The VNA Top pattern – on sale now!

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.

The GBSB Live and storewide sale

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!

An orange VNA Top with revamped Threshold Shorts

This top has spent quite a long time brewing in my brain before coming into reality. I really wanted to have another VNA Top for exercising since I loved my others so much, and I’ve had this project near the top of my To Sew queue for so long. But I had so many other projects that had to be done for deadlines, that this just kept getting pushed aside, until finally I had a spare weekend day to just do some Fun Sewing for myself!

Remember my VNA Top pattern I released last summer – the one inspired by a 1930s Vionnet gown? Or to give it the full blurb: 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.

On sale now: Threshold Shorts pattern with bonus runderwear!

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!

The perfect day off – fabric shopping!

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!