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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!

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.

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.

A three-piece rainbow RideLondon 100 cycling set

Strap in, because this is an epic post for three finished garments and a 100 mile cycle ride!

When I bought the recycled sunburst print activewear fabric from Sew Dynamic back in May, I knew I wanted to make an outfit for RideLondon 100 using it. It’s a brilliant activewear fabric made from recycled plastic bottles that’s got great stretch and recovery, totally opaque when stretched, and with a really vibrant colour pop. But the digitally printed colour bursts run down the length of the fabric – not quite a border print as they’re placed about a third of the width in, but certainly something that I’d need to really pay attention to when cutting out my fabric.

How to add hand mitts or a turtleneck to the Winter Base Layer

I absolutely love the Winter Base Layer for cold weather exercising – I’ve both run and cycled in mine and I get so many compliments whenever I wear them! But with a few simple steps you can also change both the sleeves and neck to make it even more versatile.

Today I’ll be showing you how you can use the hand mitts from the Surf to Summit Top pattern instead of the included thumb cuffs, and also how to extend the neckline into a turtleneck (aka polo neck) if you’d prefer.

Sewing Bee Activewear week! (and Flash Sale!)

Before you read any further, if you haven’t watched the latest Sewing Bee episode yet, I just want to inform you that there are screenshots from the challenges in this post, but I don’t reveal who won or who lost any of the challenges, so you’re safe to read on!

This week’s episode was all about activewear, and I’ve been SO excited ever since the theme was revealed in last week’s preview. I mean, how could I not be excited! The pattern challenge this week was to sew a men’s cycling top, and it was revealed that none of the contestants had much experience with sewing lycra, either!

“Perfect”, I thought, “what a great opportunity to show the 3 million viewers that sewing activewear can be really accessible, even on your first try!” But Patrick and Esme had other ideas, pretty much talking nonstop about how difficult and fraught with peril sewing activewear is. Umm, guys, it’s really not that hard! I’ve taught loads of people to sew their first leggings and they practically dance out of the room!

More of your makes!

It’s that time again! I can barely keep up with all your amazing, inspiring, and beautiful versions of my patterns these days, and before I know it, I’ve got an overflowing heap to share with you! I know how helpful many of you find these – it’s all well and good that I make nice versions of my patterns, but so much more helpful when you see how good they look on other bodies, too!

Be sure to click through to read the details and see more photos on each of these entries, too. With a long weekend coming up both here in the UK and in the US, there’s no excuse not to whip up something sporty!

Winnie’s Steeplechase Leggings with exterior rolled seams & zebra Surf to Summit


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Karen’s 5(!) Steeplechase Capris for herself and her daughters


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Maria’s three pairs of Steeplechase Capris, with great reflective accents


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Sally’s wintry Surf to Summit for the ski slopes!


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Maria’s “Hunger Games” inspired Duathlon leggings


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mixtilli’s red Lacey Thong lingerie set


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