I’m a little ahead of schedule, but the patterns are ready so why wait any longer, eh? I’m stupidly happy to announce that both the XYT Workout Top and the PB Jam Leggings patterns are available to buy right now!!
You can read more about them in my new Shop section (though still not as 100% pretty as I’d like it), or just click through to my Etsy shop who will be handling the direct downloads for the foreseeable future.
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!
Can you believe it’s been two years since I launched the first FehrTrade activewear patterns back in December 2013?? In those two years I’ve managed to release 10 different activewear patterns (with more on the way!), and I thought it was high time we all celebrate!
I’ve got a bunch of great stuff planned for the entire month of December, but I wanted to kick things off by announcing a special 2nd birthday sale to send a big THANK YOU to all my loyal readers! So for the entire month of December you can save 20% off all purchases at shop.fehrtrade.com by using the code “2NDBIRTHDAY” (Paypal users note that you’ll go quite far through the process before the coupon box is shown).
I also wanted to take this opportunity to flag up that I quietly released an update to the PB Jam Leggings pattern recently! I’m going back through my earliest patterns and upgrading the illustrations to be more in line with the most recent ones. My illustration skills have come so far in the past two years and I wanted to give people who purchase my earlier patterns the same experience as those who grab my latest ones.
Sewing Indie Month is back again so you can look forward to a whole month of fun interviews, tutorials, pattern sales, and sewing contests (with a ton of prizes!) throughout the month of September. Just like last year, when I interviewed Hannah from Sinbad & Sailor and you got a great tutorial from Heath Lou hacking my XYT Workout Top into a maxi dress, you’ll get to read some great, different content from my usual sort, starting off with this fabulous tutorial by Amity of Lolita Patterns. You may recall that I pattern tested her Sugar Plum dress a few years ago (and I still wear it!), plus we got to meet up when she visited London a while back, too. So read on and see how she adapted my PB Jam Leggings pattern to have wider legs and a yoga-style waistband, too! – melissa
I was so lucky to get paired with Melissa for the tutorial post for SIM. While my life before baby was filled with court visits (I was an attorney) and professional wear, my new mom life incorporates a LOT of yoga pants. Casual wear is my life now! So it was unbelievably perfect to get paired with Fehr Trade patterns.
For my tutorial I turned her very stylish PB Jam Leggings into yoga pants! This required a different and thicker waistband, and a widening of the legs. Can I just tell you that my pants turned out amazing?!? I was going to just go black pants with the gray houndstooth contrast but at the last second remembered I had some orange stretch piping I had bought for a project but had since bought a different shade of orange. This piping made the pants. Literally. The piping looks so amazing I have worn these pants 4 times already and I’ve only had them made for a week!
I’m here to share pictures and a tutorial on how I transformed the PB Jam leggings into yoga pants. To do this, I used a pair of yoga pants I loved to see how wide I wanted each part of the leg.
Wide leg alteration
Excuse the dog hair—such is the life with three dogs 🙂
The bottom of the leg was 10 inches.
In between the knee and the hem was 8 7/8, and the knee was 8 5/8. I took these measurements and wrote them on the diagram so I could compare and make sure I didn’t forget them. I also measured the inseam and how far down the knee began from the waist. These are all helpful measurements when altering the pattern to match the yoga pants we are copying from.
Now keep in mind, these are all just one side of the leg (so the entire circumference would be twice the measurement) and also do not include seam allowances. But this measurement is perfect because the pattern pieces work this way.
My Kimono Sweat pattern is out now and ready for you to sew! Yay!
How fantastic is the cover illustration from Lauren Cox? You all loved her illustration on my Steeplechase Leggings pattern so much that I just knew she had to be involved again this time! It gives a great feel for how the pattern can be worn that you just don’t get from the official tech drawing (seen below).
Two tops from one pattern! View A is a top with a deep armscye and kimono-inspired short sleeves with a faced V-neck and dipped hem, designed to wear for your warmup or cool-down, or even just with jeans.
And because I know how much you all love my weird-shaped pattern pieces, I couldn’t resist a special “Fehr Trade touch” on the sleeve of View A, which wraps around and gives nice shoulder coverage while being a bit more interesting than the average cap or short sleeve.
I must say, I’ve surprised even myself with how much I’ve been wearing my own short sleeved samples! I’ve literally worn my grey version after every workout that’s not ended at home – it’s perfect to roll up in a bag and not have the whole world looking at your sweaty bod on the way home (or leaving sweat marks all over the bus seats, eww).My green sweatshirt version I wore out to the cinema a few Fridays ago, and then to work, to a family lunch…
View B is a sleeveless tank/vest top with a banded, scooped neckline and straight hem. Deep armholes, and loose, draped sides make this a perfect warm weather workout top for those who prefer a looser fit (and showing off a fancy sports bra!).
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!
It’s finally here! After months of hard work, dozens of pattern revisions, ten sewn samples, three athlete-models, and meters upon meters of spandex, the Surf to Summit Top is on sale now!
Both the men’s and ladies’ versions feature princess seams, side panels (so no side seams!), your choice of long or short raglan sleeves, optional sleeve mitts for keeping your hands warm without fiddling for gloves, a tall integral collar to keep your neck covered, and your choice of two hem lengths. An optional half zip and back cycling-style pocket are also included.
Click any image to make it bigger!
This pattern truly does cover all seasons and a multitude of sports – everything from a rashguard for surfing, to a winter base layer for skiing! Plus you can make a traditional cycling jersey with it, and I absolutely love it for winter running.
There’s been some discussion around the internet lately about pdf patterns and their ability to stand the test of time, and it’s one that I’ve felt very strongly about. I’ve worked in technology for over 12 years, and have created and run my own websites for 20 years now (seriously!). I’ve seen the world move from owning cds and taking photos to be developed, to ripping cds into mp3s and printing our own digital photos, right through to streaming music subscriptions and purely-digital photos in the cloud. The idea that digital patterns might somehow die out seems absurd when you think of it in this context.
Think of photos – which is more accessible when you want to look at them, the photos in your album on the shelf at home, or the ones backed up in your cloud account you can view from anywhere, share, and search by date and keyword? Frankly, I’m terrified that my 10 year old collection of Burda magazine patterns might be ruined in a fire or flood, because they’d be gone forever. But my digital patterns are backed up in several places, ready for me to re-print at any time.
But all this is from a user perspective. As a business owner, why would I not want to offer my patterns in every format possible? Why only pdf patterns?
In short, time and money. It’s grossly inefficient (not to mention extremely eco-unfriendly) for me to print a pattern and ship it halfway around the globe to customers when printing places exist closer to you. Adding on the cost to print the patterns, to package them, and then my time in posting them, I’d quickly end up with a price point that not very many people would be willing to spend.
Please welcome the newest Fehr Trade sewing pattern… the Threshold Shorts!
A running short designed for lightweight wovens or mesh fabrics with three optional pockets, curved seamlines, bound hem, and elastic waist. An optional runderwear brief or thong can be attached at the waistband or worn separately.
So why am I releasing a shorts pattern in September?? Well, this particular pattern has been in development since May, and it’s been my most technically challenging pattern to date. Anyone can design shorts that look good standing still, but it’s another matter entirely to design shorts that look good while you’re running at threshold pace. And well, this is how long it took me until I was happy with the result.
I’m not just saying that, either – I will be running Berlin marathon in two weeks in a pair of these shorts. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be doing this if I had any doubts about their performance or comfort, because a marathon is a very long time indeed to be annoyed with a garment!
It’s here, it’s finally here! The VNA Top pattern is my 4th sewing pattern and my first that works for exercisewear and casualwear!
This is a pattern for a close-fitting, sleeveless workout top inspired by a 1930s Vionnet evening gown. It features a front V-neck, curved under bust seam, and distinctive angular seaming in back. Neckline and armhole edges are finished with binding, and there are no side seams.
Get it? “VNA” because if you say it fast it sounds like “Vionnet”…
It’s got everything you’ve come to expect and love about my patterns – fully illustrated instructions, seam allowances included, great finishing techniques, and the knowledge that I’ve road tested it thoroughly on my runs! But – because the seaming is so unorthodox on this, I’ve also included some diagrams showing how to make the most common fit alterations. So if you need an FBA or want roomier hips or longer torso length, you won’t have to scratch your head over how to achieve this.