Apr 26, 2012

Diagonal Waist - Reflections

Glenda, I think that your post, Diagonal Waist, Clothing Considerations, is very important to me.  At first I was discouraged by having to confront the uniqueness of my body, and even had flashes of myself dressed in a big old bag for the rest of my life.  But after sleeping on your email, I have awoken renewed and amazingly inspired.

This is what you, Glenda Sparling and Sure-Fit Designs, means to me-----SELF CONFIDENCE.
So here is my wish list on how I want to dress and what I want out of Sure-Fit Designs:

I want to be able to tuck my bodice into my pants and skirts and then wear an overshirt that flows evenly down slightly past my high hip.  I think that this is one of my best favorite looks. For this I need a bodice that is fitted and feminine and falls just a little below my slanted waist.  The overshirt needs to perfectly fit my smaller, shorter chest and then ease in a triangle over my pear-shaped upper high hip. And my pants need to have a perfectly fitted rise that slopes. Also this same look would work with both a skirt and pants.

Then I would like a second set of bodices that perfectly fit at the top chest and bust but ease down to slightly past my high hip.  These would be tops, jackets and overshirts that I could wear over my pants and skirts.
Then I really would love a dress that is form fitting that I could wear a nice overshirt or jacket with.  And I would also like a dress that would be a stand alone by itself dress but is flattering to my unique body.

So there you have it.  A very very very tall order.  But I believe that I can do this with Sure-Fit Designs.  I have already learned so much from you and I look forward to growing in yardage and self-confidance.
My clothing goals:
Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit
  •    INSIDE BODICE -- One perfectly fitted bodice that matches my body and perfectly matches my sloping waist.
  •     OUTSIDE BODICE -- One perfectly fitted bodice that matches my body but the length of the bodice flows to just below my high hip.
  •     INSIDE DRESS --  One perfectly form fitted dress that exactly hugs every unique hill and valley of my body
  •     OUTSIDE DRESS --  One perfectly fitted dress that flows over my hills yet flatters my body.
  •     INSIDE SKIRT -- One perfectly fitted shirt that mixes and matches both my inside and outside bodice.
Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit
  •     OVERSHIRT -- To wear over my inside and outside bodice with two lengths one at high hip and one below low hip
  •     JACKETS -- The same as for Overshirt
Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit
  • PANTS --  One perfectly fitted pant that matches my sloping waist in a variety of lengths
  • And I would really like to try those wrap pants I saw in the Fashion Leaflets.

Apr 23, 2012

Yoga Pants (Una's variation)

When Pants that Mix 'n' Multiply (SFD pants styles designing book - June 2011) was first published, I had no idea how popular the Yoga/Travel/Comfort Pants would be.  I knew how easy they were to sew and how comfortable they are to wear and now as more and more ladies are sewing them, you're sending me photos of your results.  Thank you!!

Here's Una's cropped yoga/gym pants that she's extremely pleased with.  Thanks for sharing!

Apr 20, 2012

Diagonal Waist - Style of Clothing Considerations

Hi Rebecca, I'm responding to your Post: Diagonal Waist, Part 1 Rebecca.
I understand your waist tilts to the front in a deep diagonal from the small of your back.  So how you need to look at this is by what you like to wear and what looks best on you.
If you want your shirts/blouses tucked in, then this will emphasize the diagonal line from back to front.  And this also means that for your blouses/shirts, you only need to make sure the hem is long enough to tuck in and not worry about fit, as you'd likely not sew the waist fitting darts in anyway.  BUT, if you tuck in, then the skirt waist edge or pants waist edge would need to be angled downward toward the front to fit the flow of your body.

But if you want to wear your blouses/shirts out over top of skirt/pants, then once again, you would maintain an even hem length on the blouse - so it looks best from a visual perspective and you would need to make the back as long as the front and long enough to skim over your hip area.  Again, you would not likely stitch in the waist fitting darts - unless for some special design.  The pant or skirt waist edge would need to be sloped as they will gravitate to your waist indent anyway.

Now to a 1 or 2 piece dress.  Here's where it becomes more of a gray area.  First ask yourself if you wear dresses?  If so, do you want them to follow the diagonal of your waist.  If the answer is NO, then you'd make a one-piece looser fitting dress in the waist area, so that it FLOWS from your bust down to your hips and doesn't emphasize your diagonal waist.  If the answer is YES, then you'd need to follow the contours of your body and you'd need to slope the angle of the bodice - short back length with longer front  - for a 2-piece dress, or if it's a one-piece dress, then once again you'd likely skim the side seam from your side seam down to the high hip - leaving the waist area kind of nondescript, so that it doesn't emphasize the angle of your waist.

So when you are trying to get a body blueprint, you also have to take in to consideration what is going to look best on your body.  What do you wear?  And what do you feel comfortable in?  This is all such personal preference.

Now to the slope of the waist edge.  You reference pg. 16 #11 of the Dress Kit Instruction book.  You would be the opposite of this.  So instead of adding height to CF, you would be reducing height, so that it does follow the angle of your waist.  Then, because the side seams are the SAME length, CB would sit where it is supposed to and CF would sit lower.

Yes...I think you are getting this!!  I hope this answer helps to sort it all out for you.  So much of fit depends on our body shapes and what looks good on us.  We may want a perfect fit, but then we must step back and ask if the body is perfect.  We need to deal with this body and what looks best on it.

Also, a great new video to watch to help you identify your waist line/level is:

Kindly, Glenda

Apr 17, 2012

Successful Slinky T-Shirt

Everyone is always asking 'Should I use the Dress Kit or Shirt Kit to sew a T-shirt?'  To answer this question, I've devoted a page to the answer in the new SFD Learning Center.  Just click through to T-Shirt Design - Which kit to use?  You'll see an example of T-shirts sewn with both the Dress Kit and Shirt Kit and you'll be able to see the different results that the 2 patterns give.

Additionally you'll see Joy's Successful Slinky V-neck version.  She's transferred the bust dart down into the lower side seam (a French dart variation).  There's also a video you can watch on moving the dart to the lower side seam position and how to perfect the cutting line.  Since her dart is wider than the bust dart example that I showed in the video, she removed some of the 'internal' space between the dart legs...which is perfectly fine to do.  It's the next photo after the video shown here.

Joy points out the lower side seam dart with the green line and she comments, 'The French dart is really straight, but I am pulling a bend in it from the way I am standing.  I want to make some more of these.  SO, SO comfortable.  Maybe I'll try a ruffle around the v-neck on the next one.'

Thanks so much for sharing, Joy - excellent work and such pretty fabric!

PS. To see Joy's entire blog comments, go to: Joyful Expressions.

Apr 16, 2012

Help - What to do with a Diagonal Waist?

I have been reading from the Dress Kit Instruction Book about taking measurements...I read on page 4... "tie a string around your natural waist".

My body has a very defined waist line but it is sharply diagonal when viewed from the side.  From the small of my back to the center of my front (passing exactly over my belly button) my waistline is several inches higher in the back than my waistline in the front.

I have tied a string around my waist and when I  pull the string up so it lines up evenly straight across and I measure from the center of my shoulder down to the tied string the measurement is 19 1/4 inches. And when I lower the string to fall into my sharply sloping waistline and I measure from the center of my shoulder down to the tied string, the measurement is 23 inches.

This doesn't affect my bodice pattern because the apex level is figured from the center of the shoulder to my bust point. But on my skirt and eventually my pants this waistline slope will have a big effect.  If I hang my skirt around my slanting waist line, my skirt hem rides 4 inches lower in the front.  And if I hike the skirt up in the front, which feels really weird, I have a 4 inch high-rise waist.  This is also the case with all my pants.

So my question is...in the Sure-Fit Designs system which is my waist line?  Straight around from the small of my back, or sharply slanting diagonally forward?

I see the tune-up on page 16...#11 Large Abdomen, but is this me?  I don't have stress wrinkles and the front is not pulling up.

Apr 13, 2012

Black Bird of Paradise

This Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit Blouse has bust darts and waist darts in the front and back.  I like this fit.  You can tell I like V-necklines.  My Mother told me once that I don't look good in round necks because I have a round head, so I never make them unless they are low and wide.
Joyful Expressions

Thanks, Joy, for sharing your creations with us! 

Apr 12, 2012

Announcing the NEW Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center

You've all been waiting for this new Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center.  Whew!  It's finally completed...at least to this stage.

As you browse through the Video Library, you'll notice how much easier it is to find what you're looking for.  All the videos have been numbered, labeled and categorized for your easy reference and access.  Search this Video Library for videos relevant to your special fitting needs or sewing project.

Additionally, the Article Library also offers information that has been catalogued for easy access.

(Both Libraries will grow as my time permits.)

You'll also find a new edition of the Sure-Fit Designs Store.  Just go to Store if you're needing supplies - no need to jump back to the original Sure-Fit Designs site.  The original site will always be available with its wealth of information.  In this new Store, you'll be able to have instant access to Fashion Leaflets and the newest books - Pants that Mix 'n' Multiply and Beyond Bodice Basics.  If the item lends itself to an easy download, you'll be able to purchase then receive immediate download information.

As your time permits, make sure you check out all the other departments.

Feel free to leave your comments.


Apr 9, 2012

What's Sloper, Moulage or Body Blueprint?

Once you’ve learned something and know the terminology for that particular topic, it’s easy to forget that others, with the same interests as you, often may not know what those terms mean. What am I talking about??

Every now and again, I’m reminded of this when someone asks, ‘What’s a sloper?’  It’s basically a pattern with wearing ease that fits your unique body shape and size.  This can be a bodice sloper, skirt sloper, pants sloper. 

When we first got Sure-Fit Designs™ established in 1982, I wanted to refer to the sloper in a more descriptive manner and came up with the term ‘body blueprint’.  If you think about it, a blueprint in architectural terminology means a layout or plan with specific dimensions of a specific room or rooms.  I thought this was fairly reflective of what we were accomplishing when drawing a personal pattern (sloper) with the Sure-Fit Designs™ master patterns to reflect your particular body shape and size.  And, I’ve referred to it (your sloper) or body blueprint this way ever since.

The SFD body blueprint does include a minimal amount wearing ease.  So when your pattern drawing is complete, you end up with your body shape plus ease.  You may or may not like the amount of wearing ease allowed in each pattern, but in the end analysis, that is personal preference and you can add or subtract ease as you wish.  The instruction books that accompany each of the major SFD kits explain how much wearing ease is offered in each the master patterns.  Here's a short video on ease allowances in the SFD Dress Kit.

Well, if that’s a sloper, then ‘What’s a moulage?’  Technically speaking but keeping this in simple lay terms, it’s your body blueprint without any ease.

Apr 5, 2012

Sheila Shines!

I'm sharing this with you...another Sure-Fit Designs customer who is extremely happy with the fit of her SFD Dress body blueprint.  Sheila's initial fit wasn't straight out-of-the-box perfect because she has a very narrow upper chest in relation to quite a full bust.  Thank goodness for the SFD Adjust-A-Bust template - she no longer has any FBA required on any more patterns.  Her efforts have well paid off since now her Dress blueprint provides an excellent fit and is a springboard to many flattering designs that will fit her body exclusively.  Here you are seeing her final body blueprint and her first fashion dress.  Very well done - Sheila!
Sheila's finished muslin test

Sheila's first fashion dress

Sheila comments:
Dear Glenda,
You have worked so diligently with me on this.  First I had some incorrect measurements. We learned that my upper chest is quite narrow, and I think that I am short-waisted!  But what a lovely garment I have now thanks to Sure-Fit Designs!  It is quite exciting to think that now I can make any bodice and won't have folds in front of my armhole!  I can't wait to get to the Shirt Kit that I also have.  My husband has already asked if I will be able to make shirts for him.  Wish that I had found you earlier but thankful that I found Sure-Fit Design at all.  It is a wonderful product. 

Thank you

Apr 4, 2012

My First Body Blueprint

I have completed my first personal pattern using the Sure-Fit Designs fitting system and now I am stepping back to examine and refine my fit.  As I make these comments, keep in mind that I am a very novice seamstress and don't have a lot of sewing experience.

 Judging on a scale of 1 - 10...1 being a horrible fitting garment to 10 an excellent exact perfect fit; I would say that the commercial patterns that I have been struggling with over the past five weeks to fit me are a 2.  And I would say that the clothes in my closet that I have purchased from various stores are a fit of 4. After examining my fit in the mirror I would grade my Sure-Fit Designs muslin bodice pattern as a 6.
A 6 is a vast improvement over anything that I have been wearing, but I want more. What alterations or refinements can I make to improve by personal pattern from a 6 to a 10 and how in the world do I do them?

After sleeping on it and several more trips to the mirror I can see that my muslin test piece is too large and when I think about it, I realize that when I chose my measurements for my bodice pattern, I automatically added two sizes because I am a plus size and thought I would need the extra ease.  And when I checked by bra cup size I discovered that instead of a C cup I was really an A-B cup!  And also I forgot to turn the Armscye Template upside down on the pattern back so my armscye curve on the back is upside down. (LOL)

I have been shaking my head at all the mistakes I made, but the exciting issue is that I have caught the mistakes and I have begun to re-draw my personal bodice with the right sizes and the right techniques.
It's back to the drawing board for me.

Dear Rebecca,  All things considered, and that your sewing experience is so limited, I think you've got an excellent start to a well-fitting bodice. I know that as you watch the How-to DVD, and follow along with all the exact steps shown, that you will no doubt end up with a satisfying bodice fit. Always keep in mind that I am here to help you either by phone, email or Skype.

Kindly, Glenda Sparling