Monday 7 November 2022

FREE Pattern - pole shorts (finally!)

3 years after my initial draft, I am ready to share my tried and tested, then improved, pole shorts pattern with the world! These have seen me through 2 photoshoots, a performance, and countless classes. These are what I keep coming to time and time again, because, well, they are literally custom made for me in every way and my absolute favourite. 

Download your copy here for FREE. 

Style lines

I would describe these as low cut, slightly cheeky with a scrunch bum. The crotch coverage is pretty wide and it's never let me down :) The legs and waist are both finished by fabric bands with no elastic added. The shorts are not compressive (but also not lose), but don't dig into your skin. Here are a few photos (please note that these beautiful beach pics by Artistry Photography are unedited): 

pole dance shorts DIY free pattern photoshoot beach

pole dance shorts free pattern photoshoot beach

As swim bottoms (see below) and also my separate post
pole dance shorts free pattern DIY bikini bottoms
Flat lay of latest pair front and back view, teamed with a hacked Power Sports Bra
celestial pole set handmade free pattern shorts power sports bra hackcelestial pole set handmade free pattern shorts power sports bra hack

This one below is actually my OG pair, which I still proudly wear (photo below was from August this year). The pattern that I am sharing has a slightly higher back (so that it's more balanced compared to the front) and slightly cheekier coverage.  
pole dance shorts free pattern performance


These are just for my personal use, so unfortunately I'm only sharing it in my own size. For reference, I am almost always an XS, size (UK and Aus) 6. Typical measurements for my hip and waist tend to be around 34-34.5' and the 25-26' mark. Note that these shorts aren't high waisted, so the hip measurement is going to be more important. To an extent, you could adjust the sizing slightly by lengthening/shortening the fabric leg and waist bands but there will be a limit to it. 

Fabric requirements

I have made these using quite a number of stretch lycra fabrics, from printed nylon lycra, activewear marl, stretch velvet to Tactel. I would suggest fabrics with at least 50% stretch both length and width wise. Depending on the fabric, I do sometimes make small adjustments to the length of the bands to ensure a snug and secure yet comfortable fit, so please use the measurements included as a guide only. 

You will need some elastic for the scrunch bum. 

Quick construction steps on a page
  1. Sew elastic along the centre back from top to crotch seam on your sewing machine, using a stretch stitch - my favourite is a long straight triple stitch, stretching the elastic evenly as you sew.  
  2. Sew back to front piece at the crotch seam, using a 6mm seam allowance (throughout). I do this on my overlocker. 
  3. Sew up the side seams. 
  4. Sew up the waist and leg bands into loops (i.e. closing the short ends with right sides together). Fold with wrong side together lengthwise. 
  5. Pin/clip the folded bands to the shorts at quarter points (and more as necessary, ensuring an even distribution), with right sides together. Overlock. 
  6. Optional topstitching (which I only like to do on plain pairs). 

Other options

I have often made these as bikini bottoms, by adding a swim lining to them and using swim elastic for the scrunch bum. I'd also recommend adding swim elastic into the waistband in that option, to ensure that when wet (and heavier), the shorts will swim with you (!)

If you prefer hemmed leg openings, you can remove the bands and add the hem allowance (as well as account for the width of the sewn bands and seam allowance). I prefer the security the bands offer, however. 

There they are! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! 

Sunday 5 June 2022

Greetings from the Sunshine State!

greenstyle power sports bra even strappier hack Little Lizard King Katy Dress

Hello my dear readers, it's been a long while! If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that sooo much has changed since my last blog post. We have moved from Surrey to Brisbane, Australia! Needless to say, relocating almost as far as humanly possible in the middle of a global pandemic was full of ups and downs, and I think we are only breathing a sigh of relief now that all our household belongs have finally arrived. On the one hand, we are so traumatised from the whole process that we can't imagine moving ever again; on the other, though, having worked as a team to pack up the house and rent it out, sell the car and getting on a plane (not being 100% sure that they'd let us on it!) with 2 weeks' notice, and then arriving in Sydney without knowing when we would actually be able to get to Queensland with a toddler in tow, living without our own stuff for about 5 months, and surviving it all has also made us feel quite empowered in other ways. 

We moved to Brisbane with my work for an opportunity of a lifetime, but also for all the lifestyle that comes with living in the Sunshine state! We don't know what the future holds, but for now, are pinching ourselves that we live in such a great city with so much on our doorstep. We are now accustomed to our weekend getaways to really experience what is on offer in South East Queensland. 

greenstyle psb power sports bra even strappier swim bikini hack

Last weekend we drive about an hour north to Caloundra on the Sunshine coast, and had an absolute blast! There were so much for us all to enjoy, and the weather was absolutely perfect (considering it is now winter). 

Thursday 26 August 2021

Sun safe rash guard set

Other people: hey, weather forecast looks great, so let's book a last minute trip to the beach this weekend!

Me: the above, plus, must sew a rash guard set for my daughter to wear in the next 24 hours! 
rashguard shorts sunsafe going home sweater lightning leggings
I'm not someone who usually enjoys speed sewing at all, but this time I relished the challenge.

Monday 2 August 2021

Sew your own period underwear - a comprehensive introduction

This is the first of a series of posts that I will be sharing on sewing your own period underwear. It’s a bit of a whopper!

Warning: this post contains frank and personal discussions about periods. Please feel free to scroll away if this you are not a fan of TMI.

TMI intro – what has led me to make my own period underwear

Periods and I have had a difficult relationship, even though we’ve muddled through together for nearly two decades. I used to absolutely dread it, because I would be curled up into a ball and drugged up for a day or two each month due to deliberating cramps. It was always an embarrassing thing to explain to my managers and colleagues as well. Now, after baby, my cramps have eased (thanks Freya!) but I’ve swapped them for hormonal migraines. The joy!

I could never get on with tampons at all, so have been a pad user for the majority of the time. I started using a menstrual cup a few years ago, and after a dodgy start (think – late arrival at work due to lengthy retrieval of cup😅), I’ve grown really fond of it. It has transformed my sleep (no more waking up at 5am fearing a leak), my exercise (it gave met the confidence to show up at pole classes in my little pole shorts) and made me feel a lot better about sending less disposable products to landfill. I also enjoyed learning about my “flow” as well. However, on most days (when I'm out and about) and at night time, I still used a pad as back-up for fear of leakage (even though this hardly ever happens).

A few years ago, I became aware of Thinx, and as a result, period underwear as a new concept. However, the price tag and the international shipping from the US put me off. When ASOS UK started stocking them, I invested in a pair but wasn’t happy with the fit. However, a seed was sewn in my head from then that perhaps one day, I will make my own.

Fast forward a few years, I've gone all out and made 6 pairs in one go! This entire project was finally prompted by potty training my toddler, which made me look into making reusable training underwear for her, a project that would require similar materials. By now, not one pair of toddler training underwear has been made, but mummy has 6 pairs of period pants prototypes 😉 The truth is, once I got started, and my juices flowing (no pun intended), I couldn't stop (and could barely sleep). There were so many options and so many ideas! 

sew your own period underwear pants panties thinx

Sunday 4 July 2021

More activewear - Greenstyle Cavallo & Elevate (including Fit Capsule Part 2)

2018 was when I started dabbling in sewing activewear, and 2021 is the year it finally took off! Considering that I'm quite a bit less active right now (thanks multiple lockdowns!), it's quite surprising that I find myself rather addicted to making sporty outfits! 

greenstyle elevate crop cavallo leggings activewear supplex tactel
But it's not all plain sailing. These Greenstyle Cavallo leggings jammed my beloved coverstitch machine so much that I had to take it back to the dealer for repair/un-jamming. Worse still, I was mid reverse coverstitching inside the left trouser leg when the machine halted to a stop with a louse noise, and it was so jammed that I could not get the leg back out for the life of me! To my huge relief, both the machine and the fabric came back good as new. 
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