Jul 30, 2013

Narrowing the Pants Leg

Many women ask how to narrow the width of the SFD Pants leg.  They love the fit of the waist, hip and crotch, but some find the leg too wide, or at least wider than they would like it to be.  It's very easy to narrow the leg to your liking.  Just remember to take width equally off the inseam and side seam so that you will maintain the straight of grain which means the pant leg won't twist when worn.

Here's a short video on narrowing the leg that you'll likely find beneficial.

Using a pair of existing pants that you know you like the leg width of helps with determining what the finished hem width should be.  Much also depends on what style of pant you're designing and what looks best on your body.

With the Diamond/Pear shaped hip, the weight is carried at the low hip (and often into the thigh) area.  The Apple/Heart shape carries weight in the high hip, stomach, waist area.  The Rectangular shape is mostly straight up and down.

The wider you are in your hip area and the tighter you want the legs of your pants to be, the more you risk giving the impression of an inverted triangle which will simply emphasize your hip circumference.

I'll close with a word of caution, don't over 'narrow' those legs.

Jul 23, 2013

Sigrid's on a 'Sewing' Roll Again...

Sigrid is having the time of her life sewing with SFD!  Well, maybe not the time of her life, but she sure is sewing up a SFD storm.  From not having sewn for herself for a number of years, due to a number of different reason - one being she was never happy with the resulting fit from regular patterns - she has been designing and sewing with SFD and really enjoying herself.  She's been so kind as to send photos of her recent garments which look great and comfy on.  I though you all might like to see what she's accomplished.
This top is simple, fun and fanciful - a simple dolman sleeve with scoop neck to go with her SFD Leggings.

And here are her leggings.  They fit and look quite comfortable.

This V-neck top has been designed from the Dress Kit and features contrasting yoke, sleeve and hem trim.

This is a hankerchief style of hem that was her inspiration for her Raglan Sleeve top.

Thanks so much for sharing your accomplishments, Sigrid.  No wonder you are having so much fun sewing again.

If any others of you would like to share your work, please send photos directly to me - info@surefitdesigns.  You know I always want to see what you've done - and so do others.

Jul 16, 2013

Flutter into Summer

Flutter into summer with Sandra (from Making it with Help) and her feminine 'flutter sleeve'.   Not knowing what to call her sleeve - kind of a cap with fullness - her naming of this sleeve effect is totally perfect.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sandra in the SFD April Fit & Sew Retreat.  After 6 days of 'fitting intimacy' I know her summer dress style is totally suited to her.

You know I love sharing what my ladies have designed with their SFD patterns and knew you'd like to see what the sleeve pattern looks like.  Sandra says, 'I had this nice piece of fabric to make the fluttery almost-cap sleeves. My first attempt was a failure; I don’t even remember what I was thinking. So, with not too much fabric left, I got out my Sure-Fit Designs bodice front and back blueprints. I aligned the front and back shoulder seams and from that, created a pattern piece as long and wide as I could, flaring it out at the center (the part that would go over my shoulder). I serged the outer and inner curved edges, pressed under and stitched to finish them.

Then I tried on the sundress, and by trial and error, pinned the sleeves to the bottom of the top ruffle in the front and back until I was happy with the angle and fit. It took me about 100 tries, okay maybe 50. At least 25. I then trimmed and serged the edges and stitched them, right side of the sleeve to wrong side of the sundress, stretching the elastic of the sundress at the same time. I then hand-stitched the top of the blue ruffle to the sleeves.

Using the shoulder area of her SFD body blueprint helped her to see what shape she should cut to achieve the look she wanted.
Right Side View

Wrong Side View

Sandra has her own sewing blog called Making it with Help.  I encourage you to hop on over and read her full account of designing this border-print dress to suit her personality and to see some of her sewing construction details.  Very well done, Sandra!

I hope you're all having fun sewing your summer projects and for our Down-Under friends, keeping warm in your winter.

Jul 9, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom

I always learn something new from the students who attend the Sure-Fit Designs Fit & Sew Retreats.

In this recent Retreat, one of the participants, Kathy, introduced us all to this wonderful eraser!  A good eraser makes me happy!  A great eraser makes me ecstatic!  (Life's small pleasures....)

Kathy shared her Black Pearl with all of us.  What's so special about the Black Pearl?

First of all, it's easy to hold between your thumb and fingers.  With this oval shape, it's contoured just right for your hand.

Secondly, it has a great narrow, beveled edge, which means when you are erasing lines that are 1/8" to 1/16" apart, you can get the edge of the eraser in to erase the wrong line without erasing the line that you want!

Thirdly, this Black Pearl leaves very little 'eraser shavings' (that you just dust onto your floor - unless your trash bin is handy).

Why do you need such a nifty eraser?  A number of months ago I posted a blog titled - My Big, Fat, Soft Eraser.  Take a second to glance at it.  All the reasons why you need a decent eraser when drawing your patterns are listed there.  Just click here.

Now, thanks to Kathy, who discovered the 'ultimate' eraser - the PaperMate Black Pearl, I share this with you.  PS, I have no vested interest in PaperMate, I just think it's a great tool in our drawing and drafting chest.

They generally can be found at any office supply store like OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples etc.  They come 2 to a pack and Kathy said they come in different colors too.  What fun...and so functional!

Jul 2, 2013

Pattern Storage Dilemma?

How do I store my vellum patterns?

I've had this questions asked of me numerous times, and I've seen others discussing this issue in the Stitcher's Guild SFD Forum.  So let's take a look at what your various options are.

Depending on your storage space in your closet or sewing room you may want to implement one of the following.

Folded in Envelopes
You can always fold the vellum patterns.  Only make enough folds to put the pattern into either a manilla envelop or plastic bag.  If it's a manilla envelop, the 9.5" x 12.5"  size works well.  Make sure you label the envelop, tape a swatch of fabric to the outside, and if you have a photo of (yourself) in the finished garment, print one out and tape it on too.  Or, if using a plastic see-though bag, the 1 quart size work really well.  Pin a swatch of fabric to the pattern and of course, label the pattern with a date drawn.  This way, it's quick and easy to identify what you designed, what fabric you used and when you sewed it.  Then just stack the patterns in a box.  To re-use this folded pattern, you can always gently press the vellum with a low heat - DRY iron.  Press just on the crease and only enough to flatten.

Rolled on a cardboard tube
Or...Save the internal tube from your tracing vellum rolls.  I particularly like the 18" wide tube from the 50 yd vellum.  It seems to be just the right length for many pattern shapes.  Of course, the tube from the 24" long vellum is excellent for larger sized pattern pieces like wide sleeve patterns.  Then roll the pattern pieces around the tube, tape or pin a swatch of fabric to the pattern, label what the pattern is and when you drew it...then put a rubber band around it.  Makes good sense...no creases to deal with when you go to re-use the pattern.

Toilet Paper Tube
A customer suggested this alternative.  She used empty toilet paper rolls - rolled the pattern pieces quite tight, stuffed them inside the toilet paper tube, then let the pattern roll expand till it fills the tube.  Clever!  Of course, label the tube and pin or tape a fabric swatch to the roll for easy identifcation.

Just simply rolled & rubber-banded
And last, but certainly not least, as I'm sure you can come up with other options, just simply roll the pattern, label, swatch it, and put a rubber band around it.  There's nothing supporting the roll, but if you gently stack these in one of those clear plastic storage bins, they shouldn't get crushed and will be easy to unroll and use the next time you want that particular pattern.

My favorite is rolled on a hard cardboard tube.  Please share your favorite storage system in the Comments box.  I know others would like to know what you do too..