London Marathon – Steeplechase Shorts in action!

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and good luck wishes for my special marathon FunkiFabrics Steeplechase shorts! I’m extremely pleased to report that the shorts performed spectacularly well during Sunday’s race, and I honestly didn’t give them a second thought – except when I got compliments from other runners or people in the crowd!! The lack of inseams on my Steeplechase Leggings pattern totally did the trick!

If you recall, even though this was my fifth marathon (and fifth wearing me-made leggings or shorts), it was the first marathon wearing a me-made sports bra. I’d worn it on loads of long runs and a 20 miler with no issues, but I could feel it starting to chafe a little at the neckline as I approached home at Mile 12, so I took the opportunity to grab some BodyGlide off my husband, smear it on the offending area, and it totally stopped the rubbing! So after that, no issues and no thoughts about the bra whatsoever, which was great.


Photo credit: Michael Adeyeye

I’ve written a full race report over on my running site, RiverRunner, but I’ll copy the take-home, “short version” here:

Steeplechase Leggings Times Two

Pop quiz – What’s better than an entire Saturday set aside for sewing?

Give up? It’s an entire Saturday set aside for sewing with a friend! Yes, a few weeks ago my friend Sanchia (whom you may recall as my Threshold Shorts pattern athlete model) was all “we need to set a sewing date and make some leggings!” so we found a Saturday we both had free, and she came round to the boat last weekend! Sanchia has sewn before, but hasn’t made leggings in a while, so she selected some fabric out of my (frankly, overflowing with fabulousness) lycra stash, and we used my Steeplechase Leggings pattern to sew her up a pair without any inner leg seaming.


Tablets are perfect partners for Pdf pattern instructions!

And since we were going to be sewing all afternoon, well, I might as well make a pair for myself, too! Since Sanchia chose my FunkiFabrics “Prism” lycra (I had the Flexcite base but it’s also available on their wicking Titan base fabric, I wanted to choose something dark so we wouldn’t need to change threads, so I used some fabulous cityscape lycra that had literally just arrived from Sewing Chest the day before (they have got some great sales on their sportswear fabric pieces right now, just sayin’!).

We had a good chat cutting out the fabric, and then pinning each step together and constructing them assembly-line style, plus a break for lunch, and then she got to play on my coverstitch machine for the hems and waistband finishing, too. By the time 4pm rolled around, we had two finished pairs of leggings!

We vowed to wear our new leggings to Run dem Crew on Tuesday, where we got another friend to snap some photos of us!

Coming soon: the Steeplechase Leggings!

Let me just start by saying how excited I am about this design. As I hinted about months ago, it’s a concept that I’ve never seen done before, either in a sewing pattern nor in RTW – leggings with no inseam!

The idea was planted into my head by an equestrian student at one of my leggings classes, and it brewed in my head for a few months before I was ready to start developing it. First I started by just shifting the seam to the outside leg, at which point I could’ve just inserted a panel like I did with my Duathlon Shorts pattern. But since I’d already done that before, why not do something different and shift the seam to the back of the leg and add in some curves and a yoke panel, too??

Why not, indeed!

My official blurb is:
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.

It’s particularly exciting for me because these bring a whole new sport into my pattern stable (ahem) – horseback riding! But they work equally well for running, cycling, and yoga, too, whether you’ve had problems with inner-leg chafing in the past or not. Despite the crazy concept and WTF pattern shapes, these are also deceptively easy to sew up, too – most of my testers made these in a single evening, from cutting to wearing!

These are available in my usual size range, and also come with the usual, fully illustrated instructions complete with Common Fit Alterations section, and Print at Copy Shop version included as standard.

I’ve sewn up SO many samples for myself over the past few weeks, and I’ve been testing them out on my river runs, and also on Tuesdays at Run dem Crew. Because it’s still quite chilly here in London, I’ve been mostly sewing the full-length leggings, but I’ve got (more sedate!) capri and biker short length versions ready to photoshoot this weekend, too.

I’ve still got lots to do before the release sometime next week, though – like going through all the feedback from my incredible band of pattern testers, creating the To Do list of tweaks and suggestions, coordinating the photoshoots of all my samples, plus some of my niece wearing her samples in the saddle (yay!), and finishing up the pattern covers, which I decided to change up a bit for 2015.

Announcing Print Club – limited edition fabric kits!

I am so excited to finally be able to share with you a project that I’ve been building towards for several years – Fehr Trade Print Club is a semi-regular series of collaborations with illustrators, pairing exclusive artwork with activewear patterns in limited edition fabric kits!

We first started the concept of an illustrator/patternmaker collaboration a few years ago with Laurie King, offering designed prints through Spoonflower with differently designed “zones” on the fabric for the different pattern pieces. This was a great learning experience, but ultimately, we wanted a bit more control, even though this means more work and more financial risk on my part. So we’re starting small, and of course I had to ask Laurie back to be the first Print Club collaborator!

So what’s different this time around? Well, for starters, the designs are printed onto Funkifabric’s “Titan” technical spandex base. This stuff is super high quality – beefy, matte, completely opaque, and no white “show through” when stretched. I ran London marathon in this base fabric in 2015 and it’s freaking fantastic (also the colours haven’t faded a bit since then either).

Funkifabrics tech lycra is HERE! (And 20% discount)

Remember back in April when I helped Funkifabrics road-test some new technical lycra fabric bases? I had two bases to choose from (onto which they printed my choice of designs), so I went off on some intense runs in warm weather, and ultimately decided on one, which I then went and ran London marathon in!


Post London marathon in my experimental Funkifabric Steeplechase Leggings shorts!

Well, the same tech fabric I ran the marathon in is now available, and in a collection of twelve limited edition prints!

You can read more about their selection process (which involved feedback from their customers) as well as links to buy each pattern in their blog post here (and no, they’re not planning on offering the tech base in solids yet so ignore the sports bras).

They’ve also got a rare 20% off everything sale running until tomorrow night (midnight BST, 10 June) which includes these new bases! I’ve been buying Funki’s regular Flexcite lycra for nearly two years now and this is only the second time I’ve ever seen them do a sale, so if you’ve been waiting, I’d buy now!

Burda magazine May 2015

Thanks so much for your congratulations on my London marathon race this weekend! My legs are amazingly feeling pretty much back to normal already, though I still need quite a bit of recovery time “under the hood”. In all the excitement (and a fair bit of “post-marathon brain”), I completely forgot to congratulate some other fierce and fantastic women who ran it, too!

With a fair amount of resting time ahead of me in the next two weeks (before I run a half marathon, then cycle our first sportive, then run a 10km on successive weekends. No joke!), I’m hoping to get some quality sewing time in. But I’m not seeing much to inspire me in the latest Burda edition…

I’m really getting tired of Burda’s recent ruffle fixation, but I actually don’t hate this ruffled coat, which is surprising. Maybe it’s that it reminds me of the Lolita Patterns Spearmint coat, or maybe it just seems a bit more well thought out than just randomly slapping ruffles onto an unsuspecting garment…

On first glance, this seems like a dress pattern we’ve seen a thousand times before, but the overall body shape is closer to a cocoon-shape than I’ve seen in a dress before. And the pleated neckline creates a bit of interest (and could conceal a big meal, hahah).