Sunday, May 29, 2011

Black and White

I have been sewing up a storm with my new Bernina this past week. Here are some of my new creations. First, I bought some wonderful fabric from Marcy Tilton recently. Some fabrics are just worth the price, and I loved a french print. It happened to match a lavender cardigan I made several years ago. The fabric became a Tango Skirt - a pattern I have made millions of times. I was very pleased how this one turned out. I used a decorative stitch for the hem, which matched the design of the print perfectly.

Now for the topic at hand: black and white.

I have been trying to make more unusual pieces. It's been a challenge experimenting with new designs and challenging myself with new techniques.

I purchased black and white fabrics from - one is polka dot while the other is a stripe. I intended to use them together and was able to make two tops. It was fun making two totally different things. The first shirt is a Marcy Tilton pattern from Vogue, while the second is the Urban T from The Sewing Workshop. That's the joy of sewing.

One More Sure Fit Designs

I just love this system! Everything turns out great and fits so well. I opened the Shirt Kit and made my husband two shirts. This one is even easier to draft than the dress pattern - less measurements and no darts. It took no time to crank out the shirts. My husband loves them and says they are so comfortable.

James has narrow, sloping shoulders that don't fit well with the rest of his body. Shirts usually fall off of him at the shoulders. Not so with these shirts. I see more of these in his future, especially dress shirts. The shirts I made are 100% cotton, which should be nice and cool for summer.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sure Fit Designs

I became interested in Sure Fit Designs when Glenda Sparling did a Chat on Pattern Review. Sure Fit has several kits - Dress (consists of a fitted blouse and and skirt), Shirt, Pants, and Children. You take your measurements and then find a matching dot to your measurement on a chart that includes a drawing of a bodice, pant or skirt. You then draft your sloper to your measurements. There are not very many measurements. For instance, there are 11 for the dress kit.

After you draft your sloper, you sew up a muslin. Tweak it if necessary. Here is my muslin, which I thought turned out great. The only tweaks were for sloping shoulder, taking it out a little at the high hip, and narrowing the shoulder. I'm sure the last two alterations were user error when taking my measurements. I always have to alter for a sloping shoulder.

Here is the back and front of my muslin.

After you get your muslin the way you want it, you can draft your own patterns or use your sloper to alter existing patterns. My first effort was this shirt dress pictured below. I included a mandarin collar and front and back yoke. I moved the must dart to the top and gathered it to the yoke. I also made gathers at the back yoke. Then, I made it a drawstring. Taking an idea from Hot Patterns, I elasticized the drawstrings for 2/3's length and added fabric ties for the rest.

Here's a back view with the gathers at the back yoke.

And another front view.

I received Sure Fit Designs as a Birthday present and love it! I currently have plans for another shirt dress, but changing the design elements, and three sheath dresses.