Tag Archives: Sure-Fit

Casual top in gray and red

Hmm, I thought I had already published this post but apparently it’s been waiting for pictures. This is part 3 of my March sewing.

I haven’t really talked much about Sure-Fit Designs since I bought the whole kit and kaboodle. About a year ago, I had Sarah Veblen fit the bodice of my blueprint from the Shirt Kit, which I then used to make a sleeveless summer dress. A few weeks ago I finally got around to drafting and fitting the sleeve for it. That done, it was time to test it. I chose a wonderfully soft bamboo French terry from the stash and decided to learn yarn couching in this project.

Top front

I used the roll collar pattern piece from the dress. The only difference is that where the collar edges meet is not placed at center back but off-center in the front. It gives an interesting asymmetrical effect even though the neckline is symmetrical. This was my first time doing yarn couching. I tried two different presser feet and decided to stick with the one that could do zig-zag (Bernina foot #21). My practice piece looked like this:

Yarn couching - closeup

I used a cutaway stabilizer for it because this fabric just wanted to stretch and stretch. But the stabilizer made the fabric too stiff to use for the collar. Undeterred, I looked through my limited stabilizer stash to see if something might work better. I settled on UltraSolvy, using 505 spray to adhere it to the wrong side of the fabric. It worked well enough and washed out beautifully. (The wonderful people at my nearest Bernina store later recommended a wash-away polymesh for next time.) I had a lot of fun with those curving, flowing lines. It wasn’t quite free-motion sewing because I had the feed dogs up but I lowered the presser foot pressure and the UltraSolvy happily slid around with very little effort from my fingers. I wore my Machingers for this – they are thin gloves with rubbery fingertips that provide a good grip on the fabric – it’s a fabulous invention, I tell you.

Top back

After cutting the collar from the embellished piece of fabric, I decided to make another, smaller one, for the sleeve bands. I’m glad I did. I think having only the collar embellished would be a little weird. With the matching sleeve bands, it looks intentional. I think the sleeves turned out quite nicely, even if the shoulder seams look just a tad too long, probably from the fabric being so stretchy. I’ll test it again in a more stable knit soon. All in all, this is a very comfortable top and I want to make more like it. The whole project took 1.5yds even with the extra piece for yarn-couching practice.

That is it for March sewing. Next up – catching up on April sewing projects.

See you soon!

Checking in again

Hi again!

So I haven’t been posting in the last few months because what was supposed to be a part-time job turned into a full-time one just a few days after I started. It was a lot of information to take in and a major lifestyle change, and the stress of all that coupled with the long daily drive back and forth meant that I’ve had very little time or energy left for creating, let alone blogging. I am still here though, and while my posts will likely be sporadic in the next two months, they will get more regular once I go part-time in October.

All that housekeeping out of the way, let’s look at what I’ve been making. Because I wasn’t exactly idle, as it turns out (to my own surprise). I have made a bunch of bracelets and experimented with fun techniques – I have yet to take pictures of them so those will come later. Also, I joined the summer 6-PAC and made a bunch of things: 5 tops, a dress, and a cardigan jacket. And two pieces I didn’t think to photograph, mostly because I’ve been wearing them to work a lot and they completely slipped my mind.

Summer 6-PAC - tops

All of these tops are cut from Jalie 3352, the dolman top. The red ones in 11oz. rayon jersey from Emmaonesock have the original neckline without changes (I think). The light gray is a cotton knit from Nancy Erickson and has the most wonderful hand. The darker gray is a mostly-cotton jersey from Fabricmart – that one will be given away because it was doing some shrinking as I sewed it, and I only noticed it at the end. Both of these gray tops have a 3/4″ neckband, which was my attempt to see if I like the closer neckline (yes!) and if I like the neckband finish (not really). The cute polka dot is a cotton jersey from Marcy Tilton and it’s such a happy, smile-inducing fabric. For this top, I just closed up the neckline by the same 3/4″ and then clean-finished it by turning the allowance under and coverstitching. I like this neckline the best. Next time, I want to try a boat neckline to bring it up closer to the collar bone – I had accidentally put on one top the wrong way, with the back in front, and I liked the effect.

Summer 6-PAC - dress and cardigan

The dress is drafted from Sure-Fit Designs Shirt Kit. I just lengthened it to dress length, took in the side seams some to accommodate the sleeveless design and the curve of my waist, and added the bias-cut collar. Oh, and the hemline goes in a slight A-line, which is comfortable, but I think I prefer a straighter silhouette. I made it in a lovely black Brussels Washer from Fabric.com – it is such a pleasure to sew and wear. Warning: it does seat out some so not your best bet for a formal anything. I cut the neckline fairly wide and the collar doesn’t play well with most of my cardigans but I do have a few RTW ones that work so the dress is not an orphan.

The cardigan jacket is from my old PMB pattern (from 2002 or 2003, yikes!). I narrowed the shoulder slightly with a corresponding sleeve cap adjustment, curved the front neckline where it meets center front, and added 8″ to the length. There is no closure and the front edges meet but do not overlap. The fabric is an acrylic/wool/poly boucle bought from Fabricmart several years ago. It’s nicely warm, and super easy to sew. I enjoy wearing it and there’s more in the stash for another, shorter version.

And that’s pretty much all I have right now. Thank you if you’re still reading, and see you soon!

Where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about my beginnings with polymer clay and here we are two months later. Where did the time go? Did it go by fast for you too? We’ve been getting ready for the move next month, including a “recon” trip to the Washington, D.C. area so we’ll have some idea of what’s where when we get there. We visited Michael’s Fabrics which is always fun, found a couple of fabulous quilt stores and a yarn store within easy driving distance, and definitely decided to live on base instead of on the economy.

Then there was another trip, a totaled car (hail damage, no one injured, thankfully), and lots of sewing. A bit of the kind that produces wearable garments and a lot of the muslin kind. Real muslin. The kind that you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in it. Although my husband did mention it might be a good color for a pair of pants for me, so maybe I’ll keep that in mind.

Sure-Fit Designs 3-kit combo

Anyway, the many muslins were because I bought the Sure-Fit Designs 3-kit combo. It includes the dress kit, the pants kit, and the shirt kit. I’ll be reviewing them in detail as I work through them this fall. If you have this system and are starting to work with it, or if you’re considering buying it, my initial advice to you is this:

  1. Measure carefully. Like two or three times. At least. And check that you’re not measuring your “mirror posture” but how you really stand.
  2. Don’t try this when your weight is dropping fast because you decided to cut out refined sugar and processed foods right before you ordered the kit. (ahem!)

My summer 6-PAC turned out to be just 5 pieces – the red tops and white skirt you saw, and then I added a black skirt in Sophia knit and a light yellow rayon jersey top. All five pieces got quite a bit of wear and I’ve been really pleased with them. I’ve also made a bunch of PJs for both me and my husband. My most recent makes are a pair of black cotton pants and a long-sleeved top – in preparation for fall, I suppose. And fall sewing, or sewing plans, will be the subject of the next post because I really need to put some pictures together first. Not just for you, but so I have a good visual representation of what’s going on with my wardrobe. Or a checklist. Or something. Because I don’t think I can keep it all in my head and deal with this move at the same time.

See you soon!