount Code giving your totally free access to these new video lessons.  Please provide proof of purchase or approximate date of purchase.

Your SFD Distributors:

USA: Contact: Glenda Sparling -
South Africa - Contact: Elsabe Hurn -
UK/Ireland/EU - Contact: Judith Johnson -
Canada - Contact: Anna Espindola -
Australia/NZ - Contact: Martha Schuster -

Glenda the Good Stitch!

Oct 24, 2018

What to do if your pattern doesn't fit?

I don’t hear this comment very often, but when I get emails or phone calls and someone says ‘My pattern’s skin tight’ or ‘My pattern is too big’, it always is important to first check that you’ve drawn your pattern correctly.  And it’s not just drawing the pattern according to the simple SFD steps, but also that you’ve added seam allowances and cut and sewn the garment all accurately.
Here is a check list of variables that you need to check first because discrepancies with any of these can change the result of the final fit.  And if you prefer to watch the video where you can see what I'm talking about, just click on the forward arrow.  If you can't see the forward arrow - simply click this link -

  1. Measuring.  Have you measured accurately?  Taking accurate measurements is always the underpinnings to getting a pattern fit to your body needs.
  2. Marking pattern dots.  Have you marked your appropriate measurement dots accurately?  Make sure to use a fine/medium tipped pencil when transferring the master pattern measurement dots on to your tracing vellum.
  3. Check drawn pattern widths.  Double check the widths of the resulting pattern before adding seam allowances.  Measure the pattern from stitching line to stitching line, adding any relevant segments together.  Make sure to account for the total circumference.  Compare the measurement that the pattern is giving to your actual measurement.  Remember that wearing ease is included in the master pattern.  Check the specific instruction book for ease in the pattern you are drawing.
  4. Accurate seam allowances.  Are the seam allowances 5/8” (1.6cm) wide?  With the Designing Stylus, use the edge of the seam allowance slot that is nearest the outside edge of the Stylus to draw the allowance.  Spot check for accuracy.
  5. Cut with care.  Whether using a rotary cutter or fabric shears, cut carefully maintaining the 5/8” (1.6cm) seam allowance.
  6. Stitch accurately.  Is the stitched seam allowance exactly 5/8” (1.6cm) wide?  If you need to, place a piece of visible tape on the throat plate 5/8” (1.6cm) away from the needle.
  7. Personal ease preferences.  Know how you like your clothes to fit.  The Dress Kit skirt pattern gives 3” (7.6cm) ease in the hip, while the pants pattern gives 2” (5.1cm) hip ease.  Some may find these ease allotments too little or too much.  It’s all a matter of personal preference.
When you change any of these variables, your resulting fit will naturally vary.  Please be aware of these aspects so that when you evaluate the fit of your test garment, these elements will no longer be causing any issues.
Also, please read out Customer Service Policy - CLICK HERE
Happy Fitting!
Glenda...the Good Stitch

Oct 16, 2018

Hmmm...What's a French Dart?

Sometimes seamstresses get confused about exactly what a French Dart is.  Research states it quite simply.  A regular dart is straight.  A French dart is slightly curved.  Also, a French dart usually begins near the waist line or a little above or below, but typically, it is a long, curved dart as shown in the following illustration.

In a past Fit & Sew Retreat, this student chose to change the bust-fitting dart into a French Dart for her Tank Top project.
You'll find complete directions for designing this French Dart on page 25 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.

Notice that the bulk of the fabric for the folded part of the dart has been removed and that you end up with a cutting line that curves up toward the dart tip.

When stitching this dart, you may want to add a stay tape, like a narrow clear elastic/plastic tape, since you are stitching the bias of the fabric and this will prevent the dart from stretching out of shape as you sew.  Make sure to press this dart over a tailor's ham.  And if the fabric frays a lot, you can always serge/overlock the raw edge of the seam allowance.

Everything about this tank top fit so nicely when she was finished.  Well done!

Happy designing and sewing! 
Glenda the Good Stitch

Oct 11, 2018

Annual Tracing Vellum Sale

Buy One get One 1/2 Price!
It's that time of year again to stock up on this fabulous Tracing Vellum.  Those of you who have used it absolutely love it.

10, 20 & 50 yd Tracing Vellum
All 3 sizes on SALE!
(Sorry you can't mix sizes)
These are the lowest prices of the year so stock up now.
Offer good until midnight Sunday Oct. 14, 2018

CLICK HERE for the Tracing Vellum sale.



The Sure-Fit Designs Tracing Vellum is:
**can be used as a Press Cloth
**'s totally erasable

Try'll love it!

CLICK HERE for the Tracing Vellum sale.

Offer good until midnight Sunday Oct. 14, 2018 

Happy pattern drafting!
Glenda the Good Stitch

Oct 2, 2018

Baggies under the Butt - How to fix

Upper thigh Dart/Wedge: A Way to Help Remove Under-the-Butt Wrinkles

If you have baggies under your backside, there are a number of alternatives for removing them.  This accompanying photo is a little on the grainy side (sorry) but it does show you what this situation might look like.

Horizontal Upper Thigh Dart/Wedge

This refinement may help your situation.  Pinch out an pin a dart/wedge from the upper, inner thigh on both front and back going to nothing at the side seam.  You have to do this on front and back so that the inseams remain the same length.

Try the pants on.  If this helps, then baste this dart in place and try them on once more.  If you're satisfied with the result, then follow these instructions to make this change on your pants blueprint.
1.  Draw a line perpendicular to the straight of grain from the inseam to the side seam.
2.  Cut from the inseam to the side seam, leaving a paper hinge at the side seam.  Overlap to remove the width of the dart/wedge.

True the inseam.

Redraw the straight of grain from the leg upward.

3.  Even though this process does not change the length of CF or CB crotch curves, it does tilt them.  If you do this on a grid/grain board, you will be able to determine the amount of the tilt.
Cut this amount off CB and add it back on to side back.  Do the same for CF.
This will straighten the CF, CB and side seams to their original positions.
Revised Muslin Test
Needless to say you will need to sew a test with these changes incorporated.  You may need to adjust the direction of the darts as well as evaluate how the waist edge is now sitting on your body.
Alternative Tune-Ups 
For other tune-up alternatives, see:
1.  Pants Kit Instruction Book - page 15#11
Happy Sewing,
Glenda...the Good Stitch!

Sep 25, 2018

Cleaning the Designing Stylus

Designing Stylus smudges & graphite removal!

How to clean your Designing Stylus?  That's the topic of this blog.  I know I suggest that you use a regular pencil for drawing all your SFD patterns.  And after a time, the graphite from the pencil lead marks and smudges your Stylus.  This happens to everyone's Stylus.

One of our Australian customers asked how to clean it, so I went right to the source...the plastic material supplier.  I used to use regular soap and warm water, which did an adequate job.  But no more.  You want to get one of those Mr. Clean Magic sponges.  In Australia, for all our down-under customers, it's called 'Chux Magic Eraser'.  It's one of those weird little white sponges that has some kind of an cleaner embedded in it.  Wow...does it work well.  Use it dry.

Here's a before and after photo.
The customer who sent this photo put it next to her Designer's Companion which hadn't been used yet to show the difference in what the pencil graphite did.  I've seen them much smudgier than this after 6 days in a Fitting Retreat.

AFTER Mr. Clean Magic Sponge:
It cleaned up as good as new!  Clean the front side won't take the SFD markings off.

Here's a short little video showing you just how well this works:

This little sponge is also great for cleaning the iron's sole plate after stickies have melted on it.

Make sure to add this inexpensive to your collection of necessities in your sewing room.  You can get these little wonders at stores like Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target.

Happy Sewing!

Sep 18, 2018

Peplums: Pure & Simple

I recently wore this blouse with peplum at a Fit & Sew Retreat.  All the students loved it and so I thought I'd share it with you.

With the dominant pattern, it's a little difficult to see, but it buttons up to the waist level, then releases into the peplum feature.  The bust dart has been transferred up to the shoulder line and then stitched in a release pleat.  You'll find direction to transfer the bust dart on pages 24 & 25 of the Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit Instruction book.  The 3/4 length sleeve has a little fullness at the hem level and is finished with a narrow band.
The back bodice is pretty simple.  I left the waist-fitting darts out - meaning they are there in the pattern, but not sewn.  The resulting dart width space gave a little bit of fullness/gathering before attaching the peplum.  I also added a narrow bow tie that is inserted into the side seam and then tied at center back.  This is not a feature I'd normally wear, but it worked well with the peplum feature.
The Peplum instructions are found on the 4-pg Fashion Design Sheet that you see in the above photo.
The other designs given in those instructions include garment shirring, inset godets, asymmetrical yoke designing and a tulip-flipped flounce skirt.  You can order the download version of the Fashion Design Sheet from this page.  These digital Fashion Leaflets and other Digital E-goods are also available from the SFD international distributors.

Ah...the's the S-Curved neckline that I've used on a couple of blouses.  It's got a feminine curve to it which is drawn by using the mini-Stylus...the Designer's Companion drawing tool.  The directions for this feminine neckline style are found on page 54 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.

Have fun designing and sewing!
Glenda the Good Stitch

Sep 11, 2018

The Circle Skirt

I've been asked by a few customers to give a tutorial on the circular skirt.  And so I'm going to share with you an excellent tutorial by Rhonda Buss of Rhonda's Creative Life.  I simply can't see any point in recreating the wheel when this tutorial is so complete.

First, let's take a look at the differences between the full circle skirt through to the 1/4 circle skirt, which is sourced from Claire at
This is such an excellent visual comparison of the results.

Now to get on with the tutorial, hop on over to Circle Skirt Tutorial by Rhonda Buss. 

Happy Sewing!

Sep 4, 2018

Confused? An explanation of Abbreviations

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 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!