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!

Two quick tops

Not everything I made while I was ill was an involved as my navy Harriet jacket – I made quite a few small and quick projects, too, just to boost my mood. I wanted to show you two different quick tops today – it didn’t really feel like I had enough to say about either to warrant separate posts, but I wanted to document them just the same.

Seamwork Akita in Japanese floral

My friend Alex brought me back a ton of fabrics fro Tomato in Tokyo (which you’ll be seeing more of, I’m certain!), but this narrow, textured floral shrunk a TON in the wash and was narrow to begin with, so afterwards it was very narrow indeed. So I pulled out the Seamwork Akita blouse pattern since it only needs a narrow, non-directional print fabric because it’s just one pattern piece (no shoulder seams). In the end, the pattern piece touched both selvedges and I had to trim off some of the sleeve depth to fit it in!

I haven’t seen this pattern made up much, but I was disappointed in the fit – this runs HUGE, even for an over-the-head top (in contrast, the woven, over-the-head Sorbetto pattern fits much closer). In hindsight, I think I could’ve made the absolute smallest size and still be swimming in it (and no, no printing errors!). I chopped off about 6 inches in length, too, and it’s still on the long side.

But the worst bit is that the bust point is ridiculously low, which just looks bad. Luckily, it gets lost in such a busy print, but it’s still disappointing.

By the time I tried it on and realised it was massive, I didn’t have any bias fabric left to do the neckline facing, so instead I pulled out some silk charmeuse bias strips I had squirrelled away and used those to finish off the neckline in my preferred way. This is actually my favourite part of this top!

I’ve worn it with layers on top because I like the colours, but I’m glad I didn’t make it in an expensive silk like I was planning! The other Seamwork patterns I’ve made have been true to size, so I’m not sure what happened here…

Sweaty Betty striped tech tee

I had some weird, small offcuts of tech fabrics from my Sweaty Betty-working friend, one of which was this teal, black, and grey striped, slubby wicking teeshirt material. I cycle commute in street clothes that I wear at work all day (unless it’s pouring, in which case I change into dry clothes at the office) and I like to have a base layer which dries quickly. I never get that sweaty on my ride, but when I was ill it felt a bit harder than it does normally, so tech tees were useful.

In Waiting…

It’s never particularly convenient to be ill, but honestly, this couldn’t have been a more inconvenient time. Without going into details, I’ve been ill for over a month now, and it’s been really frustrating to watch the publication month of the Tessellate Tee pattern slip by without being able to show you all the finished garments I’ve been literally waiting months to show off (no really – I made most of these in October and November!), let alone share some fabric choices, great design features, and finished garments that are popping up around the web already.

This is my pile of Tessellate Tee samples waiting for me to be well enough to photoshoot:

And this pile isn’t even including the two I sewed for Love Sewing magazine’s feature, or the one I made my niece for Christmas! To some people, a month spent mostly lying in bed would be bliss, but to someone like me who already doesn’t have enough hours in the day and is very high activity, this is utter, utter torture. You can make up for a lot of things in life, but missed time is just gone forever…

I honestly have no idea when I’ll be able to pick up with normal activities again. But I can say that I’ve had plenty of time to think and devise new patterns and features and really cool things I want to do with Fehr Trade Patterns, so now it’s just a matter of when I’ll actually have the time, energy, and health to put them into reality.

Burda magazine February 2016

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and excitement over my Tessellate Tee pattern and Add On Pack! I’ve got so many different versions of this top to show you, both casual ones and workout ones, too. I’m really behind on photoshoots due to us sailing our boat to a new mooring (for the first time in 9 years!) and the associated stress making me vulnerable to some nasty bug that’s going round. But I’m hoping I’ll feel well enough to take some photos this weekend, and you’ll get to see some new backgrounds to the photos as well!

But in amongst all the moving melée (plus some added fun in sorting out a new gift subscription), the latest Burda magazine arrived so I thought I’d share my picks with you before it’s out of date!

Burda tend to have their style feature types they run at least once a year, and apparently this is the issue for the “done to death” urban safari styling for 2016. I’m really bored with the concept after so many years of subscribing, but there are some nice patterns here if you look beyond the khaki. I particularly like this boxy blouse, which I think looks fantastic made up in silk or any other soft, flowing fabrics. The wrap skirt isn’t terribly practical if you live in a windy city since that wrap is fully open in front and not just a deep pleat.

They’ve crammed a lot of safari separates into a single page here – a long sleeved blouse, trousers with an interesting silhouette (these two are also offered together as a jumpsuit), plus a dress version of the boxy blouse (funny how lengthening it just turns it into a big ol’ sack!) and a really tragic belted men’s safari jacket. Just… no.