I’ve got a bit of a backlogue of fabulous pattern makes to show you, but I had to drop everything to purr over Winnie’s workout top! She’s managed to combine both Jungle January and the X-back version of my XYT Workout Top pattern in a single, glorious, specimen of exercisability.
But lo! the jungle print and secret crazy bra lining weren’t enough, because Winnie also finished the edges with FOE (fold over elastic) for yet even more colour! Pow! Take that, grey, drizzly January!
I’m even more proud of how awesome Winnie’s top turned out because she had difficulties in sewing the pattern early on in the testing process before I had the illustrated instructions, so for her to be able to come back to the finished version and sew this one up lickity-split makes me really pleased! Usually when I have problems with a pattern I get frustrated and want to dump it, but not Winnie!
I can also reveal that we’ll be teaming up in almost exactly one month’s time (eep!) to run the Bath Half Marathon, which we’ll be running in our own, home sewn gear! I’ve started on a rainbow pair of PB Jams for myself already…fehr-trade-patterns
While I was in the States visiting family, I also took the brave step of contacting a few other activewear-sewing ladies and asking them if they’d be interested in pattern testing for me. I knew that I wanted to keep the testing pool small, but also use sewists who I knew had sewn their own exercise gear before, both so that they were comfortable with the basic techniques, knew what they liked, and also could potentially go out an exercise in my patterns for some useful on-the-road feedback. I was utterly delighted when every single one of them said yes, and this really started the timeline towards Launch Day, which I knew I wanted to be before the usual New Years resolutions exercise explosion. Since I started the XYT Workout Top first and it was further ahead in the patternmaking process, I’d give the testers two weeks to test that, a short break, then hopefully I’d be finished with the PB Jam Leggings by that point so they could have two weeks to test that before I’d get their feedback and finish up everything for Launch Day.
The XYT Workout Top pattern pieces were pretty much ready for testing, but I knew I’d have to create the tech drawings as well as all the illustrated instructions at some point, and, while I used to be a semi-decent drawer, I am totally crap at drawing anything digitally. Like, comically crap. So my first attempts at the tech drawing were done by my sketching them out on paper, scanning it in, then tracing over top with (yes, you guessed it) The Pen Tool in Illustrator before cleaning it all up, mirroring to make things symmetrical, etc.
The instruction illustrations were all done by myself, too, but I did all of those without the hand-sketching step, sometimes using the pattern pieces themselves as a starting point (since I already had those digitally, I just had to shrink down the scale!), and sometimes just referring to photos I’d taken during construction. I never quite appreciated exactly how long illustrated instructions take to create, but my god, they took a LONG TIME. The step-by-step illustrations were easily the most time consuming piece of the entire patternmaking process, EASILY. I totally understand now why some indie designers skip the illustrations entirely, because it would be SO tempting to, and it’d make the process to Launch Day so much quicker. But in the end, I’m glad I did do them, as I think they make the instructions a lot clearer, especially for non-native English speakers.
Another thing I wasn’t really expecting was how the pattern testing process would really work. I guess I kinda thought that I’d send them out, some testers would have some fit issues, others might not think the mesh bra worked for them, I’d get some feedback, and maybe catch a typo or two. Ha! I’m so, so glad I have the amazing pattern testers I did, because both of my patterns needed major revisions thanks to my testers. Yes, it hurts at the time, but I’d much, much rather resolve these issues before release than have paying customers go through them later!
In the case of the XYT Workout Top, it came out in testing that power mesh comes in a huge variety of stretch percentages, so the pattern pieces needed to be modified to try and accommodate the most common amounts, plus a lot of the testers were having issues with the exterior fabric pulling and creating drag lines on the front straps, which lead to my brainwave fix of shortening the lining straps.
After going through all these XYT testing issues I thought to myself “Phew! Well, at least the PB Jam Leggings should be much easier since the construction’s so straightforward!”. Never think this! I got some early feedback from a few testers and each and every one of them said the same thing – the knee placement is really low, and the back rise is too short. Well, I always knew I had a white girl pancake butt, but the knees was a new one to me. So I got some vertical measurements off my testers, and Lo! It was revealed that I have freakishly long thighs. Like, a good 6cm (3in) longer from hip to knee than Normal Humans, and I honestly had no idea! Because I have really standard Bust, Waist, and Hip measurements, plus I’m the standard B cup, it just made sense for me to draft to my own measurements, then use this as the base for Size Small, and grade the rest of the pattern sizes from there. But now this wasn’t looking so clever afterall…
So I went in to the graded pattern, removed the excess vertical space above the knee across all five sizes, increased the back rise, and tidied up all the curves. Then I repaginated (slicing at the new intervals), and packaged it up for the testers who hadn’t already started sewing yet. But this is why some of you noticed that the knees were low on a few of the testers’ versions – they’re showing you original versions of the pattern, before the excess Melissa Thigh Freakishness was removed!
While the pattern testers were finishing up, we took advantage of an unseasonably nice day in London to do a mass photoshoot of all the various samples I’d made of both patterns, both to use on the site, but also to show as product examples and ultimately, use in the pattern “envelopes”. This last piece was really difficult for me as I’m not a natural graphic designer, but I had some good advice from James and I think the resulting first pages of the pdfs look nice, though I acknowledge that this is one area where I could’ve benefited from hiring in a proper designer if I’d had the funds.
Finally, it was nearly Launch Day, the last tweaks had been done, and it was time for me to upload the finished patterns into Etsy for digital sales. Etsy definitely has its quirks on the digital download side, but overall they’re worth it for the indie designer as it means you don’t have to set up your own e-commerce site, nor digital fulfillment, and they charge a heck of a lot less in commission than other sites (Etsy charge 4% per sale, plus a little more from Paypal if that was used, as opposed to some sites wanting a 20% cut!! Of my hard work!). Overall I’d recommend using Etsy to others, as they’re established, the payment systems are robust, and it’s really easy to download sales data for tax purposes, too, but they’re not totally perfect yet.
I guess the final step I wasn’t really prepared for was how the patterns would actually sell – I guess I thought there’d either be a huge amount of sales the first day, then fade out to nothing, or a constant trickle over time. But for me at least (and this might be partially due to my launching over Christmas Week), I saw a healthy amount of sales for the first 2-3 weeks, tapering down to slow & steady thereafter. I’m interested to see how sales will correspond with other sewists making versions of their own – if sales bump up as word of mouth grows, or if my existing patterns will sell more when I release my next patterns, for example.
And speaking of next patterns, I think that’s been the best part of all this for me – seeing that I really can make patterns that people want to sew, that people are happy to spend money on, and that I’m really proud of. It’s not yet at a point where I’m able to say I’m earning a full living wage from sewing alone, but hopefully as time goes by and I get more commissions for things like custom-drafted leggings (and other projects!) and teaching classes alongside my patterns, I’ll earn enough from this that I won’t feel tempted to go back into the stressful tech world. Working from home and working for myself has been a huge change and one I’m really still trying to adjust to, but ultimately I’ve felt much happier, healthier, and stress-free over the past few months than I was when I was earning more. Surely there’s a life lesson in this?fehr-trade-patterns, reflections
Quite a few of you were interested in hearing about the process of launching my own line of exercise sewing patterns, and since I tried to keep everything very quiet until the launch day, I couldn’t really talk about the process at the time, either (I decided to keep it quiet to minimise the “Are they ready yet? Are they ready yet? How about now??”, etc pressure when people get excited!).
I’ve been thinking about the possibility of making some of my own patterns for a while now, testing the waters last year with my Lacey Thong pattern, of course, but a full time job, marathon training, boat work, and busy social schedule mean that it always seemed to be on the back burner and never at the top of my To Do List. But I was made redundant from my tech job in August (really, it’s ok!) so I had time to think about what I wanted to do while we were in Mexico, and I realised that I wanted to give sewing a shot as my main career, with patternmaking as a large part of that.
I had lots of ideas in my head (and in my sketchbook!) but I opted to specialise in exercisewear because that was something I a) was passionate about, b) had lots of practice sewing and designing for myself, and c) there wasn’t much on the market for already. I knew I wanted to release at least two patterns at the launch, but I developed these sequentially, starting with the XYT Workout Top.
The first step in the XYT development was to draft my own sloper and make a series of muslins for the different versions, chopping and redrafting the basic shapes until I was happy. Then I made a muslin which had a bra the same basic shape as the exterior with one layer of power mesh, but I found that even though I took the side seams in closer and closer, I still didn’t have the support I needed for running. It was only after talking to a friend that I was able to make the leap to the arrangement of the second mesh layer that made all the difference and stopped the bouncing! I then finished off this muslin version, wore it for a few runs, and only then did I start the process of transferring my hand-drafted pattern pieces into digital.
I started by scanning in the paper pieces and re-joining them digitally in Photoshop, and then came the laborious and tedious process of tracing around all the pieces with the Pen Tool (ie: vector paths) in Illustrator. I’ve used Photoshop for 10+ years, but I was a complete Illustrator novice when I started this patternmaking, and my god there’s a steep learning curve!
Then, using Connie Crawford’s Grading Workbook, I laboriously graded all the pieces to the various sizes, partly because I wanted to understand the process, but also so that it was all under my control. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, however, as I found the information for digital grading to be very sparse, extremely user-unfriendly (I spent about 3 hours making myself usable cheat-sheets for the few included pages of knit blocks!!), and with hardly any information on stretch fabrics, which is really all I was interested in. But AFAIK, there’s not really anything else out there, save this technique which I’m a bit wary of.
After it was all graded, I then had to break it all up into individual pages (which takes a few hours in itself), then print, trim, and tape it out to check everything aligns ok before going over each and every freaking line with my rulers and pizza-wheel measuring ruler, making notes where seam edges don’t quite match, where marks are off, and generally being as anal-retentive as possible about every single line. Once I had a bunch of notes scrawled about “Size Whatever on Piece Q being 2mm too long”, then I went back into Illustrator, made all the little adjustments, and paginated, printed, trimmed, taped, and re-measured everything all over again.
I made a couple muslins here at this point, too, using the printed copies, just to make sure things lined up in reality when sewing. And also to keep from losing my mind at the sheer tedium of the above. I also starting writing the instructions, starting with my own, very basic order of construction, and filling them out further as I sewed and saw opportunities to make them better.
It was around this point that I started on the PB Jam Leggings, as I was due to go to the States for a week and wanted everything scanned and in my computer before I left. So in one day I managed to draft myself a fresh pair of leggings, make up a muslin with the swirls drawn on instead of pieced, adjust those, cut the new pattern pieces, and sew up my first trial pair, which happened to be the print & neon red pair I absolutely, utterly love. That was a good day!
I ran in my muslin pair a few times, then scanned in my paper pattern pieces, again, re-joining them in Photoshop, and tracing around the shapes with the Pen Tool in Illustrator. I largely followed the same process as the XYT Workout Top, except this time I employed a professional grader to create the different sizes off my base pattern, since this time around I understood the process, and the multiple pieces made it rather more complicated. This bit of grading work remains the only bit of work I didn’t do myself throughout the entire process! Otherwise, it’s all me – drafting, digitising, sample sewing, illustration, marketing, modelling, everything. I’m literally a one-woman show here.
But I digress – while I was in the States I did some more paginating, where I discovered that the frame size I had been using for years was actually getting trimmed when I used my Dad’s US Letter printer, so I had to go back, shorten the grid on both patterns, re-paginate everything, reslice every single vector path, and re-generate the patterns. This was extremely time consuming, and annoying, but still, I’d rather notice the problem early on than have customers find it! So I honestly can say that my patterns now (and hereafter!) do indeed work on both A4 and US Letter printers, because I’ve tried them myself on two continents!
End of Part One – stay tuned for more…fehr-trade-patterns, reflections
I don’t know what happened this month, but I appear to be the last person on earth to receive their February issue! Some people were already posting reviews of their sewn garments a full week before mine arrived in the postbox, not fair! But better late than never, here are my picks…
First up – this dress isn’t particularly earth-shattering, but it’s a nice classic shape, with short- or long-sleeve options, and a clever little central hidden kangaroo pocket in the skirt, too. I’m definitely eyeing this one up as a possible birthday dress for March, especially since I’ve got all that luscious silk twill that Dilly gifted me when she came to visit!
I know there are a lot of sewing ladies online that go ker-ay-zee for anything with buttons in the back but… I seriously don’t get it! So, you have to have someone help you get dressed whenever you want to take it on and off? How is that a good thing?! I’m not convinced by the central pleating on this dress, either, which might end up looking less than flattering…
I’m not entirely sure what it is about this wide, cropped blouse, but I absolutely love it! Maybe it’s the cocoon-shaped sleeves, or the back yoke, or the nice V neck, but I really could see myself wearing this a lot with leggings. I don’t think it’s quite as successful with the full skirt Burda’s paired it with, however.
This really is a (forgive me!) twist on your basic teeshirt, eh? EH? Except I swore I’d seen it before in an old KnipMode, and I had – in the October 2011 edition, though the neckline is more modest on Knip’s (in turquoise below). The skirt paired with the red top is actually the bottom half of that first dress I liked, so again, you get the nice kangaroo pouch in front, which is always handy (and not just for carrying little joeys!).
It’s Deja vu again, because Burda appear to have
ripped off been inspired by Pattern Magic’s “Jutting Edge” dress and gone and just shortened it into a top! I absolutely love my Jutting Edge dress, but I admit it was a total PITA to draft, so this makes the design much more accessible. Kathy has even made this top already if you fancy seeing it on a real person!
I didn’t like anything at all in the “Punk” feature – I found the styling to be clichéd to the point of being embarrassing – I mean, really, do I spy safety pins there?
In the Plus section, how lovely is this sheath dress? In fact, you could easily use this to make a dress similar to my swirl sheath dress by just using alternating smooth and matte sides of a satin.
And finally, a craft so bad I just couldn’t ignore it. In case you’re wondering what to do with your “costume” after dressing up like discarded water bottle lady, wonder no more! Make a, urrr, chandelier from it?
In other news, there’s an end in sight to the Sherlock coat! I’m onto the lining now!tags: bwof, magazine
Remember around this time last year when I released my free Lacey Thong pattern and had that big Lingerie Sewing Week extravaganza?! Well, in the intervening year I’ve of course sewed way more lingerie and released more patterns, but I still love my little ‘Thongs and wear mine all the time, so I thought I’d share the love and have a full-on PANTY PARTY!
It’s in the evening of Thursday 13 February, so you can de-stress after a long day at work by playing with frilly lace…
That’s right – come and sew with me and we’ll make Lacey Thongs til we run out of free tea and biscuits and/or start wearing panties on our heads. I’ll cover all the basics of lace placement, attaching lingerie elastic, that cool “burrito method” of enclosing the crotch seams, and you’ll get to go home with some saucy little panties just in time for Valentine’s Day. Or a Me Party, whatever floats your boat.
The panty party venue is at the Thrifty Stitcher’s studio up in Stoke Newington (a quick walk from Canonbury overground, or there’s plentiful buses), and all materials will be provided, including the aforementioned coffee, tea, and bickies.
It’s suitable for beginners (though you should know the basics of sewing machine operation!), or if you’re already confident with sewing lingerie, you’re welcome to just come to have a fun lingerie sewing night with all the fun laces and fabrics on offer. You’ll leave with your own copy of the pattern and the knowledge to make your own Lacey Thongs at home for very little money.
There is a catch, though – there’s only enough space for five of you in this little soiree, so you must buy your tickets in advance (no point turning up with panties on your head to find out it’s full-up, eh?).
I hope to see you there!tags: fehr-trade-patterns, lingerie
I mentioned briefly back in December that, for James’s birthday, I gave him the promise of a custom-made coat in the style of the one Benedict Cumberbatch wears in Sherlock. Or as it will henceforth be known, “the Sherlock coat”.
A few others online have made this coat (including a few FehrTrade readers, hello!!), but I found the most helpful resource to be this livejournal entry from a lady who sketched and measured a lot of the details after analysing screen grabs. This was a big help in taking James’s TNT short jacket pattern and adapting it to look more like the coat on screen!
I first made an approximation on his paper pattern and sewed up a muslin. From this the only real fitting problems were that the upper back was too tight, and the Centre Front needed to be shifted by about an inch, but it was otherwise fine. I guessed a bit wrong on the collar and lapel shape though, but it was fairly easy to just draw a nicer shape onto the muslin itself and transfer it to the pattern.
Once the muslin was settled, I then bought the wool coating (delayed a bit as Crescent Trading were closed over the holidays) – not the exact black and grey small houndstooth used in the original (simply because I couldn’t find any locally), but instead a black/grey/brown check which still had the same feel. I also bought the black acetate lining at the same time, but the black cotton flannel for underlining came from Minerva.
I then settled in for the mammoth task of cutting out all the pieces in wool, underlining, interfacing, and lining, then fusing the crap out of everything that needed interfacing. With two patch pockets (and flaps), plus two welt pockets, two back belt pieces, sleeve cuffs, and a collar, (not to mention facings!), there was a good day taken up just by fusing alone!
The next step was to carefully baste the flannel underlining to the wool pieces. I’ve underlined quite a few of my coats in flannel, and the extra bit of warmth and windblocking it provides is well worth it even though it’s extra work and bulk. We agreed here to only underline to the waist, though, as the voluminous back skirt didn’t really need either warmth nor bulk.
The underlining also provides a nice place to hide handstitching, and with bulky coating seams, it’s a really good idea to catch-stitch the seam allowances flat, especially on places like the long sleeve seams where you can actually feel a ridge there if you don’t!
I forgot to take photos of the patch pockets, but I’m super pleased with the finish on them – instead of just turning the seam allowances under, I turned the top of the wool back to form a self-facing, stitched it to a lining piece (leaving an opening for turning), then stitched the other three sides, flipped, and pressed. I could’ve used a blindstitch to attach it 100% invisibly as Kenneth King directs in “Cool Couture”, but the original jacket has it topstitched on, so I did that instead.
I was really dreading inserting the chest single welt pockets even though I’ve done them a bunch before, probably just because it involves cutting and I didn’t have enough fabric leftover to recut the entire neck-to-hem front piece if a screwed it up. I got the first one in and looking spiffy, and after some thought I even got the lining pieces aligned correctly (the flipping inside always messes with my brain so I’m glad the lining doesn’t have a right/wrong side).
The second chest welt pocket was going really well, too, until I went to flip it around and realised I’d applied the welt to the wrong side, so it opened from the centre rather than from the side! ARGHGHG!!
After a few minute maelstrom of swearing and a proper little tantrum, I very carefully unpicked the lot, thanked Previous Me for remembering to interfacing the coating so it didn’t shred where I’d already cut the opening, and verrrrrrrrry carefully restitched the whole thing, this time with the welt facing the right direction!
Other details I didn’t mention above:
- The lined, curved sleeve cuffs
- The overlapping half-belt in back which covers up my nicely-matched pleats and darts, boo!
- The box-pleat from the mid-shoulder to waist in the back, secured at the top with triangular topstitching
- The back skirt box pleats which must align with the upper back darts and pleats (and tartan, since I’m nuts)
James has got some replica buttons on order, but they won’t be ready til February. Luckily, since the original has stitched keyhole buttonholes (the front ones all in red!), the buttons are literally the last thing to be done so I can finish the rest of the coat and just do those when they arrive.
Apparently the tv costume department also adapted the original coat to make the collar more easily stand up, adding corset wire into the collar piece. I don’t think I’ll go so far (mostly since I only had rigid boning which isn’t really the right choice), but I might add in some extra topstitching to the undercollar to make it a bit stiffer, but still retain flexibility.
And then of course there’s the whole lining to sew, shoulder pads and sleeve heads to insert… I always maintain that coats are a lot of work (which is why I only ever do one a year at most!), but I want to do this one right since it’s his now-very-belated birthday gift. It does make you see how the replica coats for sale totally justify the $1200 price tag!
Brits – the last episode of Sherlock is still on iPlayer for the rest of the week. Americans – the excellent third series is just starting on PBS this week, if I recall…tags: coat, knockoff, menswear, wool
When was the last time you actually LOLed at a sewing blog? Because I just did, twice, reading Dawn’s (aka “cabinbaby”) post about her PB Jam Leggings. Seriously! She totally nails the self-defeating runner inner dialogue there, too…
You all know I’m partial to super loud patterns and bright colours when I make my own leggings, but look – I have a fellow kindred spirit! Rainbow colours and psychedlic swirls weren’t enough for Dawn, no, no – she even used rainbow variegated thread, people! I totally applaud the use of the gymnastic poses in showing off all the finer points of the leggings, too.
One thing Dawn talks about in her post is using your serger/overlocker to make a mock-flatlock stitch, like you see on a lot of RTW sportswear. I haven’t found the regular overlocked seams to be a chafing problem for me, but I know a lot of people are more sensitive to it, and you can do your own flatlock stitching at home with just a few tension adjustments…
PS: If you’ve previously bought my patterns and would like the updated version with XXS sizing, unfortunately you’ll need to email me or leave a comment with your Transaction ID, as Etsy’s “automatic” system won’t let you access the updated file. Grrrrr. However, all new purchases will get the updated version!exercise, fehr-trade-patterns
Brazil may be on opposite seasons for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, but there’s a lot to love in this issue, and importantly, lots of separates that can be layered and thus worn nearly all year round! Let’s take a look at my highlights, shall we?
First up is a group of Plus-sized patterns, all made up in white. The dress and shorts are alright, and the trousers have some interesting pleated godets at the hems, but ooh, look! It’s that jacket I loved from the first November issue (seen here on the right), but graded up to size 48!
The designer style this month is Emanuel Ungaro, and when I first looked at these two, I thought the one on the left was a skirt pattern, and the one on the right was a dress, but they’re actually the other way around!
In the white-style feature, I love this little blouse with delicate lace in the yoke and shoulders. Quality lace can be really expensive, but this is a great way to showcase it without needing to buy too much yardage.
Manequim and I are totally seeing eye-to-eye on the split-seam shorts – I swear this is about the fourth pattern they’ve done this year for them in varying styles! I must make some soon, even if it’s to wear next to the radiator.
This tie-neck blouse is actually really cleverly cut – rather than an added-on neck band, the ties are actually extensions of the front pattern pieces. This pattern’s offered in a few different sizes, and I think it’d look great under a jacket or cardigan for officewear, too.
I don’t like the patchwork fabrics they used on this dress, but I really like the tech drawing – it reminds me a lot of Rachel’s free Brasilia dress pdf pattern, too!
Finally, in a feature about bright colours, I really like the design of this double-layered, lapel-less jacket, and also the trousers they’ve paired with it. I’ve seen these pockets somewhere else recently, too, and the belt loops would be an easy feature to add onto your own favourite jeans pattern, too.
Australians and other Southern hemisphere dwellers – which of these speak to you right now?tags: magazine, manequim
Apparently all I need to do to spur myself into a frenzy of activity is set a reasonable goal like I did yesterday when I stated the updated patterns would be ready “later this week”, because I buckled down and finished them that very day!
I’ve graded down to a size XXS using the same size grades as before, which puts this new size’s measurements at Bust 84cm (33in), Waist 63cm (24.5in), Hips 90cm (35.5in). And remember, both my patterns are drafted to be 90% of body measurements, so if you’re an inch or two smaller than this, the finished garment should still be snug against the body.
If you’ve already purchased one or both of my patterns, you should be able to log into Etsy and download the updated file from Your Account > Purchases (if someone could confirm this for me, that’d be great!).
UPDATE: Esty Support have gotten back to me to say that, even though I deleted the old file and uploaded the new one, previous purchasers will still only be able to access the old file, which is frankly, crap! So, if you’d like the updated file, either email me or leave a comment with your Transaction ID so I can email it to you. And please then drop a line to Esty Contact Us and tell them how much you think this policy stinks!!
I’ve only done some minor cleaning up on the other sizes, though, so if you don’t need the XXS then it’s probably not worth re-printing, re-trimming, and re-taping (although I timed myself yesterday and the XYT pattern took me less than 15min!). Oh, and I fixed a minor numbering issue on the XYT Workout Top pattern which meant there was no Piece No.5. Oops!
If you held off on buying the patterns because they weren’t available in your size, please leave a comment as I’d like to get in touch with you to say thanks. ;)
I’m thinking about writing up a post detailing my process of developing and launching my first patterns, but I’m not sure if everyone’s already sick to death of hearing about them or not – is this something that you’d like to hear about, or should I just move on to the next set of patterns already?! Comments below, please!fehr-trade-patterns
I hope you’re not too sick of seeing all these versions of my workout patterns yet, as I’ve got a few more yet to show you and I’m saving some of my favourites for last!
I’m also very pleased to report that I’ve been able to go back and fit in an XXS size (84B 63W 90H) into both patterns – the leggings files are totally done and the top only needs some elastic calculations and that’s done, too! I’ll be updating the files within my Etsy shop later this week, and I’ll make an announcement when they’re up, too. All previous customers will be able to download the updated files should they wish (but there’s no real change to the other sizes so there’s no point in re-printing and re-taping if you’re not an XXS, really).
But enough of the housekeeping, let’s see the sewing!
For this version I chose to make the X-back version in some highly treasured and amaaaaaazing “space dyed” Hint of Mint supplex from RunnersFabrics (on hiatus til the end of the month due to a Canberra -> Perth move!). I browsed through my Bag O’ Lycra and found I had an old race tee that was the exact same colour as the supplex, so I used that for the upper back portion. I’m still chuffed about how well these fabrics match every time I put it on!
For the shelf bra here, I used nude power mesh I’d picked up at Kantje Boord when I ran the Amsterdam marathon back in 2012. It’s a bit too cold here to wear the top on its own on my runs, so I’ve been wearing it underneath jackets and loving the support – it’s plenty enough even for my long, 2+ hour runs at the weekends.
(Seen here paired with my mesh-insertion leggings I made last spring!)
You may have noticed that there is some pulling around the straps in the front – this is because this is an early version which had the bra lining extend all the way up to the shoulder. Some of my pattern testers were commenting about it so I resolved to find a way to stop it! I ummed and ahhed and discussed it with some friends and finally I had a brainwave that this could be corrected by stopping the bra lining midway up the strap, and it worked!
So that’s why the bra lining looks a bit funny in the XYT Workout Top pattern – but as you saw in my printed Y back version (which uses the final version that’s for sale), it works, and there’s minimal pulling.
I love the fabric and colours and fit so much in this top though that frankly I don’t mind a bit of pulling, so I wear it anyway! Even with it, it’s still one of my favourite workout tops ever, and the supplex is so freaking soft and wonderful quality that I mourn the fact there’s no European reseller of it so I can get more.
I used the elastic edge finishing technique here, which, even though I own a coverstitch and a binding attachment, I tend to prefer. I find it’s much less stressful for me to sew, and I think the end result is just as neat. So if you don’t own a coverstitch – don’t feel like you need to have one just to make great exercise gear!exercise, fehr-trade-patterns