Project Fit - Systems I use - Part 2

Sure-Fit Designs

Sure-Fit Designs was created by Glenda Sparling in the 80s. She has several You-tube videos to explain her system and how it works. All garments created are based on your personal measurements. She also has a blog, hosts workshops and is easily accessible via email to answer your questions. 

Sure-Fit Designs kit pieces

It is similar to the Lutterloh System because you mark a series of dots, then connect them with the special Sure-Fit Designs Designing Stylus. The Stylus has specific body curve areas listed with instructions for where to properly place the stylus for optimum results making it pretty easy to trace out the pattern. There are are also instruction booklets with step by step instructions on where and how to measure, where to customize the pattern to match your measurements and what to do when creating new design elements. 

The good
Easy to find fitting placement marks because the pattern template is full size and size points are clearly labeled. Alterations are easy to make on the pattern and templates are included for specific measurements like small or large bust adjustments. Instructional discs are included with step by step tutorials. There is also a booklet that illustrates options for different styles. Easy to recreate in a new size if your size changes or dress a group all the same.

The bad
I don't think there are any bad things with this system. Just be sure to read the booklet instructions, go step by step, or use the tutorial discs and watch the You-Tube videos. 

Sure-Fit is probably a little easier than the Lutterloh system because templates that are full pattern size which makes it much easier to find where to mark your fitting dots. Be sure to read all instructions though because there are still areas to customize. It is good to have a sewing buddy too because some of the measurements are hard to take by yourself.  

There are kits for Men, women and children for dresses, pants, shirts, and jackets.  You can purchase by the kit. If you sew for men, women and children there is substantial savings for all of the kits in a bundle over each individual kit. This is not a paid endorsement, but if you are interested click here to go to Sure-Fit Designs web site.

Sure fit bodice trace under a tried princes seam dress.
I will have to add the princess design onto he Sure-fit trace.

Here is an example of my tested pattern over the Sure-fit pattern, above.  As always a muslin test garment will be necessary, but you can see the pattern is fairly close to the tested pattern size.  

Dot, the pattern weight pitching in to help out.
From Online Etymology Dictionary:

system (n.) Look up system at Dictionary.com
1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, body," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program.
systemic (adj.) Look up systemic at Dictionary.com
1803, irregularly formed from system, used in medicine and biology for differentiation of meaning from systematic. Related: Systemically.
systematic (adj.) Look up systematic at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Late Latin systematicus, from Greek systematikos, from systema (see system). Related: Systematically.
systematize (v.) Look up systematize at Dictionary.com
1760s, from system (Greek stem systemat-) + -ize. Related: Systematizedsystematizing.


Project Fit - Systems I use Part 1

Lutterloh System

Pattern maker rulers and measuring tools

I started using the Lutterloh System in the 90s. It is sold in a set of 280 patterns collected into a small notebook.  For a subscription fee you can get updates quarterly with new drawings and patterns which include current fashion trends. I have only purchased two of the updates in the whole time I have used this system. If you understand patterns just about everything you really need is already included. I would not however recommend it to a beginner.  

The actual patterns are very small, about 2000 times smaller than an actual pattern. By using your measurements and a special tape measure designed to use with the small patterns you draw out a series of dots, then connect the dots and create a full size garment pattern that is already customized to your personal figure. 

The good 
Accurate fit with minimal alterations, large choice of style options, takes up very little area to store the original pattern library. Easy to make a new pattern for the same style if you gain or loose weight and change sizes. Very easy to create multiple sizes when dressing a group that needs to match, choirs, school groups etc.  

The bad 
Sometimes hard to accurately place the dots because the tape measure is difficult to keep taut and as smooth as a straight edge ruler. Hard to know exactly where to lengthen or shorten for best results. Connecting the dots requires curved tools and understanding which curved tools for which areas. A little experience is best before using this system. 

Lutterloh System and enlarged mini pattern, click to enlarge and see comments in red.

When I use Lutterloh patterns I always make a photo copy so my original pattern is never damaged. The original is always returned to the storage book before I even start to draw the enlarged pattern. When I finish a garment I store the copied image, the full size pattern drawn on tracing paper and a little snippet of the fabric I used, along with any special notes I may have taken in a zip lock bag, which is stored in a large filing cabinet with all of my other patterns.

Recently Brooke at Custom Style wrote about scaling patterns with ratios on a copy machine. I intend to test her system on a few other patterns, but it made me wonder if it could be used on the Lutterloh patterns too. Each dot is aligned with the center and tells you how far out to mark, but the little patterns are sometimes hard to see. This time I picked my pattern and enlarged it by 300% instead of the usual 100%. I am happy to say it works on most pieces, I am still testing it on some of the smaller pieces that are marked from the side instead of the middle. You can see the difference in pattern sizes the photo above.    

Tested pattern laying over Lutterloh pattern

Here is how the front compares to the pattern I copied from a dress that fit the Lutterloh pattern is in green lines, the tested pattern is laying over it, matched at the neck. There are some differences as it is not the exact same dress, but the sizes are close. A muslin test will still be required.

Lutterloh is sold by Tru-fit patterns & tools. This is not a paid endorsement, but if you are interested I have added a link to their website.

 From Online Etymology dictionary

trial (n.) Look up trial at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "act or process of testing," from Anglo-French trial, noun formed from triet "to try" (see try). Sense of "examining and deciding a case in a court of law" is first recorded 1570s; extended to any ordeal by 1590s. As an adjectival phrase, trial-and-error is recorded from 1806. Trial balloon (1939) is congnate of French ballon d'essai.

test (v.) Look up test at Dictionary.com
1748, "to examine the correctness of," from test (n.). Related: Testedtesting.


Vacation fun

I am back. I have not had the energy to start on projects I have planned. I think it takes a little while to re-acclimate to the higher altitude after being in the Midwest. I am not sure if it is because I stayed in the lower elevations longer or if it is more related to age. I am going to blame it on the thinner atmosphere though because even though the mirror tells a different story I am not getting older. I am always amazed at how much easier it is to move about in the lower thicker atmosphere, even if it is humid.

I got to visit relatives, attend a very small class reunion, catch up with friends from long ago who are also not getting older, visit landmarks and museums I have not seen in a while and float the river. I don't know how to swim and really don't like water sports but look how peaceful this river is. In some places it may be as deep as your waist and in others it is pretty shallow. When we went there were places the canoe just barely cleared the shallow areas. Once we were underway, my brother said, "We will probably have to stop a couple of times before the end, my canoe has a leak."  

I probably would have been in a full panic but he had his three young children with us and I figured if it was a dangerous leak he would not have let them go. We ended up stopping about five times to dump out the water the canoe took on. And my brother admitted that it was leaking much worse than he thought. In all but the deepest part at the very end though, even if the boat had sunk the kiddos would have only been in about waist high. 

The day I left the river was muddy from rain upstream and since then the river has gone to flood stage because of eleven inches of rain in the area yesterday and two or three more inches of rain expected today. 

From Online Etymology Dictionary:
canoe (v.) 
1842, from canoe (n.). Related: Canoedcanoing.
canoeing (n.) 
1870, verbal noun from canoe (v.). Related: Canoeist.
canoe (n.) 
1550s, originally in a West Indian context, from Spanish canoa, a term used by Columbus, from Arawakan (Haiti) canaoua. Extended to rough-made or dugout boats generally. Early variants in English included canocanowcanoa, etc., before spelling settled down c.1600.
paddle (v.3) 
"to move in water by means of paddles," 1670s, from paddle (n.). To paddle one's (own) canoe "do for oneself" is from 1828.

Scrappy Bits

Last week, on the way home, I stopped at A Needle in a Haystack quilt shop in Severy Kansas. I had wanted to stop a couple of times before but have never been in the area during normal business hours. Often I look for quilt shops when I am on vacation to see what others are working on, get inspiration, or just see what they have to offer.  I watch for billboards advertising quilt shops and stop in if  i) I can find it , ii) if I am passing by during normal business hours and iii) if I have time.

This little shop was busy with several customers from all across America and a friendly efficient staff. I don't think I was in the store for more than about 15 minutes before I had made my selections, had the fabric cut and was back out on the open road. They also have a few collectibles to sell, lots of beautiful fabric choices, patterns, books, quilting rulers. They offer classes too but I am definitely out of the area where I could stop in for a class. I picked up a special ruler, some bright colors for the stars portion of a quilt I have not yet started and a jelly roll that will coordinate with another jelly roll that has been sitting around waiting for just the right project.   

I am going to make a strip quilt with these two jelly rolls. It will be scrappy but unified by color tones. It is just the project I need today. I am not ready to jump back into the fitting project I am working on but I do want to sew. I also pulled some of my "thread scraps" from the box of threads I keep so that I can start using up spools with just little bits of thread. This will keep it from going to waste and clear out the clutter of nearly empty spools mixed in with more complete spools.   

So here it is, the beginning of a quilt I am going to call Scrappy Bits.

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

quilt (n.) 
c.1300, "mattress with soft lining," from Anglo-French quilte, Old French cuiltecoute "quilt, mattress" (12c.), from Latin culcita "mattress, bolster," of unknown origin. Sense of "thick outer bed covering" is first recorded 1590s.
quilt (v.) 
1550s, from quilt (n.). Related: QuiltedquiltingQuilting bee attested from 1824 (see bee).
quilter (n.) 
late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname); agent noun from quilt (v.).