Saturday, 9 May 2015

VNA tops

I made quite a few exercise clothes just lately, and now that it is extremely chilly at 5am in the morning (those who live temperate climates may scoff where I can't hear them, I admit that I live in a warm climate), I thought I would display some running tops of Summer before I start on cold weather exercise gear.
I made a VNA top for my younger daughter, because she had just about worn out the version that was made to test the pattern.

new one
old one

The test version was too big for her, although the size didn't stop her wearing it, so her new top is sloppily graded down by hand drawing a smaller size on Melissa's pattern. Fortunately for me, this made a nicely fitting top, other than a slight tightness at the bust. The top would be XXXS in Melissa's sizing scale.


I love the colour blocking options for this top. I had bought some "performance knit" from Spoonflower, in this very appealing Galaxy print, but as I foolishly purchased from a square representation of the print,  I had not noticed that  the 1 yard print included a break in the
panel that was unsightly to me.
However, by cutting the small upper front from the odd bit of the panel, the break in the pattern is not particularly noticeable, and makes a good feature for the top whilst only using a tiny piece of the pricey fabric.
 The back is plain old navy blue wicking polyester from Stretchtex, and the lower front is not-the-best-for-exercise-clothes cotton lycra, again from Stretchtex, as are the bindings, because this will do for short runs and also general wear, such as hiking in Carnarvon Gorge.


Naturally, having made one daughter top, another top was required. This one uses a more purple section of the Galaxy print,with different coloured cotton lycra for the bindings and bottom section,  and has been made to the same circumference as the downsized VNA top, but a little longer, (at the hem) for my taller daughter.



Lucky last, I made one for myself in an XS. Having noticed the modest amount of room at the bust for my daughters, I chose to enlarge the upper bust piece, then ease this into the curved seam at the lower front, as an FBA. I also made a square shoulder adjustment, which is a common adjustment for me (Did I mention that I really like this pattern).
 Mine has an upper bodice made from performance pique, again from Spoonflower, with a pattern that amuses me greatly. See those ninjas in amongst the floral? My husband hates it. Fortunately he doesn't come running with me. It must be my (very deeply hidden) inner ninja that puts him off.
Super Purple Ninja Warriors! (Small)
The bottom section of this one is made from wicking "space dyed" Supplex, which is more comfortable to wear when exercising than cotton lycra, but the business I bought it from is no longer operating.
The back is the same wicking polyester from Stretchtex that I used for the other tops. Although this fabric is practical, hard wearing and very comfortable for exercising,  I find this particular colour is very difficult to sew, with constantly wearing thread and blunted needles. (The other colours were hard to sew too, but not to the same level as the dark blue) I bought 5 metres of it 6 years ago and I will be very glad when I've finally sewn the last of it!. I needed to mix it with these fun fabrics in order to have the fortitude to sew with it yet again.

The only change I made to the construction of these tops, now that I've made a few, is the binding of the v neckline. I don't like having to measure the neckline binding exactly before I sew it. I find the amount of stretch needed varies between fabrics, and I like to apply more stretch to the back neck, for example, than the lower front of the v. Melissa's instructions work, but I found them a bit fiddly, and not compatible with my ad-hoc neckline length preference. Instead I used Barbara's instructions here (except for the interfacing being ironed on- ironing and poly don't mix at my house), which were just as fiddly (v neck lines must be fiddly by nature), but gave me a neater result, and without having to get out my tape measure.
Disclaimer: Remember I got this pattern for free in exchange for testing? This is naturally not a completely unbiased opinion due to this exchange see Zoopolis, but you can see I've made many versions of this pattern now and all recipients are finding this a comfortable running top. The request cue is long. We like this pattern.

Stashbusting statistics, pitiful. About a metre each of blue wicking poly and cotton lycra, 30 cm of supplex print, and 50 cm or so of recently purchased performance knit, and performance pique


katherine h said...

Great tops. I especially love the ninjas amongst the flowers.

I find I actually prefer cotton lycra to most of the supplex fabrics for exercise as it is cooler than most of the supplex fabrics. I have only ever found one supplex fabric to be as cool as cotton. Of course, it depends on the cotton lycra as well. And perhaps it is because it is very warm where I exercise, so nothing wicks away all the sweat.

Your daughters and your wallet must be happy, as great exercise clothing is so expensive.

Summer Flies said...

All your tops are great as usual. The ninjas hiding in the print are so cute!

Melinda said...

Love all the VNA's. I'd been wondering when the Purple Rain would make an appearance, it's amazing fabric. It's now available at Zebra Fabrics. She doesn't have the whole range but has some of the space dyed colourways.

Melinda said...

I've just realised the leggings that the girls are wearing are Fehr Trade designs as well. How did you finish the topstitching/seaming on the tops? Is it just double needle?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. :) Your daughter looks pretty happy in those snazzy workout clothes.

Kyle said...

I think they are GREAT tops! Yay!
I love the ninja one--if you had not pointed out the ninja's I don't think I would have noticed honestly--what exactly doesn't your hubby like about it??

kbenco said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Melinda, there are a few pairs of the fair trade leggings shown. The red seams are inserted mock piping made from strips of cotton lycra knit folded lengthwise and inserted into the seams, and the white seam finish is coverstitch.

I'm not sure why the ninja fabric met with disapproval - it might be the brightness, not the ninjas. ;)

Audrey said...

I really like the style lines on this top. really flattering. And you have some great fabric combinations. Cool purple floral ninja fabric. It makes me laugh.

Sharon said...

Those ninjas are cool. Great looking VNA tops and I look forward to seeing the cool weather workout gear, I need some inspiration!

Sue said...

Great tops! The true test of a pattern is whether you make it more than once so I think it must be a winner. I have not tried spoonflower yet, but if you are looking for more of the space dyed supplex, carry a few colourways. (NAYY - just enabling :) )

fabric epiphanies said...

All your tops look lovely. I have been tempted by this pattern but too many thing in my queue mean I buy my workout gear at Kmart.

Kate Davies said...

I was so impressed to see this collection. Exercise clothes can be so banal. Your sets are so beautiful, and really fit perfectly. It's nice to run without any thing riding up or rubbing. Your own purple one is my favourite though, because it is a little subversive. And that makes it motivating...Brilliant.