Apr 25, 2017

Large Upper Arm Alternation Choices and Style Options


Some of you have large upper arms that you need to contend with.  What I'm referring to is when your bicep requires more ease than your current sleeve pattern is giving you.  If this occurs for you, then you must watch this short video on alteration alternatives...and what sleeve styles give the pattern more ease for your wearing comfort.

To view this video you will need to most likely go to the actual blog page www.surefitdesigns.blogspot.com, as it most likely won't show up or play within your email program.

I've also offered a great article on Option #3 which is where I discuss curving and widening the underarm of the sleeve pattern.  See the Learning Center article - http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/LargeUpperArmPatternAlteration.html

Then, consider an alternative sleeve style, like the flutter sleeve, pleated sleeve, sleeve with center (curved seam), sleeve with godet, dolman sleeve (as in our Holiday Happy Top Sew Along shown below) or a petal/tulip sleeve.  All are excellent style options when you have a large upper arm.

 The Sure-Fit Designs designing book - Beyond Bodice Basics - gives directions for the flared flutter sleeve, sleeve with godet and petal/tulip sleeve...enjoy!

And you'll want to read how to add the pleat down the center of the sleeve in this blog article - http://surefitdesigns.blogspot.com/2017/03/pleated-sleeve-detail.html   It's another great choice for a large upper arm sleeve style.
Make sure you give these options a try!
Happy Sewing!

Apr 18, 2017

Pockets for Pull-on Pants

For more information and to visit the Sure-Fit Designs store, click here.

Recently a customer brought up a good question.  When designing and sewing a pair of pull-on pants with an elastic waist edge, what is the best design shape for the inseam pocket so that it will extend up into the waist edge for stability, yet without causing too much bulk?

Here is short blog with a clear illustration of the design change to make to the Inseam Pocket shape provided in your Sure-Fit Designs Pants master patterns.

The original inseam pocket shape (from the Pants master pattern sheet) is drawn in pencil and is indicated with black arrows.

Alternative #1 is to re-draw the pocket shape as indicated with my red lines.  You're basically taking the tear drop pocket shape a little wider at the top and extend it about 1/2" into the casing allowance for the elastic.  In this example, the elastic to be used is planned at 1" wide, therefore the casing requirement is drawn at 2" wide.  This will give more stability to the pocket so that it's not flopping around on the inside of the pants, and the 1/2" extension into the casing means the top of the pocket will get enclosed as the fold is made in the casing.

Alternative #2, which is indicated by the green lines takes the pocket pretty much straight up and extends it 1" (or almost 1") into the casing allotment. This alternative would definitely added more width-wise stability, but will add a little more bulk in the casing.

If you were using a medium to heavy weight knit for these pull-on pants, I'd suggest using Alternative #1.  If using a lighter weight knit, then Alternative #2 would be appropriate.  The choice is yours but it will primarily depend on your fabric weight.

Give a try re-drawing the pocket shape.  It's easy to do and will result in a much more stable pocket on the inside.

Directions for sewing this particular style of inseam pocket are found on Page 25 of the  Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit Instruction Book.

Directions for designing the Pull-on Pants are found on Page 24 of the Sure-Fit Designs Pants Kit Instruction Book.

Happy Sewing!

Apr 11, 2017

Fit & Sew Retreat - March 2017


Another Sure-Fit Designs successful Fit & Sew Retreat has come and gone.  We had a lively, full group of ladies attending from Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.

Here is a sampling of both the pants and bodices as we work our way through the fit and any necessary fit refinements.  Please pardon the obvious fabric wrinkles that have absolutely nothing to do with the fit of the garment.

Then came the 3 days of bodice blueprints.

All were pretty satisfied...and pretty tired at the end of 6 days.  This last photo is of our Celebration and Farewell Event.

Happy smiles!

Thanks so much to all of you for attending.

If any of you reading are interested in attending, please click on over to the Fit & Sew Retreat details page.  Make sure you send a direct email to me to be put on the 'short list' - email: info@surefitdesigns.com.

Happy Sewing!

Apr 3, 2017

Little Black Leggings (LBL)

I've recently introduced our Little Black Dress (LBD) Sew Along.  Today I want to discuss my recently sewn little black leggings (LBL).  They are so simple to design, cut and sew that they definitely qualify as a Made in a Day project.

(Sorry, they are in basic black, so unfortunately you can't see much detail.  But they are pretty basic - no fancy color blocking or designing.  I needed them to wear with the High Low Hem Swing Top (Dress Kit Instruction Book pg. 38-39) to wear at the Fit & Sew Retreat).

In case you didn't see the post a few moons ago on designing the No-Side Seam Leggings, here's the short video to introduce you to designing them.  You'll most likely need to go to our Learning Center or YouTube to see this video, as I know it doesn't display in many email programs.  Go to http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/Pants-Videos-Designing.html and look for P.12 - How to Draw Leggings without a Side Seam.

A point of discussion...how much elastic to use at the waist?  This is asked repeatedly.  Here is the elastic I used - 1" (2.5cm), non-roll elastic, with almost 100% stretch.  You'll likely recognize it.

My waist is 28".  I cut the elastic 23" - removing 5".  To be on the safe side, I pinned it in a circle and made sure it pulled up over my hips.   How much you remove (meaning your waist measurement minus 'X' amount is going to be determined by 3 factors: the width of the elastic, the stretch of the elastic, and how YOU like it to feel on your body).  Sorry there really are no hard and fast rules about how much to remove as the factors are too variable.  You just have to pin and test!

When it was applied to the waist edge, it feels quite comfortable in the finished leggings.

Here's a close-up view.  Sorry the color is off, but in order for you to see the stitching detail, I needed to make some color modifications in Photoshop.  They really are a lovely rich, dark black.

If you're unsure of how to sew this elastic application, I have this covered in our Make it Sew sewing series DVD for beginners and intermediate sewists.  See - http://www.surefitdesigns.com/MakeItSew.html

To construct these, I used all 3 sewing machines - the serger for the inseams and crotch seam, the Cover Stitch machine for the hem, and the regular machine to zigzag the elastic in position...I love 'em all!

Give them a try.  They really are a Made in a Day project.

Happy Leggings Making!😊