Wednesday 25 March 2015

Workout Gear - Jalie 3245 & more Fehr Trade VNA and Duathlons

I'm pretty much wearing all handmade activewear these days and have made quite a few pieces in the last few months.  I still need more so I will just do a roundup every now and then.  I have to say making  workout gear is actually so much easier and cheaper than buying it (at least here in Hong Kong), not always the case when you make your own clothes.  That isn't necessarily my motivation, but it is a nice bonus!

I've made a few pairs of Fehr Trade Duathlon capris, some with minor variations on the pattern.  Also a few more VNA tops, all lengthened by around 2 inches following the instructions in the pattern to a length I prefer on me.  I've started making them as sets, I don't always wear them this way, but it does make packing the gym bag much easier if I do.  Here are a couple of example sets:

Black & Lilac Set
The VNA top is black with a tiny print of lilac stars and I used plain lilac for the neck and arm bindings.

I modified the duathlon capris to 3/4 length (somewhere between capri and legging length) and redrew the contrast strip and lower legs so that the contrast wraps around.  The lilac contrast is a lighter weight than the main legging fabric so before finishing the waistband and hem I overlaid a piece of powermesh on the inside which is held in place by zig zag topstitching on the outside.

Coral & Mesh Set
This was a fun print to use on the VNA top mixed with a plain black lower bodice.  The duathlon leggings, again 3/4 length, have a piece of powermesh inserted on the lower contrast band.  I moved the contrast band seam down so that the transparent mesh part is only below the knee.

Finally, inspired by Two On Two Off's million versions of Jalie 3245, I purchased the PDF pattern and made View C, the sleeveless tank in a very bright coral fabric.  I made size V based on my measurements which fell somewhere between a U & V and am really happy with this first version.

I will be making the sleeved versions for everyday wear too, although I will probably raise the neckline a little.  The instructions are great and it is very easy to put together.  The binding treatment is interesting, it is wrapped to the outside of the top, turned under and zig zagged in place.  Even with my slightly wobbly topstitching it makes for a nice finish.  The only thing I did differently was to shorten the hem allowance from 2cm to 1cm - the hem is quite curved and I found it difficult to turn in that much without getting pleats.  It looks really wobbly in the dressform photos above, but that's just the way it is draping, it came out alright in real life!

I'm wearing it here with a plain pair of navy leggings that I also made from the Duathlon pattern, but I eliminated the side contrast band and just added the width back to the side seams.  I know there are many plain leggings patterns out there that I could have used instead, but I know that these fit me so it was easier to just modify my existing pattern.

Thursday 12 March 2015

BurdaStyle 04/2013 - 106 Orchid Print Top

This top is all about the fabric, a large scale orchid print on a remnant of silk satin that has been in my stash for the last year while I decided what to do with it.  I wanted something with few seam lines to preserve as much of the print as possible, but still something with a bit of interest.

I eventually picked 04/2013 - 106, a very basic top with extended shoulders and pleats on the front neckline.  There is also a dress version, #108.  It's quite boxy and has no fastenings.  I added a bit of shaping at the waist, making sure I could still fit it over my head easily.

I really like how this turned out although how much of that is down to the fabric that I love will be seen when I attempt another version.  It's easy to make, will be a good alternative to a t shirt in the summer and works well under jackets.

Saturday 7 March 2015

BurdaStyle 03/2013 - 128 Cowl Tank

This is a simple little cowl neck tank pattern from the March 2013 issue that I picked to use up some jersey leftover from another project.

I had to scrimp a bit on the length and the underarms so this version is a bit tight across the bust plus the way the ombre pattern flowed means that the back and front are different colours, but as a layering piece it will do (I'm wearing it under the jacket in this post).

The small cowl adds a bit of detail, but the neckline sits quite high so it does not gape at all and it fits on the shoulder really well.  This is a great basic that I will be making again - with the proper amount of fabric next time!

 Grey front, brown back!

That side seam matching was a total fluke!

The instructions for the cowl give a nice finish on the inside.

Friday 6 March 2015


A small departure from my usual stuff, but I wanted to share because I am ridiculously pleased with how these turned out!

My sister is a keen and talented baker so when I saw these cute prints I couldn't resist picking them up to make a birthday gift for her.  Sadly for my tastebuds, but happily for my waistline she lives in the UK so a project involving no fitting is ideal.

No pattern used, I just cut around one of my far inferior aprons for the basic shape and added a lined front pocket plus lined the aprons for a bit of extra stability and because it's quicker and easier than finishing all the edges.

I'm quite tempted to make myself a patisserie print pair of pyjamas or bathrobe.....!

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Vogue 1247 Rachel Comey skirt

I'm back from Austalia and pleased to report that we had lovely weather and I did get to wear my new dresses out to dinner - Sydney has some amazing restaurants, thank goodness for the elasticated waists!

While there I met up with Maria and Sharon , who both came to Hong Kong last year, and spent an afternoon of coffee, lunch, chatting and, oh maybe some fabric shopping.  They made me, I tell you!  We visited Pitt St Trading, a gorgeous store and a refreshing change for someone used to rummaging about in markets, The Remnant Warehouse, a great source for activewear and bra fixings, and NSW Leather, a must visit if you want leather with it's jaw dropping selection.  Having never sewn with leather I had no idea where to even begin there, but I will do some planning before my next visit.  Thank you ladies for a lovely afternoon!

Here's what I picked up, I can get a huge range of cheap fabric locally so I tried to focus on unique pieces that would be harder to track down here.

From Pitt St:
A digital print jersey, a burnt orange (despite what the photo says) doubleknit and a stretch cotton sateen remnant;

Matt black sequinned fabric;

Stretch burnout velvet in a dark purple with an ombre effect, also impossible to photograph, but it is stunning;

From The Remnant Warehouse:

Two lightweight silk cotton prints and two pieces of powermesh.

Previously Maria had gifted me some fabric so on the day we met I wore this new skirt that I made from it and utterly failed to take a single photo, you know how it is when you meet fellow sewists - time just flies.  This is the very popular Vogue 1247 Rachel Comey separates pattern.

I made a size 12 and lengthened it from a mini to just on the knee.  I was too lazy to bind all the seams, although it does make for a lovely finish, and instead just used my serger.  I get why this is such a popular pattern - it is a basic a-line shaped skirt, but the inseam pockets in the front seam are a great, fun little detail.

Funnily enough, Sharon was wearing her version of both the skirt and top, I really want to make the top too, but lots of people have reported sizing issues.  Sharon gave me some tips and references to look up so I'm going to try it soon.  By then I hope Spring will have arrived and I will be more inclined to model a summery outfit!

I've got a few tops to post next, plus a ton of workout gear, then I am diving into the new stuff!