So I’ve recently developed an obsession with workout wear and have been hunting down exciting knitwear patterns in the hope that I will have the time (while simultaneously planning a wedding) to sew up an entire wardrobe of fun workout wear. And let me tell you, so far so good!
I’ve managed to dig out Knit Wit patterns and books from my sewing library which I forgot I had, some of which I ‘borrowed’ from Mum and some of which I got for a steal at a couple of local book fairs. I’m not sure I’ll find a good reason to make a leotard (!) but the leggings and sweatshirts look promising. Some great detailed instructions for sewing plackets and zips into knitwear.
I also purchased a PDF pattern from Melissa of Fehr Trade. My version of her capri length Duathlon Shorts are in the ‘needs a rehash’ pile after they ended up way too big (a combination of losing a little weight between cutting it out and sewing it up, and using an ultra stretchy fabric I think, rather than a problem with her sizing, but more on that another time…).
But the most exciting workout wear possibilities I found were from Australian indie pattern company Style Arc. To spread the shipping costs I ordered five of their patterns in one go:
I also got to choose one of two patterns as a free gift, I chose:
There is a little bit of risk involved with these guys as they only print and send one size per pattern, so you have to trust their size table! I’d love to see them offer multi-sized patterns or a slightly cheaper version as a PDF. I ordered a size 14, which is what their size guide recommended for my body measurements. More on sizing later…
The Steffi Jacket was the pattern I was most excited about and timing wise it coordinated perfectly with The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month Competitions, so this is my entry for week 2 – ‘New To Me Indie Company’ (meaning I haven’t sewn a pattern from this company before).
I already had some fabric in my stash I thought would be perfect. The main fabric is a double knit that is mid grey on one side and black on the other (I used both sides of the fabric), and the contrast fabric is a ‘holey’ white breathable performance knit. I topped these up with a 5mm white plastic two-way open ended zip for the centre front opening, two bright pink 3mm dress zips for the pocket openings, and a slinky pink polyester knit fabric for contrast piping and binding for the neck and hems.
Cutting the pattern pieces and the fabric was straight forward, nothing complicated there.
I used the supplied instructions as a general guide for a construction order, but some of the steps and diagrams were a little confusing so I made a few changes. Instead of hidden in-seam pocket zips I rolled the seam allowance to expose the zips and topstitched them on rather than sewing the zip tapes to the scant seam allowances. I also sewed the pocket bags so that they hang freely on the inside of the jacket, rather than topstitching them to the jacket front.
I used the main double knit for the zip guard (this is like a facing that sits inside the zip and folds over the top of it so that the zip doesn’t rub against your body and so that the zip pulley doesn’t hit you in the chin as you run) and I actually think it’s a bit too thick which creates a lot of bulk at the top of the zip which then interferes with the balance of the collar. Choose a lightweight knit for this piece if you can. The bright pink slinky lightweight poly knit I bought for the piping and binding would have been a better choice. I also think the pattern would have benefitted from a proper facing to hide the back of the main zip.
I sewed the seams with my overlocker and as I sewed each seam I then topstitched with a ball point twin needle on my sewing machine which I think has given it a nice sleek flat look and has tucked away bulky and potentially scratchy seams.
I’ve worn my Steffi Jacket for two cold winter morning runs now and it has performed admirally! The breathable performance knit in the underarm area is great, although at the risk of grossing you out, I hope they stay nice and white (grey may have been a better choice in this area!).
The sizing is pretty good, not too fitted but not bulky – this is a good sign for the accuracy of the Style Arc size guide.
This really is a great pattern and thanks to Melissa of Fehr Trade who sewed a Steffi Jacket, sent feedback to Chole at Style Arc who subsequently fixed the problems with the instructions, the problems I came across are apparently history.
I’ve got a second bundle of materials lined up to make a second Steffi Jacket: Grey interlock for main, white performance knit (again) for contrast, white plastic open ended zip (a lightweight one this time), 3mm neon orange dress zips for pockets, neon orange slinky poly knit for contrast zip guard, and the pièce de résistance – a strip of neon orange knit bias binding for the piping, binding and to go across the upper back, which cost a bomb but will look awesome (or at least highly visible!).
So that’s my entry for the “New-to-me” week of The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month Competition.
Now back to the sewing room…