Jan 26, 2016

The Wrap Belt - a 'Made in a Day' project

If you're looking for a unique and interesting belt accessory, there's no need to go further.  This wrap belt, which is closed with Velcro®strips  is fun and easy to design and can definitely be sewn in a day.    It's truly a 'Made in a Day' project.

It's a great accessory for a one-piece style of chemise dress when you want to dress it up with a unique belt.  It also looks great with this blouse and skirt combination.

In case you're interested, both the skirt and blouse are downloadable Fashion Leaflets.  The skirt is the Pencil Skirt: the blouse is the Princess Line Blouse.  Both are drawn from the SFD Dress Kit and can be found on this page - Digital E-Goods.

Check out your fabric stash and see what's suitable.  I used Dupioni Silk for the blue belt and a sequined knit for the black sample.

Download it for FREE

And the best part is, as one way that I can say 'thank you' for being such loyal Sure-Fit Designs customers and a part of the Sure-Fit Designs community, this downloadable Accessory Leaflet is one more gift free for you from Jan. 24 - 30, 2016. Make sure to click this link to download your complimentary copy.

Just in case someone might be reading this and is not yet an SFD member, please click on over to Sure-Fit Designs and make sure you sign up for the SFD newsletter at the bottom of the page - you just never know what free goodies will come your way.

Happy Sewing!
Glenda...the Good Stitch

Jan 19, 2016

Sewing Instructions Provided by Sure-Fit Designs

I so often am asked if Sure-Fit Designs provides sewing instruction steps.  Beginners are particularly worried that they might not know how to sew the pieces together and what should happen first.

Even though Sure-Fit Designs is primarily a fitting and designing system, there are sewing construction steps provided for specific designs in all the Dress, Pants, Shirt, Children's kits and in the Men's Instructional Package.  Here's where you'll find the information and though construction illustrations are not always provided, the instructions tell you what to do and in what order.

Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit:  
  • How to sew basic pants together is provided on page 11 of the Pans Kit Instruction book. 
  • Sewing jeans is provided on page 23.
  • Sewing an elastic waist is on page 24.
  • Inserting a pocket opening (eliminates the need for a zipper and is extremely comfortable) is on page 25.
  • Inserting an inseam pocket is on page 25. 
  • Sewing a zipper fly front is on page 27.                                                                                                                                                                              

     Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit:
  • Bodice sewing construction steps are found on the following video tutorials:       
    D.8.a Pt. 1-Fabric Choice/Layout/Cutting                                                         
    D.8.b Pt. 2-How to Sew and Press Darts                                                        
    Pt. 3-Sewing Shoulder & Side Seams                                                  
    D.8.d Pt. 4-How to Set in the Sleeve                                                                
    D.8.e Pt. 5-Staystitching/Pressing/Fit Evaluation  
  • Sewing a V-Neck (Dress or Shirt pattern)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit:          

    Sure-Fit Designs Children's Kit:
  • General instructions for sewing elastic back pants are found on page 16 of the Children's Kit Instruction book.
  • How to insert a zipper fly front is on page 17.
  • How to attach a bib to a waist edge is on page 18.
  • General instructions for sewing a shirt/blouse are on page 20.
  • Sewing a child's cross-over shoulder T-shirt is on page 21.
  • Sewing a hood on to a neck edge is found on page 22.
  • How to sew a tab neckline treatment is on page 26.
  • General skirt sewing instructions are on page 27.
  • How to sew a tab front is found on page 29. 
  • How to sew children's robes are on pages 30 & 31.
  • How to sew a girl's party dress is on page 32.                                                                                                                                                                                        

 Sure-Fit Designs Men's Instructional Package:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  •   General sewing construction steps for men's pants is on page 12.              

Sure-Fit Designs Newest downloadable Fashion Leaflets:                                                                                                  
  •  Go to http://www.surefitdesigns.com/Downloadable-Fashion-Leaflets.html                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
    Sure-Fit Designs designing book/DVD combinations:                                                                                                                                                            All new designs - each with complete step-by-step sewing construction instructions.  (Each book/DVD is designed specifically to go hand-in-hand with the Pants Kit, shirt Kit and Dress Kit.) In an effort to give you sewing guidance, first analyze your current resources.  Did you know all of these how-to sewing instructions existed in the Sure-Fit Designs kits, patterns, books and leaflets?  Use this information as a handy guide to find what you might be looking for. Second, so you have a stockpile of existing commercial patterns?  The sewing steps provided on the accompanying guide sheets provide an excellent source of instruction.  Their pattern may not be exactly what you are wanting to sew, but if there is any similarity in design to what you are creating, their instructions can be a great resource. Third, do you have any general sewing construction resource books?  There are a number of comprehensive books available that not only provide construction techniques, but will also provide step-by-step procedures.  My favorite is the Vogue Sewing Book.  It's a thick resource guide and well worth the investment.  For more information on how to sew the garment together read this article Part 1: Sewing Construction Guidelines
  •  Pants that Mix 'n' Multiply  
  • Sew Sensational Shirts 
  • Beyond Bodice Basics   
  • As you can see (and read) there are truly lots and lots of sewing tutorials and sewing construction steps given with the Sure-Fit Designs fitting and sewing system.

Jan 12, 2016

Demystifying Sewing Construction Steps

What fun...drawing your own patterns, particularly when you know they're going to fit...but how are you going to sew it all together? I am often asked if the Sure-Fit Designs fitting system provides sewing construction steps.  The answer is that some designs and leaflets have sewing steps, but not all of them do particularly when the construction is really simple.
When you're a beginner, often times, nothing is simple until you've sewn the process a number of times and become familiar with it.  And then as with anything you've learned, it becomes second nature.
In this blog, I'd like to share with you the generally accepted and established order of constructing a garment.  The steps make perfect sense.  You work with a flat pattern piece as long as you can until you have to sew an adjoining piece to it.  The fewer steps the better when it becomes a 3-dimensional shape.
And. after 50-plus years of sewing (like I've had), I rarely think of the process anymore unless it's a complicated design.  Then I begin at the beginning and think my way through the steps before I ever take the pieces to the sewing machine.
But when you're just starting out, it's important to understand that there is an established order to sewing any garment. The steps listed here are the industry standards. Use the list to refer to as often as needed, and soon, you'll find that it will be second nature to you.

1.  Darts, tucks and pleats.  Do these first and don't forget to press!

2.  Style lines like yokes and Princess lines. This does not include seam lines like shoulders, side seams or armholes.

3. Interfacing. Attach (either sew-on or iron-on) to any pieces that require it.

4.  Pockets. Apply them where indicated on the pattern.

5.  Zippers. Install any zippers required unless it is for a dress.

6.  Shoulder seams. 
 7.   Side seams, inseams, crotch seams.

8.  Prep collar. Do not attach it to garment yet.

9.  Prep sleeves.  This entails sewing the sleeve seam as well as any plackets, cuffs or elastic to sleeves. Also any gathering lines done in a baste stitch would be done now.  Do not sew the sleeve into the garment yet.

10.  Collars. Now is when you attach a collar to the garment.

11.  Bodice facings. Sew facing pieces together.

12.  Sleeves. Sew the sleeves into the armholes matching notches and remembering to gather the sleeve cap if needed.

13.  Bodice to skirt (if sewing a dress).

14.  Waistband. Or a waist facing or elastic if this is what your pattern requires.

15.  Dress zipper. 

16.  Hem.

17.  Buttons and buttonholes. Any closure such as hooks and eyes, frogs,snaps and belts should be done now.

Stay tuned next week for the list of SFD sewing patterns that do provide sewing guidelines and steps.

"The more you sew, the more your confidence grows." - Glenda the Good Stitch

(With thanks to Connie Crawford, The Industry Gide to Sewing Order.)

Jan 4, 2016

Circle Skirts

I've been asked by a few customers to give a tutorial on the circular skirt.  And so I'm going to share with you an excellent tutorial by Rhonda Buss of Rhonda's Creative Life.  I simply can't see any point in recreating the wheel when this tutorial is so complete.

First, let's take a look at the differences between the full circle skirt through to the 1/4 circle skirt, which is sourced from Claire at www.sew-incidentally.com.
This is such an excellent visual comparison of the results.

Now to get on with the tutorial, hop on over to Circle Skirt Tutorial by Rhonda Buss. 

Happy Sewing!