Oct 30, 2012

I Couldn't Believe My Eyes - Harem Pants!

The other day I was in my local Jo Ann fabric store, picking up fabric to go with my new paisley leggings.  I'm not sure what really possessed me, but I was flipping through pattern catalogues.  I guess I was checking current design ideas that could be easily drawn and sewn from your Sure-Fit Designs pattern kits.  And what did I see - Harem Pants!!!!  Oh my gosh!

This was in a Burda pattern book - pattern # 7677.  I looked at this and couldn't believe my eyes.  I designed what I called Harem Pants some time back in the early 90's.  Whether you have the older Pants Kit or newer SFD Pants Kit version, somewhere in there, you will find directions for designing Harem Pants from your SFD Pants pattern.  In the current Pants Instruction book, you will find these directions on page 21.

Here's the Burda pattern and it's also shown on a couple of models:

Now... here is the artwork for the SFD Harem pants.  This sure looks pretty similar to my eyes.  And it's all yours in your existing SFD Pants Kit.
Not only does Sure-Fit Designs offer this style, but you want to talk comfortable??  This style is so incredibly comfortable on so many different body shapes.

Here's our model, Cindy, showing you the Harem pants in action!

Do you remember a blog that I wrote a while back, called 'Everything Old is New Again'?  Well, here's another example of a current Burda fashion style...and you can smugly say...I already have that with my Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit.


Oct 23, 2012

Creating a Thread Belt Loop

In Sew Sensational Shirts - Style #3: the Asymmetrical Wrap Blouse - I made a thread belt loop to hold the belt in place.

Here's the very easy way to make them.  Once you get the hang of it, you can do this in less than 5 minutes.  Give it a try!

Oct 16, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Becca sent me this photo.  Don't you just all too often see both sexes in ill-fitting jeans.  For the teenagers it may be a fashion statement...if you can call it 'Fashion'!  They walk around with the pants crotch hanging somewhere between their real crotch and their knees...and you wonder how they can take any kind of a walking stride.

Thank goodness that with the Sure-Fit Designs Pants Pattern, that after you've established your body blueprint (your pants sloper), you can design well-fitting jeans.  Instructions to do this are on page 22 & 23 of the SFD Pants Kit Instruction Book.

Here's Joy (Joyful Expressions) in one of her SFD jeans.

Oct 9, 2012

How Much Fabric Should I Buy?

When you begin designing/drawing your own patterns, after the pattern is drawn, I often get asked 'How much fabric should I buy?'  As you know, with Sure-Fit Designs, you're not working with a traditional pattern, where the envelop tells you how much yardage you'll need for your size.

Estimating your fabric yardage requirement is actually pretty easy.  I'd like to share with you some guidelines that I know will help you.

1.  If the design you are going to sew is similar to one of your existing commercial patterns (you've all got mountains of old commercial patterns in your stash), simply use their recommendations as a guideline.

2.  Do a mock-up of a layout.  Once your pattern pieces are all drawn, simply mark off a width (on your cutting/sewing table) that is half the width of the fabric.  Many fabrics are 58" to 60" wide, so half this amount would be 29" to 30" wide.  Mark one edge as the "Fold' and one as the 'Selvage'.  Then begin laying down your prepared pattern pieces.  Many of you are so familiar with doing layouts that this will come second nature to you.  Those pieces that are on the fold, will be placed first, and then you will fit in the other pieces.  When you're done, measure from one end to the other - and that's how much you need.   You might want to purchase another 1/2 yd. for safety. There is a clear illustration on page 13 of the Sure-Fit Designs Dress Instruction book on how to do this.

3. Your height and girth will play a role in your requirements, but after you've done this process a few times, you'll get to know how much you need.  As an example, you'll start to remember you need 1.5 yards of 60" wide fabric for pants or 1 3/4yd. for a long sleeve blouse.  Make a little note and tuck it in your handbag.

4.  And when all else fails, you can generally buy 2 1/2 yards and get many different designs from this quantity.  You really will start to understand your needs.


Oct 2, 2012


Are leggings for you?  They were in vogue in the 60's and very trendy in the 80's and now they're ubiquitous once again.

Olivia and John (Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta) got physical in Flash Dance.  And, everybody, particularly the younger generation wore leggings.  As trends always do, they disappeared, tucked away in some dark fashion cupboard only to re-emerge as the century rolled over.  Now, everyone is wearing them and they've once again become a wardrobe staple.

Are leggings for you?  If you wore them then, do you remember how comfortable they were?  That's of course, if they fit you properly.  Now when you use your Sure-Fit Designs Pants patterns as a base, you'll end up with the fit designed for your body shape.

So, are leggings right for you?  They can be worn for so many different occasions.  I've made some snazzy black/gold paisley leggings and teamed them up with a gold lame knit cowl neck blouse and the diagonal hemmed cardigan (both from Beyond Bodice Basics). 
Or you could team them up with the Crossover Shoulder T-Shirt from Sew Sensational Shirts to create a much more casual look.
Or, have them look more like tight pants with a flared hem.  These ones are shown with the Asymmetrical Wrap Blouse also from Sew Sensational Shirts
These new instructions for Leggings by Sure-Fit Designs give all kinds of details for working with two-way versus one-way stretch knit fabric and gives detailed sewing construction steps.

Watch this short video, then hop on over to the SFDLearningCenter Store to get your copy of these instructions.

And how to accessorize?  My suggestion is to generally have layers of tops and have at least one of those items be as long (or longer) than your low hip level.

Wear them for dress-up, casual, day wear or gym wear and don't forget those heavier leggings to warm you in the winter.