In case you missed it on social media, another of our most popular sewing patterns is now available as a layered pdf!
I’ve made a handful of swimsuits in my time – most recently the Seamwork bikini in 2015, which I wear pretty much every time I go to a spa or holiday pool/seaside. But I certainly wouldn’t consider that a suit that’s, err, suitable for Serious Swimming, and recently I’ve decided to take up swimming lessons with my running coach (who’s actually a triathlon coach so it’s not totally weird!).
I had swimming lessons when I was a kid at the local municipal pool, so it’s not like I’m going to drown or anything, but my strokes are seriously sloppy, and it’s been embarrassing me recently. I’m certainly not efficient at getting from A to B, and I hate the front crawl, and I tire quickly. And now that I’ve done London Marathon (four times!) and Ride London 100 this year, I’m eligible for the enormous London Classics medal if I also complete the 2 mile Swim Serpentine. So I’m starting lessons with the goal to do this open water swim next September, which seems like good motivation (signups are in February if you want to join me – I’m assembling a girl gang!).
I was not expecting to like or wear the Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit as much as I have. I had no idea that, when I made it earlier this summer, I would find myself reaching for it multiple times a week and it becoming a firm favourite in my office rotation.
When I made myself a pair of these ahead of RideLondon 100 a few weeks ago, I was amazed by how many people said they’d love to make their own! But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, because they’re so freaking useful for transitional Fall or Spring weather, and they’re super simple to whip up in an hour or two.
Advanced beginner sewing skills are required for this pattern – some experience sewing is expected, but would be a great first stretch fabric project. Five sizes are provided to accommodate a range of arm sizes, too, with different bicep and wrist measurements so you can get a perfect fit without them falling down as you move!
Strap in, because this is an epic post for three finished garments and a 100 mile cycle ride!
When I bought the recycled sunburst print activewear fabric from Sew Dynamic back in May, I knew I wanted to make an outfit for RideLondon 100 using it. It’s a brilliant activewear fabric made from recycled plastic bottles that’s got great stretch and recovery, totally opaque when stretched, and with a really vibrant colour pop. But the digitally printed colour bursts run down the length of the fabric – not quite a border print as they’re placed about a third of the width in, but certainly something that I’d need to really pay attention to when cutting out my fabric.
I’ve been wanting to make the Saraste shirtdress from the Named book, “Breaking the Pattern” ever since I first saw it at their UK launch party. It comes in three different views in the book: as a princess-seam blouse with ruffles, a button-down shirt with shoulder cutouts, and as a shirtdress with ruffled collar. I ended up making the shirtdress, but added in the shoulder cutouts for some extra interest, too.
It was all a bit last-minute that I was going to be in Berlin last week at all, let alone doing an event, so I have to thank everyone who came out to talk all things activewear! Special thanks go out to the incredibly lovely staff at extremtextil who hosted the event, made their shop so welcoming, and opened up especially for us on a Tuesday evening. It’s so wonderful to see an independent speciality fabric shop run by people who are so passionate and educated on every aspect of outdoor and sportswear sewing!
Hallo there all my Berlin sewing friends! What’s better than a workshop all about sewing activewear? A FREE one!! 😝
On Tuesday 9 July Melissa will be talking about all things activewear at a very special event – she’ll discuss how to adjust for your sport’s movements and stance, how to pick the right fabrics then what to do with them once you’ve got them (including the opportunity to fondle all of extremtextil‘s AMAZING activewear fabrics!), and finally, get personalised advice on your dream activewear wardrobe.
I’ll admit it – I thought jumpsuits were going to be a passing fad when I started seeing them popping up a few years ago (Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim was definitely at the forefront of this!). But it’s been several years and they don’t show any sign of stopping, and I even made myself one a few years back. I didn’t wear it much, though – not for being a jumpsuit, but for having an overly long crotch that irritated my thighs – and it’s since gone into the great charity shop bag in the sky.
I share all this only to illustrate that I’ve got a checkered personal history when it comes to sewing jumpsuits. But when the Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit pattern was released, I knew I wasn’t done with jumpsuits just yet. It had all the right details – a flattering wrap-style bodice that made it easy to get in and out of, big pockets, and a casual-yet-dressy vibe that I just couldn’t shake. And that my girl Sanchia was the model for it was just the cherry on top!!
So I bought it, followed quickly by some fabric earmarked for it – this heathered rayon/viscose twill from Mood Fabrics, which I brought back in my suitcase from the States last month. In total this fabric cost me $50 (about £40), which seems reasonable considering the final garment and the wears it’s gotten already.