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A wool waist pack for cycling

When swapping over my wardrobe from summer to winter recently, I realised that I have way too many clothes. Even after getting rid of 8(!!) bags to the charity shop collection, I still have a full wardrobe full of clothes that I adore and really want to wear. Which is great, but it means that I don’t really need to sew much, and I started thinking more on what I should make that would really serve a function, and trying to concentrate on needs rather than wants.

One of the needs I recognised over the summer is that I don’t really have any small bags that I can take with me when I cycle, when I don’t want to carry a full bag, and what I’m wearing doesn’t have enough secure pockets. So I settled on a waist pack (aka “bum bag” or “fanny pack”) but one that I could sew in a more casual fabric so it’d look nice when I arrived, rather than screaming “I cycled here”!

Comparing the activewear sewing eBook and Book!

Today I wanted to clear up a little confusion around the content in our new “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” eBook and our best-selling “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, as some people may think that they’re the same thing – and they’re totally not!! In particular, topics that only got a sentence or two in “Sew Your Own Activewear” due to publishing page constraints go a lot more in depth in “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” with photos and diagrams to make things even clearer for those who’ve never sewn activewear or worked with stretch fabrics before.

An alpine Tenacity Shorts set

Today it’s time to look closer at our third and final sample of the new Tenacity Leggings pattern, and it’s one that got a true testing – immediately after the photoshoot I set off on a run around the Lanhydrock estate, in Cornwall, even though it was fairly muddy, because I just couldn’t help myself! Also it was super fun to be able to play with my friend’s lab, Freya, for some of these photos. I guess this makes her my first “dog-lete model”??

Neon Tenacity Capris

Next up in our deep-dive into each of the samples of the new Tenacity Leggings pattern is possibly the brightest pair of capris I’ve ever sewn – and you know I love a bright and crazy activewear print fabric!!

We shot the photos for this pair on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, made famous by Hitchcock’s “Jamaica Inn”. It made for a great contrast against the muted terrain on a very grey and cloudy day, though I’m pretty sure some of the sheep thought I was the actual sun!

Olive green Tenacity Leggings

Thanks for all your enthusiasm around the new Tenacity Leggings and “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” eBook! It’s always nerve-wracking to release something new so it really makes a difference when you all love it as much as my testers and I did!

I wanted to kick things off today by introducing the first of our three Tenacity Leggings samples. Normally at this part I’d be telling you all about the baddass “athlete model” I worked with, but with still being classed as “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable” even after 3 jabs, it wasn’t feasible for me to be working with someone close quarters for fittings or travelling on the tube with the camera and gear to do the photoshoot. So I’m afraid I’m the only model for this pattern, but the athlete models will definitely be coming back in future!

Writing the “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” eBook

I’m just going to put this out there and say it – writing a book is a TON of work, whether you’re doing it on your own or with the help of an international publisher (like I did with “Sew Your Own Activewear”). When I realised that I wanted to supplement our new beginner pattern with an eBook focused entirely on beginner activewear sewing tips, I had a pretty fully formed idea of what I wanted it to contain, but not really sure of how to get there.

I wrote out a rough outline of chapters and before starting anything, I approached my publisher to make sure that I was legally okay and not breaching any non-compete or future works clause in my contract from SYOA. Thankfully, they could see that both books were fundamentally different and gave me their blessing to self-publish it myself, otherwise it couldn’t have happened at all!

I think most people assume that the actual writing takes up the bulk of the time spent “writing” a book, but for me, getting the actual words onto paper was the easy part. I closed myself into our back cabin for a few days and by the end of it, I had 90% of the text written!

Developing the Tenacity Leggings

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm for our Tenacity Leggings and eBook launch last week! I’ve got so much more to say about both because omg, they were both so much work! but today I wanted to talk a little bit about the development of the Tenacity Leggings pattern.

Throughout 2020 and my 14 months of shielding, I had zero creativity. But then I suddenly got hit with an explosion of it in spring and threw myself into a crazy complicated, advanced pattern. I went through about 4 test muslins but it still wasn’t quite right, and I felt like it wasn’t the right time to focus on it when so many people felt like they couldn’t even get started sewing activewear. So I parked that pattern (hopefully I’ll release it next year!) and started work on a leggings pattern that would be beginner-friendly, but with enough options to keep myself and other intermediate- or advanced-activewear sewists interested, too.

Coming Soon…

Apologies for the radio silence recently, but I promise it’s for a very good reason! Actually, two reasons, because I have been spending every single second of FehrTrade time for the past few months working to release a new, beginner-focused activewear pattern AND a full beginner activewear-focused eBook to accompany it. Wooooo! And even though the pattern is aimed at beginners, there are plenty of opportunities for upskilling that have won it rave reviews from my more experienced, testers, too.