Oct 29, 2013

Fit & Sew Retreat - Plan Ahead for 2014

I've had a number of ladies ask when the Fit & Sew Retreats were going to be scheduled for 2014.  Consequently, I've done some advanced planning for the entire next year.  These dates were announced in the October SFD Newsletter and ladies are already booking ahead.  I know it's difficult for some of you to plan this much in advance, but when I only take 6 students, the workshops do fill quickly.

There will be 4 combined SFD Pants/Bodice workshops which are each 6 days long.  In addition, and as a result of feedback from those who came this year, I'm offering 2 'Intensive' workshops.  Each will be 4 days long. One will be exclusively for fitting/sewing pants, and the other is exclusively for fitting/sewing the bodice/blouse.

The schedule is as follows:
February 16 - 21 (6 days: Pants & Bodice)

April 6 - 11 (6 days: Pants & Bodice)

May 18 - 21 (4 days - Pants Intensive)

July 6 - 11 (6 days: Pants & Bodice)

August 17 - 20 (4 days - Bodice Intensive)

October 12 - 17 (6 days: Pants & Bodice)

Please keep in mind that these fitting Retreats fill quickly since I only take 6 students per class.  And of course, Early Bird Discounts are available.

For the nitty, gritty details and everything you need to know about these fitting Retreats, please click here - SFD Classes & Events.   Just scroll down the page where you'll see all the major topics and a 'click here' to access the content of each. 

I know many of you would love to attend, but can't for any number of reasons.  Just remember that we now have the Pants Fitting Course on DVD - a 2-DVD set - which is the next best thing to being here in person since with it comes a personalized 1/2hr. Skype session with me.  And coming soon, we will have the Bodice Fitting Course on DVD.  Watch your SFD newsletters for this announcement. 

Here's a short video showing you some of what we do in these Retreats.

I hope to see some of you in 2014.


Oct 22, 2013

Jayna's Firsts

Jayna has come a long way.  She attended the SFD Fit & Sew Retreat in August. She admitted that she did mostly craft projects (prior to the Retreat).  Why?  You guessed it - body hard to fit - commercial patterns certainly didn't work and most R-T-W offered a marginal fit at best.

The SFD Retreat stimulated her inherent love of creating and sewing.  She left there enthused to take up personal sewing again.  I encouraged everyone to go home and sew their 'test' patterns just one more time.  These are Jayna's second test pants and complimentary blouse/shirt.  Don't you agree she did a fabulous job?

But even though these were to be her second test pants, she decided to make it an outfit with coordinating blouse fabric with contrasting piping trim on the sleeves and collar.

And...she had never designed pockets and belt loops before, much less sewn them into pants.

Here's a close-up of Jayna's first time pockets and belt loops.  Jayna commented to me that she'd never designed anything relating to her clothing patterns, but when she got into it, she said the SFD Jeans directions were clear, simple and easy to follow.  And the great part is, she loved the process!  Didn't she do a great job?  But of course, the best part is the result, they are sewn beautifully and fit so well.

Her blouse is from her Dress Kit bodice blueprint (sloper).  Though you can't see it really well because of the fabric print, the bust dart is located in the standard side seam position.

The sleeve uses the Short Sleeve series of dots on the sleeve pattern.  The red piping matches her pretty tank top.

This Rolled/Convertible collar is from the new SFD Collar Collection.  Yes that's right!  Sure-Fit Designs is coming out with our new Collar Collection.  Six different collar patterns are offered with extensive instructions.  Now you won't need to create your own from scratch - they'll all be available - all you've got to do is copy your choice of collar shape.  Make sure you watch for your December SFD newsletter where I plan on announcing this Master Collar Shapes Collection.


Oct 15, 2013

October 2013 Fit & Sew Retreat Highlights

We all had a great time!  Fitting and sewing, sewing and fitting for 6 intense days.  A lot was accomplished.  Happy ladies perfected their pants and bodice fit.  Body issues and challenges were different from one to the next, but all left with well-fitting pants and tops.

Here are some of the highlights captured in photos.

Then on to their final projects:

We worked hard, but had lots of success and fun too.
To read student comments and see more photos, click here.

Fit & Sew Retreats for 2014
If you'd like to consider attending a Sure-Fit Designs Fit & Sew Retreat in 2014 - Click Here for all necessary details.  The Early Bird Discount is coming up on Nov. 16 for the February workshop - it's not too early to be planning ahead.


Oct 8, 2013

Sleeveless? It must be summer somewhere...

I'm a little late for summer in the USA unless of course you're living in one of our warmer southern states, but nevertheless, in this blog I thought I'd address the sleeveless armhole.

There's been a few times when customers have emailed to say that their armholes are fitting too tight.  I always check to find out if they have a large upper arm and didn't do the large arm tune-up, or perhaps they've done a sloped shoulder tune-up and forgot to lower the underarm level, or maybe the seam allowance wasn't trimmed away and is causing extra bulk.  If all of these issues are not the cause, perhaps....just perhaps, the set of dots for the sleeveless bodice was used inadvertently.  I've seen this happen in a fitting class and it took a little investigative work to find that the wrong set of dots where used when drawing the bodice and that is what was causing the armhole to feel too tight.

When drawing the regular bodice for a set-in sleeve, use the lower series of dots. If you want a sleeveless bodice, make sure to use the upper row of dots as shown in this photo.  They bring the armhole up closer to your underarm and closer to your torso. Let's take a look.

Here's a close-up view.

Please make sure these dots are used only for a sleeveless bodice.  You may still have to bring the armhole a little higher or tighter to your body especially if you are using a knit fabric, but these dots offer a good starting point.  The rest is personal preference.

Let's take a look at some tops and dresses sewn by our SFD seamstresses.

Thanks for sharing your happy creations.

Oct 1, 2013

Aquarium Airline Tubing & Measuring??

Who would have guessed that airline tubing for aquariums would come in really handy for helping us to measure accurately.

One of the things I see most frequently when ladies send photos for a 'fit opinion' is that the shoulder seam is too wide.  Identifying and visually marking your shoulder width is greatly enhanced by use of a couple of pieces of this flexible tubing.

Cut a piece of airline tubing about 15" long.  Set it on your shoulder, wrap it underneath your armpit and I secured the ends together with a little black connector/coupling (also sold in the aquarium store).

It's a little hard to do this yourself, maneuvering it into place and getting it to stay put. You're best off doing this with a measuring buddy.

The great thing about this tubing is that it really does give you a great visual of where you'd want your armhole seam to sit on your body.  This tubing has a tendency to slip off, so have your measuring buddy mark the top of your shoulder bone.

Then you can easily measure from neck point to shoulder bone.  Notice that I've placed a chain around Kelly's neck.  Usually a necklace or chain will ride in a comfortable place on your neck where your neck stops and the shoulder begins.

 And, if you place a piece of tubing on both shoulders, then this also gives you a visual reference for measuring your upper chest width.  If you have narrow shoulders and upper chest width going into a fuller bust, you may be needing to 'scoop' the armscye slightly for your personal body shape.

Depending on how wide you are across the back, you may need to check this width as well in comparison to what your personal pattern gives you.  This tubing provides a great visual guide.

This tubing idea was shared with all of us at the April SFD Fit & Sew Retreat by Kay W. from Georgia.  Thanks so much Kay; we all learn from one another.

There is also a video in the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center that addresses shoulder length and how best to measure it.  In this video, I use blue painter's tape.  The concept is still the same, but I think the tubing is more accurate because it's narrower than the tape.