It was all a bit last-minute that I was going to be in Berlin last week at all, let alone doing an event, so I have to thank everyone who came out to talk all things activewear! Special thanks go out to the incredibly lovely staff at extremtextil who hosted the event, made their shop so welcoming, and opened up especially for us on a Tuesday evening. It’s so wonderful to see an independent speciality fabric shop run by people who are so passionate and educated on every aspect of outdoor and sportswear sewing!
Things kicked off first with a little talk by yours truly, talking about sewing for movement and the things to think about when you’re planning an activewear garment for a specific activity – namely, stance, movement, repetition, and environment.
Then we all gathered round the big cutting table for a crash course in how to handle activewear fabrics using examples from the store. We covered everything from how to measure the stretch percentage of a fabric, which stitches and needles to use, how to finish edges, and I recommended a walking foot so many times it became a running joke!! I must say, this part of the evening just flew by, and the ladies asked so many brilliant questions that it was super fun to answer everything and really build up confidence!
In fact, I was so into the event that I didn’t have the time or head-space to do any fabric shopping for myself, so I actually went back during normal opening hours the next day to have a better look around! I’ve known about extremtextil through their website for a few years, but the Berlin shop is new and really gorgeous! It’s a bit tricky to find – you turn off the main street and go through two courtyards and up a flight of stairs but once you’re inside it’s a wonderland. Not only have they got the standard sort of wicking fabrics, but they’ve got a huge range of recycled activewear lycras and fleeces, plus the ever-elusive merino jerseys! And pretty much everything you’d need for any kind of serious camping weekend, including stuff to make your tent, rucksack, and clothes for yourself.
Since I needed to haul home a few books in my suitcase (read on!), I had to restrict myself to just these two fabrics, which I just love paired together. The salmon mesh is even recycled, and the orange is a lightweight wicking fabric so I’ve got an amazing summer running top planned for these!
This is me with Martin, the owner, and person who runs the Dresden warehouse where all the online orders are shipped from. He was so enthusiastic and easy to work with, and I always think it’s nice to make the connection and see the people behind your favourite online shops.
Oh, and I did buy one other thing while I was there – they had a crazy selection of webbing (and various hooks and clips and stuff), and I had picked up a belt kit for free when I was in the States in May, so I bought a lime green & turquoise webbing in the right width to make a belt. Which took me less than 30 seconds and cost me about £2 in total. Result!
Buy signed books!
As I mentioned above, I ended up with a few extra copies of the German edition of my book, “Näh dir deine Sportswear”, as I couldn’t really predict how many would buy the English vs German at the event. So I am running a very rare sale in my shop for SIGNED copies! There’s only a handful, so you’ve got to act quickly…
I’m afraid I won’t be selling signed English editions at the moment purely down to logistical reasons with the post – each copy I sell has to be transported on my bike to my office, then I have to queue at the post office over my lunch hour. So I can’t do too many at a time! Though I’m open to doing a pre-Christmas sale in the Fall if there’s interest?