The Sewing Place

Sew Your Own Activewear by

Morgan

Sew Your Own Activewear by
« on: March 03, 2018, 23:31:43 PM »
http://blog.fehrtrade.com/book/

Extremely good value for money, excellent and useful content that is simply written and well presented, together with 4 base patterns in a range of sizes plus several design variations to work through.



My paperback copy of this book was a (special request) gift from a friend and I'm so pleased to have it.

All round I'm very impressed with it. 
Both the book and the pattern sheets are printed on durable paper that handles well.  The Pattern Sheets are in an envelope attached inside the back cover.

The format and presentation of the content is methodically organised, succinct, clear and straight forward to read.
It's also inclusive in that the concepts and suggestions encourage the use of common sense about what your particular activity needs your clothing to do - activity not just sport or working out.  The ideas and methods work for any gender and children, disabled or fully able-bodied. 

The section on fabrics and sewing techniques is straight forward and very clear with some really helpful hints - eg. how to launder wicking fabrics.

The idea is that you can use the basic patterns supplied, make and fit the basic style so you have your personal pattern, and then working on a copy, follow the step by step guides to create a new pattern for the suggested style variation.  If you have some basic T-shirt and leggings/pants patterns that you've already fitted then you can use those rather than the ones supplied.
When you have created your new pattern you can follow the assembly sewing plan provided.
If you are new to adapting patterns and creating your own, then after working through a couple of the designs you'll be able to develop your own versions.
]In addition, Melissa has written several blog posts about sewing up her designs and variations.

There are a couple of reversible knits, that found their way into the stash from a Textile Centre sale, that are practically jumping onto the sewing table to become a couple of jackets/hoodies along with some other pieces that are perfect for trying out a couple of the designs.
This light/dark coral is one of the reversibles, the other is turquoise/light grey
My try-outs for the leggings/yoga pants, shorts and both T-shirts will be in soft jerseys and will be some new Pyjamas.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 00:01:04 AM by Morgan »

Pinkstar

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 11:13:20 AM »
I've bought this as well, can't wait to try the patterns.  Will have to wait until I've got some suitable fabrics though.  0_0

lakaribane

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 14:11:30 PM »
How's the sizing?

Are any of you considering Johanna Lu's book?

I saw a review on YouTube where the seamstress suggested Melissa's book for the patterns and mods and Johanna's book for the techniques.

This is not my thing but as they came out so close together, I'm curious if they really do complement each other.

Marniesews

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 19:40:17 PM »
I've got Melissa's book coming as a birthday present shortly - we all prefer if I give them a few suggestions!

I wanted it because I struggle to find activewear that I don't feel self-conscious in (too tight or too revealing or too pink!) so I thought it was time I had a go. I've got many metres of black meryl that I can play around with so I'm hoping to get a good fit and then vary the look with colour blocking and print inserts when I get something I like.

Now you've made me look forward to opening it even more.  :D
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

BrendaP

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 00:06:35 AM »
Yes, it's a good book.  I got it a couple of weeks ago - and have just been too busy with other things to have sewed anything from it, but I do want to make some more leggings for Pilates.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Morgan

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 00:57:49 AM »
How's the sizing?

Are any of you considering Johanna Lu's book?
I saw a review on YouTube where the seamstress suggested Melissa's book for the patterns and mods and Johanna's book for the techniques.
This is not my thing but as they came out so close together, I'm curious if they really do complement each other.
Working with stretch and performance fabrics using different sewing options is already familiar and The Johanna Lu book doesn't offer anything to me I don't have already so I decided against that one.  For me, Melissa Fehr's book offers much better value.

There is very clear information about the size charts that were used to draft the patterns, explanation about where and how negative ease is used and also why and how to adjust the patterns depending on the stretch factor of the fabric the maker chooses to use and their personal preferences. 
There are two options with the tops - a snug fit and a looser fit. 
As with any pattern, not just active wear, the process is to personalise the fit of the patterns before using them on the real thing.  The book includes instructions on what to do and how presented in a clear and straight forward manner with diagrams.
I don't know if that answers the question about what is the sizing like, because I suppose it doesn't really matter because every person's body and fabric will be different so the maker will make whatever adjustments that are needed.


lakaribane

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 12:51:32 PM »
I don't know if that answers the question about what is the sizing like

Mostly, yes, thank you!

Bobbinalong

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 13:38:48 PM »
Thanks @Morgan you may have just convinced me to get Melissa's book. I certainly like the idea of it but have until now been a bit put off by the finish on some of the sample garments that I've seen pictures of. For example, the top on the front cover appears to show a rather unusual almost gathered neckline finish.  I haven't got the book so I obviously don't know whether that's because elastic has been used to draw a too large neckline in or whether it's even supposed to look like that.  Some of the other pictures I've seen of leggings for example appear to have rather a lot of bagginess and wrinkles.  I suppose though fit is personal and getting the right fabrics is most important.

Marniesews

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 15:27:31 PM »
Apologies from the start, bit of a rant coming!

My copy arrived on Monday but I'm really rather taken aback by the photos. :( I know photoshoot clothing often isn't selected to fit the models very well but I can't believe Melissa Fehr thinks they're a good representation of what we're hoping to make... certainly not anything like the example on page 5 opposite the introduction.

Let me be clear, I'm still expecting the garments once sewn won't look like this as I'll be checking measurements very closeiy and making plenty of fitting adjustments to ensure  they fit better. I'm just surprised at the lack of attention to detail in selecting these photographs for publication.

The Rashguard wasn't perhaps best photographed by someone carrying a surfboard (explanatory though it may be) but the poorly fitting neck is hopefully because it's partially unzipped at the back.

Someone needed to tell the model to pull down the Cycling Top for the front closeup shot but that wouldn't help the sleeves of the Winter Base Layer as her hands would have disappeared completely and I dread how much those sleeves will roll up in big ridges of fabric around the arms when she puts another garment over it (even with the thumbhole limiting the movement). I have to wonder if that one was made to fit a 6 foot bodybuilder/swimmer with huge shoulders and long arms (especially noticeable in the Introduction photo already mentioned).

Then the neck of the Raglan Tee is standing up at least half an inch above her at the inner edge of the shoulder seam. The fit being pulled tight across the bust with lots of diagonal drag lines hanging loosely below it isn't what I'm hoping for either.

This one is perhaps a bit picky, not least as it's the Vest Top on the cover, but the contrast band doesn't sit in the best place starting well up the bust. Something I noticed most on the detailed closeups and now can't fail to look at it everytime I see the cover.  -<

Sorry for being such a grumpypants! :S  I do hope she doesn't use this photographer again and makes an effort to have a wider range of garment sizes for the models to try next time.

I'm not promising to publish photos of any of the garments I make for myself ;) but I might do so for any I make for my beautiful DGD.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 15:29:32 PM by Marniesews »
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

Francesca

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 15:31:31 PM »

washi

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 00:39:37 AM »
There are so many sewing and fit problems with the sample photos she has shared on her blog that I have no desire to purchase the book, even though I have been sewing activewear for myself. It's a shame, really.  :(

UttaRetch

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 08:29:57 AM »
I have never been impressed with her sewing and the various reviews Melissa has posted shows loose and wrinkly garments.  How can a stretch to fit fabric produce saggy and baggy wear? ><
What goes around comes around.

Marniesews

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 14:25:39 PM »
How can a stretch to fit fabric produce saggy and baggy wear? ><
chy

You may well ask, UR. My patternmaking book for stretch knits grades the pattern between 4 degrees of stretch: minimal stretch, moderate stretch, very stretchy, superstretchy. Casual wear mostly uses the first two (with some exceptions) while activewear, dancewear, swimwear etc almost invariably uses the last two. It's worrying to think she doesn't realise this type of functional clothing needs tighter grading but, between that and the neck, sleeve, armscye issues etc, one starts to wonder.

Fortunately, we know better and will make appropriate alterations. It will be interesting to hear the experience of those of us who have this book once we start to make them.


Aka Jacky F in a former life...

lakaribane

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 16:00:45 PM »
It will be interesting to hear the experience of those of us who have this book once we start to make them.

Yes, please!

AnneFrances

Re: Sew Your Own Activewear by
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 13:22:04 PM »
I am so pleased that other people have raised this issue. I am happy to believe that the book has good illustrations of the processes and alterations suggested. A lot of people seem to have been pleased with the individual down-loadable patterns she has produced and sold up to now. But I have seen too many of the garments Melissa has photographed looking ill-fitting and wrinkled. She recently showed a version of the jacket she had made that had really nice colours, and the fit wasn't too bad. But the finish at the top of the zip was really regrettable - the two sides of the collar did look different lengths. I am tempted to get the book - I could do with gear for my exercise class -  but I would so like to know whether those who have used it can get better results than those shown.