"You want me to do WHAT?"

Last night after dinner I thought I’d go work on my blue Pendleton jacket. I knew the next step was to create and attach the upper collars (that will cover most of the satin lapels), and so 2 pieces for each lapel, plus the back (collar) facing, it shouldn’t have taken more than a half hour or so. Two hours later, I was mentally exhausted and I felt like I’d come away from an entire day’s marathon session.

I know I only just moaned about this pattern yesterday, but I ended up doing something last night I’ve never, ever done before in sewing: I got out a ruler and measured two pieces to see if it was actually physically possible to join them.

The seam in question:

An ochre Named Saraste Top

For once I’ve actually coordinated my sewing with the weather! Though, like most of my makes, this had a rather long lead time… I actually bought this 1.5m of Atelier Brunette “Shade Ochre” viscose fabric from Lamazi Fabrics last summer but didn’t quite work out which pattern to pair with it until recently, when I decided I wanted to try another variation of the Saraste shirt/dress/top from the first Named book, “Breaking the Pattern”.

My vintage-inspired BIRTHDAY merino cycling jersey

Happy “over a week late but still my” birthday to me!! If you aren’t following me on social media (I mean, why not??) then you may have missed the absolute frenzy of renovation/building work that’s been taking place over the last few months. In November and December, the builders made us a new kitchen, bathroom, and utility room, and then after a short break, have spent all of February and May creating our Saloon (bright living/dining area, where these photos were taken!) and Snug (dark living room) and corridor. Considering these didn’t even have finished walls or subfloors (or lighting!) when they started, the transformation has been incredible.

But it does mean that for infection control reasons, I couldn’t be anywhere near them while they’re here working (we have a very small but self-contained back cabin we stay in). We’re grateful to be in this position, but it severely limits my sewing time before you even consider the sheer amount of dust, lack of cutting table, fact that large sheets of plywood and doors would randomly block access to my sewing room and omg did I mention the dust?!? So my planned birthday make was not finished for my actual birthday this year, which just happens some years! And it doesn’t diminish it in the slightest.

What to sew when you have no mojo

As I mentioned before, I lost my sewing mojo at the end of summer and start of fall. Usually around this time I’d be buzzing with ideas for new, colder weather sewing projects – coats! sweaters! warm running and cycling gear! party dresses! But with shielding continuing long throughout the winter, I literally have no need of any of those things, and my wardrobe is already bursting with clothes (I literally don’t need any more clothes).

A mesh-top Sweat Luxe tank

Earlier this summer, I sewed myself two workout tanks – a Sweat Luxe tank (modified to scoop out the back a little) in a vibrant print, and a tank from a German activewear book using pink and orange fabrics.

When I was making these, I marvelled at how well the print from one tank coordinated with the pink mesh from the other, even though one was from a shop in Canada and the other from Germany! Since I had some leftover fabric from both, I thought it would’ve been a crime not to pair them together, so I did a little bit of hacking and now I’ve got a THIRD activewear tank for all my sweaty treadmill and turbo sessions.

A mesh black lingerie set

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Yes, this is a very similar set to the dotty one I shared on Friday, but I liked that one so much I wanted more in my lingerie drawer.

Earlier, I’d made the plain View 1 of the Sophie Hines Axis Tank pattern but this time around I wanted to make View 2 which has the seamed sides and back. I’ve seen loads of great examples of this pattern using different fabrics and it was the real reason I bought it!

A dotty lingerie set

I seem to go in waves with lingerie sewing – I won’t sew anything for months on end, and then BAM! the feeling takes me and I sew a bunch all at once. Well, the feeling has definitely taken hold!

I’ve actually been trialling a bunch of soft bra patterns on and off over lockdown (which I might delve into at some point) but I’ve finally found one that I really like – the Sophie Hines Axis Tank pattern. This is a cropped, racerback top for stretch fabrics in two neckline heights that ends a few inches below the underbust. It has no illusions about offering any support, but I wanted a lightweight lounge bra since I’m mostly sat around at home all day anyway and don’t really need support unless I’m exercising (at which point I wear a sports bra anyway)

A deep scooped Sweat Luxe for summer

Since I’m in lockdown for the foreseeable future due to my medical history, all of my running has been on the treadmill we’ve (temporarily) set up in our (still under renovation) bathroom. It’s got a skylight for air, and I’ve got a great fan to circulate it, but it’s still far hotter and sweatier than running outside where you create your own wind just by moving forward. So I’ve been reaching deep into my activewear stash for those summery garments I’d normally only wear for a few weeks out of the year in the hottest part of summer, and recognising that I need a lot more summery running tops!

So naturally I reached for View B of our Sweat Luxe pattern since I’ve been wearing my fluorescent orange version a lot. But this time I wanted to play with the pattern a bit so I scooped out the armholes a little further in the back and narrowed the straps by a centimeter or so just for something different.

Meet our athlete model – Jenni from London Bike Kitchen!

One of my favourite parts about the entire pattern development process is working with our athlete models. I decided early on in the life of FehrTrade Patterns that a) I didn’t want it to just be me modelling our patterns all the time, and b) I didn’t want to use traditional models, as I’d seen way too many covers of Runners World with the same waif blonde doing that awful “fake running” pose! I know so many incredibly inspiring women and men in the fitness world that it’s only right to share them all with you, too.

A three-piece rainbow RideLondon 100 cycling set

Strap in, because this is an epic post for three finished garments and a 100 mile cycle ride!

When I bought the recycled sunburst print activewear fabric from Sew Dynamic back in May, I knew I wanted to make an outfit for RideLondon 100 using it. It’s a brilliant activewear fabric made from recycled plastic bottles that’s got great stretch and recovery, totally opaque when stretched, and with a really vibrant colour pop. But the digitally printed colour bursts run down the length of the fabric – not quite a border print as they’re placed about a third of the width in, but certainly something that I’d need to really pay attention to when cutting out my fabric.