Happy lockdown birthday to meeeee! What a strange, strange few weeks it’s been, eh? I’ve not felt like blogging much, but I’ve been doing a fair amount of sewing and I couldn’t let my birthday pass without sharing this year’s birthday garment – a Ruska knot dress from the Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book!
I’ve known my friend Vicky through Run dem Crew for years now, and have run many, many miles alongside her on our Tuesday night sessions. She’s a good friend, and outside of the Crew has run multiple marathons and ultras, too. Last summer, she ran the Serpent Trail ultra with another good friend, and she ended up finishing on the podium as 3rd place lady!!
But even more incredible is that she found out later that she was actually pregnant when she ran it! So when she announced she was going to have a little pre-baby pizza & beer get together with our running friends, I knew I had to make her a babygrow. First I thought I’d upcycle a Run dem Crew shirt for the little speedy baby, but then I saw another friend mention on Twitter how happy he was to see the Serpent being run again this year and I got in touch to a) find out if the race even had teeshirts, b) if he had one, and c) if he could send it to me to refashion. It was Yesses all around so I got cutting!
Hot on the heels of making my black linen pair of the fabulous Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants, I knew I wanted a decidedly winter version to wear and took a look in my stash to find some very soft and warm grey wool flannel, which I think was gifted to me by “Neighbour Helen” years ago and which I used to sew up a different pair of trousers a few years ago, too (still worn!).
Last year the June issue of Burda magazine contained a pattern for a simple teeshirt with sleeves that tied, and it’s not left my mental To Sew List over the intervening 6 months!
When I was compiling my 2019 year in review post I was surprised and a bit saddened that I didn’t actually sew any Burda magazine patterns last year despite buying it every month and liking quite a few patterns in every issue. So I resolved to try and sew more from my magazines, and when January’s contained this wonderful, boxy sweatshirt I just knew I had to sew it up!
I definitely have A Type when it comes to dresses. In general, I like them close-fitting, or at the very least with a pencil skirt. I mean, there are exceptions – some dresses with a very different shape that I end up loving, but in general I stick to what I know I love to wear. I guess this is my way of saying that when I branch out from my comfort zone, I’m never immediately convinced whether I like it or not – it takes some wearings and time to try and figure it out. And I’m still on the fence with this one.
I wasn’t convinced when Seamwork magazine (referrer link) released their Tacara dress pattern as it’s outside My Type. But I kept seeing it on more and more women and liking the way it looked, so I got it printed in A0 (those are some BIG pieces!) and I bought the required 2.2m of lightweight blue cotton spandex jersey from Ditto, when we were at their shop in Brighton over the holidays.
The third pair of compression leggings I wanted to share with you were actually made before the other two pairs, when I was still tweaking the first but felt confident enough to cut into “good fabric” rather than the cheap stuff I keep around for sewing muslins. And what a fabric it is, too!
The second pair of compression leggings I made for myself using our new Compression Fitting Bottom Block pattern was one I decided to make after realising that I’m wearing a LOT of leggings made from winter technical fabrics for my daily cycle commutes. Even though my legs are moving and getting warm that way, I find that because I’m moving faster, the wind keeps my legs a lot cooler than when I’m running. And my few pairs of Cold Gear or thermo leggings have been in constant rotation for the past few months.
So I finally cut into some fabric from my deep stash – genuine Under Armour Cold Gear fabric that Cidell gifted to me years ago after coming across a treasure trove of it in a Baltimore fabric shop. I made a baser layer top around the time I was developing the book (which I may have never blogged?), and a bunch of leggings out of the other colourways, but I knew I could always use another pair of warm leggings since the others are worn so much.
Thank you all for the enthusiasm for our new (free!) Compression Fitting Bottom Block pattern! Even though these are the most basic leggings you can get, I really wanted to show off the pairs I made to test the pattern and this pair in particular got SO much love when I shared some in-progress shots on Instagram.
The new Compression fitting bottom block has significantly less negative ease than either the Close fitting bottom block or Loose fitting bottom block included in the books (a measurement chart is included in the shop listing). This block can be used as a starting point for any of the bottoms designs in the book, but is particularly well suited for the Active Leggings, Cycling Shorts, and Yoga Bottoms.