Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ready for spring?

Early cycling season might just be a lot more fashionable chez The Sewing Lawyer, now that my new bike jacket is all sewn up and ready to go.  Now, if only it wasn't -25C outside (-30-something with the wind chill)....

This little number is made with a pattern which for some reason I think was the house brand of the late-lamented Textile Outfitters store in Calgary.  It's Storm Mountain Designs "Golden Triangle Cycling Jacket".  I can't find any sign of its origins in the packaging or on the internet.  My copy is an antique - imagine, the multi-size pattern looks suspiciously like an actual blue print.  Does anyone use that technology any more?

Anyhow, here it is - pretty blue goretex purchased last year from Ressy's Coop, lined with some sort of athletic mesh in white (from stash) and embellished in a practical sort of way with retro-reflective piping (Montreal, St. Hubert Street) and nylon ripstop printed all over with a retro-reflective pattern (stash).  I used the retro-reflective fabric at the collar, back yoke and lower band.








I split the front to create a yoke seam where I could insert piping, and did the same on the sleeves.  The piping starts at the back yoke, and runs diagonally across the sleeve so you can see it in the front.  To the right, the back, in pretend biking position.  The lower back curves down so that when I'm really on the bike, there is no risk of gaposis; the hem should be more or less horizontal in that position.
In the photo to the left, you can see how the upper back yoke is only attached at the CB.  Even though goretex is more breathable than many waterproof fabrics, I expect it to be pretty steamy on occasion and this will help.  If you click on the photo to the right, you can sort of see how the retro-reflective stuff performs.  Naturally it's even more startling in the complete dark, but that's pretty hard to photograph!

For even more ventilation, I added pit zips (these are zippers with 2 pulls that operate from the middle).  I added a plastic pull on a cord to make it easier to grab the pull when moving.  There's another on the front zipper.

Again, thinking about air flow and being too hot, I made the sleeve cuffs adjustable using a velcro-ed tab.  To my astonishment, I found coordinating blue velcro in the stash.

The pattern calls for a lot of fancy pockets, but I only used the lower front ones that open at the side seam.  I'm strictly a practical biker (i.e. I commute to work in the 8 or so months a year when there's no snow) so I have no need for stashing energy bars or whatever the high-test cyclists put in those pockets found at the lower back of almost every cycling jersey or jacket sold around here.

I'll enter this in the PR activewear contest currently running.  Vote for me!

17 comments:

  1. Great cycling jacket and love how you have adapated the pattern to get the looks and safety aspects you wanted.

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  2. Great job! Great matching helmet :-)! Isn't it wonderful you can not only get another jacket like the one you loved, but even improve it? Sewing is the best.
    Can't believe you're biking EIGHT months of the year if it's -25 now.. That means you don't mind if it's only -10, right :-)? Brrrr..

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  3. How Professional is this design of yours? Wonderful!

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  4. A terrific biking jacket. Your ventilation ideas are very clever, and your construction looks impeccable. Having sewn far too much Gortex, I am suitably awed by this!

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  5. Of course I will vote for you. This jacket is smashingly amazint !!!!!!!!!!! You are great. Yet, I did not found the courage to sew active wear. I like the retail brand so much. Mine would never look as good. So for the moment Pearl Izumi is getting rich with me and so is Louis Garneau ;-)

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  6. A really amazing cycle jacket, I am sure it took a long time to construct. I have also sewn a bit of gore-tex too, so I know it is not the easiest fabric to handle and that mistakes leave a lasting impression ...

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  7. You definitely got my vote! This jacket is amazing. I would never be able to find a jacket like that anywhere. It is well made, and so stylish as athletic wear. I love your blog! I am a career woman myself, and love to sew! Thank you for all of your wonderful sewing tips!

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  8. I'm always astonished at the work that goes into good quality leisure gear. You have done a great job.

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  9. Holy Moly. What craftsmanship. That is so well sewn and will last forever because of the quality of construction. Love the pit zips and I'm sure this will win. It looks majorly expensive to boot.

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  10. I love active wear!! Whew! I'm impressed. . .

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  11. Beautiful job, and you look so ready to 'cycle!

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  12. WOW! Amazing job and sooo beautiful. I have seen these patterns (rainshed) at seatlefabrics.com. Perhaps that is where you found this?? Any how, I wear a size med and loove blue! (Hint hint) I am inspired to now try this on my own.

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  13. Awesome jacket! So many great details. I am highly impressed.

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  14. Wow you just sparkle! Take your bike for a ride in some freshly fallen snow, Kay!!!!

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  15. Really impressive! Better than professional; it fits you like a dream, and you got the features (and color) you wanted!

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  16. WOW...what a talented seamstress; love the jacket!

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  17. Congratulations I love this jacket

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