Steeplechase leggings

I have noted that all the other pattern testers blogging about their Steeplechase leggings  have very sporty shots of their leggings in action.  It was so hot here when I was testing this pattern that I could only wear shorts to run in.  I am still only wearing shorts and can't bear to wearing leggings of any length.  So I thought I would make a winter version of this pattern....a lounging pair with yoga style waistband.  My only other yoga style pants are so old and worn they are hardly fit to wear.  Because it is still so hot here, I have only put my steeplechase leggings on long enough to take photos for Melissa...so these are the photos you get as well...don't compare me to all those other sporty models popping up in the blogosphere!

I was in such a hurry when sewing these that I made all sorts of mistakes.  Well, not at first.  First, I made all my marks, because the pattern pieces are rather unusually shaped, and sewed each leg together correctly.  Only then, I assumed that I had sewing one leg inside out (which I hadn't), so I cut the stitching off (it was overlocked), losing all my marks and proceeded to sew the leg inside out for real.  Then I sewed both legs together, only to discover one leg faced forwards and the other backwards.  So I cut the stitching off again and resewed it all correctly.  Then I put the waistband on back to front, as you can see.  This is just a lounging-at-home version so I have left it.

The big deal with this pattern is that there is no inner leg seam.  I don't generally have a problem with legs chafing, so this didn't necessarily excite me as a pattern feature...only then when I put them on, I was genuinely surprised at how comfortable they were, even in my soy-bamboo-earth motherish fabric that doesn't have especially great stretch or recovery. So, come winter, I will make a running version of this pattern, with the nifty back pocket.

And speaking of running, I have just completed my fastest-5k program (well, a slightly modified version).  I knocked 3 minutes off my 5k time and this week, for the first time ever, I am not the slowest runner in my running club :)


A Second Stylearc Amber

...and some more photos from my weekend in Sydney. 

For this version of the Stylearc Amber top, I kept more to the colour blocking suggested by the pattern. 

The main fabric is a mesh woven fabric, with little pears all over it.  The sleeves are a dark chambray.  I have used this fabric for 2 projects now, each before using it for its intended purpose...hopefully I still have enough for the original project.  The strip and external facing are leftovers from a cotton camisole I made last year.


Burda Asymmetrical Top

I visited Sydney last weekend.  A versatile player in my weekend wardrobe was a Burda top made up in a very soft, grey, bamboo knit sourced from Oddz and Endz in Noosa.  The pattern is 02/2014 #135A.

I wore it on the plane, with black linen pants (not shown).

I wore it to a play, with my big red skirt.

I wore it to Bondi, where we were nearly blown away.

I did make changes to the pattern.  In the photo below, the back is in the upper portion of the photo.  Other reviewers found the top too short, so I wanted to add some length.  In the back this was simply a matter of splitting and spreading the pattern.  For the front, I wanted to reduce the amount of the drape, as the original pattern looks a bit as though you are carrying a spare belly around.  I split the front and overlapped at the split to reduce the amount of drape.  I then split and spread the bottom sections to increase the length.

I was happy with the fit, though looking at the photos, the upper arm is pretty loose.  I finished the neck edge with my coverstitch machine and binders.

I bought this same fabric in red and am wondering if I should just make up the same top again?  Only looking at the sleeves in the photos, I think I need to adjust the fit of the sleeves in the upper arm.


Pneuma Tank meets XYT!

I bought the Pneuma Tank the moment it was released.  Only I didn't make it up straight away because I didn't have enough bra strapping to match fabrics in my stash.  I could have used my coverstitch and binding to finish edges and extend into straps (and I will do this one day), but I kept thinking how great the Pneuma tank would be if you could change the straps, on whim / with fabric choice, just like the XYT workout top.

I used the XYT as inspiration rather than use the actual pattern pieces.  This is only because I prefer a slightly different neckline than the XYT.  I used my support tank sloper to draw in an X back that would connect with the front of the pneuma tank. You could totally use the XYT pattern though...just remember to extend the upper back pieces to meet the front of the pneuma.  If you lay the XYT front on top of the pneuma tank you will be able to see how long this extension needs to be.

 I used elastic to finish the edges.  I stitched it down with a zig-zag rather than my coverstitch because I was getting low on matching thread.

The bra part of the top is from cotton lycra and the tank fabric is a lightweight, cool knit remnant.  I decided to leave the hem raw.

I would not be surprised if this becomes my favourite running top.  I like top / bra combos because it is one less thing to pull on if you are exercising in the wee hours of the morning or if you are packing to go on holiday and it saves trying to co-ordinate bra / top in the dark, if, like me, you want everything to match.  This top should be much cooler than my support tanks because the main fabric is lightweight and probably does not contain lycra and the style is loose fitting.

Support Tank

I have a sewing friend who teases me about being a little bodgy with my patterns.  You know, just sort of laying them out and cutting something different around them, hacking them off a bit, pivoting here, laying different patterns over the top of each other  and coming up with something else.  Well, I have recently bought myself a supply of pattern tracing paper, which seems to have become a bit hard to find in Australia lately and am making a bit more of an effort to do things properly (well, sometimes).

One pattern that is definitely worth making up properly is my basic exercise top.  My favourite workout tops ever were combinations of Burda WOF 11-2007-123 and Jalie 2563.  In later versions, I had to remember to take the Burda in at the waist and out at the hips, lower the neck of Jalie, adjust the Burda straps if I was using them, raise the fold line for the inner bra etc.  Not anymore...now I have created a Support Top Sloper, based on my t-shirt sloper, with various lines drawn in for different necklines, armholes and backs.

I then used this sloper to make a pattern for a design that has been floating around my head for a couple of years now.  I put tracing paper over my sloper and marked my design lines.The design lines are just colour blocking / fabric changes, and do not incorporate any shaping.

  I then traced off the sections and added various seam allowances to make a pattern.

Here is the finished product.

Detail shot, showing construction methods, as I am submitting this in the PR active wear competition.  I bound the edges using a binder and my coverstitch machine.  Seams were overlocked.  Seams were enclosed wherever possibly to minimise chafing.

Inside shot to show the support tank. It was made out of a double layer of mesh.

The fabrics are from Glitter and Dance.  The main fabric is a cotton lycra and the contrast panels / inner support are from stretch mesh. I bought them, along with some glitter knit, to make my daughter a leotard using Jalie 2674.