Outdoor acquisitions (and a Spoonflower bonus!)

Since I was buying the microfleece for my coat interlining anyway, I took advantage of the rest of Pennine Outdoor‘s range of outdoor and sports fabrics to replenish my fabric stash. No, really! Even though I bought a veritable orgy of fabric in the States last August, I’ve actually only got about three cuts of that lot left, and I’ve been very restrained in the last year and only bought a few pieces here and there.

So first up is the sports stuff! I want to try my hand at making my own running trousers, since I’m having trouble finding non-capri, bootcut wicking trousers in the shops these days, so I picked up two metres of this black Meryl wicking lycra:

It’s super stretchy and is shinier on one side than the other, and frankly, looks exactly like the Nike and Adidas wicking stuff I buy in shops for £30 per trouser, so fingers crossed it’ll do the job!

Pardon the blurry photo above, but this is a metre of maroon wicking polyester teeshirting. I’m happy to report that it’s not some cheap and nasty poly knit, but is actually the same tiny ever-so-slightly open weave stuff that all my race shirts are made of! Pennine only have it in limited colours, but if this is half as nice as the shirts I’ve already got made out of this stuff, I will be a very happy runner indeed, even if I’ll be forever after only seen in maroon, navy, sky blue or silver grey!

I also picked up some lycra edging tape thinking that it might be the elusive fold over elastic (FOE), but at 25mm (1 inch) I’m pretty sure this is too wide for most non-sports applications. Still, it’s got the special ridge running down the centre and I reckon it’ll be great for the edging on a running vest with the above poly teeshirting, and perhaps also for edging fleece and swimsuits…

I was ecstatic to finally find a UK supplier of nice cotton interlock (double knit) so I feel I was pretty restrained in only buying 3 metres of black, and one metre each of sapphire and lilac. The colours are much nicer than in the photo, and this is gorgeously soft, really high quality stuff. I’ve had lesser-quality knits in the past, so I can really appreciate the good stuff when I feel it now, and I have a feeling I’ll be going back for more colours awfully soon…

And finally, I bought a bunch of bottle green sweatshirting and matching ribbing to make myself a hoodie of epic proportions, because I have never seen either stocked anywhere in the UK and I got a bit giddy! So giddy that I bought a separating zipper in a totally unsuitable colour, oops.

In other, very exciting fabric news – I got my first Spoonflower swatch!!

I asked my illustrator friend Lorna if she had any scrap doodles she could throw my way to play with, so I took her darling cat sketches and coloured and repeated and smudged them to practice my tiling skills in Photoshop and see how everything worked.

The background mint green colour showed up more like beige when I uploaded it to the site, so I emailed Spoonflower and helped them do some beta testing to eventually determine that it’s just a display issue and that the fabric prints out true to my original LAB colour in real life. And it does! So if you’re worried that the colours look a little off on the preview on the website – have no fear, for the colours on your fabric will be fine!

The kittens look so perfect, and the print quality is awesome, even when I squint and get my nose right up to the fabric. I think I might throw it in the washer and really abuse it and see how it stands up. My only complaint is that the cotton is a little of the thin side, and you can see in the above photo that the Spoonflower cloth business card I’ve got underneath is vaguely visible through my swatch. I don’t think it’s enough to be a problem with modesty, but if you’ve got a light-coloured print you wouldn’t want anything really dark behind it.

I think I might be addicted now, though, so I think it’s wise if I design a few more fabrics before placing my order so I can save on international shipping… Anyone have any requests?

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