Thank you all so, so much for your enthusiasm and compliments on the launch of our fabric designs last week! I’ve been swamped with work (which is great!) but managed to squeeze in some time to sew up the first two samples – a VNA Top and Duathlon Shorts (booty length) in the coordinating “Maps” citrine & black colourway.
So if you buy one yard of the “Maps” citrine/black VNA fabric and one yard of the “Maps” citrine/black Duathlon fabric, this is what you get! Cool, eh? There’s more photos of me modelling at the end, but I know loads of you were waiting to see finished versions first before taking the plunge!
Having cut out and sewn both, I took some photos throughout the process, and have a few tips as well. The previous post shows you how to lay out your pieces onto the different zones, but in real life, I know my makeshift cutting table (err, desk!) isn’t big enough to hold the full yardage.
So the first thing I recommend is to cut the fabric apart along the different zones and trim the white borders.
This makes it a lot easier to match up the edges so you can fold the zones in half and cut on the fold (or in the case of the Duathlon shorts, cut two layers at once). It also means I can fit the fabric onto my cutting table!
Here you can see the pieces in size Small and how I laid them out on the zones. As I said before, when drawing out the zones, I made sure that all the sizes fit in as printed, from XXS to XL.
And for the neckbands, you can just use the width guide provided and extend that to the set length with a ruler. Here, the neckband uses the horizontal zone and the four armbands are cut from the vertical zone (since they don’t need any stretch).
One thing I noticed from my geometric speedy outfit was that the curved underbust seam was riding a bit high due to the Spoonflower Performance Knit not having any vertical stretch – just like this Performance Piqué. So to lower the underbust seam a little here, I cut it few cm lower at the CF, gradually reducing to nothing at the sides. Note that this is not an FBA – you’ll find instructions for that in the pattern itself, remember.
I was using a test pattern here without seam allowances… You don’t need to add any on to yours!
So once I had all the pieces cut up, sewing it together was just like any other!
For the Duathlon shorts, I wanted another booty length pair since I love my geometric ones I raced in last weekend, but the biker short length also fits into one yard (I’m working on a 2 yard solution for the capris!). The booty length only use the upper side piece (in turquoise here) and not the lower side (in citrine), so I left the citrine attached for some other future use. I’ve found that the key to comfortable movement in the booty short length is to use gripper (silicone) elastic inside the hems, and I had just barely enough leftover to do that here, too.
Again once the pieces were cut out, the construction was all very straightforward, and just like the million other pairs I’ve sewn! But when I went to try them on to check the waistband elastic, I realised that I’d been relying on the bi-directional stretch of most lycras way more than I thought – without any vertical stretch – these were really low-rise!
So having worn this pair, I know that in future, I’d definitely recommend adding vertical length above the crotch but below the waist edge. For me, I’d probably add about two inches to bring this up closer to my belly button. Adding this into the Duathlons is easy – just cut a straight line perpendicular to the grain line, spread it apart, and smooth out the pattern edges (since the back slants at the top, the smoothing out will be a bit dramatic).
You’ll also need to add the corresponding length to the Upper Side piece as well as the Front and Back, remember! But I realised that the zone for this didn’t allow much extra room beyond the XL size, so I’ve redrawn the zones in all the Duathlon fabrics now so the Upper Side piece extends all the way down the entire length, so you’ve got plenty of room. If you’ve already bought, I’d extend the Upper Side piece into the main fabric area (past the slanted end), and you’ll just have an extra stripe of colour/print in there, which would look pretty cool!
But apart from the slight surprise about the vertical length, I love this set! I utterly adore the ombré, the print and the way these two pieces coordinate as a set.
Happily, I think I have enough of the main fabric zone to cut another pair of booty length Duathlons, and I’ll figure something out for the sides!
You may notice a running armband in these photos too – stay tuned as I’ve got this to re-release as a much clearer (free!) pattern, too.
Oh, and if you’re like me and want matching thread without a trip to a physical store, here are the Gutermann thread numbers for our colours:
- “Citrine” is 334 (the spool looks too green but the thread on its own matches well!)
- “Turquoise” is 736 (or 197 is also quite close)
- “Earthy brick red” is 847
- “Earthy slate blue” is 64
- “Purple” is 128
- And unfortunately I don’t have a number for the “Earthy green” as I’ve got a rare other brand of thread, but if someone can provide…?
I still have two more samples to sew up – an XYT Top in “Zigzag” purple/citrine/teal and another pair of Duathlons in “Zigzag” earthy colours (I’ve got these earmarked for biker length!).