….is a vast improvement on writer’s block 😉
I knew about drafting patterns from blocks – basic pattern pieces with an overall shape, but that can be adapted for lots of projects – but had never had a go myself. I’ve been a fan of pattern ‘mashing’ for a while, where I’ve taken bits of different patterns and bought them together to make something new. I’ve become a lot more confident at having a go at changing things and in the process have started to learn about how patterns are constructed.
This made Melissa Fehr’s book Sew Your Own Activewear a great next step. I knew about Melissa from her Fehr Trade blog and pattern shop and briefly met her at the Great British Sewing Bee exhibition last year (very lovely she was too). I was really excited about the book coming out, but it arrived at a really busy time and I didn’t have the time (or nerve) to experiment. That changed this weekend when I decided I wanted to make a top to go with my new Greenstyle Pace (yes, another one!) and fancied a change from the Lille and Lille/Lacy mashups I’ve made of late. They are great, but I have a few!
I got stuck in with the Vest Top pattern, which uses a close fitting top block pattern as a base. Melissa guides you through the changes to make to turn this long sleeve tshirt into a colour-blocked, princess seamed, funky-backed racing vest. The instructions are easy to follow and I soon had a finished vest. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken the time to make a muslin of the block pattern first so my on the fly adjustments were slightly off. I added some extras to try and make it look like a layered top and cover my mistakes and although it’s wearable, it may not often make my pick list – ah well.
It was the doing that was the best bit and it gave me an idea for a slightly different version. I decided to keep it really simple and just use the princess seams and make it slightly less form fitting. I know lots of people who don’t want things to cling too much so I kept it fitted, but without so much negative ease (where the flat measurements of the garment are smaller than your body measurements so the garment has to stretch to go around you and is tight).
The final version isn’t perfect, but I wore it for my race yesterday and it was comfortable and feels like something people might like. I’ve adjusted the pattern a bit more for next time and had a few more ideas for other design options. I have a feeling I am going to have a lot of fun with this book 🙂
I had forgotten I had said I would do this and it crept up on me a bit… I probably wouldn’t have done an 11 mile run two days beforehand if I had remembered!
Although it was an 8pm start, it was a humid evening so felt like hard work, but it was really good fun. I’m not that used to proper trail running so the sections in the fields were a lot slower as I tried to keep my footing, but I managed to cover the 8.4km (actually 5.25 miles) in 45:34, which I was happy with. I have a couple of weeks until the next two tunnels and although overall it was slightly off the pace I want for that it was pretty close on the paved sections so fingers crossed.
I wore my new Pace skort, made with the super soft yoga knit I got from So Sew English (having discovered the UK purchasing group – dangerous!!!). I’d had some issues betting the lilac skort to sit flat at the top. I asked the Greenstyle group hive mind and sized up where it joins the waistband (not normally needed, but was with this fabric). I think the fabrics being quite different weights and the lilac being soft and mobile was probably the key factor. The fanal version wasn’t perfect, but it was super comfy and went well with my Hannah the Runner vest (which I may have used the Lille pattern to hack for a better fit 😉 ).
OK, so I had to delay yesterday’s run to today (thank goodness for bank holidays!) because of a horrible headache. I learnt the hard way that I’m not someone who can run off a headache so I didn’t have a lot of choice…
It will make it a long running week this week, but it feels fairly manageable so fingers crossed. If I don’t manage it, all the better for Gap I guess 😉
I thought I’d pop up the plan for this week so it’s clear what I have managed by Sunday:
In other news, I decided I’m going to make myself a Gap themed running outfit, so I’ll post back when I have something to show you!
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In two weeks time, it will be our greyhound Arthur’s second gotcha day. He was found in Lincolnshire in late 2015 in a total state. He served his time at the local pound, covered in fleas and mites and missing most of the fur down his spine. On 22nd Dec an appeal went out to rescue him and Greyhound Gap stepped in and whisked him out of the pound on 23rd December, the day he was due to be put to sleep. The only trouble was, Gap’s kennel spaces were all full (Christmas…) so Arthur had an extra bit of luck as Sue was able to offer him a foster space with her 7(!) Gap dogs. She had fostered dogs for Gap for years, but apparently he was the smelliest arrival and needed 3 showers back to back before he could be settled in! Arthur then spent 6 months with Sue, with Gap paying for his vet care and supporting Sue as she got him back to health and ready to look for a new home. Greyhound Gap have one of the best adoption processes I know and when Lisa matched us with Arthur she knew exactly what she was doing. Admittedly, no one had anticipated me having an acute anxiety attack on his arrival (it happened with our first dog, but we thought I’d be fine this time around…. hmmm…). However, Lisa was on the phone to us every day to start with and as needed after that as we got both him and me settled. The investment in making the best match and then giving the match the best chance of success is so important and is something Gap does incredibly well.
Admittedly, it’ll hopefully help me get my bum in gear as well and get me closer to my 50min goal by the end of the year(!). Fingers crossed you’re here becasue you’d like to support both me and Gap 🙂 Either way, Arthur says thank you!
II’ll be posting screenshots of my calendar on this blog each week so you can keep an eye on me…. Stay tuned!
If you’re looking for tips to create your own stretchy wardrobe for exercising (or just feeling comfy!) or if you’d like me to make something for you…