Jul 26, 2016

Sew Excited! SFD Representatives in South Africa & the UK!

We are sew excited to announce to you that we now have Representatives/Distributors in both South Africa and in the United Kingdom.

Drum roll.....
Let me introduce you to Elsabe Hurn in South Africa.
She is a local Bernina dealer in the Johannesburg (Edenvale) area and is now stocking Sure-Fit Designs Kits, tools & DVDs.
You'll find her at:

Ph# 011 453 3117
Email:   info@surefitdesigns.co.za Website: http://www.surefitdesigns.co.za/ 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/surefitdesignssa

This is Elsabe while here in Eugene OR during her SFD training and while participating in a Fit & Sew Retreat.

Drum roll...
And due to much demand, we now have a Representative/Distributor in the United Kingdom & Ireland.
Let me introduce you to Judith Johnson.

You can reach her at:
Ph# 07562 140245
Email: info@surefitdesigns.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SureFitDesignsUK
Website: http://www.surefitdesigns.co.uk

Many of you may already know of Jude, as she is an active member of the Sure-Fit Designs Facebook group and has been sewing with the SFD kits for about 1 year.  She attended the June Fit & Sew Retreat as a student as the photos below show.  She'll be returning in August for her training as a Sure-Fit Designs Representative.

SFD Fitting Kits/Products
Local Support
And...put the fun back into garment sewing!

Both representatives are carrying all the Sure-Fit Designs Kits, tools and DVD's, and when Jude's training is complete (August 2016) they will be authorized to give SFD presentations as well as hands-on workshops and classes.  Put a little excitement in your sewing group - contact either directly for details.

Congratulations ladies and thanks so much for 'spreading the SFD word' in your geographical locations.  We are delighted to have you onboard!

Happy Fitting!

Jul 19, 2016

What a Difference Leg Width Can Make

A recent student at the June Fit & Sew Retreat had a great-fitting pants blueprint (sloper), and though the pants fit really well in the waist, hips and crotch locations (the most important ones), she preferred to have a narrower leg width.

In the following photo, you'll see I've identified the shape of the leg seams with the regular pattern leg width being highlighted in yellow and the narrowed leg with is highlighted in red.

Please always keep in mind that leg width is not a 'fit issue' - it is a personal preference.  To help you with narrowing the leg width of the pants pattern, you might want to take a look at the following video.

Happy fitting and sewing!

Jul 12, 2016

Love my Summery Top!

If you remember a few posts ago, I showed you the skinny, cropped leg pants I sewed in a white stretch denim.  Well, I finally found a day to sew this comfy top to go with them.  This top is definitely a draft and Made in a Day project.  (PS That's fragrant star jasmine in the background.)

The fabric I choose was a Nicole Miller colorful knit.  I just loved the colors and the bold summery pattern.

It was is a 2-way stretch knit - meaning it stretches both horizontally and vertically.

To test the stretch of the knit, pick up 10"  and stretch comfortably.  The first photo shows 10" from 'pinch to pinch' in a horizontal (crosswise) direction.  The second photo shows it stretching easily to 13".  This qualifies as a Limited to Moderate stretch knit.  Therefore I sized my pattern down 1 dot.

This fabric also has vertical stretch.  See both the following photos where you can see that I'm now doing the stretch test parallel to the selvage (meaning vertical stretch).  10" stretches comfortably to 14".  So this means I sized down 1 measurement dot ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ENTIRE PATTERN.

Because the fabric was so stretchy, I definitely used fusible stay tape on the shoulder seams.  You can see I used Emma Seabrooke's Stay Tape.

For the design of the top, I used a combination of the diagonal hem Tank Top (which you can find on this page - http://www.surefitdesigns.com/DigitalE-Goods.html ) and moved the bust dart down into the waist fitting dart as is shown for the High/Low Hemmed Swing Top which is on page 38 of the 6th edition Dress Kit Instruction book.

What I did differently?  I scooped the neck only 2" at CF and I didn't add the extra flare at CF or the side seams of the High/Low Hemmed Swing Top.  The sleeve is a slim, 3/4 length sleeve from the Dress Kit Sleeve for Stretchy/Knit fabrics.

 And, in case you like the asymmetrical side seam lengths on my 5'4" tall body, the short side measures 16" long and the longer side measures 24" long finished.

The pattern was drawn and fabric cut out in the morning.  The entire top was sewn in the afternoon.  It really does qualify for a Made in a Day project.

 Happy Sewing!

Jul 5, 2016

Large Upper Arm - Effective Alternative

Those of you with large upper arms (large biceps) in relation to the bodice armscye opening, often struggle to make the sleeve cap fit nicely into the bodice.  The wider you make the underarm width of your sleeve pattern, the longer the sleeve cap becomes and this in turn can result in a gathered sleeve cap.  If you don't want a gathered cap, then you're often instructed to widen the bodice at the underarm thereby making the armscye curve longer to accept the widened sleeve.  But this means that the bodice circumference becomes excessively large for you.

In a recent Fit & Sew Retreat, we incorporated a different alternative so that extra width was added for the large upper arm, but it did not require either widening the bodice or gathering the sleeve cap.  Here's what we did.  We widened the underarm seam by curving it outward a sufficient amount to equal her bicep circumference measurement plus about 2" of wearing ease.  The minimum amount of ease in a sleeve is 1 1/2".  Without this ease, the sleeve will feel way too tight.

The following illustration shows how the underarm was drawn.  For clarity, this illustration does not include seam allowances.  Notice how at the underarm point as you would sew from there to the hem level, the new red stitching line would follow the original seam line.  But at the 5/8" level, it then begins a curved journey outward to allow for the fullness of the bicep plus wearing ease.

It's kind of a novel approach, but it works very well...as you can see in the following photos.

And when set in to the armscye, the sleeve looks like this.  This is definitely an acceptable alternative to traditional techniques for widening the upper arm of the sleeve pattern.

Here's what her actual sleeve pattern looked like.  You'll see the red lines on either side of the underarm which indicates where she actually stitched to begin the underarm curve. We kept the remaining underarm extension on the pattern just in case we didn't like the result so that's why it looks a little different from the illustration above.  And of course, this sleeve pattern has the seam allowances in place and we needed to make one other minor tune-up for the re-positioning of the sleeve cap notch due to a forward-thrusted shoulder bone.  I'll cover that tune up in a different blog.

If you happen to have a large upper arm and the sleeve pattern needs widening for your wearing comfort, next pattern you draw you might want to give this a try.

Happy Sewing,