Blog

An orange VNA Top with revamped Threshold Shorts

This top has spent quite a long time brewing in my brain before coming into reality. I really wanted to have another VNA Top for exercising since I loved my others so much, and I’ve had this project near the top of my To Sew queue for so long. But I had so many other projects that had to be done for deadlines, that this just kept getting pushed aside, until finally I had a spare weekend day to just do some Fun Sewing for myself!

Remember my VNA Top pattern I released last summer – the one inspired by a 1930s Vionnet gown? Or to give it the full blurb: This is a pattern for a close-fitting, sleeveless workout top inspired by a 1930s Vionnet evening gown. It features a front V-neck, curved under bust seam, and distinctive angular seaming in back. Neckline and armhole edges are finished with binding, and there are no side seams.

A Mountain of Your Makes (Part Two)

Following on from yesterday’s Part One, I’ve got a whole new heap of activewear sewing inspiration coming your way. You ladies have been so busy sewing up a storm, and I love that you get so excited when I release a new pattern like the Surf to Summit Tops that you make it all in droves!

Winnie’s fabulous peacock print Duathlon capris


Read more…

Cidell’s winter running Surf to Summit Top for her husband, Jordan


Read more…

Katherine’s green cherries runderwear (included in my Threshold Shorts pattern)


Read more…

Veloswer’s kiwi-styled cycling Surf to Summit Top


Read more…

Carey’s teal and white Surf to Summit Top


Read more…

A Mountain of Your Makes (Part One)

I am long, long overdue at showing off all your incredible, inspiring, and beautiful versions of my patterns, and I’ve accumulated so many over the past 6 months or so (shocking, I know!) that it’s enough to fill not one, not two, but three posts! These are only in rough date order from when I collected them, so if you don’t see your more recent make included, hold on, as it may be in Parts Two or Three (all of the Surf to Summit Tops are yet to come!).

Devon and her “Rainbow Sparkle Pants of Awesome” PB Jams


Read more…

Winnie’s third(!) art-print VNA


Read more…

Ms McCall’s spotty Duathlons


Read more… (scroll down)

Kat’s new XYT Workout Top


Read more…

Ms McCall’s Threshold Shorts


Read more…

Maria’s Funki Fabrics “dyesplosion” XYT Top & Duathlon Shorts


Read more…

Lavender Threshold Shorts in Berlin marathon

Thank you all so much for first your good luck messages, and then your congratulations after this weekend’s Berlin marathon! We had an absolutely wonderful (and gluttonous!) week in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague leading up to the race, and we thoroughly enjoyed Berlin, too!

I promised you all before I left that I believed enough in my Threshold Shorts design that I’d run an entire marathon in them – and I did! They performed great during the race – they didn’t ride up in the thighs at all and the little back pocket kept my final two gels safe and secure right up until 40k when I gobbled down the last salted caramel Gu.

You can read my full race report over on my River Runner site, but the short version is that I loved this race and truly smiled the entire way through, ending on a total high as we ran through Brandenburg Gate. This was my fourth marathon and my most enjoyable to date (as well as my fourth marathon run in me-sewn gear!).

You can also see that I modified my RDC vest a little bit, too – during races I like to only use one headphone, and normally tuck the other earbud under my sportsbra. But for longer races, this has a tendency to both irritate and get salt and sweat in the earbud, so this time I thought ahead and stitched a little piece of elastic onto my vest at the shoulder to wrap the headphone around! It worked a treat and is something I’ll definitely do for future marathon and half-marathon tops.

Turquoise Threshold Shorts and a Purple Zigzag XYT

I hope you all have been enjoying all the book reviews while I’m away on holiday! I thought I’d end this week with some photos of one of my favourite pairs of Threshold Shorts that I sewed myself. These are made in some turquoise/teal aerated polyester and pale “apple green” FOE, both from Sewing Chest. It’s an unusual colour combination but one that I totally love!

Even better is that I realised that the teal matches the purple/citrine/teal colourway of our Fehr Trade x Laurie King fabric designs really well! I sewed up a sample of my XYT Workout Top pattern in the “Zigzag” pattern to show them off together. It’d be rude not to!

Let’s talk about the top first – as I mentioned with my first, ombré samples, the Spoonflower tech fabrics have no vertical stretch, so you’ve got to add some into the patterns. I chose to demonstrate the super-easy cheat’s way, which was to just draw two horizontal lines (one above the waist and one below), and spread these out when I cut the fabric!

I separated each by 2cm and this seems just about right for me. It also has the bonus of making it easy to stripe match the front and back, as you get a little “window” for the zigzags!

I chose to use the Y back here and I even paid attention and switched coverstitching threads from purple to citrine so they blend in nicely. You can’t see it, but I’ve also used purple power mesh for the built in bra, so it’s a very attractive little running top!

Sanchia's Sunshine Yellow Threshold Shorts

Wow, thank you all so much for your compliments and love over my new Threshold Shorts sewing pattern! I always start my patterns with something I’d love to sew and wear myself, so it’s always great to find that others have been wanting the same thing, too!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I sewed a lot of versions of these shorts during the development process, but also in the road-testing phase so I could cover all the different pocket and runderwear options. But also then because I loved running in them and wanted more pairs! So you’ll get to see a bunch more versions on me, but I thought first I’d share a pair I made for Sanchia, my athlete model and amazingly inspiring runner friend.

Beyond having the most enviable hair (why is it that we always want the hair we can’t have?!), Sanchia sews, she runs, and she never fails to crack me up every time I talk to her! She’s also pretty much the only person I know who got a PB at the sweltering Hackney half marathon earlier this year, of which I’m just in awe (I got a Personal Worst that day!).

I usually see Sanchia on Tuesdays at Run Dem Crew, but it was really great to have a quiet chat when we met up at lunchtime to take these photos. There’s been lots of debate over the past few years about the lack of black and mixed-race ladies on the fashion runways (and rightly so), but I hadn’t really thought about it being the same way in the exercise fashion industry. As Sanchia put it, “When I started running, there wasn’t anyone running who looked like me”. But she’s learned a lot over the years, especially about advice for black and mixed race girls on beauty and hair care while sweating, and she’s hoping to start up a site soon sharing what she’s learned (rather than just keeping it secret among the Gyal Dem, ha!).

Now, a word on the shorts I made for her here. I’d actually recommend her going up a size – they look great for photos, but having them fit this close means there’s not enough room for forward leg movement in running. It’s my own fault – I didn’t have my tape measure with me and had to guesstimate based on her RTW size, and I got it slightly wrong. She’s wearing size XS here but I’d recommend she goes up to a size S for running. If your first pair has a similar fit, I’d advise the same!

Threshold Shorts Pattern

A running short designed for lightweight wovens or mesh fabrics with three optional pockets, curved seamlines, bound hem, and elastic waist. An optional runderwear brief or thong can be attached at the waistband or worn separately.

$10.99USD (£6.94)
buy!

On sale now: Threshold Shorts pattern with bonus runderwear!

Please welcome the newest Fehr Trade sewing pattern… the Threshold Shorts!

A running short designed for lightweight wovens or mesh fabrics with three optional pockets, curved seamlines, bound hem, and elastic waist. An optional runderwear brief or thong can be attached at the waistband or worn separately.

So why am I releasing a shorts pattern in September?? Well, this particular pattern has been in development since May, and it’s been my most technically challenging pattern to date. Anyone can design shorts that look good standing still, but it’s another matter entirely to design shorts that look good while you’re running at threshold pace. And well, this is how long it took me until I was happy with the result.

I’m not just saying that, either – I will be running Berlin marathon in two weeks in a pair of these shorts. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be doing this if I had any doubts about their performance or comfort, because a marathon is a very long time indeed to be annoyed with a garment!