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Listen to me on two new podcasts!

For the record – I freaking love listening to podcasts. I listen while I sew, walk around London, and before I go to sleep some nights. I mean, my last job was even at a podcast company!

So I was super excited when two new UK sewing podcasts launched recently and even MORE excited when I was asked to join them for a chat! And then out of sheer coincidence, both episodes ended up going live this week so you all have got no excuse for not hearing my funny trans-Atlantic accent all weekend long! 😂

Behind the scenes on my “Serging Activewear” shoot

Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm on the launch of my Serging Activewear Craftsy class guys!! I wanted to talk a little today about what went into the making of this class because I know you all love hearing about this sort of thing, but also I found it fascinating to see how much work goes on in preparation, too!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I actually started working on the class prep back all the way back in December! The leadup isn’t usually quite this long, but we started the new year with a very intense few weeks of devising the script with my fantastic category editor, Elaine, over Skype. Basically, we had to work out what I was going to talk about, in what order, and what sort of samples I’d need to sew up ahead of time in addition to the ones I’d actually sew on camera.

Activewear Masterclass – new date added!

Wow, so many of you have booked my Activewear Masterclass in July that we’ve gone and added a second date! So if you wanted to attend the first one but couldn’t on that weekend, you can now book for Sunday 30 September as well!

Like the July date, this is a one-day masterclass held at New Craft House here in London, and you’ll learn how to sew strong and stretchy seams on a regular sewing machine, adapt patterns to your specific sports, plus sew up a pair of leggings and a workout top, ALL IN ONE DAY! Plus you’ll receive a signed copy of my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, too!

Two pairs of Cycling Shorts

These are the final garments I’ve got to show you from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book – for now, anyway! And it’s fitting that I’ve saved these to the end because I wore both of these shorts hard all summer long, and I wanted to show again how you can mix and match features to make garments that work for you. The thirteen designs in the book were only ever intended as a starting point – you have my full permission and encouragement to change them up, repurpose bits of one design onto another, and make what works for you and your chosen exercise!

So in that spirit, last summer I decided I loved the Cycling Shorts design, but I wanted them for running. So I didn’t increase the back rise (a cycling-specific adaptation that’s not needed for running), and I also left off the chamois padding and silicone hems for similar reasons.

The “Sew Your Own Activewear” Cycling Shorts

I can’t quite believe it, but this is our final week and 13th design from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book! It feels like just yesterday it was the start of January and I finally got to tell you all about the first of the designs in the book. And here we are, 13 weeks later, and I’ve taken you in-depth on each one of them. I’ve saved one of the best for last, though, and I think you’ll find that the Cycling Shorts are a super stylish addition to your activewear wardrobe, even if you never climb onto a bike!

The “Sew Your Own Activewear” Cycling Top

What’s an activewear book without some cycling kit? Not much of an activewear book, if you ask me, so I knew that I absolutely wanted to include some cycle-specific gear when I was developing the designs for my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book. I’d already developed a great cycling top (as well as all-around winter exercise and rashguard!) when I’d made my Surf to Summit Top pattern (also available for men!), so I wanted to take some learnings from that and make the book design different enough that cyclists would want to make both!

The “Sew Your Own Activewear” Split Shorts

Let’s pretend we’re in summer and talk about the Split Shorts design from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book this week! I really wanted to make sure the book included designs for all four seasons and as a runner myself, I know the perils of finding a pair of running shorts that don’t ride up as you move.

It took me months and months of development work to come up with our Threshold Shorts pattern, so I took my learnings from that and designed a pair of shorts for the book which have an almost infinite amount of movement in the front leg and won’t restrict movement or ride up in the inner thigh (a very common problem with RTW running shorts and retro “athleisure” designs). During early development these were called the “Petal Shorts” as the overlapping front pieces look like the petals of a flower, but ultimately “Split Shorts” won out as it’s more descriptive of the design!

How to add more room to your Active Jacket collar

Today I want to give you a little pattern hack that can help if you find that the opening edge of your Active Jacket (or Cycling Top) from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book is a bit too snug. This can especially be an issue for the smaller sizes, or if your fabric has very little crosswise stretch.

This is a really easy adjustment to make, either after you’ve drafted the collar according to the instructions on page 80 (or page 58 for the Cycling Top), or after you’ve already got your finished pieces cut out.