Sep 27, 2016

Stripes Every Which Way!

Sure-Fit Designs Blog

What can you do with striped fabric?  Follow along as I show you a recent SFD Dress Kit T-Shirt design.  Here's the finished top.  But how did I get there?
I used my pre-drawn pattern for a Dress Kit T-Shirt.  You might remember an article on T-Shirt Tactics in the SFD Learning Center that shows you how to remove the dart from your Dress Kit Bodice Front to make a closer-fitting T-Shirt (than the SFD Shirt Kit would provide).

Previously, I'd used these directions to draw this Color-Blocked T-Shirt.  You might remember this design.

If you want the instructions for designing this color-blocked T-Shirt, they are only $1.99 and can be found on this page.
For this striped top, I used exactly the same pattern.  So that was just an easy tracing of what I already had.  Then I re-drew the midriff sections which looked like this.

I'd purchased this fabric during a sale and on top of that it was a remnant so I had limited yardage and had to be creative and conservative with the pattern layout.  Before I show you the result of stitching the segments together, the next illustration shows you the dimensions for each of the segments (keeping in mind my 5'4" body and the longer length that I wanted).

Once the actual fabric had been cut - (oh by the way - make sure when you cut your pattern apart on the relevant design lines that you MUST add seam allowances to each cut edge so that you don't loose any length) - I used the following angles for cutting the stripes.  The main top section, lower hip section and sleeves all had the stripes running horizontally.

Here's what it looked like when all the sections were sewn together:

It was OK, but just being gray with a black stripe, I thought it looked a little on the dull side.  What would it look like if it was solid black in segment #2?

So I ripped out the necessary seams, added the black, and the finished result looked like this:

I liked this a lot better knowing that I'd wear this top with either my gray paisley-patterned leggings or my black skinny leg pants.  I then used a narrow 2-thread cover stitch to decorate and hold the seam allowances in place.  You can barely see the cover stitching since the black thread blends in with the gray/black fabric.

Here's the finished top with the gray leggings and the second photo is with the black pants.

This fabric is another piece of the most comfortable cozy knit - it's a low loop terry that has a fiber content of 47.5% Soy, 47.5% Organic Cotton and 5% Spandex.  (This fabric came from Bolt Fabrics in NE Portland OR - a great little shop in a funky Portland community).  Yes it stretches in both directions and yes my pattern was sized down about 1 measurement dot all the way around.

One last's another option for you to lay out the stripes - the sleeves could either be vertical or horizontal.
 I know you'll enjoy this project...give it a try.

Happy Fitting & Sewing,
Glenda...the Good Stitch!

Sep 20, 2016

Laminate your Master Patterns?

Every now and again the question comes up of how best to preserve the Sure-Fit Designs Master Patterns.

Having them laminated is definitely an option.  I know a few SFD customers have done this.  One customer shared photos of her laminated patterns and how she then stores them.

And what a clever way to store them now that they can no longer be folded - use a tree clothes hanger.
(Thanks to Beatriz H. for granting permission to use her photos.)

However...I would like to offer a word of caution.  One customer frantically emailed me after she'd taken her Master Patterns to be laminated only to be told that the lamination machine had chewed up one of the patterns - I believe it was the Sleeve pattern.  It doesn't really matter which one it was, but rather for you to be aware that this can happen.  So if you are going to take your patterns for lamination, please check with the staff operating the equipment and make sure that nothing damaging is going to happen.  In the case of this particular customer, she did purchase a replacement pattern, but she was reimbursed by the shop.

And please also note that laminating is not copying the patterns.  This came up in a Facebook conversation.  Please let me clarify.  Yes, you have purchased the patterns from Sure-Fit Designs.  They are copyrighted patterns, meaning that you can not copy or reproduce these patterns.  Any reputable copy shop should recognize that these works are copyrighted and should not ever copy the patterns without express written permission from us - Sure-Fit Designs.  So if you ever need to copy one of the patterns for some personal reason, please write for permission to explaining the reason why.  You do not require permission to laminate the patterns.

Happy Sewing!

Sep 13, 2016

Rounded Back - Quick Fix

Some of you may struggle with a rounded upper back.  You might have a similar shape as this.
And if you do, a curve such as this will definitely require a center back seam to help shape and conform the fabric to your contours.

Let's look at what you should do to your pattern.
First, draw at least 2 or 3 horizontal slash lines starting at center back and going to the armscye seam allowance.  The seam of the armscye will become the pivot points.

Then, cut through center back up to the pivot point and spread the center back open.  You will likely need to guess approximately how much to spread each slash line open.  If you've sewn a test bodice without this tune-up, when you put it on, you should be able to measure from the neck stitching line of the bodice up the distance that you will need to spread the pattern in order to cover and shape for your neck curve.  In this situation, it was about 1" that was required.  Therefore each slash was spread open 1/2".  If you'd drawn 3 slash lines, you'd spread each open 3/8".

And once the pattern has been spread open as shown, then you must add 5/8" (1.5 cm) seam allowance to center back.  This does mean you'll have a seam in CB for all your garments, but it's better to have it fit properly than to not cover up to the base of your neck or have drag lines coming out from the curvature of your back

In addition to curving the center back seam, you'll likely notice that we also added back shoulder darts.  They definitely help too.

Here's a video on the rounded back and adding the shoulder dart.  You might want to watch it, particularly if you've never seen this process before.

And there is an article in the Sure-Fit Designs Learning Center to help you achieve the exact steps for adding a shoulder dart.

Happy Fitting!

Sep 6, 2016

Tracing Vellum Annual Sale - Buy one Get one 1/2 price!

Sure-Fit Designs Blog
Those of you who use it - love it!  As most of you know, the Sure-Fit Designs Tracing Vellum is the best tracing medium to use when designing and drawing your sewing patterns.

All 3 sizes are at special sale prices.

The benefits?'s strong, durable, can be used as a press cloth and it's see-through which is great for seeing all the drawing details that you need to copy from the SFD Master Patterns and if you use any ink markers, there is absolutely no bleed-through.

it's totally erasable!  Unlike many other tracing mediums, it simply won't go into holes or shred when you need to remove unwanted pencil marks.

it's available in 3 size options:
**10 yd x 24" wide - Reg. $12.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off
(minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price).
Total for 2 (10 yd rolls) = $19.43 +S&H

**20 yd x 24" wide - Reg. $18.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off (minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price).
Total for 2 (20 yd rolls) = $28.43 +S&H

**50 yd x 18" wide - Reg. $35.95/roll...Buy one, get the second one at 50% off (minimum 2 rolls of the same size need to be purchased to receive sale price).
Total for 2 (50 yd rolls) = $53.43 +S&H

It's great to have both the 24" and 18" wide options.  The 24" wide will be required for fuller bust and hip circumferences as well as for drawing wide sleeve patterns.  The 18" wide is great for smaller pattern pieces and there's simply less wastage with this narrower option. Consider having both widths to choose from for the most economical usage.

To purchase your supply, please click here -

These sale prices will be good through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 - midnight.  Take advantage of the $ savings.

If you'd like to see the Tracing Vellum in action, here's a short video:

I know you'll appreciate using this excellent quality tracing vellum.  Go to:

Thanks so much for your order.

Glenda...the Good Stitch!