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The perfect pandemic trousers – for him!

I was encouraged by the effect that sewing for my mom had had on my own sewing mojo, so I decided to stick with the theme of sewing for others and I turned my attention to my husband instead.

I’d bought La Maison Victor‘s special Menswear issue back in 2018 (which I bought first in French when it was originally released, and then, later, again when it was finally released in English). There were so many good menswear patterns in this issue – lots of interesting and different (but still wearable!) designs, but I thought that the “Jeff Trousers” in particular would be perfect for J’s new work from home lifestyle.

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 teeshirt for my Dad and a tribute from/for me

At the end of January my Dad became suddenly critically ill with a list of serious problems as long as my arm. While I anxiously waited for my last-minute transatlantic flight to leave to go over and visit, I needed something to keep my hands busy, so I decided to make him a teeshirt.

I had recently bought some cotton jersey from Girl Charlee UK (who’ve since closed down) in his favourite shade of “Penn State blue” and I used this in conjunction with the Men’s teeshirt from the Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book, size Medium. (Coincidentally, I actually made the “perfect” modelled in the book!)

James’s black velvet tee

Just before we went to France a few weeks ago, James expressed a desire for a black velvet teeshirt with a V-neck and 3/4 length sleeves, but lamented that he wasn’t finding any in the shops and asked if I could make him one. He specifically said that he loved the way the grey Paxson I made for him last winter fits, and when I offered to fix the few shoulder/neckline issues in it, he said he liked it that way, so I left the pattern as-is apart from turning the round neck into a V and shortening the sleeves.

A pale blue Seamwork Eugene henley

The final Christmas present I made this year was a long-sleeved top for James, using the Seamwork Eugene Henley top pattern and some pale blue cotton lycra jersey he’d picked out last time we were at Ditto Fabrics in Brighton. I’d inadvertently picked up a remnant of their cotton lycra jersey previously and James raved about the fabric so much that I finally just brought a scrap of it in to their Brighton store for Gill to fondle and ID for me! Luckily for him, it’s something they always have in stock in a bunch of different colours

Three gifted Lightspeed Leggings

I’ve still got lots of holiday sewing to tell you about and today I wanted to focus on three pairs of our Lightspeed Leggings I made for Christmas gifts!

A good friend of ours spent Christmas with us this year, and seeing as how he’d helped me with the early development of the Lightspeed Leggings pattern I’d promised him a finished pair of shorts. On one of his visits months ago he’d picked out the remains of the houndstooth lycra (as seen modeled by Jason on the pattern cover), but when I went to cut it, I discovered there wasn’t enough! Boo.

As is typical for me, working within restraints often results in better designs than if I’m given free creative reign – so I decided to “make it work” and still give my friend the houndstooth running shorts he wanted, but with a curved piece of rust-coloured supplex at the bottom of the leg to make up the correct length. Since there are no side seams I was able to make a nice, smooth curve around the leg and I think the finished shorts are even better for it! (And more importantly, so does he!)

Lightspeed Leggings sewing pattern – out now!

This pattern has been a long time in the making. I originally wanted to make a leggings pattern for men way back in 2014 after I’d released the Surf to Summit Top pattern for men. I made quite a few muslin attempts over the years but I kept getting distracted and discouraged by the lack of drafting information (anywhere!) for a close fitting men’s crotch curve, so it kept being put aside for other patterns ideas.

But I finally resolved to crack it, and I’m proud that the resulting pattern provides a comfortable fit for active men! There are front and back panels and a one-piece leg (so men can finally have crazy patterned leggings without a side seam getting in the way, too!), and the shorts length can be used equally well for base layers under shorts, too.

Cycling 120 miles with bacon and ikat

The Dunwich Dynamo isn’t a race – it’s not even an organised event. It’s much more a rite-of passage – an annual 120 mile bike ride from London Fields in east London to Dunwich, on the Suffolk coast. It’s been going for over 20 years and the route is just “known”, and the date is the Saturday closest to the full moon in July. Riders set off sometime between 7 and 9pm, and generally don’t make it to the beach at Dunwich until sunrise, or some hours thereafter.

I’ve written a full report on my ride over at my RiverRunner site if you’d like to hear more about what it’s like to cycle for 9.5 hours on a heavy mountain bike having previously only ridden 30 miles. It was tough, and some parts were more enjoyable than others!

This post is more about what I sewed in the leadup to the race, both for James and myself. My copy of the latest Sewing Bee book arrived two weeks ago, and I knew I wanted to sew up the men’s cycling jersey, just to see how it compares to my Surf to Summit men’s top, if nothing else! I did a bit of work behind the scenes on the show and book this year, and I helped out a bit with the instructions for this one but never had the pattern to sew it up myself until my finished book arrived.