Finally! My First VNA Top

VNA - 1This is my first Fehrtrade VNA running top. After a bit of un-selfish sewing (these lounge pants for my brother-in-law, who envied his baby son’s purple pants when I made them), and the detail work of finishing off a UFO from before our trip to Switzerland, I needed a quick make last weekend and this one did the trick! It’s a fun, quick make and a great result!VNA - 2

I’d long had this fabric combination in mind, as the colors coordinate so well. The main fabric is an SPF wicking fabric from Seattle Fabrics, and the mesh is a yard I threw in my Fabric Mart basket a while ago, as I recall. I was thinking I might make some Seamster Rose Hip Tights out of it, but this combination caught my fancy when I placed the mesh into the “athletics” basket and they wound up next to each other!

Now I wish I’d thought to place the print more carefully on the back, but at the time I was just thinking in terms of economical fabric use. I still like it, and it’s already quite fancy for running gear! I recognize that it’s pretty silly to combine SPF fabric with completely translucent mesh, but I reckon it’s also not so logical to create a sleeveless top out of SPF either.VNA - 4

The construction was pretty straightforward, with a wonderful technique for creating a nice V at the front. I did find it a bit fiddly at the sides. I’m used to constructing my knitwear entirely on my serger, and I had to do the side seams on my regular machine with a fine zigzag due to the way the binding is applied. I may experiment with applying it differently on the armholes next time, to see if I can come up with an order of construction that doesn’t necessitate using both machines. Is this rational? Probably not, but I feel the drawn to try.VNA2 - 2

I especially want to see what I can do about the rear point, which I did not get smooth and nice. I will try sewing the long seam to connect the bottom section first, then hemming, to see if that helps. VNA - 2

What else to say? I made up a straight size L based on Melissa’s measurement chart, knowing that it was likely to be close-fitting in the bust and loose (as I like it) at the hips. While I do have some drag lines, I actually find the fit as it is very comfortable! I’m not used to being 1. a straight size or 2. potentially a larger size at the bust than the hip. Also a bit surprising to me, I really like the slightly higher hemline on this top. It feels comfortable and I think it flatters me as much as a running top over compression tights can.VNA2 - 1

The top was incredibly airy and light to run in, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first test run in 80-degree sunshine (it was, thank goodness, a low heart-rate run). The only issue I have found is that when I ran in it a second time, with my iPhone armband, I had some abrasion on my side where the armband is a bit scratchy and there’s no coverage from the top. Nothing I can blame the top for! I’ll try it with another armband I have, or maybe I’ll make a Fehrtrade armband from her free pattern!

I really love this top and I may make it with some adjustments for casual wear as well. One thing’s for sure, this is the first of many VNA tops I’ll be making!

Catching Up: Athletic Edition

I’ve moved this blog to a self-hosted WordPress site now and am fixing to get into more regular blogging. I have had MAJOR blockages on taking Finished Object pictures because it involved coordinating with the Lion, but I’m going to try some other ways around that. To wit:

  1. Dressform pictures allowed
  2. iPhone pictures allowed
  3. Try Bluetooth iPhone trigger

But the main thing is that I do love seeing what others share and I really want to participate actively as well. So however funky the pictures may be, I’m going to just do it! And now, for a little catching up . . .

Going WAY back in time we have the jerseys I made for my Lion and myself for our half marathon last November. Not a long distance for some, it was plenty long for us at our slow speeds! We trained for much of 2014 for this race, and we wanted to have special jerseys to wear.

The Lion Prepping to Run
The Lion Prepping to Run

I worked out two patterns for us, a Burdastyle Men’s T-shirt pattern for my husband and the Jalie raglan sleeve top for myself. I made us each a wearable muslin of Robert Kaufman Laguna jersey. It’s super reliable fabric for stable t shirts and the like.

Spoonflower fabric with Lion and Tiger Motif
Spoonflower fabric with Lion and Tiger Motif

I ordered special printed fabric from Spoonflower. Since we have the fun convention of calling ourselves Lion and Tiger, this action-oriented print was a great choice. It was interesting to slice up my tracings of our jersey patterns so that the motif was featured well.

Lion Jersey
My jersey
My jersey

I found the base fabric at B&J in New York about a year ago, and while it breathes, it’s a bit warm. I think I’ll be sticking with Rose City Textiles, a.k.a., for wicking fabrics going forward. But anyhow, it is just fine for a cooler run. We had a fun, entertaining race despite some knee pain. And we sure looked fantastic while we were at it.

I'm ready to Go!
I’m ready to Go!


Sweat’n’Sew—Spring 5k in Wild Espresso “Capris”

PB Jam Muslin

As y’all may have seen, I decided to participate in Melissa’s Spring Race Challenge this year. Having already muslined her PB Jam leggings and made my first (rather stymied) attempt to muslin the XYT Top, I was enthusiastic about sewing my own running gear. AND I’m really going for it this year with my running, really training, really getting faster, and working up to a half marathon in November. So this challenge was a perfect one for me!

That’s me with the “Hotmail Box!”

I wound up wearing something else in my race, a little local 5k held at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View. I was on an indie pattern kick in

Seamster Rose Hip Tights
Seamster Rose Hip Tights

February, and I downloaded Cake Patterns’ Espresso leggings pattern as well as Seamster Patterns’ Rose Hip Tights, thinking this crazywonderful swimsuit fabric I had picked up at Fabric Outlet during one of their 40% off sales would be awesome for both of them. And being really impatient to try new things, I traced out the Espresso (based on my measurements) and cut the fabric at knee to make shorter (duh) pants for running in warmer weather, which we have most of the time here.

Key Pocket!

I did add a key pocket inside the back waist, which given my swayback is a great place for me to store things. I learned that it’s great for keys, but not my ID, which tried very hard to slide up and out of my leggings while we were racing! I guess I’ll have to develop a zippered pocket. 🙂

New waistband for the PB Jams
After this run I knew the rise was waaaay too long. Thanks, lengthwise stretch!

I also found that after running in these the first time that the stretch of the fabric is more lengthwise than across the grain, so unpicked the waistband, cut it down, and sewed it back together. This seems to be a theme for me, as it happened with my PB Jams as well. However with those I didn’t have the heart to unpick, so I cut off the waistband and fashioned a new one in the manner of my favorite store-bought running leggings: a two-piece shaped waistband with the elastic sewn in the top. It works better with my, shall we say prodigious curves?

Anyhow, now all I need are nude-colored wicking undies, and I can wear these capris all through the summer! For now, I get to wear them once a laundry cycle, as I have only one pair of skivvies that don’t shine through them like a beacon. Oh well, not all fabric choices can be practical. 😉

Fehr Trade Spring Race Challenge

Hi all!

I have an impossible backlog of blog photos to take, and hope I will have laundry, husband and weather aligned tomorrow to do so, but in the mean time, know this:

I’m in taking part in the Fehr Trade Spring Race ChallengeFehr Trade Spring Race Challenge

I’ll be running a 5k on April 5th, wearing some me-sewn running gear and learning for the first time in over a decade what my 5k time is. This is a great kick in the pants for me, as I’m aiming for a November half marathon, and therefore it’s time to start getting a sense of my race speeds. I’ve been getting speedier (for me) in training, so I hope that I can break 30 minutes in the 5k race. Yes, I’m that slow. But I don’t care! I love running in our beautiful California environment, and if I’m slow, it’s just that much more enjoyment. 😉

We’ll see what I have ready to wear at that time, as my Fehr Trade PBJam Leggings are too warm already for most days, but I will at least have some (as yet unblogged) running SewingCake Espresso capris, and hopefully a Fehr Trade XYT Top to show off!