Saturday, 21 June 2014

Fehr Trade VNA top

I am fortunate to be a pattern tester for Melissa at Fehr Trade, and her latest release is really fun to sew. It's a pieced top, with very interesting seaming, and a neat V neck finish both at the neck and the back armscyes.
Naturally, being pieced, and for athletic use (although it would work as a casual wear top too), it lends itself to colour blocking.
I made the test version from 3 different colourways of cotton/lycra knit from Stretchtex. This fabric is fine to use for short runs during winter where we live, although I would prefer to use a wicking fabric for longer runs, or in hotter weather. I was very pleased to use up an oddly shaped piece of my favourite purple colourway that was too small for a garment but that I was pat rackishly thriftily saving just- in- case. This pattern is destined to use up lots of similar scraps from the depths of the almost-unusable stash!


There are some very nice details in this pattern. There is no seaming directly under the arms (although the binding does join here, it would be easy to move this front or back) which reduces chafing issues. My favourite part though, is the back binding in the armscyes, this used a new to me construction method which is very exciting. (Fellow sewing addicts will understand this enthusiasm, I'm so glad I don't have to restrain myself on this blog - can you imagine the glazed looks if  I said this anywhere else ?) I found all the instructions beautifully clear and easy to understand.
I made the top using my conventional machine - with a narrow 3 step zig zag. I had planned to use the coverstitch for the hems, but the machine felt uncooperative, so it is finished with a wide zig zag instead, which is not terrible, but not according to the instructions, which suggest a twin needle for conventional machines.

My younger daughter, who is rather fashion conscious, went into raptures over the appearance of this top. I have been instructed that several more in different fabrics and colour combinations would be just the thing for the teenage exercise fiend.
She also fancies few fancy colourful sports bras so as to display the straps at the back. This serviceable white one is not up to scratch for the shoulder display of modern running gear.

Apparently having cool back details on a running top is an encouragement to overtake other runners (she was joking)


Something to be aware of is that the Fehr trade sizing is different to RTW in Australia, although true to the sizing measurements given. My daughter's XXS top is a bit too big for her in length and girth, for a running top, and she normally wears an Australian size 6-8 in normal clothes, an XS in running tops, and a 34 in Burda. I seem to be an XS in the Fehr Trade patterns, and this is not a size I have ever been called before ;). When I make this top again for my daughter, I will be scaling down another size, which I expect will fix the bra exposure issue in the armscye.

Melissa is giving a 10% discount on her patterns for people using the code "LASEREYES" until 30th June.


Dilliander said...

Melissa has a great eye for pattern details, no wonder it has your daughter's seal of approval and loved her comment about running faster to show off the back! Have just purchased the pattern too as I have a bias for bias designs, Vionette inspired in particular.

Sharon said...

Great timing, I purchased this last night as I am looking for exercise tops with a bit more coverage. Your daughter's top looks very stylish and I will be interested to see if the smaller size does cover the bra straps. So glad you have given it such a great review and I will be interested to see what size I end up with.

Paola said...

I've not been keen to make exercise gear to date, but this top might just tip me over the edge. That binding is too cool - I get the enthusiasm. Now to find some wicking fabric somewhere on the internet.

Judith said...

Great sports top ~ it looks like a great little fun top for a conscientious runner ... J

Marvita Franklin said...

Great pattern and top!

Carolyn said...

Looks great on your daughter! and I do like those cool colour-blocking details :) Maybe she needs a matching sports bra to be seen on purpose:, which would look extra cool and sort out the bra strap issue at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I had thought about getting this pattern as I like the fact that it is inspired by Vionet! Super work.

And I relate to your point about a new technique where you can only share your enthusiasm with fellow sewists and bloggers.

Also your comments on the value and possibilities with the never ending stash (as well as, for me, a sense of guilt and waste and storage space).

And I think Carolyn's matching bra is a cool suggestion.

velosewer said...

This looks great. You've done a great job with this pattern. It's such a neat design and you're right about it using up lots of stash fabric.
Melissa is really living her passion.