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Highly reflective Rouleur Leggings

One of the things I love most about my Silhouette cutting machine is the ability to essentially cut any shape I like from reflective iron-on vinyl and make everything reflective. This is a seasonal pursuit, since realistically, I’m doing a lot more running and cycling after dark in the winter (with its 4pm sunsets) than I am in summer (with its 10pm sunsets). And since my Silhouette is boxed up awaiting workspace from our renovations, I had to go an fulfil my need for reflective goodies elsewhere, right??

Enter the new-to-me UK shop, Hello Reflectives. Yes, a shop that sells reflective fabrics and haberdashery. They’ve got all the fabrics to mimic those ££££ Nike vaporflash jackets from a few years ago (you have no idea what a status symbol those were before the cheap knockoffs arrived), slightly stretchy reflective pipings, vegan leather… but more importantly, a good collection of stretch fabrics with all-over reflective prints. An all-over reflective print? With STRETCH? Take my money!!

Black linen Pietra trousers

I bought the Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants pattern when it came out last summer, and even had it printed up in A0 shortly after, but only just not got around to sewing it up for myself, and I have no idea how I managed without them this long!

I decided to make them up in a black washed 100% linen from Textile Express (bought at the same time as the yellow ramie for my Cielo Top). My friend was like “linen trousers – in winter??” but this linen is a really nice, hefty weight that is perfectly warm enough for English winters. Absolutely not the thin drapey stuff you’d wear on a tropical holiday!! I’ve been trying to buy more sustainable and/or recycled fabrics and linen is one of the best sustainable fabrics out there. The downside, of course, is that linen = wrinkles! So please forgive that these are wrinkly in the photos purely because I’d been sat at my desk in the office for half a day before we took these!

A digital floral sheath dress

I’ve been trying to sew down my stash a lot this year – picking projects that use up fabric I’ve already got (and love!) rather than buying new and running out of space in the little wardrobe that holds my fabric stash. So just before Christmas I was finally starting to recover from the dreaded flu and thought my sewing mojo could really use a boost in the form of a Quick Knit, err, Dress! Usually I sew a Quick Knit Top to boost my mood but this time I fancied a dress instead, and I had just the fabric to use.

I bought this particular fabric from the FabWorks stall at the Great British Sewing Bee Live show back in 2017 and I knew it’d make for a great and comfortable winter dress. I’m not often drawn to prints but I loved that this one was a floral with pixellation in places on a super stretchy but lightweight French terry, so it would be warm and very easy to wear through winter.

Quick Christmas gifts roundup

I hope you all have been having a great Christmas break! I actually didn’t make very many gifts this year (having a chest infection then flu for most of November and December kinda ended any possible plans!) but I wanted to show off what I did end up making in case it inspires you.

A sequin party top

About three or four years ago when I was in Ditto’s shop in Brighton, I bought a remnant of matte silver sequin fabric. And for the intervening years, it sat in my stash, as every year I somehow missed sewing it up for “sequin season” so it stayed there for another year…

But not this year! This year I was determined to make something with it and started looking for a basic tank with minimal lines that could let the sequins shine. It turns out I’ve had the perfect pattern for even longer than the fabric and hadn’t realised it – Colette’s free Sorbetto top pattern (which was revamped a few years after its original release, if you weren’t aware). I’ve made the older version a few times, always without that central pleat (ugh), and it turned out to fit nicely into the scant metre of fabric in the remnant.

A reflective wool jacket

Buckle up, because the story of this jacket starts four years when I received a remnant of Dashing Tweeds “Urban Shadow” tartan coating from a friend for Christmas. Now, if you’re not familiar with Dashing Tweeds, they’re a really cool company who’ve revived old tartan and twill patterns and modernised them with great colours and even some reflective threads woven in. The remnant I received was one of these “Lumatwill” designs, and has reflective threads running along all the horizontal yellow lines in the design.

Big Sleeve Energy – A yellow ramie Cielo Top

I was instantly drawn to the lantern sleeves on the Closet Case Patterns Cielo Top when they released it as part of their Rome Collection earlier this year, and specifically to the top as I tend to wear separates a lot more often than dresses. But I wasn’t really that into the samples they made using drapey fabrics – as soon as I saw the tech drawing I knew I wanted to make it in a more structured fabric to really draw attention to those sleeves and let them stand up on their own rather than have a more 70s bell-sleeve vibe.

Rouleur Leggings – in sequins, cats, and rainbows!

The problem with taking so long to develop each sewing pattern is that I end up making so many lovely versions that I can’t show you until months after I’ve made them! But it does mean that after a pattern is released, you get a glut of finished makes from me…

Today I want to show you three different versions of the Rouleur Leggings that I made for myself. I made TONS more to test the seaming, and fit, and how they performed on the bike and out on runs, but usually the bulk of these were made from cheap, stretchy fabric and I inevitably ended up drawing all over them in marker pen to annotate what changes I wanted to make. But these three were sewn more as samples than muslins, so I’m happy to share them with the world!

Rouleur Leggings – wild animal print bib shorts

Since I was making our athlete model, Jenni, a full cycling set to her own measurements, I thought it only fitting that I also ask what sort of colours or prints she’s into, and I was delighted when she came back with a bunch of animal prints from Funkifabrics’ selection. A girl after my own crazy-prints-for-activewear heart!!

I narrowed it down to this pink, purple, black, and turquoise animal print (mostly because a lot of others had subtle stripes and I didn’t want to stripe-match!) which I had printed onto their new Life Recycled polyester base fabric. This was my first experience using this recycled base fabric and I’d definitely use it again – it had a similar in weight and feel to their standard Flexcite base but with the knowledge that it’s less harmful to the planet than standard, virgin polyester.