Nov 27, 2012

Can't See the Dots?

Once of my SFD customers passed on a great tip.  She was having trouble distinguishing the measurement dots.  I know some of them are pretty close together (LOL).  She suggested using the smallest removable paper dot to identify her measurement numbers.  
Amazon carries these 1/8" (about 3mm) wide dots.  And perhaps your local office supply store does too.  It's a good way to make sure you're using the right measurement dot.   And since they come in various colors, if you were drawing the body blueprint for more than one size, you could color code where the dots are to be traced.

Then when you put the tracing vellum over top of your master pattern, they are totally clear and easy to find and the pencil dot should be easier to initially see.  When your done, the dots are easily removed.

Great suggestion Susie...Thank you!

If you have any other tips or techniques you use when drawing your Sure-Fit Designs master patterns, please comment.

Nov 20, 2012

Help! My 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.

  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.

Nov 13, 2012

What to do? Short Front with Long Back Crotch

I've had a number of ladies in my SFD Pants fitting classes, who have a short front crotch with quite a long back crotch.  It could be due to your body stance or just basically your anatomy - the way you are.  And I've had ladies email with similar situations.

If this happens to be your situation, please make sure you watch this video.  It shows you exactly how to deal with your SFD Pants pattern.
Short Front Crotch in relation to a substantially Long Back Crotch

Nov 6, 2012

Large Upper Arm? Let's make the fix EASY!

There's  a lot of you out there with a large upper arm - a bicep that is fuller than many patterns provide for.  And I'm sure you've tried many different variations of how to enlarge the sleeve pattern to fit your larger upper arm.

Often when you widen the underarm, it automatically reduces the sleeve cap height.  Not good!  This just then binds on the top of your shoulder.  Typically, you need to widen the sleeve and maintain the cap height.  And after the frustrating fixes of slashing and spreading the pattern, this easy technique you'll find with Sure-Fit Designs, adds the width you need and usually you don't do anything with the cap height.  Just make sure you've measured the new back and front sleeve cap lengths and compare them to the current armscye lengths.  The back sleeve cap should have about 5/8" ease and the front should have about 1/2" ease.

If you add more than about 1" total width to the underarm width, you'll likely need to widen and/or widen and drop the bodice underarm point to accommodate this larger sleeve.

Take a look at this video to see how easy Sure-Fit Designs deals with this issue.