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French and Dutch Translations plus Facebook and Pinterest, too!

Boy is this a whopper of an update post today! Truth be told, I intended to split it up into two posts as both things are big news but life got in the way of writing this week and I didn’t want to make you all wait any longer…

FehrTrade Patterns – in French and Dutch!

I’ve been wanting to offer translations of my pattern instructions pretty much from the day we launched, but I needed to get a bunch of the admin side of things in order to make it a reality. I started putting feelers out this summer to find out which of my patterns had the biggest demand, and for which languages (since at this point in time I can’t afford to offer translations for all my patterns in every language!).

It turned out that there was a lot of demand for my XYT Workout Top to be translated, since a lot of the advice on power mesh and stretch didn’t really come across visually. So I’m pleased to report that instructions for the XYT Workout Top are now available in both French and Dutch in addition to English! These translations were both done by native speakers who also sew, so they should make sewing your own activewear a lot easier if your English is a little rusty.

Furthermore, I was able to translate a further two more patterns into French, so les couturières francophones can also enjoy instructions for the Duathlon Shorts and Steeplechase Leggings, too!

Steeplechase Leggings Times Two

Pop quiz – What’s better than an entire Saturday set aside for sewing?

Give up? It’s an entire Saturday set aside for sewing with a friend! Yes, a few weeks ago my friend Sanchia (whom you may recall as my Threshold Shorts pattern athlete model) was all “we need to set a sewing date and make some leggings!” so we found a Saturday we both had free, and she came round to the boat last weekend! Sanchia has sewn before, but hasn’t made leggings in a while, so she selected some fabric out of my (frankly, overflowing with fabulousness) lycra stash, and we used my Steeplechase Leggings pattern to sew her up a pair without any inner leg seaming.


Tablets are perfect partners for Pdf pattern instructions!

And since we were going to be sewing all afternoon, well, I might as well make a pair for myself, too! Since Sanchia chose my FunkiFabrics “Prism” lycra (I had the Flexcite base but it’s also available on their wicking Titan base fabric, I wanted to choose something dark so we wouldn’t need to change threads, so I used some fabulous cityscape lycra that had literally just arrived from Sewing Chest the day before (they have got some great sales on their sportswear fabric pieces right now, just sayin’!).

We had a good chat cutting out the fabric, and then pinning each step together and constructing them assembly-line style, plus a break for lunch, and then she got to play on my coverstitch machine for the hems and waistband finishing, too. By the time 4pm rolled around, we had two finished pairs of leggings!

We vowed to wear our new leggings to Run dem Crew on Tuesday, where we got another friend to snap some photos of us!

More of your makes!

It’s that time again! I can barely keep up with all your amazing, inspiring, and beautiful versions of my patterns these days, and before I know it, I’ve got an overflowing heap to share with you! I know how helpful many of you find these – it’s all well and good that I make nice versions of my patterns, but so much more helpful when you see how good they look on other bodies, too!

Be sure to click through to read the details and see more photos on each of these entries, too. With a long weekend coming up both here in the UK and in the US, there’s no excuse not to whip up something sporty!

Winnie’s Steeplechase Leggings with exterior rolled seams & zebra Surf to Summit


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Karen’s 5(!) Steeplechase Capris for herself and her daughters


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Maria’s three pairs of Steeplechase Capris, with great reflective accents


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Sally’s wintry Surf to Summit for the ski slopes!


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Maria’s “Hunger Games” inspired Duathlon leggings


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mixtilli’s red Lacey Thong lingerie set


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London Marathon – Steeplechase Shorts in action!

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and good luck wishes for my special marathon FunkiFabrics Steeplechase shorts! I’m extremely pleased to report that the shorts performed spectacularly well during Sunday’s race, and I honestly didn’t give them a second thought – except when I got compliments from other runners or people in the crowd!! The lack of inseams on my Steeplechase Leggings pattern totally did the trick!

If you recall, even though this was my fifth marathon (and fifth wearing me-made leggings or shorts), it was the first marathon wearing a me-made sports bra. I’d worn it on loads of long runs and a 20 miler with no issues, but I could feel it starting to chafe a little at the neckline as I approached home at Mile 12, so I took the opportunity to grab some BodyGlide off my husband, smear it on the offending area, and it totally stopped the rubbing! So after that, no issues and no thoughts about the bra whatsoever, which was great.


Photo credit: Michael Adeyeye

I’ve written a full race report over on my running site, RiverRunner, but I’ll copy the take-home, “short version” here:

Steeplechase Shorts for an active tween

On Friday I showed you the full-length version of the Steeplechase Leggings pattern I made for my niece, Megan, but as soon as I finished making those, I decided to throw in a shorts version, too, so she can wear them in the warmer Virginia summers.

I’d measured her in person when I had to return to the States briefly in January, and I made and posted them over in time for the pattern launch. Since I’d already cut out her size (XS) for the longer leggings, the only difference I had to make for these was just to cut along the Biker Shorts hem line instead!

All together now, the pattern description is:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

These were a little bonus gift, but I still wanted to make them stylish for her so she could wear them for play, sports, or school if she wanted, so the main fabric is the very last of my adored Eclipse “Hint of Mint” supplex (which you may remember from my Mint X Back Workout Top or my Multi-Print VNA Top), but I made the yoke from offcuts from my Animal Magic Steeplechase Leggings, which I was cutting out for myself at the same time. Like the afore-mentioned VNA Top, I really like the mix of the prints here even though they weren’t designed to go together.

I love how well these shorts stand up to all the movements a 12 year old can throw at them – running, jumping, diving at the football (soccer ball) – they aren’t shifting for anything!

Steeplechase Leggings – in the saddle!

I hope you’re not sick of seeing all my versions of my latest Steeplechase Leggings pattern yet, because these are the pair I’ve been most itching to show you!

Ever since I started designing something special for equestrians, I knew I wanted my niece, Megan, to be my athlete-model. I’ve sewn for her on and off as she’s grown up, but living so far away, it’s difficult to get accurate measurements before she goes and grows again! But my impromptu trip to the States in January meant I could measure her in person, and post them over in time for the pattern launch.

To refresh your memory, here’s the description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

Once I was back in London, I sent her the Funkifabrics url, let her pick whatever she wanted, and she chose the black and white Solar System print, which I think is a pretty mature choice for a tween!

I made her the full length leggings, and used the same fabric for the yoke and the body, though you can only barely see the yoke in these photos as she’s wearing a teeshirt over top. I thought that we’d be able to arrange photos much earlier so I could show you how these work in the saddle before the pattern release, but alas, there was another death in the family and the horrible East Coast weather also severely disrupted her Saddle Time.

But the upside is that you get to see photos of Megan riding her horse at the local stables in gorgeous sunshine, and in only a teeshirt on top, too! Since I made and posted these before I had any feedback from my pattern testers, though, you can see that the knees are a little baggy on her – this was a common issue with my testers and was adjusted for the final release version.

One of my pattern testers, Kelli, is a keen rider and gave me so much amazing feedback on the 5 (? or was it 6?) pairs she made during the 2 week testing period, that I really wish I could’ve applied those lessons to Megan’s pair, which was made before I knew!

Steeplechase Leggings – crazy printed pairs!

Thank you all so much for all your compliments, orders, and finished photos of your Steeplechase Leggings! I knew I was onto a good idea when I dreamt these up a few months ago, but I had no idea they’d be quite this popular! So thank you!

I’ve shown you quite a few of my sample pairs already, but these are the last you’ll see me modelling for a bit, and they happen to be my wildest yet!

To refresh your memory, here’s the description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

This first pair are one of my absolute favourites! Not many women would choose to highlight their hips with neon green, but I think it’s fair to say by this point that I am most certainly Not Most Women, ha!

The main fabric is FunkiFabrics “Animal Magic” flexcite (it also comes in a red/orange colourway), paired with their fluorescent green matte lycra. If you want solid colours from Funki, I strongly recommend going for the matte varieties, because the non-matte ones are, well, Jane Fonda jazzercise levels of shiny! But the fabric is the same smooth, high quality stuff that the digital prints come on, and I’ve always been very pleased with how it stands up to repeated washings and mud fests – no fading or piling whatsoever.

Steeplechase Leggings – purple capris and shorts

So far I’ve shown you my two solid-coloured full length pairs of my latest Steeplechase Leggings pattern, but this pattern also comes in capri length or biker-short length options, too! So you can really wear these all year long, and the construction is exactly the same no matter what length you choose, which makes the instructions even more straight forward.

In case you missed the initial announcement, here’s the pattern description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

Here are the capri and shorts length versions I sewed up as samples. I tried to make these in more sedate colourways than my normal crazy prints! (Yes, only I would call bright purple “sedate”!)

I’m not usually a fan of capris, but I know so many people who love them that I always try to offer the length if at all possible. They can be a great transitional length when it’s too warm to wear full length leggings, but not quite warm enough for shorts.


(Seen here with my mustard merino wool Surf to Summit Top)

The fuchsia fabric used here is a super soft, comfortable wicking jersey with a brushed, navy back, which was gifted to me by a friend with industry connections (sorry!). I also got a biege colourway at the same time, and I’m looking forward to mixing it and the scraps leftover from this. The yoke is just a plain black supplex leftover in my stash.

Steeplechase Leggings – citron and sage pairs

Wow, thank you all so much for your orders and comments on my new Steeplechase Leggings pattern! The response has been phenomenal, so thank you!

In case you missed the initial announcement, here’s the description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

During the development process, I made so many samples pairs of these – beyond the initial early ones (not fit to be shown!), I made a whopping SIX pairs for myself, plus two more for my athlete-model niece, too.

Rather than overwhelm you with all the versions at once, I thought I’d start with the two pairs of full-length leggings I made in solid colours, as you can see the seamlines a bit more easily in these.

This first pair may be my favourite pair ever – made up in citron ex-New Balance supplex from FabricMart (now sold out) with a rainbow spaced-dyed supplex yoke. I’ve got enough of the citron left for another garment, but I’ve made so much with the rainbow before that I mostly just fit the yoke out of the scraps.


(it pairs so nicely with my ombre-print Fehrtrade x Laurie King VNA Top!)

These are just so comfortable, and you know how I love bright colours! I’ve done quite a few test runs in these, and they really help to liven up the cold, dark wintry nights.

Steeplechase Leggings – on sale now!

My Steeplechase Leggings pattern is finally available to buy! Yay!


How awesome is the cover illustration I commissioned from Lauren Cox? I wanted to change up the design a bit for 2015, so I got in touch with her and I created a back cover for the first time as well!

The official pattern description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

I am seriously SO excited to finally release this pattern – I’ve made up so many samples for myself (and my athlete-model niece) and I even ran a half marathon in a pair on Sunday, too! Even if you’ve never had problems with inner-leg chafing, you’ll suddenly wonder how you ever managed without these – they’re just so comfortable to wear!

And if you’re an equestrian, then you’re in luck, because these are great for riding, especially if you add a little bit of silicone grip to the inner knees – which I’ve marked on the pattern for you, because these pieces look weird! Seriously, get your “WTF face” ready when you look at these pattern pieces, because I guarantee they’re unlike anything you’ve seen before! But they’re still super quick to sew up – most of my pattern testers said they only took 2-3hrs to make, including piecing the pattern together!