|Sure-Fit Designs 6-Day Fit and Sew Retreat, which I participated in this month was the sewing treat of a lifetime. The retreat took me from being reluctant to do more garment sewing because I couldn't get a satisfactory fit to having the information and tools to be able to design and sew anything I can imagine.
The retreat was lead by Glenda Sparling, president of Sure-Fit Designs, a pattern fitting and designing system that helps you achieve a personalized fit for your unique body. Glenda is knowledgable, compassionate, and a wonderful teacher. The first three days were devoted to getting a great fitting pants pattern. Glenda showed us how to use our measurements and the SFD Pant Kit to trace patterns that provided a great starting point for what Glenda calls our "body blueprint", what you know of as a 'sloper'. As different as we all were in size and shape, we each had a pretty good fit for our first muslin. Glenda then showed us individually how to refine our fit into a truly excellent fitting pattern.
With our personalized SFD pants pattern, we were then introduced into the many variations possible by varying the design elements of the pants. We then used our great-fitting pants pattern to draft a pattern and sew a pair of Yoga pants. (See my review of the Yoga Pants pattern.)
The second half of the retreat focused on fitting the bodice. Again we drew off our own body blueprint, this time using the SFD Dress Kit. And again Glenda worked with us individually to get a truly amazing fit. We then learned how to use our dress kit to create a world of fashion. We also learned how to combine our personalized patterns with commercial patterns to incorporate design elements from the commercial patterns into garments that fit our individual bodies. Once we had a great fitting bodice, we had the experience of creating a top designed from it. Most created a tank top, but I decided to do a cowl neck top, as I had greatly admired a cowl neck top that Glenda had worn earlier in the week. (See my review of the Cowl Neck Top pattern.)
It was an intense week and the results met not only my hopes, but also my fondest dreams. I met new friends as we sewed together and as we thrilled in the amazing fit and beautiful garments that were shaping up for each of us. If you get the chance to attend one of the Sure-Fit Designs Fit and Sew Retreats, I am confident that you will be thrilled with the experience and the outcome. I sure was.