Introducing… FehrTrade patterns!

I promised you all a big announcement this week, and my big news is that I’m releasing my first sewing patterns at the end of this month! I’m focusing on exercise gear, and the first two patterns are super versatile!

The xyt Workout Top


This is a pattern for a close-fitting, sleeveless workout top with front scoop neck, and choice of three upper back designs. An optional built-in bra is included, and neck and armhole edges can either be finished with hidden elastic or bound using a coverstitch binder.

You might see now why I named it the “XYT” – each of the three back variations forms the shape of the letter! The T back in particular has so much scope for variations as the vertical part can be any sort of fancy trim in your stash – lace, sequins, fishnet, fancy elastics, etc…

I absolutely love the built-in compression bra I’ve developed here, too – I’ve never had a RTW one work for me, but these are supportive enough for my B cups to run in, and some of my pattern testers with larger busts have had equal success with only a small FBA!

The pb Jam Leggings


This is a pattern for close-fitting, workout leggings with contrast swirl design on the upper front thigh leading to the upper back. There’s a hidden pocket inside at the upper centre back, perfect for gels, keys, or your phone, and contrast panels at the back of you knees are perfect for mesh fabrics. An elasticated, high-rise waistband means they won’t shift around as you move, either!

You may recognise these from my mocha running top photos earlier this week – these have become my favourite leggings ever in a very short amount of time, and when I wore them to my running crew I had several people begging to buy them off my body, no less! The design lines carry around the sides so you look good from all angles, and the hidden pocket in the centre back is sized so you can stash your phone, gel, or keys without having to carry anything.

Fehr Trade Patterns 2nd Birthday Sale!

Can you believe it’s been two years since I launched the first FehrTrade activewear patterns back in December 2013?? In those two years I’ve managed to release 10 different activewear patterns (with more on the way!), and I thought it was high time we all celebrate!

I’ve got a bunch of great stuff planned for the entire month of December, but I wanted to kick things off by announcing a special 2nd birthday sale to send a big THANK YOU to all my loyal readers! So for the entire month of December you can save 20% off all purchases at shop.fehrtrade.com by using the code “2NDBIRTHDAY” (Paypal users note that you’ll go quite far through the process before the coupon box is shown).

I also wanted to take this opportunity to flag up that I quietly released an update to the PB Jam Leggings pattern recently! I’m going back through my earliest patterns and upgrading the illustrations to be more in line with the most recent ones. My illustration skills have come so far in the past two years and I wanted to give people who purchase my earlier patterns the same experience as those who grab my latest ones.

Introducing… FehrTrade x Laurie King fabric designs!

By far the single biggest question I get with my exercise sewing patterns is “Where do I buy good fabric?”. Despite compiling a list of global stockists of exercise fabric, I totally get your frustration – it’s getting a lot easier to buy nice colours and quality wicking lycra, but prints are still difficult to get a hold of, and when you can, it’s often costly and difficult to match colours.

But what if you could buy just one yard of fabric and be able to sew up one garment with coordinating colours and stylish prints, and mix and match to make outfits that coordinate together, too?

I’m super pleased to announce that this is exactly what I and illustrator Laurie King have made happen! Laurie is an avid cyclist and dad to two small boys, and I’ve been a massive fan of his hand-drawn style since before he made that amazing couch on ITV’s The Cycle Show!

I’ve had this idea brewing for about 6 months now, but it took a design session with Laurie before the idea really came to life. Since I know the exact size and shape of all the pieces for my sewing patterns, I’ve created “zones” of print and colour on one yard of fabric using two of his prints in three different colourways. These prints are exclusively for your fabrics, too!! So there’s very little chance you’ll be exercising and catch someone across the room wearing the same thing!

The first collection is comprised of two prints – “Zigzag” and “Maps”, using three different colourways – “citrine/black”, “purple/citrine/teal”, and an “earthy” mix of forest green, slate blue, and muted red, which should be perfect for Fall and Winter. The idea is that we’ll be changing these up and releasing different designs a few times a year, too, so we’re open to ideas on colour combinations you’re loving!

A chambray Luova tunic dress

I will readily admit that I don’t pre-order many books. But I absolutely pre-ordered the Named Patterns new “Building the Pattern” book as soon as I could! I mean, why wouldn’t I after making so many patterns from their first book (and a few more planned, too!)?! The focus on this book is fitting alterations so there are TONS of diagrams and instructions and advice on getting a great fit even before you get to the patterns in the book (which can either be traced from the sheets in the book, or downloaded in A4/AO formats from their website).

The Luova pattern comes in three styles: a blouse, tunic, or dress, with two different collars and three different sleeves to choose from. The tunic (a short dress, really) stood out to me and I thought that perhaps I’d be able to make it from a 1.5m remnant of stonewashed denim from Fabrics Galore I’d recently bought. I got it thinking I’d use it to make another pair of jeans but it’s in no way what I’d consider a “denim”, btw – it’s far lighter than jeans and what I’d call a chambray, suitable for shirts or dresses. So it seemed perfect for this tunic!

A citron yellow Rest Vest

Thank you all for your comments and sympathy regarding the death of my father and my tribute vest. I’ve been sewing a LOT over the past few weeks while he’d been dying, but for obvious reasons I hadn’t felt like writing blog posts or taking photos, so I’ve got a bunch of garments to show you, completely out of order and with some photos taken recently and some from weeks ago (just don’t look at the length of my hair too closely!).

The first I wanted to show you is the Rest Vest from MadeIt patterns – a new-to-me pattern company that is also based in London! This is the pattern I used for my tribute vest, but this version today is the one I made first.

I saw the back view of this vest (British English for “tank top”, Americans!) in my Instagram feed and basically clicked buy then and there. It was still under its launch discount, too, which was just a bonus, but I love that the top wraps around at the back to create that upper back interest and the back wraps around at the body to shift the side seams forward. It feels like a design I’d draft myself, which is high praise indeed!

Happy 2020! (My year in review)

Happy new year! I always like to take the opportunity on the start of a bright new year to look back on the year that was – what I made and loved, what I made and swore at, and other big life milestones that will make 2019 stand out in my mind. And because I love stats, I also like to take a step back and get an overview of what I’ve been making to get an eye for any trends that may have escaped me at the time…

The Kinetic Tee pattern – out now!

Please welcome our newest sewing pattern – the Kinetic Tee! This one has been so much fun to develop and draft – it’s an asymmetric tee but due to some (ahem) clever drafting, it’s quick to cut out AND to sew up, and feels really great and comfortable to move in, too.

Move in a workout tee that really sets you apart from the team! This loose fitting asymmetric tee has plenty of interesting seaming in the front and back with slash openings at the left shoulder and right front clavicle. Choose from either a cut-on short sleeve, or dropped shoulder long sleeve in twisted or straight options.

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The Knot-Maste Yoga Set – out now!

Please welcome our latest sewing pattern and our first designed specifically for yoga and pilates – the Knot-Maste Yoga Set!

Make your own perfect yoga wardrobe with our Knot-Maste Yoga Set sewing pattern. Start with a loose fitting teeshirt with knot-detail sleeves, upper back yoke, and semi- open back, worn knotted in the back for a tighter fit during exercise or left loose for cooling down. Alternatively, a shorter option features a hem band with knotted side detail. Pair it with comfy bottoms featuring slouchy pockets, crotch gusset, waistband with hidden elastic and optional tie, and a banded or tied hem in capri or full length and you’re ready to hit the mats in style!