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An Alpine cycling set

It feels inevitable that, as July rolls around and the Tour de France starts up, I find myself sewing a cycling set! In 2019 it was with a goal to wear it to cycle 100 miles in Ride London, and last year it was to complete the Virtual Tour de France on Zwift with an ascent up Mont Ventoux but this year… well, I just wanted a new outfit!

Funkifabrics are one of my absolute fabric activewear suppliers and I’ve been sewing their various base fabrics for at least 8 years now, and frankly I’ve lost count of the number of races I’ve run in their fabrics. So when they got in touch back in January and asked if I’d like to try out their new Spider print base in the print and colours of my choice, I positively leapt at the chance! Their Spider fabric is what I’d generically call an “aerated polyester” (though this is nylon), and what all the big brands have their own copyrighted names for, but essentially it’s a matte activewear fabric with lots of tiny holes – plenty big enough to let moisture and airflow through, but small enough to not be see-through. It’s super lightweight AND has great stretch and recovery in both directions. It’s quite similar to the material often used in race tees, but with better stretch and a tad more texture.

Two more sports bras – from scraps!

Our boat renovations are in their last few weeks, which means that everything is in disarray and even the meagre folding table I had been using to cut out fabric is now out of bounds, blocked in place by several massive sheets of plywood. But thankfully I planned ahead and cut out a few projects before this happened, the last of which I’ve now sewn – two more Jalie Coco sports bras, made entirely from activewear scraps!

If you recall, I made two of these last year, one in each view and with a few crucial tweaks to increase the support in order to be enough to run in. Please refer back to this post for the details of what those are, as I’ve done the exact same tweaks here. After wearing both the Y-back feather bra and the cross-back Tokyo bra for a few months, I can say that I definitely prefer the Y-back view. It’s easier to get on and off and feels a bit more supportive, even though the cross-back is perfectly fine! So for these, I just cut the Y-back (view B in the pattern) to make my life simpler.

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.

Men’s Surf to Summit Top pattern – now layered!

Yes, we’ve carried on with our regular updates and now the Men’s edition of our ever-popular Surf to Summit Top pattern joins the Ladies edition in being layered! Woop! The Ladies edition has been layered for a while, and our Lightspeed Leggings pattern was the first to be layered from launch, so it was a great opportunity to update this one, too, so it’s even easier to sew some great winter activewear for the men in your life.

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.

Tutorial: Add a full-length zip to your Surf to Summit Top

As promised, and after many requests, I’ve created a tutorial for changing the half zip in your Surf to Summit Top pattern to be a fully-opening zipper! This is a pretty straightforward change but I like to be very thorough in my explanations so don’t be scared by the amount of steps – half of them are me just adding clarification.

This tutorial not only works for the Ladies version of our Surf to Summit Top pattern, but also the men’s version, too! I did this same change for our athlete model, Jason, when he wore the Surf to Summit Top with our men’s Lightspeed Leggings pattern.

A Tokyo-inspired cycling jersey

Annnnd rounding out the final garment in my Tokyo-inspired three piece cycling set, it’s the jersey! For this one I used our FehrTrade Surf to Summit Top, which has been one of our bestsellers since it came out at the end of 2014. It’s super versatile, and can be used as a winter running top, classic cycling jersey, or swimming rashguard and has a bunch of interchangeable options. But some people just aren’t happy with a zillion options (err, me!) and had to go and do more tweaks, too!