Fehr Trade sportswear: XYTing! (A Jungle January make)

So come on, who’s excited about the new sewing patterns for workouts  ( for me read running ) from our very own Melissa of Fehr Trade who also writes a most inspiring & informative running blog, River Runner?  And if I use the word ‘proud’ it’s because I can’t think of a better one to use, but it’s not quite right to describe how AWESOME it feels that one of my blogging gurus has taken her eye for style and her sewing skills in general but particularly being the goddess of working with knits, pattern drafting and design to follow a new path, becoming an inde sewing pattern designer.!!!  And for sportswear no less!! (Sorry that was rather a long gush, take a breath !) Three cheers !!

xyt top As this make was such new territory for me, I make no apologies for the number of photos so that you can get an idea of the technical gymnastics that must have been involved in designing this.  More awe.

xyt top Anyway, when I was asked to be a pattern tester of course I said yes. But my attempts were not without challenge, but part of the testing process. Anyway. What you need to know is that after a few test tops, I have an ‘x’ back XYT top to show you ready for Jungle January, because people, I’ve fallen for leopard print Lycra!!  Meeeoooow!

xyt top Oh I love it!! The back is divine. The shape of the top all round is flattering and comfortable. And I am in love with the powermesh lining which means that I never ever have to buy another sports bra.

xyt top I’m thrilled. Yep, it’s been road tested a few times now and even in the longer runs I’m jiggle free. ( not much to jiggle mind you!) And in this current winter weather, whilst I haven’t been able to show it to the world it’s the perfect base layer under a long sleeved top.  And then just a few more degrees & it can be released, my inner cheetah, gliding atop of my running shoes.  (Yeah, right!  More like a cheetah with all four legs in plaster 😉  )

xyt topSo onto The XYT top pattern. It is called XYT because there are three variations in the back: ‘x’ style, ‘Y’ back and a slinky ‘T’ back. Exciting, no?

The top can be made with the powermesh (or powernet) lining or not. I got mine from the Sewing Chest & talk about a quick turnaround, I was really impressed.  The instructions give plenty of guidance for sorting out the lining, identifying its stretch if necessary to adjust the sizing, however, I suspect that the stretch of most powermesh is standard to Melissa’s standard pattern size.

xyt top I learnt a lot of techniques through sewing this top and Melissa provides all the instructions you need, with great diagrams. And something that I love, she also gives the lengths of elastic for each piece, which I like as, left to my own judgement, I never know if I am giving it enough stretch as I insert it around armholes, necklines etc.

xyt top Melissa also gives different instructions for using a coverstitch machine with a binder, but I’m still getting to grips with my coverstitch machine, so have not thought it worth investing time and money in that attachment (it’s a whopping £70 odd quid, & I’m still too rubbish with my coverstitch to embark on something else even more complicated !).

xyt top (4)
If not using a coverstitch, the armholes and neck edges are kept neat and trim with elastic. Just normal elastic. I made a few of my test tops with elastic following this approach, however I took a leap of faith and used fold over elastic for my jungle January number in cerise, oh yeah. And I think I will use FOE every time now. My local haberdashery ( in the Guildhall market, 2 mins from my office!!) has started to stock all of the FOE colours they can get their hands on. Nice one.  And I seem to get better results using a three step zig zag to attach it, & that’s what I used this time.

xyt top I’ve got a bit more work to do on the fit – there is a bit of extra at the side seams that needs to come out, but it’s totally wearable & I understand what’s needed next time, which is good.  So, that’s the XYTing story, the first chapter in what will be many of these tops to come ( I have to make all the different backs up!! Lots of times ?!) It’s a winner people and you can download it here– in a whole range of sizes.  Serious hats off to Melissa, she’s also designed the PB Jam leggings which also feature clever piecing – certainly not taking the easy design route.  So, my PB Jam leggings are to come….Can’t wait to see what else Melissa comes up with.  GOOD LUCK Melissa.

38 thoughts on “Fehr Trade sportswear: XYTing! (A Jungle January make)

  1. Alexandra

    YES! I’ve been looking around for a good workout top pattern for so long, and I’m SO excited about the Fehrtrade patterns! This version of the XYT top is so awesome, and has just made me MORE determined to buy it, but I’m definitely going to have to wait until I get paid at the end of the month…UGH…. Why does January have to be so long!?

  2. Tamsin W-P

    This looks fab – I love the cerise and the leopard print together. This tops seem great – I am unlikely to need one so will not be getting the pattern, but I wish Melissa well. She certainly seems to have done her research and the designs are fab.

  3. Rachel

    What a fantastically clever lady Melissa is! Top looks great AND practical, which is no mean feat. Good sewing on your behalf too. Thanks for sharing this with us sewing sprinters

  4. Kim

    Your version looks fabulous. I have the pattern to make up for my daughter (running the VLM in April) so obviously I have to try it out for me first. *blush*

  5. Nicole

    This is so great! I’ve been wanting to try out making my own running clothes, now I know where to look for patterns and fabric! As lame as it sounds, I find that running is more fun for me when I have something I’m excited to wear (I’m looking at you new running shoes!) or have new music I can’t wait to run to. I love the different options for the back, and I know I’d be excited to put on my me-made running clothes, even at 5 in the morning 😛

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh I am so with you on having lovely things to run in. That part of my wardrobe can certainly be boosted….& now with these patterns what a choice !! It’s not lame at all!! Anything that gets you out there (especially at 5am!!)

  6. Marie

    Animal print lycra?!? Be still my heart! Winnie, this is such an awesome running top and so nice to know that you can exercise in style by a)using your creative stitching skills and b)without spending a fortune! I absolutely adore this…very cool indeed!

  7. Sam

    Love the leopard print with pink trim. Fab-u-lous!

    Also, jealous that your local fabric shop sells fold over elastic. I doubt if mine even knows what it is!

  8. Geo P

    I waaaant your top!!!! 😀 I bought the same power mesh, so I only need to get my hands on that cheetah lycra. Where did you get it? And the pinkish red elastic works perfect with it.
    Did you have any issues with the front lining? I found it very hard to stretch it to the width of the top, and I’m not sure if that happened because I basted the two lining pieces together before attaching them to the top. I’m thinking of widening the front lining next time I’ll make it.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hello!!! I bought the lycra from Tissu fabrics http://tissufabrics.co.uk/fabric-store/– it’s not a sportswear fabric, but probably comes in as dancewear! Never mind, it’ll do fine I think for a vest/tank top.
      I’ve had a few trials making the top, but found the final iteration of the pattern worked perfectly in terms of stretch. I will be shrinking the side seams of the lycra fabric next time however…not quite there yet.

  9. Debbie

    Wow…it looks fab, Winnie. I love the leopard print and pink binding. how great to sew functional sportswear. I think this is a maturing of the indie pattern world!! xx

  10. LinB

    So much nicer to sew your own exercise wear, no? Those of us with long torsos and/or long rises have resorted to that for years — I still have a goodly collection of Big 4 patterns from the 1980s (and a few KwikSew from the same era) that featured Dorothy Hamill and Jayne Kennedy on the pattern envelopes. I have to add several inches of length to leotard and maillot patterns: even 4-way stretch knits can only stretch so far. I think my ancestry must include some dachshund genes … I’m so glad you’ve found a dependable running shirt, Miz Scruffy, honey! How clever that a real support device is hidden inside. From the outside, you can’t see the bra bits at all.

  11. Ginger

    Wow, this is a sassy little top and so functional! It’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m excited to see that it’s possible to sew awesome running wear! It’s so expensive to buy RTW and never seems to come in leopard print! I’m in awe of your sewing skills, lady!

  12. missjoiedevivre

    Not doing anything resembling exercise (except dancing, and my workout gear for that is a petticoat and fancy dress) this is wasted on me, but it’s great to see an indie designer going after an empty and needed niche, and your version of this is fantastic!

  13. Laurel

    Love your top! I finished mine in a similar print, but used swimwear elastic. I have one in progress for my sister – I think the FOE is a nice finish and will try that one for hers. I love the pink /leopard combo!

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  20. Kirsten

    Bit late to the party, but I love this! Where did you get your fabric? I’m struggling to find a good sportswear range that supports, and recovers well, but doesn’t feel ‘sweaty’ before you’ve even moved!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hi Kirsten
      Thank you – lovely to hear from you! I must say that fabric for sportswear is hard to find in UK. But Funky Fabrics do a lovely sportswear range – lovely quality of wicking fabric. Spoonflower (USA) is the best though with two different types I’ve tried- one much better for tops, the other better for leggings. Look of Fehr Trade’s site for more links to shops? http://blog.fehrtrade.com/inspiration/784/where-to-buy-exercise-fabric-a-global-list/


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