May 31, 2016

New Format/Layout for SFD Video Library

Most of you are familiar with the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center and the extensive Video Library we offer to everyone.

There was getting to be so many free videos that this web page was becoming exceedingly long and cumbersome for you to sort through to find what you wanted help with.

So now, it has been revised into major categories - like General Info Videos, Ordering Info, Dress Kit, Pants Kit, Shirt Kit etc.  The following image is what the new Video Library index looks like:

 I hope you're able to read this image.  Basically what it's saying, is that you need to choose the major category you are interested in.  Then from there, click on the link to the right of the category.  This will then take you to that particular page of videos.

For a better view, just click on over to the SFD Learning Center Video Library.

It's much more manageable to read.  And as our free video offerings keep coming, the Video Library will be much more easily managed and navigated.

I hope you like it, but if you see ways that it could be improved, please let me know in the Comment Box below.

Happy Stitching,
Glenda...the Good Stitch

May 24, 2016

Basic Dress Transformed

I see so many 'basic test dress muslins' that it's a real treat to see a body blueprint transformed into fashion dresses.

One of our SFD sewists (Caroline P. from Santiago Chile) was recently visiting with her mother and sister Lorraine (in South Africa).  She took all of her SFD master patterns and necessary tools with her...and her sister became the recipient of not only a perfect-fitting body blueprint but also many lovely dresses sewn by her mother.

As you look at the dresses, notice that the majority of them are simply the basic dress style (with all the regular darting structure - see SFD illustration below left) but sewn in a variety of fashion fabrics.  What a difference dress fashion fabric makes to the dress.  Sometimes when you're in the testing stage and sewing out of muslin, it's hard to envision a different outcome.  But take a look at these - basic, but beautiful.

This aqua 'lacey' dress was copied from a Pinterest find...the pink lace dress below.

Sleeveless and perfect for summer.

This lovely woman is decked out for many dress occasions to come!  Thanks to C.P. for the body blueprint, to mom the seamstress, and to sister for the modeling and sharing the results.

And...Happy Stitching to all of you!
Glenda...the Good Stitch.

May 17, 2016

Sway Back: Identification & Refinements for the Sway Back

Do I have a sway back?  Maybe, maybe not.  Other fitting issues can become confused with a true sway back.  Perhaps this blog will help you to identify what is happening for you.

1.  Prominent buttocks or dominant high hips - If your blouse circumference below your waist is not sufficient to circumvent your high hips or buttocks, the fabric will ride up, pulling from where it can, mainly from the larger, lower circumference. This pushes fabric up at the back waist.  The garment needs to be wider at the hip level thereby letting the fabric hang on your hips without pushing up. By attaching your SFD skirt pattern (knowing it fits your waist, high hip and low hip circumference) to your bodice waist edge, you know that the blouse, dress or jacket will hang smoothly around your waist and hips.

2.  A prominent bust - If you don't have a large/wide enough dart shape or you've not measured enough length from mid-shoulder over your apex to your waist level, the fabric will pull up at the front waist and cause telltale drag lines toward the back waist.  Make sure you've drawn the correct dart shape.  Go up a dart size/width if needed.  And/or re-measure shoulder over your apex to your identified waist level.

3.  Looseness across the back waistline - This can be due to being narrow across your back from side seam to side seam at your waist level.  Make sure you haven't measured your waist too loosely.  The back waist-fitting dart that aims toward your shoulder blades can be shaped in a curve to help shape and sculpt the bodice, the dart tip can be lengthened toward the shoulder blades and you can consider stitching the side seams with a slight curve. 


 4.  A short or generally high waist level - Make sure to evaluate and eliminate the above fit issues before assuming a sway back issue.  Note the illustration to the left showing a normal back compared to a sway back.  Posture can also contribute to the sway of your back.

And, a sway back can co-exist in conjunction with one of the above mentioned issues.

If you do have a sway back you may need to shorten the center back of the bodice but the one alternative is to add a CB seam and actually shape the seam to your swayed back.  Yes...stitch the seam in a slight curve that will shape the fabric to your body.  You will likely be shortening CB as well, but the curved seam is by far a major par to the solution.

To test how much you need to shorten CB,  pin a horizontal tuck about 3" up from the waistline, tapering to nothing at the side seams.  The total width of that tuck will indicate how much you need to shorten CB.  This will be taken off CB at the waist line and blended down toward the existing side seam waist point. 

Make sure that at CB you maintain a right angle (90 degree) from CB ou about 3/4" - 1" (1.7  - 2.5cm) and then begin your taper. 

You will likely have to re-draw the back waist fitting dart to maintain its accurate waist width.  The side seam would remain unchanged.  

Here's a couple of videos showing you this process if you'd prefer to watch:

Happy Sewing,
Glenda...the Good Stitch!

May 10, 2016

Bye, Bye Basic Black

I love my new leggings!

I've sewn them from something called Scuba fabric that I recently picked up at my local JoAnn Fabric store.  This was a Nicole Miller fabric designed exclusively for JoAnn Fabrics.

It's kind of a spongy dual-layer fabric with lots of lengthwise and crosswise stretch...just perfect for leggings...and everyone's wearing leggings this season, whether to the gym or for just simply daytime wear.  It's 57" wide fabric, 94% polyester and 6% Spandex.

The pattern for the leggings is from the Sure-Fit Designs (downloadable) Leggings Fashion Leaflet found on this page - Click Here.

One of the few differences from the above instructions is that I eliminated the side seam.  Once I'd sized down for the 'leggings' fit, front and back were laid together at the side seams, so that the front and back could be cut together as one unit.  The actual instructions for a 'No Side Seam Pants Style' are found in the Sure-Fit Designs Children's Kit.  And there is also a discussion of how to eliminate the side seam in the Pajama Pants video found in the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center. Click Here.

Without the side seam, you now have only 3 easy seams: both inseams and the crotch curve.  But first I used my Cover stitch machine to stitch up the hem.  Here are photos of both right and wrong side at the hem.  If you'd like complimentary videos on stitching with a Cover Stitch machine, Click Here.

Once the hem was turned up and stitched, the inseams were sewn with a 4-thread serger process.  I also used a stretchy cone thread which was something new for me.  This thread is kind of spongy like Wooly Nylon, but not quite so springy.  I thought it would be a good thread complement to the stretchy fabric since I knew I'd wear them in my yoga class.

Then the crotch seam was sewn.

And lastly, I applied 1" (2.5 cm) wide elastic at the waist edge.  The elastic was cut 2" (5 cm) less than my waist measurement and sewn to the waist edge with zigzag stitching.   For directions for applying waist elastic with this technique, refer to page 24 of your Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit Instruction Book (5th edition).  When on, they feel really comfortable.  When I first put them on the 'scuba' fabric feels a little 'cold', but within a short period of time, they warm up (maybe it's me that's warming up!  I'm always cold!).

Yes, they were fun to make and extremely quick to sew.  They definitely qualify as another 'Made in a Day' project.

Happy Sewing!

Peter Pan Collar Application

Collars are often a prominent focal point in a blouse, dress or jacket.  To avoid that 'home-made' look, there are some internal steps that should be completed to avoid curled edges and a collar, particularly a Peter Pan collar, that won't otherwise lay flat.  Cutting the upper collar a hair wider than the under collar, interfacing the under collar, clipping and notching the seams, all play an important roll in a professional result.

Step 1:
Staystitch neck edge of bodice before attaching collar.

Step 2:
Cut upper and under collar pieces.  The upper collar needs to be slightly larger (1/8") than the under collar to ensure that it rolls correctly.  Heavy fabric may need more than 1/8" ease.

Step 3:
Cut one pattern piece of iron on interfacing using the under collar pattern.  Do not include seam allowances on the interfacing.

Step 4:
Apply interfacing to the wrong side of the under collar.

Step 5:
Since the upper collar is slightly larger, pin upper collar to under collar, easing the upper collar slightly around the outer edge.  This will allow the upper collar piece to roll smoothly.

Step 6:
With right sides together, stitch upper collar to under collar leaving the inner neck edge open.  Stitch from center out to front, first on one side, then on the other.  This prevents the ease from shifting.

Step 7:
To encourage the edge of the collar to lay flat, trim the under collar seam to 1/4" and the upper collar seam to 3/8". 

Step 8:
Around the outside curve, snip the edges every 1/4".  Turn right side out and press, slightly rolling the upper collar seam to the underside about 1/16".  This way it will not be visible on the  outside edge.

Step 9:
Baste raw edges together on inner edge. If desired edge stitching or top stitching can be done at this time-before attaching to garment.   

Step 10:
Pin collar to neck edge right sides together matching centers and notch3es.  Attach by sewing from center back toward the front.  First one side, then the other.

Happy Sewing!

May 3, 2016

May & Mother's Day

This comes a few days early, but happy Mother's Day to all of you mother's out there!  To celebrate, we're offering up to a 40% discount when you purchase the Pants Fitting Course on DVD combined with the Pants Kit.

When you purchase the combination of the SFD Pants Kit and Pants Fitting Course DVD, you'll receive a 10% discount off of the Pants Kit (reg. $37.95) and a 40% discount off of the Pants Fitting Course (PFC) on DVD (reg $79.95).
That's a grand savings of $35.78.

  If you already have the SFD Pants Kit and you'd like to purchase just the Pants Fitting Course (PFC) on DVD, you'll save 30% (Saving $23.98).

**PS, if you're new to Sure-Fit Designs, please note that you will still need to order the Designing Stylus for drawing your Pants Kit pattern.

These specials can only be purchased from the Sales & Promotions web page.
Please click here. 

If you're curious to know what's covered in the Pants Fitting Course on DVD click here.

It really is the next best thing to being here in Oregon with me in one of my Fit & Sew Retreats.  Plus this DVD purchase includes a 1/2 hour Skype session.  

Happy Fitting and Sewing!