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 !!
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.
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!
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.
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 😉 )
So 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.
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.
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 !).
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.
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.