Posts Tagged ‘Sure-Fit Designs’

DSC01706All done.  This is an unlined jacket/shirt in a denim-weight brown cotton fabric.  The pattern was drafted by me using Sure-Fit Designs and an old blouse pattern that dates back about 20 years.  The sleeves are 3/4 length but for some strange reason look a lot shorter in these pictures.

DSC01710On this closeup of the front, you can see all the top stitching this kind of jacket requires.  I used the pockets from another pattern but I think they are a little too large so will go for a smaller version next time.

DSC01711It works as a shirt when it is all buttoned up.

DSC01714There is a seam down the back because I was originally going to put a back vent in but decided not to later.

DSC01709I have seen several photos of shirts with this basic form (yokes front and back, shoulder princess seams) but without the pockets, so that is what I’m going to try next.  Right now I am finishing up a gray, gold, and black fleece vest and hemming tablecloths for a Christmas gift.



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The brown jacket is nearly done.

DSC01626The facing for this kind of jacket goes from one neckline down the front, across the side and back, across the other side and up the other front to the neckline.  It is pretty easy to apply unless you sew the neckline first and when sewing the long facing around the rest of the jacket you discover that you have totally twisted the facing into a Mobius strip that nothing but a seam ripper can cure.  In situations like this it is a bad idea to set the item aside to fix later because chances are you won’t.  I grabbed the ripper right away (new behavior for me) and fixed it in about 10 minutes.  Now for some trimming and clipping and then some buttonholes and buttons.

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Finally the brown shirt is moving along.  Early rising and sewing from about 7 am to 9 am seems to fit my schedule better, and I quit when I’m tired of bending over the machine.  This type of shirt/jacket has lots of fiddly pieces, so instead of looking at the big picture, I just pick one or two units and try to finish them in one morning.  For example, the first day I sewed the bodice seams and the back yoke, then the next day did the collar and put the cuffs on the sleeves, yesterday did the princess seams, pressed the seam lines on the pockets and sewed the pocket flaps, and today topstitched the flaps and sewed the pockets.

DSC01612I don’t think I’ve ever sewn a pocket flap before.  Something new all the time in the sewing world.

DSC01613I actually already had the right color of buttons in the stash.  I also think this color is growing on me a little.

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Shirt No. 7 is already cut out and the sewing machine is threaded with with right color, but the sewjo seems to be weak this week.  This next shirt will include some features from the classic jean jacket, something I have never owned but am presently interested in.   The shirt pattern was given a back yoke and a front yoke, a curved back seam, front princess seams, curved front hems, and pockets.  I’m using a brown denimy fabric to test out the pattern.

DSC01568I have seen some pictures of ready-to-wear shirts that have the facing stitched down on the edge which adds an interesting line to the design, so I am going to try that.  If this shirt works out, I will try a version without the pockets  to use on fabrics with a busy print:

DSC01572This version can have either a collar and stand or a plain collar (which I am trying on the first version).  Since I am all ready to start sewing I should just go sit at the sewing machine and sew.

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This fabric is the same fabric used to make A’s work shirt, and there is still enough left to make a top for M.  The pattern for this shirt started out as the basic darted shirt that was used for the pink blouse:

DSC01569Basic blouse drafted using Sure-fit Designs

I made the following changes to the pattern:  added a yoke in back that extends over the shoulder to the front, added a back pleat, added pockets over the darts.  Here’s what the shirt would look like:

DSC01571I wore this completed shirt for the first time today and it is really comfortable.


DSC01591The bottom edge is slightly curved instead of having side vents.  Taking a picture from this angle makes the shirt look lots wider than it really is.

DSC01595The pocket is applied over the end of the dart.  I managed this by using a curved pressing ham under the shirt and pinning the pocket down carefully over the curve.  Tricky, but doable.

DSC01596The original collar stand was too tall for me so I narrowed it a bit.

DSC01597This is the back yoke that extends over the shoulder to the front.

This is a very nice casual shirt that is not very fitted but suitable for activities that require movement, like driving.  Right now it looks a little boxy at the bottom edge, so in future versions I will take in the sides about 1/2 inch at the bottom edge and taper the new seamline up to the armhole.

Shirt No. 7 is already cut out and waiting by the sewing machine.

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This blouse version fits pretty well except that I once again forgot to trim the neckline to 1/4 inch for the collar application.  After that fiasco I made a new pattern piece with a 1/4 inch seam allowance instead of relying on my memory to trim the 5/8 allowance down to 1/4 inch.  Because there is no way I am going to rip out a collar and stand after it is all topstitched, I will just live with this.  It is not too noticeable anyway.  Madam Merp the duct-tape double (of someone else) fits into these shirts sort of, but they really look much better on me.


This fabric is thicker than the usual cotton and is some sort of blend.  Not sure if it was a remnant or if it is a leftover piece from dresses I made for my daughter and her cousin for my sister-in-law’s wedding about 20 years ago.  It is really nice fabric so I felt good about using it for something I will enjoy wearing.

DSC01556In the works is Shirt No. 6, which has a back yoke that continues over the shoulder onto the front a little bit, a pleat in the back, and a collar and stand with a narrower stand.  All this pattern drafting is fun and wanting to see how the pattern will work out jump starts the sewing mojo.

Shirt No.2, the rust-colored cotton with princess seams, was finished and looked fine on the hanger but for some reason didn’t look especially good on me.  My sister came to visit and I had her try it on.  She has nice broad shoulders that make the clothes she wears look good, and the shirt was no exception so it went home with her.

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DSC01550I think this one looks like some kind of chef’s coat, but it is comfortable.  The buttons aren’t really white but are light aqua and came from a trip to the Gunne Sax outlet in San Francisco many many years ago.  I have a big bag of those buttons and have used them on two garments this year, so being a sewing hoarder does pay off in the end.  I’m going to wear this wearable muslin for morning walks.  This fabric may be stretchy, but it certainly is easy to wrinkle.  Look how crushed the portion below the pockets got just during the time I was putting it on Madam Merp.  Oh well, I only paid $1 a pound for it.  My thoughts on this version were that the neckline is still too high for me (I have since lowered it by 2 inches for the pink shirt), the back is too narrow (also since altered), and this sleeve with an elbow dart is not my favorite since it is too wide and the dart is annoying to wear.

The sewing on the pink shirt is done, all that is left to do is to sew on the buttons.  Right now it is hanging out in the heat of the day to dry it off from all the water I used to remove the water soluble marker on the buttonholes.

Now it is time to cut out Shirt No. 5.  This time I am going to try out a 3/4-sleeve blouse with princess seams and maybe a back yoke.

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