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Completing the Alpine Cycling Set (& 100 miles!)

When I sewed myself the Alpine cycling kit last summer, I didn’t make a sports bra to go along with the Surf to Summit Top jersey and the Rouleur Leggings bib shorts, even though I’d done so for my previous two cycling sets (rainbow in 2019 and Tokyo-inspired in 2020). This was because I didn’t really think I’d have enough fabric left as I knew I wanted to make Tenacity Shorts and a Versatili-Tank with it too, but also because I figured I had enough sports bras and it didn’t really matter.

But apparently I do care, because in the months of cycling in the kit since then (99% of which was on Zwift!), it kinda bugged me that I didn’t have a matching bra – petty, I know, but easily fixable! So once I decided that I’d be cycling RideLondon’s 100 miler in this kit, I pulled out the leftover scraps to see if I could piece together a sports bras from the bits of fabric and upcycled race tees. And the answer was “just barely”!

Green pocketed Versatili-Top (with tutorial!)

Today I wanted to show off a new Versatili-Tee I made myself since the launch of our Versatili-Tops pattern (which includes both tank and tee versions), since I took my own suggestion from the Variations section at the end of the pattern instructions and added a back pocket! This is a really easy addition that only adds a few minutes on to the construction but makes it even more useful, especially for low-impact activities like hiking or cycling.

For this Tee I used some forest green aerated polyester activewear fabric that’s been in my stash a few years. I believe it was an ex-Tracksmith deadstock fabric I bought from FabricMart (US), and it’s nice and cooling with the micro-holes, plus it’s got a lot of good stretch and recovery, too. However, those holes were created REALLY off-grain, which made cutting out a bit more challenging than usual since I needed to fold and cut based on the orientation of the holes instead of the selvedges. But perhaps this is why it wasn’t used in RTW and was sold as yardage?

A long sleeved bamboo Versatili-Tee

As you all know, I am a huge fan of bamboo jerseys for workouts when you won’t be sweating so much (I see you, yoga and Pilates fans!) so I knew I had to make one of our Versatili-Tops samples in it! The pattern not only comes in Tank and Tee versions, but the Tee also has your choice of short or long sleeves, which means this one pattern really can work for both summer and winter workouts.

Versatili-Tops pattern – out now!

Please welcome our newest activewear sewing pattern, the Versatili-Tops! This is actually two distinct tops in one – the Versatili-Tee (get it now?) and the Versatili-Tank, which share the same back piece and feature a front that wraps around to join it.

A snake-print Tessellate Hoodie

What better way to kickstart January than with activewear, amirite?? Especially if it’s a pattern you’ve sewn a thousand times before, in a fabric you love, and made entirely with stash fabrics. Bonus points if it’s also essentially a clone of a garment you already own so you’re pretty much guaranteed of success!

In the years since launching our Tessellate Tee pattern, I found myself wearing the turquoise, yellow, and claret hoodie sample (featured on the pattern cover) for nearly all of my coldest runs – I can’t even tell you how many early morning run commutes this came along on! The key here was that I made it in Funkifabrics’ “thermo” fabric which is essentially fleece-lined lycra. It’s stretchy with great recovery, and has a smooth exterior, but the interior is fluffy and fleecy like the inside of a sweatshirt, which makes it really warm. I often paired this hoodie with a pair of Steeplechase Leggings I’d also made in black thermo, and the combo is one I’d wear on my coldest and wettest runs or cycle commutes.

Two more Coco sports bras

Carrying on from my earlier feeling that I have far too many clothes, I realised that one area of my wardrobe where I currently have a need is… supportive sports bras for running! Plus my lycra scaps bin is absolutely overflowing so this was a great project to work on! These are the 4th and 5th Jalie “Coco” sports bras I’ve made, so I think you can safely say I’m a fan of it!

This is the only sports bra sewing pattern I’ve found (and I’ve tried a LOT) that is supportive enough for running, but with a few small but essential changes – which I outlined in this post so I won’t repeat them here again.

Comparing the activewear sewing eBook and Book!

Today I wanted to clear up a little confusion around the content in our new “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” eBook and our best-selling “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, as some people may think that they’re the same thing – and they’re totally not!! In particular, topics that only got a sentence or two in “Sew Your Own Activewear” due to publishing page constraints go a lot more in depth in “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” with photos and diagrams to make things even clearer for those who’ve never sewn activewear or worked with stretch fabrics before.

An alpine Tenacity Shorts set

Today it’s time to look closer at our third and final sample of the new Tenacity Leggings pattern, and it’s one that got a true testing – immediately after the photoshoot I set off on a run around the Lanhydrock estate, in Cornwall, even though it was fairly muddy, because I just couldn’t help myself! Also it was super fun to be able to play with my friend’s lab, Freya, for some of these photos. I guess this makes her my first “dog-lete model”??