Saturday, 26 July 2008

Green Pepper F762 Men's Bicycle Racing Jersey

It has been unusually cold in Queensland this winter, and my husband asked me to make him a polar fleece cycling jersey. I was somewhat taken aback by this request, as the last time he wore polar fleece whilst cycling was when we rode mountain bikes on the snowmobile trails in Michigan, and well, there was snow, not mere 0 degrees C mornings, but I suppose he has acclimatised!
I used the Green Pepper pattern F762 "Men's bicycle racing jersey". This pattern has some history to it. I bought this pattern around 13 years ago to make a standard cycling jersey, at my husband's request, as cycling jerseys were, at the time, exhorbitantly priced, costing several hundred dollars in Australia during the mid 90's. Cycling was a much less popular sport here a decade ago. The cycling tops available in the USA were mostly much too loose, as my DH is a thin person for his height.

The pattern states " This pattern is suitable for use with nylon/spandex fabrics only". In obedience to this decree, I purchased black and lurid green nylon lycra, and made a jersey for DH. He was very pleased with it, especially as it was mostly black (with lurid green at the back for visibility to motor vehicles), as at the time, he felt the commercially available fleuro cycling jerseys available were not only expensive, but unmanly and unAustralian colours, as they were mostly imported from Europe, where manly colours do not seem to be restricted to black, brown and navy blue. He wore the jersey several times during Autumn in Michigan, then for the first time in Australia during the cycling leg of the Noosa triathalon whilst we were on a visit back to my parents. As he was cycling on a 37 degrees C day, wearing black, non- wicking fabric, he overheated and became very dehydrated despite drinking huge volumes, and achieved his worst time over this distance ever. I was demoted from cycling jersey manufacturing, and he bought a lurid fleuro jersey made from technical wicking fabric. I kept very quiet about this.

I have used the pattern since, for my husband, to make sun protective tops for fishing and kayaking. I make 2 sizes larger for these sports, as cycling jerseys are worn skin - tight, which is not my husband's normal style.
I have also used this pattern as a reference to modify a Burda turtleneck pattern to make sun protective tops for myself and my children, so it has been very useful. However, due to my demotion over a decade ago, it has not been used for its original purpose until now, which is a bit silly really, as I now have access to technical wicking fabric.

On revisiting this pattern, and comparing it to current ready to wear jerseys, I made a few changes to the pattern. The pattern has a straight hem, and is the same length back and front. As cyclists are leaning forward, the back needs to be longer than the front, so I have added length to the back, and to the back of the side piece as shown.


The idea of wearing a polar fleece jersey is to stay warm, particularly on cold, windy mornings. I have added a polar fleece placket underneath the zipper so that the wind does not hit the chest through the zipper teeth. This is attached with a snap at the neck. I have left it loose at the bottom, as I thought it might be restrictive when bent over the bike. I can add another one here if my husband finds it could do with one.

The back pockets on the pattern extend down to the back hem. They are much deeper than RTW pockets, and items are difficult to extract from the base of the pocket, not ideal whilst you are cycling along. I made the pockets more shallow, and they no longer reach to the hem, requiring slightly different application.

The pattern has a zig zag hem. The ready to wear jerseys usually have elastic in the hem. I have bound the hem, sleeve hems and placket with brown nlyon lycra, stretching as I applied it. This gives a little elasticity to the hem, but if it is not enough to prevent the jersey riding up during wear, I will add elastic to the hem.
As you have probably gathered, this is a trial version of the garment. If it works, I will make another one in good quality polartech 100, or the weather may warm up, and I will be off the hook!
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Keely said...

Very nice! I like the adaptations for all the sun vests too. Hope your DH is happy with it.

Alexandra said...

Looks great! I really like the placket idea to keep the wind out.

Carol said...

What do you mean you're too scared to make mens stuff? I'd be too scared to tackle polarfleece and zips together! I have a lovely butter yellow cycling fleece that I train in and for a few months I've been contemplating copying it. This pattern looks like a better option. I like that extra length at the back when I'm training, too. Is it cold up there? So much for living in the subtropics - we had frost this morning. Tomorrow I train at 6.30am. Hope it warms up, or else I might be calling on you to make me one of these fleece tops! It looks great.

Angie said...

So glad I found this post, I'm about to tackle a cycling jersey (in merino wool), this was the pattern I was going to order, your hints will be really useful - did you get the pattern online or in Australia?

JimQPublic said...

Thanks for the writeup. I found your review on "".

I'm considering making a jacket for winter hiking and XC skiing with this pattern. The reason being I could use Polartec Windpro for the main panels and Polartec Powerstretch for the side (to allow better ventilation. I was also looking at having pockets in the front side seams.