Skull lace

I wanted to take this fluoro fun jacket (McCalls 7026) to another level by using two types of skull lace for my Minerva Crafts project this month. There’s a lot of cool lace and mesh used in ready to wear activewear.

When I saw this skull laceon the Minerva Crafts website, I saw how I could play with placing the skulls in a strategic way. 

I’ve never seen skull lace before so I thought I could wear ‘skulls’ outside of Halloween.


The ponte de roma Minerva Crafts has is a good weight for a jacket and has good stretch recovery so I know this jacket can take the heat of being worn for weekends or getting to and from the gym at 5am in the morning. However since making this jacket, I worn it to the movies and out at night because I love this particular purple colour.

I still have a bunch of reflective tape that I bought in Hong Kong so this time I applied reflective piping on
  • the zipper
  • the front yoke and
  • the back curve.

I’ve found this basic jacket with no hood and no extended cuffs suits my needs. The shape is very RTW too.

A few hints
If you do decide to make this pattern, sew in the front zipper before finishing the side seams so the pieces lay flat as you sew in the zipper. You get a more accurate finish if you sew in the zipper this way.


I moved the pockets to the front panel. Having the pockets in the side seam felt awkward. When you do move the pockets they will only be as wide as the front panel and if you want a firmer fit, add zippers to the pockets. I added invisible zippers to keep the pockets closed for running to gym classes.


Oh, the only additional change I made was a forward shoulder adjustment.

I’m short so if you’re mid height or taller, you’ll need to extend the body and arms. This pattern is short-waisted.

So far I’ve had lots of compliments about the purple ponte. I think the skull lace has taken a few people by surprise. I think my job is here done;)


Thanks again Minerva Crafts for enabling my ‘design’ brain.

Fluoro fun

Here’s a mild-mannered cyclist who sews and has created a fluoro/reflective jacket using McCalls 7026.

Here’s how this jacket looks with my normal Sunday morning cycling kit.
This jacket looks quite tame.
Nothing too amazing yet.
But here’s how it looks when you use flash photography.
And the back looks amazing too.

The back view covers my RTW cycling jersey so I won’t be adjusting the jacket length.

What I will be adjusting is the front panel so I can include zippered pockets for future jackets. The pattern has the pockets in the side seam but on a form fitting jacket, side seam pockets makes the side seams gape.

I prefer the pockets at the front and with a zipper, to keep my keys and id intact. I always carry id in case of an accident and I’m the one they need to put in an ambulance to send to hospital. It’s happened in the past and fortunately I regained consciousness fast enough to get off the road.

The yellow fabric is two-way stretch and is a factory off-cut I was given. The print is a Spotlight special I bought. Kirsty of Top Notch used this same print for her Frocktails 14 dress and I loved the texture and flouro-ness of it when I saw her dress in real life. When it was on sale, I bought a few metres to experiment with.

I didn’t use the cuff on sleeve for this version. I was checking the fit of size 12 and I’ll use this size for my Minerva Crafts version next month. The print fabric has no stretch but my Minerva Crafts ponte does so this size will work. I’d certainly go up a size for non-stretch fabrics. 

I do love the effect of the reflective tape.

The Hunger Games

I love great activewear so this month I’ve made my version of the activewear worn in The Hunger Games for my Minerva Crafts project.

Here’s Katniss training for the Hunger Games. Judianna Makovsky was the designer for the first movie.  Lucas Hugh designed the training gear for the second movie which is on my future list of activewear but for now the picture above is what I’ve made.

Using great knits from Minerva Crafts, I used Kwik Sew 3567 for the top and Fehr Trade’s duathlons for the track pants.


The blue knit is soft and has good recovery, So does the red sparkly fabric. The cornflower colour knit is bonded so I originally wasn’t sure if this would work but having a bonded knit was an advantage to developing the sleeves and track pants.


I used the navy and cornflower fabrics for the track pants and added reflective tape. Here’s the flash view.

Here’s the no flash view.
The top base used the navy knit. It has a lovely feel to it.

However I changed the back bodice to use the red knit and some reflective tape.

Then I used my french curve ruler to mark out the sleeve design and you can see the pieces cut out with seam allowance and ready to sew.
Most of this outfit was sewn using the overlocker and I used the sewing machine to add the piping.


So here’s the front view using flash. I added reflective tape to the zipper.

And here’s how the back turned out. I don’t have a photo of the back view of the outfit Katniss wears so this is my interpretation… The red fabric has a shine to it so it made sense to put the reflective tape piping with this.


What’s great is I can use these pieces to train outside now that it’s Autumn in Australia.


These fabrics have such strength to them. I chose these fabric based on the colours on the Minerva Crafts website. They do a much better job of showing the colours on their website than I can.

I’ve still got fabric left to make a could more Autumn workout pieces. Now that it’s getting cooler in the mornings, I can use these pieces for outdoor training and still be seen. Thanks again Minerva Fabrics for letting me indulge a bit in films/books I love and my current pattern drafting binge.

Just can’t stop

…making Melissa’s new Steeplechase leggings.

Front view
It’s all my fault. I’ve got lycra pieces that need to be made up into something. I like my leggings to be fitted and these fit perfectly with my usual alterations (sway back and knee curves). These are my test versions I made as part of Melissa’s pattern testing team.
Back view
I’m training for a few events, it’s full on mozzie season and this capri length supports my knees as I work out. Three good reasons to make three test pairs for Melissa. Melissa’s made six pairs for herself too. You should see Kathy’s three pairs as well.


The basic black pair uses locally bought high density black lycra and left over Funki Fabric on the yoke. This first pair has the back pocket included. Then I had to make two more pairs.


Then the grey/green pair with reflective piping uses Funki Fabric and reflective tape piping I bought from Ebay that I wanted to try out. You’ve probably seen Winnie’s leggings and cool top and the great work that Kbenco has done for her daughters

The plain navy pair below has reflective stickers I bought from Lightweight Safety on Kelli’s recommendation. The stickers are placed on my calves so you can see me speeding away!

In case you don’t know Melissa’s story, have a read of her and what motivates her pattern designs on Pattern Review.

as Melissa says…”you can use SADDLE10 for 10% off all purchases from shop.fehrtrade.com until 25 March (my birthday!).” 

My 2c worth

By the way, I tried some high-end RTW leggings that cost over $AU100 this week and I can’t justify buying their leggings for that price – even with my gift voucher. Sorry. But with a legging style like Melissa’s, it’s too easy to make leggings that rock for a whole lot less. And my gym buddies are always in awe when they see the gym gear I’ve made too. I think that’s saying something for those of us who make our own activewear and quietly get on with maintaining our healthy lifestyle #YOLO.

PR review below

Pattern Description:
These leggings have no inseams! Instead, a curved, outer seam runs from the back of the ankle up to the centre front, where it joins a separate yoke piece. There’s an optional, hidden back pocket, elasticated waistband, and your choice of three lengths: biker short, capri, or full length leggings.
Pattern Sizing:
XXS – XL
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Initially this design had me ‘for a sixer’ but once I walked through the instructions, they’re easy to follow and the notches on the patterns are the best guide to making this leggings.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This pattern in unique. I’ve only seen one no-inseam legging pattern. 
This pattern is as cutting edge as the latest RTW on the market. 
This style is easy to make but doesn’t look ‘home made’.

Fabric Used:

Polyester spandex.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I raised the centre back seam on the yoke for my sway back by 2.5cm.
I made the first pair of leggings to assess where the knee is on me, and then I adjusted this for a better fit – and promptly made two more pairs.
Second version with reflective tape.
The third version with reflective sticker on the back calf.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes. I have two more ideas that I’ll share once I’ve sewn these up.

This pattern has ignited my activewear sewing mojo beyond what I’ve done before. Probably because this is such an edgy design that Melissa has developed using the latest style influences.