It’s been several months in the making, but I’m pleased to report that my third sewing pattern is on sale now! Please welcome the Duathlon shorts!
This is a pattern for close-fitting capris or shorts in three lengths with contrast side panels. There’s an integrated pocket at each hip, perfect for gels, keys, or your phone plus an optional padding piece for cyclists wanting some extra comfort on their ride. An elasticated, high-rise waistband means they won’t shift around as you move, either!
Read more details in the Shop section…
If you’re not familiar with the term, a Duathlon is a competition where you run, bike, and then run again, and I designed this pattern to be both runner and cyclist friendly (and dance, and yoga, and hiking, and skating!). The draft is very similar to my PB Jam Leggings but with a slightly higher back rise to accommodate the seated, cycling position, and with the pockets placed lower on the hips so your leg crease doesn’t get in the way when you’re sitting down. Lots of people asked for a leggings pattern that could be easier to make fit alterations on, and this is it!
Like my other patterns, these are designed to use up fun scraps leftover from other projects, and I’ve even got a thrifty tip coming up if you haven’t got enough length for the long Upper Side piece, too!
If you had told me from the start that buying my first ever stall at an expo would require so much time, effort, stress and money, I’m not sure I would’ve ever said yes in the first place. But back when the Great British Sewing Bee Live event was announced, I was tempted, talked it over with J, and decided to go for it and stretch myself as a small business owner.
It’s been a huge learning process, even just moving from a purely digital business into one that not only has to fill a space (which the organisers kept making bigger!) but also taking in-person card transactions, and ordering supplies to try and really show off what Fehr Trade Patterns really is to someone just walking past who may have never heard of us. If you’re coming along, we’re on stall H1 (turn left once you enter, and I’m in the corner with the workshop rooms).
The show is finally upon us, and hopefully now the panic attacks and stress and dwindling bank balance can give way to the enjoyment of meeting new people and putting faces to long-time customers’ names, too. But if I don’t manage to get a pattern released this calendar year, we can definitely point a blame finger in the show’s general direction as much as the book’s!
My Steeplechase Leggings pattern is finally available to buy! Yay!
How awesome is the cover illustration I commissioned from Lauren Cox? I wanted to change up the design a bit for 2015, so I got in touch with her and I created a back cover for the first time as well!
The official pattern description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.
I am seriously SO excited to finally release this pattern – I’ve made up so many samples for myself (and my athlete-model niece) and I even ran a half marathon in a pair on Sunday, too! Even if you’ve never had problems with inner-leg chafing, you’ll suddenly wonder how you ever managed without these – they’re just so comfortable to wear!
And if you’re an equestrian, then you’re in luck, because these are great for riding, especially if you add a little bit of silicone grip to the inner knees – which I’ve marked on the pattern for you, because these pieces look weird! Seriously, get your “WTF face” ready when you look at these pattern pieces, because I guarantee they’re unlike anything you’ve seen before! But they’re still super quick to sew up – most of my pattern testers said they only took 2-3hrs to make, including piecing the pattern together!
For my first set of patterns, I was designer, pattern drafter, digitiser, and model, but for my latest Duathlon Shorts pattern, I wanted to bring in a few athlete friends to help model the different versions. You’ve already seen her legs modelling the “Booty Shorts” version on the pattern envelope, but my friend, training partner and sometimes-coach Claudia really helped me in the early testing stages to get the pattern suitable for cyclists.
She’s modelling the second version I made for her here, in size XXS using the “Booty Short” length. Even though these are short, you still get the integrated pockets on both sides and a nice place to use up contrast fabric. She specifically asked for dark fabric for the main shorts, as you can apparently get unattractive crotch sweat patches while cycling, even in wicking fabrics, and they’re apparently less noticeable in dark colours! Dark colours or bold patterns also help to disguise the topstitching used to attach the crotch padding as well…
Happy Friday everyone! Congratulations for making it to the end of a week, and in celebration, I’ve got a bunch of little updates and goodies to share. Regular readers by now will know that I do this sort of “potpourri” post full of stuff that is too good to miss, but not really big enough to warrant it’s own post…
James has been speaking at quite a few conferences since the publication of his book last year, and most recently he had been invited to speak at a conference in Istanbul. But even more exciting (for me!) is that we could upgrade his room to double occupancy so I could come along for just the price of a flight – so for £100 I got a four day trip to Istanbul! Neither of us have ever been there, but multiple friends just raved about it, so we were super excited to come check it out (and eat ALL THE FOOD!).
Once I found out I was going, I started reading up on what to see there (as well as doing my Duolingo Turkish lessons every lunchtime so I could at least say hello and thank you!) and I saw that some of the most amazing mosques require respectful dress (covered shoulders, knees, and hair for women). I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my wardrobe with a maxi-skirt since I didn’t actually own any skirts that covered my knees!
I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season, whether you’re sewing gifts for family and friends, or taking time out for yourself, or as I’ve been doing – a bit of both! I had some excess holiday days to use up at my office job before the end of the year, so I just took some random days off here and there, earmarking the last one for a “stash replenishment” trip down to Ditto Fabrics in Brighton.
I know I’ve talked about Ditto quite a bit here but they probably are my favourite physical fabric shop on earth (with Kantje Boord coming in second!) – the owner, Gill, has an uncanny eye for fashion trends, picking up great bargains from the Italian design houses and it’s just one of those places where you know absolutely everything is high quality, but the prices are really reasonable, too.
I also really like the way the store is organised, too – rather than grouping the same fibre types together, or all the same colours together, or something like that, the fabrics are placed to encourage discovery and browsing, with complimentary colours and printed placed next to each other, which I love. This shelf featured muted, pale turquoises and yellows, and I, err, bought two fabrics off this one alone!
Since I knew which day I was going down, it happened that Claire was able to join me, too, which makes shopping SO much more fun!
It was a really leisurely shop, with a tea break in the middle, then deciding on our purchases, with some of my highlights being a wool Fair Isle-esque sweater knit, a muted turquoise french terry with bows & arrows, a watercolour print silk noile that is just heaven to touch, a matte sequin remnant, some of the robot print jersey I’ve been eyeing up online, and a muted turquoise lace that I’m sure will become a dress by springtime. And two lengths of denim, because Ditto do the best denim and I’m too spoiled by it to try anywhere else now!
Boy is this a whopper of an update post today! Truth be told, I intended to split it up into two posts as both things are big news but life got in the way of writing this week and I didn’t want to make you all wait any longer…
FehrTrade Patterns – in French and Dutch!
I’ve been wanting to offer translations of my pattern instructions pretty much from the day we launched, but I needed to get a bunch of the admin side of things in order to make it a reality. I started putting feelers out this summer to find out which of my patterns had the biggest demand, and for which languages (since at this point in time I can’t afford to offer translations for all my patterns in every language!).
It turned out that there was a lot of demand for my XYT Workout Top to be translated, since a lot of the advice on power mesh and stretch didn’t really come across visually. So I’m pleased to report that instructions for the XYT Workout Top are now available in both French and Dutch in addition to English! These translations were both done by native speakers who also sew, so they should make sewing your own activewear a lot easier if your English is a little rusty.
Furthermore, I was able to translate a further two more patterns into French, so les couturières francophones can also enjoy instructions for the Duathlon Shorts and Steeplechase Leggings, too!
You can pretty much assume by this point that if I’ve gone a bit quiet on this site, then it probably means I’ve been sewing up a storm behind the scenes and am just struggling to find the time to tell you all about it! And yes, it’s happened again… So I’ll try and catch you up on a bunch of things at once!
Sewing Indie Month – Pattern Bundle 1
Remember how much fun Sewing Indie Month was last year?? It was a full month full of interviews, great tutorials (like Heather Lou showing you how to turn my XYT Workout Top into a summer maxi dress!), and fabulous Sew Along prizes and it’s back again this September!
But because us pattern designers know how much you all love a bargain, we’ve joined forces to create two pattern bundles in advance of Sewing Indie Month, and the first pattern bundle is on sale now through Wednesday 12 August only.
Click through to see all the included patterns and the different tiers, including some brand new patterns exclusive to this bundle! The cool thing here is that you’re not only buying these patterns for well under the usual price, but 20% of bundle proceeds will be donated to the International Folk Art Alliance, which provides education and exhibition opportunities to folk artists from around the world. So you’re helping out other crafters, too!
I made the Lolita Patterns Sugar Plum dress a few years ago and honestly, it’s one I still wear in regular rotation (and looks so much better than the photos in my post, annoyingly!). The Sugar Plum dress is a knit/woven hybrid, but the patterns in this first bundle are mostly wovens, so the sale timing gives you time to make muslins before the sewalong contest begins in September while supporting small women-owned businesses and raising money for charity. You can see the size range for each of the included patterns here, too.
Aztec Duathlon Shorts
Psychologically, short shorts make me run faster. Well, not really, but I think they do, and that’s all I need! So, a few weeks ago, with the British Transplant Games coming up, I managed to squeeze out a new pair of Duathlon Shorts for the occasion!
The Spring Race Challenge officially came to a close this week, but that’s no reason you should stop sewing your own exercise gear, or challenging yourself! But I had to draw a line somewhere so I could stop and draw a winner from the enormous (and sweaty!) pile of entrants, and I don’t think we can carry on calling this “spring” much longer, or the Aussies really will be into spring!
Everyone made such an effort in their sporty makes, and many of you said that you wouldn’t have pushed yourself to either a) sew exercise clothing nor b) sign up to a race if it wasn’t for this challenge, which is such a boost! Because seeing others exercise is such a big motivation, I want to show you all the entrants so you can see how great me-made exercisewear can be. And that it’s not just bonkers-me doing it!
(Though if you would like to know more about lil-ol-bonkers me, Karen from “Did You Make That?” interviewed me for her own Sporty Summer Sewathon and she asked some great questions!!)
The Sweaty Sewists (in order of submission)