Business casual jean shorts

I never really used to wear shorts very much before a) the pandemic and working from home, and b) the Closet Core Patterns Pietra Shorts changed my entire view on wearing shorts. But I’ve made SO many of them now (5? 6?) that I felt like I should do something different.

So when the Closet Core Patterns “Poppy Camp Shorts” were announced recently, I felt like these could be another great contender for me! This was the July pattern for Closet Core’s monthly pattern club, Crew Patterns. Tbh, I loved the look of these shorts so much that I signed up for a month just to get this pattern! Though now that the month has gone you’ll need to sign up to their Unlimited Membership to get these shorts and other past months’ patterns.

A crazy cat swimsuit

We’ve got a holiday coming up in September, and despite the destination being decidedly un-beachy (Berlin! By train!), we’ll actually be spending four days entirely in swimsuits while we celebrate four wedding anniversaries at Tropical Islands.

I’ve still got two me-made swimsuits I’m really happy with – this Aztec-print Seamwork one from 2015(!) and the pastel bikini set I made last summer for lounging in our hot tub. But it’s always fun to make something new for a holiday, and since I’ll literally be walking around in my suit for the entire day, I didn’t feel like it was too extravagant to sew some more.

A Sports/Casual Versatili-Tank

I was pretty restrained with US-based fabric buying when my mom visited from the States in May, but I did splurge and buy two fabrics from Sew Dynamic for her to bring over in her suitcase. You already saw the botanic/animal print athletic lycra which became one of my favourite Triumph Suit samples, but I also bought a yard of their Drirelease base fabric in the “Prism Peaks” print.

This particular print may be sold out already but I am absolutely sold ON this Drirelease base fabric! Like all their fabrics, it’s made with recycled poylester (82%), and despite being an activewear fabric, it feels like a soft teeshirt material. It’s really, really wonderful and as soon as it arrived, I kicked myself that I didn’t buy more (and at $25/yd that’s saying something)!

A Cheery Bamboo Versatili-Tee

I’ve been sewing quite a lot of “blanks” recently – basic tanks or tees. Some of these I’ve used as vessels for heat set vinyl (like the green and black IWTV ones), but others I’m keeping plain.

I’ve not got too much to say about this particular teeshirt, but I think it’s nice to share wardrobe workhorses as well as fancier makes, because often these are the sort of garments that get worn most of all.

An “Interview with the Vampire” custom tribute tee

My obsession with the “Interview with the Vampire” tv show has not waned in time since it premiered (and broke my brain) last October. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that not a day has passed that I haven’t thought about this show. The brain rot is real.

Anyway, I’ve been playing with my Silhouette cutting machine recently, as I talked about in my last post, but this shirt design is one I worked on for quite a few weeks, and the idea just wouldn’t let me go.

It started with San Diego Comic Con, where AMC put a ton of money into building a recreation of a New Orleans street with live actors and swag, but also filled whole buildings with enormous posters to promote season two (out some time next year). But the image that really stuck with me was from some lifts (elevators) within a hotel, where there was a huge photo of the four main characters on each wall inside.

Black Pietra shorts and a doubly soft Versatili-Tee

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently, but haven’t been very good at either documenting all my post-Triumph Suit makes or taking photos of them, so I’m going to start with some of the first!

Ever since I made my first pair of Pietra Shorts using the ramie from Textile Express, I knew I’d need more, specifically in black. So when their black ramie came back into stock, I pounced on it, buying enough to make Pietra trousers and shorts. This stuff is so great for bottoms – it’s similar to linen but wears a thousand times harder, doesn’t crease, and just goes with everything. So making this pair of shorts out of the remaining black ramie was very high on my “need this in my wardrobe right now!” list as soon as I could. But then our summer turned into 5+ weeks of cold and rain so it hasn’t been a big deal they’ve been stuck languishing on my To Photoshoot pile…

Homemade spa robes

Last summer, we bought a hottub on deep discount and I even made a new spa bikini to enjoy while lounging in it. It’s a bit of luxury, but it means we can just pop up there (it’s on our top deck) after work and relax. The only problem is, even though we only run it during the summer to keep electric costs down, it’s still freezing as soon as you step out afterwards!

We had just been wrapping a towel around ourselves, but that leaves a lot of wet skin still exposed and they kept falling down while we put the cover back on the hottub, tidied up, and climbed back down inside the boat. I felt I could address this with a sewing solution – a sort of spa/dry robe that we could easily slip on and then wear while we put everything away.

I was going to self-draft these but then I saw this free pattern from Do It Yourself Better, which had basically all the features we both wanted, so I just used it instead.

Two pairs of Duathlon Shorts for my Mom

My Mom visited us from the States back in May. She had originally planned to run her first 10km race while she was here, but then some health issues came up and she decided to run a 5km instead. It was so special to be able to run a race with my mom, especially since she wasn’t doing any exercise at all at the end of 2021, and required a zimmer frame (walker) just to get across a room!

But she started small, with walking 1km a day (thanks to my friend Christina’s fantastic book), and gradually built up to running 5-10km and doing lots of strength work as well. She’s lost over 50 pounds in the process but gained so much more in terms of mobility, vitality, confidence, and years back on her life. It even meant she could push back her knee replacement surgeries for a whole year as the surgeons said her running was strengthening the muscles that support her knees.

Developing the Triumph Suit pattern

The Triumph Suit pattern is not only our first triathlon-focused pattern, or our first Advanced pattern, but I’m also fairly certain is the pattern that was in development the longest. And also very likely the one I nearly gave up on the most times (I don’t deal well with very long-running projects!).

So today I’d like to walk you through a bit of its development process so you can get a feel for the timelines involved and the sheer number of hours, weeks, months, and years that go into something as complex and specialised as this!

I started thinking about a trisuit pattern all the way back in early 2021 (I was still shielding during the time, remember!). It was the first inspiration to hit me since the disruption of 2020. During 2020 I concentrated on updating all of our patterns to be layered and projector-friendly, rather than developing anything new simply because I had zero energy for creativity. It started with me combining two blocks together and drawing out design lines – both on paper and on myself!