Tropical cats Duathlon Shorts and Tenacity Leggings

Even though I sewed these at the end of November, they’re my final makes of the year. Despite having a week of feeling “kinda okay” (able to take 15min walks outside) around the end of November, I’ve felt truly appalling for the rest of December and am yet again spending 23hrs a day stuck in bed with post-Covid fatigue. It’s now over 100 days since I got Covid and I still can’t sit up or stand for very long, let along have a normal life.

But now that it’s crunch time at the end of the year, I want to share these before I forget the details, even though I’m not able to share anything more than flat photos of both…

These both started with a photo of a maxi dress that was doing the rounds earlier this year (or last year? It all runs together) with big blue and purple flowers on a black background, with black cats peeking out of the shadows. I really wanted to recreate the fabric on my own, but didn’t quite get to do it. And then I saw a similar print on Creative Market so I purchased it instead, and changed the colours to suit my vision.

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)!

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!

Supplies for the Triumph Suit pattern

I’ve had a few requests for a fabric guide for our latest Triumph Suit pattern so today I’ll walk you through all the supplies I used to create the three samples you’ve seen so far (plus an extra you haven’t seen yet).

Exterior Fabrics

Let’s start with the fabrics you’ll see the most of – the exterior fabrics! You can either make the Triumph Suit all from one exterior fabric (like I did for the prototype I wore to London Duathlon last summer), or you can mix and match fabrics. I made the last four samples all from a mix of exterior fabrics, and I colourblocked each of them different ways – there’s so many different possible combinations! It’s really handy to print off the tech drawing on the first page of the instructions and break out the coloured pencils or pencils to sort out which colourblocking you like the most.

Meet our Triumph Suit athlete model An!

I’ve always tried to use genuine athletes to model our patterns, starting way back in 2014 with our second pattern, the Duathlon Shorts. It means I get to big up other incredible people, tell their stories, and hopefully inspire you all. It also means you get to see the patterns on bodies other than mine, and bodies that actually exercise instead of just skinny models doing “fake running” like you see in so many magazines!

All the best Triumph Suit features

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on the launch of our latest Triumph Suit sewing pattern earlier this week! It feels like such an accomplishment to finally get this one out into the world after so much work.

I’ve got SO much to say about this pattern, but today I wanted to share some of the really cool features in this pattern that may not be apparent at first glance.


This pattern has the most pockets of ANY of our patterns – a whopping SIX in total! The lower back is compromised of three layers (two of exterior fabric with a layer of mesh in between), with top entry and side entry pockets between the layers, and a vertical dividing line of stitching to keep the contents from migrating around.

The side entry pockets have a scooped opening edged with FOE that’s still deep enough to keep the contents in place. This is where I usually keep my phone, for example.

Vampire lips leggings and shorts

I’ve been sewing with Funkifabrics’ activewear fabrics for a nearly a decade now, and I’m a huge fan of their custom-printed fabrics. I nearly always pay my own way, even when it’s for pattern samples, so it’s lovely when they offer to let me try a new base fabric. The last time this happened was back in 2021 for the lightweight Spider, which I loooooved! So I was delighted when they asked if I’d like to try out their new Olympus base fabric in a print of my choosing.

As I am now (still!) firmly in the throes of my reignited vampire obsession, I went with their “Bite Me” print, with 150% scaling, and different shades of pinks and purples using their Colour Me service.

An all black pair of Duathlon Shorts

Ever since I made my pair of (nearly) all black Tenacity Leggings, I’ve wanted a similar pair of shorts. I’m not one to shy away from plain fabrics, but to me, entirely black leggings and shorts are just SO boring! But since making the leggings, I realised how incredibly useful they are for cycling around town, meeting people for pub garden drinks, running errands, getting to hospital appointments, etc when you want to be comfortable on the ride yet blend in when you get to your destination (and it’s too wet to wear cycling jeans).

And I needed something similar for the warmer months! So I took the same black supplex from Tia Knight out of my stash and decided to make a pair of Duathlon Shorts (biker length) so I could have easy access pockets, too. This particular supplex is currently out of stock but keep an eye on their socials because when they restock it, it sells out super quick because it’s such great quality and ridiculously cheap!