Biking Jan19: Winter Biking – So Far

I already failed my January goal of biking to work three times a week. I blame the weather. I blame my apparent inability to gauge cold and warm – how cold is it really, and how many layers do I need to wear to stay warm on a four mile bike ride?

The first day wasn’t so bad – not terribly cold, nice to be out on my bike, surprise new bike lanes on the route I normally take (makes me feel legit!).

Now my regular commute is legit!

The second day was colder, so I decided to wear my corduroy culottes with the reflective leg warmers my mother knit for me several years ago. This wasn’t too bad on the way TO work, but on the way home, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up. I got blown around on my bike, and the full legs of the culottes blew around my legs, so I wasn’t as warm as I wanted to be. I was certainly reflective though!

Here are my reflective winter touches, from outside, working in:

  • Nutcase helmet (not seen: reflective stickers on side and back)
  • Reflective Rabbit scarf, knit by my mother
  • Old Lands End red puffer coat
  • Vespertine skinny reflective belt
  • Reflective lobster gloves (don’t remember where I got those)
  • Funflector reflector on my very old Basil pannier
  • Reflective leg warmers, knit by my mother
  • Navy corduroy Megan Nielsen Tania culottes with black reflective piping in the side seam, made by me

1. All a-glow, after I got home

2. Unpeeling the layers….

3. Ta da! This is how I looked in the office – respectable and not the least bit “bikey”

Then it got even colder and stayed windy. Although it meant I missed my third day of biking, I was fine with it. And now we’ve had the biggest snowstorm in three years, with 9″ of snow on our back deck alone, so I won’t be biking for a bit. Although Arlington County does a great job at clearing the bike lanes and trails, the same cannot generally be said for the conditions of streets. In years past, my bike route has been blocked by the giant piles of snow pushed aside by snow plows. I just don’t feel like the battle, so I opt not to, especially since the bus is so convenient.

9″ of snow on our back deck this morning, wow! Of the originally predicted 3-6″, I was hoping for 3″, haha!

I discovered something I’d forgotten in a year – after a 25-30 minute bike ride, my back is sweating and my fingers are freezing. So I plan to spend the rest of this month trying to balance out the warmth, and figure out how to keep my fingers warm and my core a bit cooler. I might just break down and make my own bar mitts – reflective, of course!

Brocade Bomber for Biking

I told you I am obsessed with outerwear right now and here’s more proof! My brocade bomber jacket is done!

I bought this brocade in New York City last year in a store that was going out of business. I am thrilled at how well it coordinates with the bronze reflective fabric from Mood.

I was originally thinking I would make a moto jacket but decided on Simplicity 8418 instead – the simpler lines allow the fabric to shine, plus this pattern includes the lining. And it has pockets! The same flannel backed lining I used on my reflective tweed coat matches perfectly with this as well. (I’m newly converted to how great this lining fabric is.)

I’m pretty happy with how easily this came together. However, I need to automatically add at least an inch to every sleeve I make. The sleeves aren’t horribly short but I would have preferred them longer. Helps keep my wrists warmer while biking.

Speaking of biking, check out how cool the reflective trim looks:

Oh yeah!

I’m excited to have a dressy casual jacket that I can wear a multitude of ways.

Re-Introducing My Reflective Bike Fashion

In the five years since I started my blog, I have become obsessed with reflective fashion – not just making it but buying it when I can. Naturally I prefer to make my own but I love seeing what other designers are making (Current fave Chance of Rain). Because my reflective sewing projects are intended to be fashionable in the office AND make me more visible on my bike, I’ve refined what and how – just throwing reflective spots here and there aren’t necessarily the best. So I thought I’d share some of my lessons learned.

Where to Be Reflective

One of the most important things I’ve learned is where reflective trim should go to be most visible to drivers. Shoulders, wrists, elbows, ankles, lower back, side seams of pants and skirts – all the best places. Collars and anything on the front, while there’s nothing wrong with that, tend to be less visible. I’ve made tons of lovely things that are covered up by long coats and scarves in the winter, so I really need to work on making outerwear!

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I buy patterns from anywhere; I haven’t yet gotten around to drafting any of my own. I love the big companies, Simplicity, McCalls, Vogue, Butterick, New Look, and wait until they go on sale then buy in bulk. I have also bought patterns from some of the independent companies, and downloaded a few as well, but I don’t use too much of them. The designs tend to be a bit too vintage and sweet for me (I don’t do peter pan collars, for example), and honestly, downloading, printing, taping together and the trying to figure out which size lines to follow, well, it’s more work that I really care to do. I’m thrilled that these companies exist, and love the Colette sewing planner, but I personally want to sew things a bit more on trend.

When I choose patterns, I look for seam details that will easily allow for adding reflective details: back yokes, cuffs, side seams and extra seams, any sort of sleeve interest… Check out this McCalls pattern as an example:

McCalls 7357 - plenty of seams in the sleeves and a back yoke that could be reflective fabric. Or where piping or bias could sneak in.

McCalls 7357 – plenty of seams in the sleeves and a back yoke that could be reflective fabric. Or where piping or bias could sneak in.

Personally, I always struggle with finding patterns that are “corporate” enough for work; most of my sewing projects so far are a bit more “business casual” or “Friday casual.” I have done some things that don’t have any reflective trim at all, like the Simplicity 8166 blouse I finally started.

Reflective Fabric

This is the biggest challenge – where to source reflective fabric? It’s hard to find and usually expensive when I do find it. Mood Fabrics currently has some lovely reflective fabrics (check out the sequined fabric! I can’t tell if it’s “my” reflective or just reflective because of the sequins, but I may need to find out…), and Rockywoods is still selling the water repellent reflective camo nylon fabric I bought last year. I had purchased some silver reflective fabric from Britex Fabrics, in San Francisco, but they don’t carry it anymore, and Dritz Notions stopped making their reflective piping a while ago but Seattle Fabrics sells it. Wherever I find it, I buy it. However…. some of this fabric, as lovely and reflective as it is, has a few drawbacks – it’s heavy, it’s hard to sew, it doesn’t press, and most importantly, it doesn’t breathe! This is a problem for biking in the summer! So I place it with care, knowing that I’ll sweat like mad under wherever the fabric is, yokes, collars, etc. Natural fibers reflective fabric is no! Admittedly, lately I’ve made a few things that don’t easily suggest reflective pieces, so I’ve simply added a tab of reflective grosgrain ribbon – not terribly useful in terms of safety, but, well, I feel obligated…


The other challenge in sewing bike fashion is how bikeable garments are. Pencil skirts are a challenge, and the main reason why I wanted a step-through bike. I don’t mind hicking my skirt up further than is acceptable because I wear Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts or Bikie Girl Bloomers under skirts and dresses, but not being able to throw my leg over the top tube of my commuter bike is the challenge! Full skirts and circle skirts, on the other end of the spectrum, tend to be too much fabric for me, but half-circles, A-lines and similar skirt and dress styles are perfect. I also gravitate towards tops with longer backs; thankfully high-low tops and tunics are stylish these days! Jackets, blouses and other tops need to allow for extended arms, and I always lengthen sleeves anyway, so long sleeves don’t end up halfway up my elbows.

All Together Now

So as you might guess, there are many calculations that go into my reflective bike fashion sewing! Can I bike in the garment? Does the pattern offer easy places to add something reflective? What goes with my limited stash of reflective fabrics and notions? Will the fabric be weather-appropriate? Given all these things, it’s a wonder I get as much sewing done as I do!

As you set about on your reflective sewing projects, I hope that these tips and ideas help. And if you find any new sources for reflective fabric, please be sure to share! Happy sewing!





On a Reflective Roll

I’ve finally had a chance to get some sewing done, and to play with lots of reflective materials, hurrah! Somewhere I got the idea to make reflective neck warmers and so many ideas snowballed from there.

Neck warmer in action - reflective fabric backed with polar fleece

Neck warmer in action – reflective fabric backed with polar fleece

And the neck warmer reflecting!

And the neck warmer reflecting!

I made myself this prototype, complete with elastic drawstring at the top, so I can cinch it up over my nose when it’s really cold, then made one for my Secret Santa coworker. Then, I offered to make some as raffle prizes for the local Hains Point 100 fundraiser for the Washington Area Bicyclists Association’s Women and Bicycles program.

Then…. I had another crazy idea…. A friend brought over some luscious fake fur, to make herself a stole for a fancy holiday party. It was sooooo soft….

You can't tell here but it flowed like water when I brushed my hand over it

You can’t tell here but it flowed like water when I brushed my hand over it

What about a neck warmer lined with fake fur? And to make it super-classy, what if it was reflective tweed?!? I quickly looked up the reflective tweeds at Dashing Tweeds. Every single reflective plaid, check and wave is absolutely stunning and alas, quite expensive. But never one to be deterred by price, I ordered a bunch of samples. They arrived quickly and are so lovely, I almost wanted to cry. dashing-tweed-1

I mean, just look at this!!!

I mean, just look at this!!!

Now I’m thinking beyond the neck warmer – yoke and/or cuffs on a jacket, perhaps?

I also got some swatches of tencel twill and silk/cotton blends from, and this ivory tencel twill goes so nicely with some of the reflective tweeds. It will eventually be a high-necked blouse, which gives me plenty of other ideas.twill-and-tweed I suddenly find myself designing something Downton Abbey Goes Reflective…. I did just get the Butterick Miss Fisher pattern!

I totally have a weakness for traditional riding jodhpurs. Can't explain it.

I totally have a weakness for traditional riding jodhpurs. Can’t explain it.

So while I contemplate reflective tweed and what else I could do with the fabric, I am settling for making a navy blue corduroy A-line skirt with a bit of reflective trim in the side seams. I hope to have it done for Christmas – it’s not the exciting sewing project I’d hoped to complete by then, but its on the list and needs to get done, so that’s okay.

Just a bit of reflective trim in progress

Just a bit of reflective trim in progress

Attempting Proper Pants Fit, Take One

This year, one of my sewing goals it to focus on proper fit. It’s not enough to just make my own reflective clothing anymore, I want it to look good and fit properly. This means forcing myself to take my time on projects, which I’m really too impatient to normally do. I like quick and easy garments! But I guess my priorities are shifting, at least a bit.

So I decided to make the pants from McCalls 6361 because of the fit instructions written into the sewing instructions. I had previously made a skirt from this pattern and was pleased with how easily it went together (even though I couldn’t figure out the zipper instructions and made it up). I decided that I’d make a muslin, but out of something I’d actually wear. However, I’m not sure I’d make this pants pattern again.

McCalls 6361 Skirt, made last fall

McCalls 6361 Skirt, made last fall

I didn’t take photos of the fit process, I’m sorry to report, so you’ll have to make due with mental images. I tried the process of pinning the pattern pieces together for the initial fit, but without having two legs, just the one, I found this challenging. I did take a tuck in the waistband to get it to lay flat against my body, which turned out to be perfect. I lengthened the legs, too, as I usually do. So I just cut out and basted everything together to test the fit.

Dammit, I put the label in crooked!

Dammit, I put the label in crooked!

Successes: needing to take in Center Back, thanks to my sway back. Failures: The waist ended up higher than I expected; the pant legs themselves were waaaaay too big; and I didn’t like the shape of them. So I pinned out inches off the leg circumference, took in a bit of the front crotch to reduce wrinkles, and cropped the legs. At the very last minute, I decided to add reflective trim to the hems – I hadn’t planned on adding anything, since they were a muslin, but couldn’t stand having something reflection-less!

McCalls 6361 at work

McCalls 6361 at work with my Stitch Fix sweater, bug scarf from H&M, and new Dansko Rebel Wedge shoes

Final result: I love the color, they do fit well, and I’m sure I’ll wear them a lot. However, the cut was not what I was hoping for – I think they are still baggy, and as I mentioned, the waist is above my belly button, which was not what I’d expected. (They do remind me of these Banana Republic pants, actually)

See the hem reflecting?!

See the hem reflecting?!

I'm totally in love with these new Danskos, too!

I’m totally in love with these new Danskos, too! Bought on clearance from, woot!

Trying to pin fit pants on oneself is not the easiest thing to do! But now I have an idea of what alterations need to be done on the next pair. Of course, I want a nice pair of 1930s style wide legged trousers, so that will be a different fit to begin with. But I think I will always need to take in Center Back, and the back crotch length needs to be a bit longer. I remember from my sewing classes in the 1990s (!!) needing to drop the crotch, but that wasn’t a problem on these! But this Cadet Blue color goes with everything in my wardrobe, so I’m sure these will be used frequently.

The reflective camo fabric on the pant hems reflect less than the other accessories, but I still love it

The reflective camo fabric on the pant hems reflect less than the other accessories, but I still love it

I’ve got two other projects to distract me from pants, in the meantime. I just got some basic khaki twill to make the Vogue 7910 skirt (version B) I’ve been wanting to make for ages. Khaki SkirtI wish I had enough of the gold reflective fabric to make bias, but I think I will need to use the reflective piping on this. Its more challenging to work with than the flat reflective camo fabric, so I’m not entirely thrilled with the option, but color-wise, it will work best. I really hope this turns out well. As much as I love my tan suede skirt, it’s hard to bike in. I hope this is a worthy replacement. Khaki Skirt ReflectingIt will be a few weeks before I get to do any sewing again. I guess I need to clean our apartment, and let it stay clean for a while! Does everyone make a huge mess when they sew, or is it just the bad habits I picked up while working in costume shops?!


Disaster Dress

A friend said it was bound to happen – one sewing project out of so many ended up not so great. I suppose it’s true but that doesn’t make me any happier when I look at my disaster dress.

It's about 10 sizes too big!

It’s about 10 sizes too big!

Let’s review what the pattern is supposed to look like: Kwik Sew PatternThe sleeve cap should be a tiny bit over the shoulder, but not halfway down my bicep, as it is. The dress should be more fitted, the sleeves should be fitted, and the elastic shouldn’t sag. And I was so close to being done with this dress that day…

I think the biggest problem is that the solid lavender fabric is bamboo jersey, and the chain mail print fabric (my first Spoonflower purchase!) is a much heavier knit. The weights don’t match up. I think this contributes to the sagging elastic in the front and back. Also, I carefully tried to alter the pattern to fit, and again, didn’t do the dress any favors. I dropped the waist, because it seemed to high, and now it seems too low. I lengthened the sleeves, which was probably not too bad because once the sleeve seam is closer to where it should be, the sleeve length will work out fine. I wanted the dress length to be in between the two options shown, so I carefully altered for that, and now I think it’s longer than the longer version! At least that’s an easy fix. Beyond those things, I have NO idea why it’s so big. I cut out the size Medium and used the proper seam allowance (which I don’t always do, I admit).

Every time I *try* to do the right thing, it backfires on me!

Every time I *try* to do the right thing, it backfires on me!

Of course, none of this is irreparable. I just am not looking forward to taking it apart, especially considering my carefully serged seam finishing. I’m not sure I want to tackle trying to raise the waist from the shoulders. I am debating hunting for a heavier weight knit to replace the solid, but this lavender matches so perfectly that I don’t want to do that either. Guess I need to try to pull up the shoulders, make the side panels narrower, and cut the sleeve width in half. Shortening the overall length by about 4 inches will be the easiest part. I am considering adding an elastic casing around the waist on the sides, to pull it in a bit more and see if it helps take up some of the weight of the front and back elastic. I just hope I can save it enough to love it as much as I really want to.

While I think about this, I am tackling a new project – making baby clothes for a friend’s baby shower next week! I’ve never made baby clothes before and had fun picking fabrics. Not sure about tiny footed jammies and snap tape crotches, so we’ll see what happens!  Baby Clothes


ICYMI: May Was Full of Bike Fashion Too!

Although most of National Bike Month (aka May, to those of you not so enthralled with biking) has been focused on the how and the where of biking, rest assured, there was plenty of bike fashion going on in my world as well!

I didn’t know that May is also Me Made May, a month-long challenge for seamstresses and those who sew created by Zoe, of the blog So Zo… What Do You Know? The concept is pretty much what it seems – wear something you made every day in May. I love it! Except that I don’t yet have 31 garments that I’ve made (the yoga mat bag doesn’t count!). I think I will aim for this next year – perhaps by then I will have 31 different reflective-trimmed bike-friendly office-appropriate garments to get me through the challenge. I already have three things lined up for the next month or so.

I wasn’t idle, however, and I cranked out two blue casual bike skirts, with reflective trim of course. The first was a midi length blue linen-cotton blend, just two widths of the fabric sewn together with pockets and an elastic waist – but with reflective rick rack in the hem. It’s super comfy and will be perfect for biking around this summer on the weekends. It does make me feel a bit Prairie Girl but when it’s hot and humid later this summer, I won’t mind. Alas, The Mechanic and I have been so busy this month that I haven’t had a chance to do photo shoots with either skirt, so please excuse the lame photos.

The other skirt I made was a bit of an experiment because I have never used a Kwik Sew pattern, nor created anything (for me) just with the serger. Kwik Sew K3513 is a simple foldover skirt pattern; I made version B. I hadn’t planned on this skirt but found the fabric on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics and had to get it. Of course, I realized this past weekend that it’s a bit more sheer than I initially thought! Thank goodness I always wear Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts under skirts and dresses, on and off the bike. Initially I was worried that the size Medium would be too small so I fudged the seams a bit, and now I think it might be too big. Sigh. At least it will be easy to adjust, if needed. I almost didn’t put any reflective trim on this, but how could I not?! So I just tucked a bit in the side seams. It doesn’t go into knit fabric well, but I guess it’s visible. The Mechanic says it is. Again, no chance to do photos yet.

I did buy fabric to made another top, but first I have one ready to cut out – then I need to buy fabric for the jumpsuit I still want to make, then buy the pattern for the next reflective top. I aim to have all three done before a work conference at the end of July, so hopefully I’ll get some down time to sew.   New Fabric

And in non-sewing news, I was featured on Chasing Mailboxes’ blog, as part of Mary’s Women Bike DC series. I completely admire Mary for not only cranking out some serious bike miles and steady running, but managing to write so often. And being chosen from all the amazing women in the DC area who bike is a real honor. Check out the other women in her series, too, to be inspired.

And just last week, BikeArlington used a few of my photos in their Bike Errand Challenge blog post. I’m pretty amazed by the large loads on those bikes. I really want a trailer eventually. Actually, maybe I’d rather have a folding bike.

Both The Mechanic and I have been running around like made, crisscrossing our way across the Eastern Seaboard on the weekends and working long hours during the week, so we are definitely looking forward to relaxing next month. Our first year anniversary is in a few weeks, but celebrating that is the only thing we have planned. Hopefully it stays that way and I can get some sewing done!


Reflective Bomber Jacket, Reporting for Duty

Bomber Jacket 1

Ready for Spring in my new bomber jacket, Ligne 8 jeans, and Cole Haan oxfords! Soon all that snow will be gone, at last!

Bomber jackets have been popular for a season or two now, and I’ve finally got mine finished and ready to share! Bomber jackets, also called flight jackets, bombardier jackets or captain’s jackets, are a classic jacket style for women (and men, obviously) that never seems to go out of style, but at the moment is enjoying fanciful interpretations. What better way to recreate a classic military style than with some reflective jacket, for bombing around town on a bike?! Using the McCalls 7100 pattern, I opted for fully reflective sleeves, using some of the fabric I got through my Australian blogger friend Oanh. It has a cool pattern, and oh by the way, is amazingly reflective. Bomber Jacket 2

The pattern instructions were a bit challenging, and twice I had to rip out stitches and start over. The zipper I used is actually glow-in-the-dark, although I’m sad to say that it’s hard to see it glow in a photo. The zipper was longer than I needed, and since I don’t have zipper stops, I just faked it and stitched it straight into the seam. It doesn’t look as bad as you might think! The pockets were very easy, because they are set into a seam, however. I opted to flat-line the sleeves, because I disagreed with the way the instructions would have you sew in a dart then trim them, so you’d either have a raw or serged edge right on your shoulder. I am much happier with the lining.

Glow-in-the-dark zipper!

Glow-in-the-dark zipper!

The shoulders actually look pretty nice, I think.

The shoulders actually look pretty nice, I think.

The only bummer part of this garment is that the sleeves are too short. It’s more annoying because I lengthened the sleeves on my SF Fog sweatshirt and they ended up too long, and after measuring the pattern piece, these seemed like they’d be okay. Alas, no – just a tad bit too short. All the better to show off bracelets, I guess! I was also a bit worried that the ribbed band on that sweatshirt rides a bit more snugly than I would prefer, so I made the band on this jacket a bit more relaxed. Although I’m wearing it here with jeans, I can see this going well with skirts and trousers, so it will be a good wear-to-work piece also. Yay for multifunctional!

Fine, you are saying, let’s see it reflecting! Here you are: Bomber Jacket 3 Bomber Jacket 6 Bomber Jacket 9Once the weather is warm enough to not need a heavy coat, this will be a great evening biking piece. It will be hard to miss me when my arms light up so much!

I will wear this to the Women & Bikes Forum on Tuesday (March 10, 2015), along with my Ligne 8 jeans, so if you are there, you will recognize me. I always like to wear my bike fashion sewing project to bike events, and it’s important for me to now have something new for each one. I am really excited about the Forum, and looking forward to hearing all the speakers.

Now that this is done, I’m ready to move on to other projects. Besides my wedding dress conversion, I’ve got plans for a bucket bag (drafting the pattern myself), jumpsuit, top and I’m considering culottes. Culottes are very in this spring, and I am a bit on-the-fence about them.  Maybe shorter ones, just below the knees, would be good for biking – full enough to mimic an A-line skirt, split for ease and comfort, but not so long that the fullness would get caught in the chain rings (it’s happened more frequently than I’d prefer). But am I brave enough to wear them?! Only time will tell…




Corduroy Christmas Skirt

My latest skirt looks nothing like Christmas, no holly and ivy, no red and green, no angels and snowflakes, or any of the other things that one normally associates with Christmas. But I finished making it on Christmas Day, so in my mind it will always be known as the Christmas Skirt.

Christmas Skirt_1I fell in love with this corduroy at JoAnn Fabrics earlier this fall, and just bought two yards without knowing what pattern I’d want to make it into. I wanted to make something easy and casual, and, inspired by this Express ad, decided to split the skirt to add the reflective piping in the middle, rather than on the hem.

I love this skirt, and okay, I love the jacket too...

I love this skirt, and okay, I love the jacket too…

I’d also been lusting after a Boden skirt, and studied the measurements of it, which helped me decide that all I would do with this fabric was stitch the selvedges together (it was 54″ wide, so that gave my hips wiggle room) and add an elastic waistband.

Inspiration for my skirt and outfit - they say imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

Boden inspiration for my skirt and outfit – they say imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

I carefully sketched out my pattern, but opted against adding a lining and pockets. I really wanted something quick and easy.

Pattern drafting at it's finest!

Pattern drafting at it’s finest!

I added three rows of 1/2″ elastic for the waistband, and ended up making a very deep hem, which turned out to be pretty unelegant on the backside. Actually, the front isn’t that great either, don’t look too closely. Christmas Skirt_2 Christmas Skirt_3I really love how it turned out, and have worn it several times since Christmas. I’d like to take it to New York next weekend when The Mechanic and I go up for a quick weekend trip, but I’m not sure it’s quite warm enough (I don’t have tall black boots, which it would need to be warmer). I did wear add snow boots and leg warmers on Monday, when I wore it to work. You know how New York is – much more fashionable than functional! We’ll see. But yay, a fun new skirt!

Bundled up and reflective! Legwarmers, skirt, Vespertine belt and scarf.

Bundled up and reflective! Legwarmers, skirt, Vespertine belt and scarf.

Many thanks again to zigzagmags for her mad photo skillz during an especially cold and windy outdoor photoshoot!

Sewing Project #15: SF Fog Sweatshirt

To call this top a sweatshirt is slightly misleading. The fabric is a soft, cozy velour, updated from grandmother sweatsuits and collegiate sweats with words across the bum, plus a bit of reflective handmade bias trim. I’ll probably continue to call it a sweatshirt, but I like to think it’s a bit dressier.

I bought the fabric from Britex Fabrics, in San Francisco, while meeting Melissa of Bike Pretty for the first time. I grew up in Sacramento, and trips to The City always involved Britex – as a young stitcher/costume designer, Britex was like Mecca compared to the fabric stores in Sacramento. (Actually, it still is pretty amazing. New York City fabric stores are totally different, geared towards a different audience.) Since this fabric is from San Francisco and gray, and I love (and miss) the fog that rolls in over the city every evening, I’ve decided to name this project the SF Fog Sweatshirt. You will see why!

I used Very Easy Vogue pattern V9026, version A. Initially I wanted to find some cool digital print scuba fabric for the front panel, as shown on the pattern cover, but the prices were a bit more than I was prepared to pay. The helpful salesperson at Britex showed me this velour, and I was hooked. Better to show off the shape with reflective trim in a simple color, I decided.

Not only did I put this together in one day, it went together fairly smoothly, and I am very happy with how it turned out! I lengthened the torso, partially because I have a long waist, and also to cover more whilst biking, which I’m glad I did, although the sleeves are longer than I anticipated, which is a bit unusual. It is comfortable to wear, and am I happy with the overall fit.SF Fog 2 SF Fog 3I asked my friend ZigZagMags to take some pictures for me, and she did an awesome job, don’t you think?!

I ended up adding more reflective trim than I had originally planned. I added it to the shoulder seams mostly to stabilize the stitching, and since there isn’t much on the back that is reflective, I added tabs on each cuff. I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, but, well, they turned out great!  SF Fog 5 SF Fog 10(Please note, I am wearing my grandmother’s rings while my wedding rings are in Hawaii getting smaller. I had to take them back to Hawaiian jeweler Na Hoku to get resized, and they were sent to Hawaii to do so. It’s hard to be parted with them; we haven’t been married long enough yet that I forget I’m wearing them!)

So the burning question is, of course, how does it reflect?! I tried a selfie, then The Mechanic took a few while I rode circles on a Capital Bikeshare bike. See for yourself – SF Fog 6 SF Fog 7 SF Fog 8 SF Fog 9I’m very pleased with how the reflective tabs on the cuffs worked out! I will probably try this on other projects too.

This was Sewing Project #15 – hard to believe I’ve done so much! You can see some of the others in my Reflective Wear-to-Work Challenge post. I do have some other projects in mind, one for next spring already, but both my sewing machine and my serger are in desperate need of some TLC. It’s probably been 20 years since they had any proper maintenance done, oops. I also need to get my scissors sharpened. Since it is practically the holidays, I might as well do all this now, so that as soon as January hits, I’m ready to jump back into things! If I can wait that long.SF Fog 11