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The making of a Threads article

Thanks so much for all your congratulations on my activewear sewing article in the latest Threads magazine (issue 190). If you haven’t seen it yet, it should be on newsstands very soon – do go and buy it because (as usual!) there are a ton of really interesting articles included. Threads is a magazine I totally and fully respect, and I hold it in the highest esteem possible. When I started sewing, the information and techniques it included was something I was in total awe of, and even now, I learn something new from every single issue. It’s a magazine that doesn’t “dumb down” and is unashamedly not aimed at beginning sewists, which is refreshing in itself!

A teal french terry Tessellate hoodie

I know some of you are melting in summer temperatures right now, but spare a thought for those of us shivering in July – no, not just the Aussies and Kiwis, but also those of us with “unpredictable” summers (for real – I had goosebumps here in London yesterday and it certainly wasn’t from air conditioning!). Even if you are enjoying “classic” summer temperatures right now, cast your minds forward to the days when you can exercise in cooler temps in a hoodie like the Steeplechase Tee pattern

The version I’d like to show you today was made in “terry backed wickaway lycra” from Imagine Gnats in the teal colourway (but it also comes in chile red, green, lilac, vapor blue, and jade!). This stuff is absolutely brilliant for activewear – it’s got a smooth (but not shiny) face with a loop backing, but it has a decent amount of stretch for something so nicely heavyweight. If you’re not familiar with Imagine Gnats, they’ve got lots of other athletic fabrics, too – the owner, Rachael, is an active sewist herself!

Two casual Tessellate Tees

By the time I was able to release my Tessellate Tee pattern, I had made so many samples of all the different uses and features that the photoshoot required something like 8 wardrobe changes in the restrooms at our local park! You’ve already seen a few of the exercise-specific versions, but I know some of you may be more tempted to sew up a casual tee than an activewear one. So today I wanted to show that you can use it to make a long-sleeved (or short sleeved) teeshirt to just wear with jeans rather than leggings, too.

The full digital release of the Tessellate Tee pattern comes with all the included extras, but these versions were sewn as samples for Love Sewing magazine, so these are just the straight teeshirt with no hood, pocket, or thumb cuffs.

A refashioned Tessellate Tee from race shirts

I’ve got so many wonderful versions of my latest Tessellate Tee pattern to show you, and this one is particularly fun because it uses up old race tees! If you run a lot of races like I do, after a while you end up drowning in race shirts given at the end along with your medal. Oftentimes these are sized for men, so they’re big and boxy and not very flattering to wear, but they’re often made of great wicking material, which, while not very stretchy, is super breathable and works great for the Tessellate Tee!

Once I started cutting up and refashioning old race shirts, I now actually request the largest possible size from races as they’ve got the most material to use and I know I’m more likely to wear a refashioned one than the regular tee. This tee uses an old Run to The Beat half marathon race shirt (the teal & hot pink), and a Royal Parks half marathon tee (the yellow and blue, with “RUN” on the back), plus some yellow reflective DriFit I bought from The Rain Shed last year (no longer in stock).

A thermo colourblocked Tessellate Tee hoodie

Thanks for all your patience, enthusiasm, and congratulations on the full digital release of the Tessellate Tee pattern this weekend! It’s great to finally enable anyone around the world to sew it now, and like the Surf to Summit top pattern, it’s one where you can mix and match a lot of the options to get the look you’re after.

I thought I’d start with the version shown on the pattern cover – it’s made in Funkifabrics’ “thermo” fleece-lined lycra in Plum, Yellow, and Turq and uses all the optional add-ons – thumb cuffs, zippered back pocket, and ponytail hood.

Tessellate Tee pattern – on sale now in pdf format!

The response to my Tessellate Tee pattern and accompanying Add On Pack over the past few months has been wonderful, and I’ve loved seeing so many finished versions! But many of you around the world have expressed a desire to buy it digitally rather than as part of the magazine…

So I’m pleased to announce that the original teeshirt pattern which appeared in issue 23 of Love Sewing magazine plus the digital Add-On Pack are now available as a single pdf, available now!

Announcing the Tessellate Tee pattern!

After many months in the making, I’m super pleased to announce the arrival of my first printed pattern – but not as you’re expecting!

The Tessellate Tee pattern is a collaboration with Love Sewing magazine for a stylish teeshirt pattern which can work for either casualwear or activewear, depending on your fabric. The geometric seamlines continue on the back, and you can either choose to colourblock the pieces with three different fabrics (as shown in the magazine), or sew it all up in one fabric, or even just use two fabrics to accentuate the middle triangle or diagonal line.


Photos courtesy of Love Sewing magazine

Looking for your perfect long sleeved teeshirt for these cold winter days? The Tessellate Tee has a banded neckline and generous ease in the waist and hips, plus flattering geometric seaming on both the front and back making this top ideal for colourblocking. It can be made in a variety of stretch jersey fabrics, such as cotton jersey, wool jersey, ponte roma, sweatshirting, French terry, or supplex lycra with at least 20% crosswise stretch. 1cm (3/8in) seam allowances and 2cm (3/4in) hem and sleeve hem allowances are included.

This pattern is only available in Issue 23 of Love Sewing magazine, and is included in the printed supplement sheets with fully illustrated instructions printed in the magazine itself.

How to buy

If you’re in the UK, Love Sewing magazine is widely stocked at WH Smiths and most of the bigger supermarkets. If you live outside the UK or prefer online ordering, you can buy issue 23 here direct from the publishers, or alternatively, you can buy issue 23 from Newsstand (while it’s the current issue) may work out cheaper for some shipping destinations.

Love Sewing have posted the Size Guide & more model photos here, though if you’ve sewn my patterns before then you’ll probably already be familiar with my sizing (there’s no change here, though the top has a little more ease through the waist and hips than my XYT Workout Top or VNA Top patterns).

The Add On Pack!

Annnnnnd, if a colourblocked long-sleeved teeshirt isn’t enough for you, then you can make your tee even more workout-friendly with my Tessellate Tee Add-On Pack which is available to buy for only $2.99 (about £2)! This is less than the cost of a coffee (or a pint!) and the small pieces mean there aren’t very many pattern pages to print either.


This expansion pack for the Tessellate Workout Tee pattern allows you to add thumb cuffs onto the sleeves (without any hand sewing!), a hood with a special opening for your ponytail, and a zippered back pocket – perfect for cycling and hiking. Choose to add just one, or even all three onto your Tessellate Tee!