My merino jersey Winter Base Layer top

Yesterday I talked all about the version of the Winter Base Layer top that appears in my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, and you can tell I really liked it because I ended up making myself one that’s almost identical!! As much as I love my athlete models (and you know I do!) it was tough gathering up such gorgeous activewear fabrics and then making all the book designs to the measurements of my models, not for me! So once I had a bit of breathing time and the weather cooled down a bit, I knew I’d need a few more versions of this top to add to my own running wardrobe.

I made this version for myself using the design as described in the book – no changes. Well, except for my trying to squeeze in the thumb cuffs in fabric that wasn’t quite long enough, so these are a centimeter or so shorter than usual. But no intentional changes, anyhow!

The Fabric Store were super lovely when I requested some very odd amounts of their merino wool jerseys for the book sample, and ended up sending me about three times what I requested, which was so nice of them! It meant that I’ve had enough to make myself this Winter Base Layer in merino wool jersey, too, and I liked Jade’s so much that I’ve done a very similar blue/pink colour scheme as the one in the book. It also means I was able to make a few buffs from the scraps (so nice for headbands and neckwarmers while running and cycling!) and have a little left over for future tops, too.

There isn’t a back view shown in the book, but you can see from the tech drawing (and mine here) that the curved shoulder segments extend throughout the back, too, so you have a lot of visual interest from all angles.

You can tell how cold it was when we were shooting these photos at the weekend – look how red my hands are in the thumb cuffs! I blame holding my book – normally if I were running I’d have tucked my fingers up inside by then!

You may be mistaken for wondering why I’m wearing jeans rather than leggings with this top, but I actually set off cycling around London running various errands right after we took these photos! These are actually one of my pairs of cycling jeans, so when paired with the Winter Base Layer I’ve got a functioning cycling outfit that looks really nice once I’ve arrived, too (and I did end up spending the afternoon working in the V&A’s swanky new members lounge!)

Who’s going to be as excited as I am to finally hold their copy?!? Only a few more days to go before it’s officially released!


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  1. 1

    I have my fabric ready, it’s prewash night this evening ready for cutting at the weekend…all I need is my book! Get posting please!

    • 2

      Yess! I will be shipping the first second I possibly can! I’ve been tracking the cargo ship which has your books for the past 48 hours and it’s finally docked in Southampton after delays due to storms! Cross your fingers hard that it’s unloaded and clears customs quickly and I might just get them in time for Friday! (Though Amazon and everyone else’s supplies are literally in the same boat!)

  2. 3

    Hooray! It’s almost here! Once you send it out, how long do you think it might take for your US orders to reach us?
    Also, I saw on Twitter that you made the Named Rurie sweatpants. I hope you will write a post about them. I bought the pattern last month when it was on sale. I am hoping to make a couple pairs to take with me on a D.C. vacation with my sisters in April. But, I have never made pants/trousers before, so I’m a little nervous…

    • 4

      I imagine the US orders should take 1-2 weeks to arrive, I imagine? And regarding Ruri, yes I will be reviewing them eventually when I get a chance to do photoshoots and there’s a break in the blogging schedule! (As you can tell, it’s been a bit busy, and will continue to be so through March til I cover all 13 book designs!). I really like the pattern though!

  3. 6
    M. Kate McGinn

    Your top is beautiful – and so clever! I could see adding reflective piping to this top if you wanted a lightweight outer layer. I pre-ordered your book, too. Can’t wait!

  4. 8

    Melissa, I LOVE your book!!! Just a question… Do you know where I could source merino fabric in the UK or even Europe? The shipping from NZ is terribly expensive 😉 Thanks!

    • 9

      Thank you! Yes, Discovery Knitting is UK-based and has a few colour and stripe options you could try. More links in the Global Activewear fabric supplier list linked in the sidebar ——>

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