Apr 26, 2016

White Pants...Spring has Sprung

I rarely wear white pants, but I got inspired by our (finally) sunny April days after a month of less than desirable gray skies and constant rain in March.
JoAnn Fabrics has white stretch denim. The fiber content is 70% cotton, 28% polyester & 2% Spandex.  It's heavy enough to look similar to 100% cotton, but has the easy care of polyester and the stretch wearing ease of Spandex.

Since I didn't want to sew 'real jeans', I chose a combination of patterns and instructions from existing Sure-Fit Designs information, which is what I'm going to share with you.  And the best part is that since my pattern was from a previous pair of pants, they were sewn in a day, qualifying them for a Made in a Day project.

The basic style is from the pants designing book - Pants that Mix n Multiply - Style #1: Flared Leg Pants with Elasticized Waist Edge.
I wanted skinny legs instead of flared legs.  And I chose to crop the hem around calf length.
Watch this video on narrowing the legs.

Now the slightly stretchy fabric.  Did I size down or not?
I tested the stretch factor (comfortably stretching on the crosswise grain).

With the 2% Spandex, 10 inches actually stretch up to barely 11 inches - 10% stretch, or what I'd call a Limited Stretch Knit.

If this had of been a blouse, I wouldn't have done anything with the pattern (my body blueprint).  For these pants though, I used my pants pattern that already had been sized down to remove the 2" (5 cm) of ease that is in the low/full hip circumference (i.e. I'd already sized down about 1 to 2 dots) .  So I cut them out without any further ease reduction. But because I wanted skinny and relatively snug-fitting pants, I decided to baste all seams at 3/4" (1.9 cm) for a 'try-on' including the crotch seam (I left CF open so I could step into them). Basting when working with fabric that stretches is always a good idea since all knits stretch and feel different on.  I decided I liked the wider seam allowance, so I then ripped out the crotch seam and proceeded to sew them together.

After the darts were sewn, the double welt pocket went in.  For those of you who would like a sewing tutorial for the Double Welt Pocket, please read this previous blog - http://surefitdesigns.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-double-welt-pocket.html 

Then I ripped the left side seam basting and inserted the invisible zipper -

I'll be showing you how to insert an invisible zipper in a soon-to-be-released new DVD Beginner Sewing Series - Make It Sew.  Please watch your SFD newsletters and this blog for the release date information.

And on the inside, before I inserted the invisible zipper, I covered the bottom end of the zipper to prevent the 'zipper scratchies'.  What the heck are 'zipper scratchies'?  Take a few minutes to read this previous blog - http://surefitdesigns.blogspot.com/2015/03/zipper-scratchies.html 

I definitely kept the 3/4" (1.9cm) seam allowance width on all seams.

Then hemmed the legs with my Coverstitch Machine (which I love and use every opportunity that I can).  For those of you not familiar with a Coverstitch Machine, make sure to watch my Coverstitch (free) videos.  I'll post video #1 here.  To see all 3 in the series, please click here in the SFD Learning Center Video Library.

And lastly, I finished off the waist edge with1" (2.5 cm) wide, non-roll elastic.  You'll find the direction for this easy application in with the instructions for Style #1: Flared Leg Pants with Elasticized Waist Edge in the Pants that Mix n Multiply designing book.

This was a fun and easy pair of pants to sew.  They're extremely comfortable.  I'm sure I'll get lots of wear from them as summer comes on.  But primarily, I wanted you to see another easy project utilizing the Sure-Fit Designs resources that so many of you already have.

And just in case some of you are new to Sure-Fit Designs, the blouse I'm wearing is the Princess Line Blouse sewn from the Dress Kit and available as a downloadable Fashion Leaflet from this page - 

Happy Sewing,

Apr 19, 2016

Not your usual Princess Line

A while back I posted a number of different videos - 6 to be exact) on how to design princess lines with your Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit bodice blueprint.  One of them was called: Princess Seam - Variation with Short Dart.

Joy (from Joyful Expressions and an avid SFD customer) has created her version of this process with this lovely blouse where she's used 2 different patterned fabrics but both in black and white.  It's hard to see the little 'shorty' dart because of the print fabric...but it's there.

If you'd like to see the video explaining how to design this underarm princess seam and still end up with a small short bust-shaping dart, please watch this short video:

Here's the back of Joy's blouse.

If you'd like to see the remaining videos in the princess seam series, just click on over to the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center - www.sfdlearningcenter.com/Dress-Videos-Designing.html and look for D.13.1 through D.13.6.

Joy...thanks so much for sharing your SFD creations.


Apr 12, 2016

Cutest Bow Pocket...Learn How!

I've recently had a SFD customer write to tell me how pleased she was with using the Sure-Fit Designs Children's Kit.  She designed and made this great fitting shorts for her 9 year old daughter.  She added this cute pocket detail that she copied from a pair of designer shorts from one of her daughter's friends.  See her 'back side' highlighted by the white oval below.

Our SFD customer, Miranda (who prefers to remain anonymous), so kindly agreed to provide you a photo story of how to go about designing and sewing these pockets for your sewing projects.  I thought you might like to see how this detail is accomplished.

Step 1:
In case you can't read the cue cards:
The 'Bow' pieces consist of one rectangle 6" x 5" and one piece 3 1/2" x 2 1/2". The larger one being the 'bow' and the smaller one being the 'knot'.
The 'Pocket' pieces are two 5" squares that are cut on the bias.

Step: 2
Sew bow and knot pieces in half the length of the rectangle and sew with 1/4" wide seams.
Fold the pocket pieces in half.  Measure down 3" from the top.  Use the SFD Designer's Companion to curve the bottom of the pocket.

Step 3:

Turn the 'bow' and 'knot' pieces right side out and stitch ends of small piece.
Curve bottom of pocket and smooth out any ridges or bumps.

Step 4: 

Top of pocket - fold over 1/4" and press toward inside.
Slip 'bow' through center of 'knot' positioning the 'knot's' seam toward the underside.  Then baste either side of 'bow' structure to the sides of one of the pocket pieces.
Step 5:
 With right sides together, pin the pocket pieces together.  Sew the sides and lower curved edge.  Leave the top edge open for turning.

Step 6:
Turn right sides out.  Top stitch the upper edge closed.  Then simply attach to pants, shorts, shopping bag, coat, blouse or whatever project you think this pocket would look good on.

Have fun! 
And thanks again to Miranda (from the Pacific NW of the USA) for sharing her success story with all of us and providing the pictorial tutorial.


Apr 5, 2016

Oh My Muffin Top!

Got a muffin top? And not the kind you eat.  How best to deal with the SFD Dress Kit bodice waist-fitting dart and how to choose style most appropriate for your shape...that the focus of this blog and video tutorial.

What's a muffin top?  It's that little bit of extra fluff that you might have above your waistline.  Perhaps best shown in this illustration.
So what do you do with the waist-fitting darts when they initially taper down into a narrower waist?
This video will give you suggestions for a couple of alternatives when drawing and sewing the 'dart' for your test bodice.
And after you've finished your test bodice, you'll see 10 tips for actually dressing this body shape and styles that the experts say are most appropriate.  Of course choosing styles that skim your body and don't shape in completely at your waist are likely going to be best.

Here are some ready to wear design ideas.

And here are some of the style options that you can find with Sure-Fit Designs in our Digital E-Goods department.