When the last sewing project I did was a huge disappointment because the fit was so poor I decided enough was enough and invested in the Sure Fit Designs system for fitting, designing, and sewing.
I'm happy to say that my first project using the Sure Fit Designs system has been a huge success! My fleece lined vest fits beautifully.
Over 15 years ago I took Fashion Design courses in college for a couple of years. I did well designing and developing patterns but I never did catch on well to the nuances of custom fitting. Fitting, though covered, really was not an emphasis in the program.
When I received my Sure Fit Designs package I went straight to work drawing out a sloper using my own personal measurements. Of course due to variances in individual body shapes even with the correct measurements there were adjustments to be made. In my case there were several.
I had to move the shoulder seams forward by a 1/2", and make an adjustment that adds additional length to the upper back to allow for the rounding of my shoulders. Those are the two body variances that cause me the most grief when it comes to ready to wear purchased clothing or unaltered sewing patterns. Store bought shirts and jackets have a tendency to slide back, choking me in front and yet gaping behind my neck and bunching up at the back waist.
I also added some length to the centre front, but could clearly add a little more yet as it still rises a bit in that spot. Not as noticeable in person as it appears from the next picture.
The back fits really well. Plenty of room for movement and ease in my hip area without the shoulders being overly large.
It took quite some time to develop the pattern to make this vest. First I had to take measurements, draw the custom sloper (fitting pattern), sew it up and fit it once, making note of necessary changes, redraw the pattern with those changes, and then sew the sloper again. Both fittings required a series of photos be taken so that I could receive input from Glenda Sparling of Sure Fit Designs. For me, that consultation process with Glenda is the most valuable part of the system. Without her input I would have been at a loss!
After that second fitting I was good to go and started on the actual development of a garment pattern. I chose a vest pattern that is available as a "how to". I felt for the first item developed from my personal sloper I would like the additional guidance of taking it step by step through the pattern development process. I made individual changes beyond just fit though. For one thing I added a yoke section to the back. I did this because my rounded shoulders necessitated shoulder darts which I wanted to eliminate in the vest. I moved them to the yoke seamline. I also lengthened the vest by 2".
When it was time to test my pattern I used fleece that I had an ample supply of. Once I was sure I had the fit right I decided the fleece "test" could serve as the lining to the "real" vest which I chose to sew from some very nice, leftover fine wale corduroy. The vest could have been reversible if I could have found a reversible zipper. No such luck here in my neck of the woods though!