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Tokyo-inspired cycling bib shorts

You heard all about my three-piece cycling set as a whole yesterday, but today I want to talk specifically about the bib shorts that I wore to ride up the virtual Mont Ventoux on Saturday.

For these I used our very own Rouleur Leggings pattern using the shorts option and the bib waist treatment (so essentially it’s View B). I wanted the Tokyo-inspired print from Funkifabrics (on their Life Recycled base fabric) to be the star of the shorts here so I used that for most of the pattern pieces, but I used the Discovery Fabrics’ Yoga Stretch in “Rust Berry” for the leg band and the bib for a nice bit of contrast.

A Tokyo-inspired three-piece cycling set

Strap in, because this is going to be one EPIC ride! No, seriously – not just what I did on the bike, but also in the sewing of this set, which will be spread over the course of five posts, because, well, I’ve got a lot to say and a lot of details to share and I want to give this all the space it deserves to breathe and inspire.

This all started life back in February, when Funkifabrics got in touch to see if I’d be interested in sewing something up from one of their fabric designs in their Japan collection with the intention of tying in with the Tokyo Olympics. Did I!? It’s no secret that I love Funkifabrics, and I selected this Tokyo-inspired nightlife print which I chose to have printed on their Life Recycled base fabric (because I’m trying to buy sustainable or recycled fabrics as much as I can!). I didn’t really have a project in mind when it arrived, but a lockdown took hold, the Olympics got postponed, and I started to have to do all my exercise at home on our new treadmill and turbo-trainer, so I found myself creating my own events.

Highly reflective Rouleur Leggings

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!!

Rouleur Leggings – in sequins, cats, and rainbows!

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!

Rouleur Leggings – wild animal print bib shorts

Since I was making our athlete model, Jenni, a full cycling set to her own measurements, I thought it only fitting that I also ask what sort of colours or prints she’s into, and I was delighted when she came back with a bunch of animal prints from Funkifabrics’ selection. A girl after my own crazy-prints-for-activewear heart!!

I narrowed it down to this pink, purple, black, and turquoise animal print (mostly because a lot of others had subtle stripes and I didn’t want to stripe-match!) which I had printed onto their new Life Recycled polyester base fabric. This was my first experience using this recycled base fabric and I’d definitely use it again – it had a similar in weight and feel to their standard Flexcite base but with the knowledge that it’s less harmful to the planet than standard, virgin polyester.

Meet our athlete model – Jenni from London Bike Kitchen!

One of my favourite parts about the entire pattern development process is working with our athlete models. I decided early on in the life of FehrTrade Patterns that a) I didn’t want it to just be me modelling our patterns all the time, and b) I didn’t want to use traditional models, as I’d seen way too many covers of Runners World with the same waif blonde doing that awful “fake running” pose! I know so many incredibly inspiring women and men in the fitness world that it’s only right to share them all with you, too.