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Sure-Fit dress kit

January 19, 2014

WARNING: No finished garments to be seen here…only ugly fitting photos, which I’m posting so I can share them on the forums with Sure-Fit experts.

This year I want to work on developing the fitting blocks mentioned a few posts back. And co-incidentally I started reading threads on the Sure-Fit system on both Stitcher’s Guild and Patternreview. The goal of Sure-Fit meshed perfectly with my desire for personalized blocks, so I purchased their Dress Kit. Even though I don’t wear dresses, this is the kit to use for fitting tops and tees. They also have a shirt and pants kits that are of interest.

With Sure-Fit you actually draft your own pattern using the template they provide. In the past I’ve tried drafting from scratch, but got myself so confused that it was not productive. The template was really good for reducing that confusion and I’m pretty pleased with this muslin which is my starting point. Based on the feedback I hope to get from the forums and from Glenda, Ms. Sure-Fit herself, I’ll be fine-tuning the block and learning how to use it to modify patterns.

Here follow the ugly photos. If you are of a sensitive nature, avert your eyes and click away now. If you have a strong stomach, bear in mind that the blocks have very little ease. I used an old sheet to make these up. Possibly a slightly stouter material might have been better. Even though the bodice feels pretty good, there are a lot of wrinkles that might be due to limp and flimsy fabric.

front blogThe front looks like I might need to redraft a larger dart. Based on the instructions, I drafted for a C even though I buy a D in foundation garments. The bodice feels like it fits, but the wrinkles appear to tell a different story. I believe the pulls below the waist indicate the need for more room in the rear. You can see how the side seam pulls to the back in the next photo.  I would open up a wedge in center back to fix, but this is something I want to get Glenda’s feedback on, and see how she would alter.

right blogLooks like the back is too long, and I need to shorten the sleeve just a little above the elbow.

back blogThe back. This is where I really need some help.

Now forget you ever saw this.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Elle permalink
    January 19, 2014 5:23 pm

    Glenda’s system–and her personalized help–have received such positive reviews! I hope this works out well for you. I’ve signed up for one of her fitting classes in Oregon and am excited to give it a try.

    • January 19, 2014 5:43 pm

      Yes, Glenda has a great reputation for all the support she provides. Lucky you, going to one of her fitting classes. Enjoy!

  2. January 19, 2014 6:21 pm

    I’m wondering why the back length is sooo long, isn’t there a measurement for that with her system from neck to waist? If the middle of the darts are on your waist the rest should be right. The front can be correct using a wider dart to pull up the waist up but above the dart wrinkles should be pinned out from the armscye and then transferred to the bust dart…all minor things that can be done. Once the back is released, darts let out, the skirt area may drop down and hang on grain but for now I bet it is really rising up in the center back hem too. Look forward to hearing what Glenda says! Thanks for sharing this step…I love muslins so much and that is why I feature them so much on my blog too.

    • January 20, 2014 12:33 am

      There is a shoulder-to-waist measurement, but it is taken on the front. So in the front it is spot on. My waist is really tilted. Thanks for your assessment!

  3. January 19, 2014 6:23 pm

    You might also like to look at the Pattern Ruler, which is based on industry standards, but incorporate personal measurements. http://easypatternmaking.co.za/

  4. January 19, 2014 8:32 pm

    I agree with some of your assessments. The front definitely needs a FBA. Because the back view of the skirt portion looks good until you get to the side seam, I am wondering if you need to add width below the waist but not in the center back. I would probably add some on either side about halfway between the CB and the side seam, and also add on at the side seam, in order to have enough width for your hips and to straighten out the side seam. It does seem odd how long, and wide, the bodice back appears, might be related to the bust issue, in that sometimes if you have a narrow torso and a larger cup size, the entire bodice can be both too big and too small at the same time, which would explain the bodice issues here… just guessing, I am not a professional at fitting, in fact fitting is my nemesis.

    • January 20, 2014 5:58 pm

      I forgot to mention in my post that I had already made the back of the skirt two sizes larger. Looks like it needs sizing up even more. Glenda suggests working on the bodice first and then adding on the skirt.

  5. Amy permalink
    January 19, 2014 9:00 pm

    Will be watching these posts with anticipation. Ps, I’ve already forgotten there were any photos in this post

  6. January 20, 2014 12:02 am

    I think it’s definitely the fault of the flimsy fabric.

    • January 20, 2014 5:55 pm

      Glenda agreed with you, she says muslin is not the best. I’m looking for a cotton/poly blend for the next try.

  7. Carolyn permalink
    January 20, 2014 2:11 am

    It’s a great start Robyn! My back was too long too. Glenda will be able to tell you exactly what to do. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. Trust me. It is well worth the effort!

    • January 20, 2014 5:53 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn. I already have a reply from Glenda, so I just need to get some more material and try the changes.

  8. January 20, 2014 10:20 am

    Fitting blocks can be a trying journey but worth it in the end. I have recently started this very same quest with self drafted patterns. I found it helpful to mark the hip line on the skirt and make sure it is parallel to the floor. If you have tilted waist the extra front length should be removed from the waistline. I look forward to your future posts on this subject.

    • January 20, 2014 5:50 pm

      Don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I always shorten the fronts of pants. Goos luck on your drafting!

  9. January 20, 2014 3:20 pm

    I know lots of people love this system, but I couldn’t make the pants block work for me. I made countless muslins on my own and even had my sewing teacher help me, but I ended up giving it away. (I did keep the wonderful ruler and use it all the time.) For me, making changes to actual patterns is a better way to go. But I wish you the very best of luck!

  10. January 20, 2014 8:28 pm

    I’m feeling confused already..! Good for you for persevering. I shall be very interested to see the ‘after’ photos.

    • January 20, 2014 8:51 pm

      Stick with it, Ruth! I thought the drafting was kind of fun, but you have to have nice quiet time to concentrate. I did some work on muslin #3 today. Looking lots better.

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