Our Steeplechase Leggings pattern has been a best-seller since the moment we released it back in 2015 (when I was in NYC for my birthday, I distinctly remember!). It’s a truly unique pattern for a no-inseam legging with flattering style lines, a simple construction that belies the initial “wtf?” reaction when you see the weird pattern shapes, and multiple lengths mean you can wear it all year round.
These are weird times. Apart from my birthday dress, I’ve really only been sewing face masks for myself, J, family and neighbours and even though I’ve got loads of lovely fabrics paired with specific patterns that are ready to go, I haven’t actually felt like sewing them. For me, most of the joy of sewing is in the making itself, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t enjoyment in the wearing it for others to admire, too. Without that component, on top of my usual routine being upended for the past 3.5 weeks, it’s just not been easy to get into the right mindset to create.
By go-to for times when I’m in a funk is to sew a “quick knit top”, which, for the past few years has meant a teeshirt using the “Loose Fitting Top Block” from my Sew Your Own Activewear book (my go-to teeshirt pattern). So I grabbed some cotton-lycra jersey from Ditto Fabrics in the most perfectly “me” shade of olive green from my stash, and did some cathartic sewing early on in March.
The third pair of compression leggings I wanted to share with you were actually made before the other two pairs, when I was still tweaking the first but felt confident enough to cut into “good fabric” rather than the cheap stuff I keep around for sewing muslins. And what a fabric it is, too!
The second pair of compression leggings I made for myself using our new Compression Fitting Bottom Block pattern was one I decided to make after realising that I’m wearing a LOT of leggings made from winter technical fabrics for my daily cycle commutes. Even though my legs are moving and getting warm that way, I find that because I’m moving faster, the wind keeps my legs a lot cooler than when I’m running. And my few pairs of Cold Gear or thermo leggings have been in constant rotation for the past few months.
So I finally cut into some fabric from my deep stash – genuine Under Armour Cold Gear fabric that Cidell gifted to me years ago after coming across a treasure trove of it in a Baltimore fabric shop. I made a baser layer top around the time I was developing the book (which I may have never blogged?), and a bunch of leggings out of the other colourways, but I knew I could always use another pair of warm leggings since the others are worn so much.
Thank you all for the enthusiasm for our new (free!) Compression Fitting Bottom Block pattern! Even though these are the most basic leggings you can get, I really wanted to show off the pairs I made to test the pattern and this pair in particular got SO much love when I shared some in-progress shots on Instagram.
The new Compression fitting bottom block has significantly less negative ease than either the Close fitting bottom block or Loose fitting bottom block included in the books (a measurement chart is included in the shop listing). This block can be used as a starting point for any of the bottoms designs in the book, but is particularly well suited for the Active Leggings, Cycling Shorts, and Yoga Bottoms.
One of the things I love most about my Silhouette cutting machine is the ability to essentially cut any shape I like from reflective iron-on vinyl and make everything reflective. This is a seasonal pursuit, since realistically, I’m doing a lot more running and cycling after dark in the winter (with its 4pm sunsets) than I am in summer (with its 10pm sunsets). And since my Silhouette is boxed up awaiting workspace from our renovations, I had to go an fulfil my need for reflective goodies elsewhere, right??
Enter the new-to-me UK shop, Hello Reflectives. Yes, a shop that sells reflective fabrics and haberdashery. They’ve got all the fabrics to mimic those ££££ Nike vaporflash jackets from a few years ago (you have no idea what a status symbol those were before the cheap knockoffs arrived), slightly stretchy reflective pipings, vegan leather… but more importantly, a good collection of stretch fabrics with all-over reflective prints. An all-over reflective print? With STRETCH? Take my money!!
I hope you all have been having a great Christmas break! I actually didn’t make very many gifts this year (having a chest infection then flu for most of November and December kinda ended any possible plans!) but I wanted to show off what I did end up making in case it inspires you.
The problem with taking so long to develop each sewing pattern is that I end up making so many lovely versions that I can’t show you until months after I’ve made them! But it does mean that after a pattern is released, you get a glut of finished makes from me…
Today I want to show you three different versions of the Rouleur Leggings that I made for myself. I made TONS more to test the seaming, and fit, and how they performed on the bike and out on runs, but usually the bulk of these were made from cheap, stretchy fabric and I inevitably ended up drawing all over them in marker pen to annotate what changes I wanted to make. But these three were sewn more as samples than muslins, so I’m happy to share them with the world!