I briefly mentioned the Crop Top design last week when I showed you how to add bust support into the Vest Top, but this week is all about the Crop Top design from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book! On first glance you might be mistaken for thinking it’s just a shortened version of the Vest Top, but it’s got a lot of unique features of its own.
Things are starting to ramp up with my upcoming “Sew Your Own Activewear” book now that the final, final (no really, FINAL!) edits are finished, print and digital pattern versions have been polished, layered, and updated with the spiffy new book fonts, and the marketing ladies at my publishers have been devising plans for the new year’s launch fun!
I’d like to thank every single one of you who’ve gone and pre-ordered the book already, either from me directly, or on Amazon – I’m truly blown away by how many of you cannot wait to get your hands on this!! It’s about to get even better though, because on top of all the thirteen designs I created for the book, I also created a little bonus pattern at the same time to reward everyone’s who’s waiting patiently for their pre-order!
It’s been a while since I showed you any of my finished garments, mostly because they’ve predominantly been using designs from my Sew Your Own Activewear book (which you can pre-order signed copies of now!) and I don’t want to show you too much too soon and risk it all feeling stale by the time January actually rolls around. But this one is just so bonkers and so much fun that I can’t help but share it now!
If you had told me from the start that buying my first ever stall at an expo would require so much time, effort, stress and money, I’m not sure I would’ve ever said yes in the first place. But back when the Great British Sewing Bee Live event was announced, I was tempted, talked it over with J, and decided to go for it and stretch myself as a small business owner.
It’s been a huge learning process, even just moving from a purely digital business into one that not only has to fill a space (which the organisers kept making bigger!) but also taking in-person card transactions, and ordering supplies to try and really show off what Fehr Trade Patterns really is to someone just walking past who may have never heard of us. If you’re coming along, we’re on stall H1 (turn left once you enter, and I’m in the corner with the workshop rooms).
The show is finally upon us, and hopefully now the panic attacks and stress and dwindling bank balance can give way to the enjoyment of meeting new people and putting faces to long-time customers’ names, too. But if I don’t manage to get a pattern released this calendar year, we can definitely point a blame finger in the show’s general direction as much as the book’s!
My sewing activewear book won’t be out til early 2018, but due to lead times in the publishing world, the words are already written, illustrations drawn, patterns drafted, and samples sewn. Some of you may think I’m just being a cruel tease by not showing you all 13 designs right now but honestly, it’s better this way – if I revealed all now, not only would you still have to wait til next year to sew them up anyway, but they’d also be tired and old in your mind – “Didn’t I already see this design somewhere before…?”. So at least this way you may have to wait a while to see everything, but you’ll be able to start sewing them without too much of a gap. When I do have bits I can share, however, I’m happy to do so as I know so many of you are as excited as I am to see its arrival, which is awesome!
One big advantage of working with a major international publisher is that they know how to best shoot and show off the designs I’ve created. From the very first meeting I requested to bring my own athlete models, as I wanted to showcase real women who workout – not just models doing a fake run for the cameras. For the 13 designs we’d need 3 athlete models, and since some of the shots would be in a studio, it made sense for the publisher to source an athlete closer to their base in Devon – and Jade is every bit as strong and lovely as the ladies who’ve modelled for FehrTrade Patterns over the years!
This marathon has been entwined with writing my book since the day talks began with my publisher, as the deadline for the writing has always been the day after the marathon. Some people groan when I tell them that, but honestly, the day after is perfect. If the deadline was a week or two after the marathon, my head would’ve been full of all the things I needed to finish and stress on getting everything done. Having the deadline the day after meant everything was already finished, I could relax, and use the race not only as a celebration of all my hard training, but a celebration of writing a freaking book, too!
My publishers asked if I wouldn’t mind running the marathon in designs from the book to help with marketing down the line, and as it turned out, I was able to squeeze in not only a pair of shorts but a top as well! I’ve run all 6 of my previous marathons in me-made gear, but I usually wear a Run dem Crew shirt or vest on top. This time I wanted to both rep my crew AND show off my book designs, so I made my shorts and vest from modified designs which will appear in my book (coming out early 2018), and took the vest up to Big Teezar in Camden to get the RDC logo and my name vinyl printed onto the front.
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a brilliant weekend – London has been blessed with three straight […]
Those of you who’ve picked up the current Threads magazine may have noticed a little something in the byline of my article, and it’s something I’m so! excited! about! but haven’t been able to mention online at all before now…
I have sewn so many Drapey Dresses that I could pretty much make them with my eyes closed. I made the first prototype version for the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion in Fabric book last summer, and I even got to cheekily wear it out for a weekend before returning it for pattern development purposes. Then I sewed something like 6 more over the next year, including both the blue and stripey versions seen in the book, and the lovely pink one CL wore to promote the book during her February “Bee Mine” challenge.
But I still didn’t have one in my wardrobe to call my own! It’s definitely saying something about the greatness of this pattern and design that I still even wanted one – I mean, I’m usually sick of a pattern after making it 2 or 3 times!
Having seen this dress in all colours and prints imaginable, it made it all the harder to pin myself down to this “duck egg blue” ponte from Truro Fabrics. Theirs isn’t the cheapest ponte out there, but it’s really nice quality and doesn’t tend to bobble as quickly as others I’ve bought elsewhere. I made this Burda vintage wiggle dress using a Truro ponte three years ago and the dress still looks great, despite constant winter wear.
As you may recall, I spent quite a lot of time last year working behind the scenes on the Great British Sewing Bee, first for the third series, then for the Children in Need specials, and finally, for the book which accompanies the series. I personally worked on about 60% of the patterns in the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric book, either by sewing up early samples, measuring yardages or trims, or assisting the illustrators with the construction. So it’s probably quite funny that the first pattern I make from the finished book (not counting the green pencil skirt, which I made from the book before release!) isn’t one I really worked on at all – just one I admired across the studio while others made adjustments.
It’s a pattern for a jumpsuit with an elasticated waist and spaghetti straps with a flounced neckline edge. There’s no fussy closures – you just pull it on and off by stepping into it, and I’d definitely say it’s beginner-friendly, especially since the instructions are fully illustrated. The bonus is that you can also make a pair of casual trousers or a camisole top using the same base jumpsuit pattern (also explained in the book).
In my experience, the trickiest part of this entire jumpsuit was finding the right fabric! It needed to be something hefty enough for the trousers, but also lightweight enough to drape nicely at the neckline frill, and I eventually found this blue & white crepey viscose from Ditto Fabrics that’s the perfect weight and resists wrinkling so it should be perfect for travelling. It did fray like crazy though, so I constructed this mostly on the overlocker (serger).
Doesn’t this just scream summer?? In terms of size, I made Size 14 according to my measurements, and it fits really well – no alterations needed (I should point out that the top/camisole has bust darts so should be easy to do an FBA if you need one).
I wore this out to a pub lunch with friends on Sunday, followed by a little walk in St James’s Park (where these photos were taken) and then more pubbing! It was a little chilly, so I layered a grey cropped jacket over top.