I’ve got quite a few different versions of my latest Surf to Summit Top pattern to show to you! It’s such a versatile pattern with so many different options, which meant that I had to sew samples of all the different features over the past few months. Today I want to focus on the cycling features of this pattern, for both the men and ladies.
Let’s look at the ladies’ version first, which is again modeled by my friend and multi-talented athlete, Emily, whom you met earlier this week. I made this version using some navy wicking nylon from UK Fabrics in the body, and some “triathlon” printed lycra from FunkiFabrics in the sleeves. The 1.25m I bought of the latter was enough to make leggings for myself and have enough over for the short sleeves here, and probably a sports bra, too! I finished off this top with some turquoise FOE bought on eBay around the hem and back pocket.
This top was one of the very last samples I made of the pattern, a few days before its release, and it uses the exact same version that you buy – it was sewn up to test that the final changes to the pattern were good. I’m pleased to say that the improvements I made to the half zip, facing, and zip underlay in particular are ones I’m particularly proud of – this came together really smoothly!
Phew! It’s been one heck of a few weeks! I’ve shown you all of the many different versions of the Surf to Summit Top pattern that I’ve made not only for myself, but also my athlete-models. So far you’ve seen versions for snowboarding and cycling, and surfing, but today’s versions are all for winter running.
One of the great things about this design are all the opportunities for colourblocking, and I wanted to play around on this version so you can really see the seamlines – plus I added an extra seam of my own on the shoulders! On the Front and Back, I used some forest green UA Cold Gear fabric (now long gone) from my stash. On the Side panels, I used some reflective fabric from The Rain Shed. A note about this fabric, though – I really like it, but it is not lycra as stated in the description – it’s much, much closer to the sort of textured fabric you find in technical race tees (like DriFit). For the sleeves I used some leopard-print lycra from UK Fabrics, but I didn’t have quite enough leftover from my leggings to fit the entire sleeve in, so I introduced a curved seamline and used some reflective fabric at the shoulder instead.
But let me introduce my athlete-model, Daniel. I’ve probably run more training miles with Daniel than anyone else on earth and he’s a great friend of mine, in additional to being a truly inspiring runner. Dan only started running a few years ago, and has truly embraced endurance running, going from running his ever first race (a 10k) to running his first 100km ultra this year, with a bunch of marathons thrown in for good measure. He’s even run the grueling Mont Blanc Marathon, and regularly passes runners half his age on Tuesday nights.
I made this men’s version of the Surf to Summit Top at the very end of the testing process, so it’s identical to the version you buy, and I especially like how this fits Dan in the waist and hips – this is exactly how I intended the men’s version to fit. It’s slim-fitting without being loose, but isn’t skin-tight, either. If you prefer your tops to fit differently, I’ve included instructions on how to alter the pattern to get the fit you want, as I discovered in testing that men are really polarised on how they like their exercise tops!
Continuing on with our journey through all the different ways you can wear my latest Surf to Summit Top patterns, we’ve already seen it ready for snowboarding and cycling, but today’s version is for the swimmers and surfers! Aussies, you’re particularly going to love this one as it’s perfect for summer swimming without getting burnt to a crisp.
If you’re making a rashguard (aka “rashie”), you’ve got quite a few options to choose from. At first I was a bit confused by all the different variations of rashguards available online, but Katherine really helped me to better understand the cultural context of them in Australia. If you’re sewing for a hardcore surfers, then you’ll probably want to for the long sleeves and not use the half-zip, as it would press against the board while you’re lying on your chest paddling.
But rashies have become so ubiquitous in Australia over the last few decades that the younger generation wear them when swimming as a fashion statement, so you often see versions with long or short sleeves, half zips, and lots of colourblocking in funky swimsuit lycra prints. You can also choose to use either the standard straight hem, or use the dipped hem to protect that little bit of skin above your bikini bottoms! Many teens and twenty-somethings have been wearing rashguards their whole lives, as parents dress their children in them to protect from sunburn, and it’s now caught on with the population at large. All of this may be common sense to Aussies now, but I’ve had loads of Americans and Europeans ask me what a rashguard is, so you’re ahead of the trend here!
My athlete-model, Emily, is a keen surfer, but also a runner, snowboarder, cyclist, and skateboarder(!), so she requested that hers be made in some zebra-print nylon lycra from UK Fabrics, and feature a half zip and sleeve mitts, so she can cleverly use it for winter running and surfing. All of the same options are available on the men’s version of the Surf to Summit Top pattern, too!
It’s finally here! After months of hard work, dozens of pattern revisions, ten sewn samples, three athlete-models, and meters upon meters of spandex, the Surf to Summit Top is on sale now!
Both the men’s and ladies’ versions feature princess seams, side panels (so no side seams!), your choice of long or short raglan sleeves, optional sleeve mitts for keeping your hands warm without fiddling for gloves, a tall integral collar to keep your neck covered, and your choice of two hem lengths. An optional half zip and back cycling-style pocket are also included.
Click any image to make it bigger!
This pattern truly does cover all seasons and a multitude of sports – everything from a rashguard for surfing, to a winter base layer for skiing! Plus you can make a traditional cycling jersey with it, and I absolutely love it for winter running.
Happy 2022! As is traditional, I like to take the chance on the first day of a brand-spanking new year to have a look back at the year before, step back, and reflect on the good (and not-so-good) things that happened. 2021 was always going to be a strange struggle of a transition year, but I kinda feel like we had a bit of practice going into it, so my outlook was a little better than in 2020. But as this is a sewing blog, let’s first take a look at this year’s output…
The problem with taking so long to develop each sewing pattern is that I end up making so many lovely versions that I can’t show you until months after I’ve made them! But it does mean that after a pattern is released, you get a glut of finished makes from me…
Today I want to show you three different versions of the Rouleur Leggings that I made for myself. I made TONS more to test the seaming, and fit, and how they performed on the bike and out on runs, but usually the bulk of these were made from cheap, stretchy fabric and I inevitably ended up drawing all over them in marker pen to annotate what changes I wanted to make. But these three were sewn more as samples than muslins, so I’m happy to share them with the world!
The response to my Tessellate Tee pattern and accompanying Add On Pack over the past few months has been wonderful, and I’ve loved seeing so many finished versions! But many of you around the world have expressed a desire to buy it digitally rather than as part of the magazine…
So I’m pleased to announce that the original teeshirt pattern which appeared in issue 23 of Love Sewing magazine plus the digital Add-On Pack are now available as a single pdf, available now!
I’ve had a few people ask me, “When are you going to release a sports bra pattern?” And to be honest, the short answer is that I have no plans to. My aim has always been to create exercise patterns for designs that aren’t already available, and in my opinion, there’s already a great compression sports bra pattern* out there, Jalie 2563, hiding in the guise of a “Sports top”.
I recently found out that my favourite sports bra pattern is being discontinued (Moving Comfort’s “Phoebe”, boo!), so this was the push I needed to sew up a few more of my own, ready for the next few months of marathon training. I was already cutting into my lycra scraps to create Running armband pockets to fundraise for Argentina, so I cut out some sports bra pieces at the same time when I saw I could fit them in.
The result is two sports bras, one made with Funkifabrics Triathlon (Aqua) print lycra and UK Fabrics navy blue nylon lycra shoulder straps, and one made from UK Fabrics Leopard print nylon lycra topped with aqua nylon lycra (also from UK Fabrics but long sold out). You may remember these fabrics from a bunch of former projects – my triathlon print leggings, my ladies’ cycling Surf to Summit version, my cheetah print leggings, my men’s running Surf to Summit, and my aqua & yellow piping Surf to Summit. Never let it be said I don’t get my money’s worth!
These two were made assembly-line style, so as I sewed the seams on one, I’d do the other at the same time. Happily the colours are similar enough that I could do this without having to rethread all the time.