Mint X Back Workout Top

I hope you’re not too sick of seeing all these versions of my workout patterns yet, as I’ve got a few more yet to show you and I’m saving some of my favourites for last!

I’m also very pleased to report that I’ve been able to go back and fit in an XXS size (84B 63W 90H) into both patterns – the leggings files are totally done and the top only needs some elastic calculations and that’s done, too! I’ll be updating the files within my Etsy shop later this week, and I’ll make an announcement when they’re up, too. All previous customers will be able to download the updated files should they wish (but there’s no real change to the other sizes so there’s no point in re-printing and re-taping if you’re not an XXS, really).

But enough of the housekeeping, let’s see the sewing!

For this version I chose to make the X-back version in some highly treasured and amaaaaaazing “space dyed” Hint of Mint supplex from RunnersFabrics (on hiatus til the end of the month due to a Canberra -> Perth move!). I browsed through my Bag O’ Lycra and found I had an old race tee that was the exact same colour as the supplex, so I used that for the upper back portion. I’m still chuffed about how well these fabrics match every time I put it on!

For the shelf bra here, I used nude power mesh I’d picked up at Kantje Boord when I ran the Amsterdam marathon back in 2012. It’s a bit too cold here to wear the top on its own on my runs, so I’ve been wearing it underneath jackets and loving the support – it’s plenty enough even for my long, 2+ hour runs at the weekends.

(Seen here paired with my mesh-insertion leggings I made last spring!)

My teal mixed-print VNA Top and bonus booty shorts

I showed you a casual version of my new VNA Top pattern a few weeks ago, modeled by my athlete friend Anne, but one of the great things about this pattern is that it works equally well for both exercising and lounging about. Just change the fabrics and go up a size and it’s ready to throw on with jeans!

Since you’ve already seen one casual version, I wanted to show you my favourite workout version – actually, this might be my favourite workout top ever – I just love how the fabrics coordinate together!

If you’ve used any of my patterns before, you know how great they are for using up small pieces of fabric – because sportswear fabric can be expensive and I hate wasting anything, but also because it means you can coordinate tops and bottoms really easily! I made this VNA Top using a Spoonflower print I fell in love with, printed onto their Performance Knit base (though now that they’ve released their Performance Pique, I actually prefer that to the “knit”!), and when it finally arrived, I saw that the teal colour in it coordinated perfectly with the mint space dyed supplex I had leftover from my minty XYT Workout Top, but also with a bunch of mis-printed “Run to the Beat” technical tees I got given for refashioning. I couldn’t believe my luck!!

I cut the Upper Front in the Spoonflower print, the Lower Front & Back from the “hint of mint” supplex, and the Back and Bindings from the refashioned race tee. Three different fabrics in one top, but the shared teal colour mean they look great together!

Steeplechase Shorts for an active tween

On Friday I showed you the full-length version of the Steeplechase Leggings pattern I made for my niece, Megan, but as soon as I finished making those, I decided to throw in a shorts version, too, so she can wear them in the warmer Virginia summers.

I’d measured her in person when I had to return to the States briefly in January, and I made and posted them over in time for the pattern launch. Since I’d already cut out her size (XS) for the longer leggings, the only difference I had to make for these was just to cut along the Biker Shorts hem line instead!

All together now, the pattern description is:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

These were a little bonus gift, but I still wanted to make them stylish for her so she could wear them for play, sports, or school if she wanted, so the main fabric is the very last of my adored Eclipse “Hint of Mint” supplex (which you may remember from my Mint X Back Workout Top or my Multi-Print VNA Top), but I made the yoke from offcuts from my Animal Magic Steeplechase Leggings, which I was cutting out for myself at the same time. Like the afore-mentioned VNA Top, I really like the mix of the prints here even though they weren’t designed to go together.

I love how well these shorts stand up to all the movements a 12 year old can throw at them – running, jumping, diving at the football (soccer ball) – they aren’t shifting for anything!

Steeplechase Leggings – purple capris and shorts

So far I’ve shown you my two solid-coloured full length pairs of my latest Steeplechase Leggings pattern, but this pattern also comes in capri length or biker-short length options, too! So you can really wear these all year long, and the construction is exactly the same no matter what length you choose, which makes the instructions even more straight forward.

In case you missed the initial announcement, here’s the pattern description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.

Here are the capri and shorts length versions I sewed up as samples. I tried to make these in more sedate colourways than my normal crazy prints! (Yes, only I would call bright purple “sedate”!)

I’m not usually a fan of capris, but I know so many people who love them that I always try to offer the length if at all possible. They can be a great transitional length when it’s too warm to wear full length leggings, but not quite warm enough for shorts.

(Seen here with my mustard merino wool Surf to Summit Top)

The fuchsia fabric used here is a super soft, comfortable wicking jersey with a brushed, navy back, which was gifted to me by a friend with industry connections (sorry!). I also got a biege colourway at the same time, and I’m looking forward to mixing it and the scraps leftover from this. The yoke is just a plain black supplex leftover in my stash.

Announcing the Spring Race Challenge!

Everybody could use a bit more motivation to exercise, right? In my opinion, spring time is the absolute best time to start exercising if you haven’t been doing as much as you’d like, and what better way to motivate yourself than with some pretty new exercise gear that fits you perfectly?

The Spring Race Challenge is simple – sew up some exercise gear, and sign up to a race.


It doesn’t matter whether the sewing is self-drafted, from one of my patterns, or from another pattern company. The important bit is that you’ve sewn it yourself!


It doesn’t matter what sport you’re into – running, cycling, swimming, karate, gymnastic, cross fit, whatever! You do not have to be speedy. This isn’t about beating your competition, or getting a new PB, or signing up to some lofty challenge – this is all about picking a goal and motivating yourself to work towards it. If running is your thing, I highly recommend checking out your local Parkrun – they’re free, timed 5km runs every Saturday around the world.

How to take part!

Step 1: Place the Spring Race Challenge badge somewhere on your blog (if you have one – if not, tell a friend or tweet it with #SweatAndSew or post it to Facebook!).