Watching the last series of Great British Sewing Bee, my husband spotted the men’s cycling top and asked for one straight way. When I got the book and found the pattern included his requests increased. But I admit, I was nervous about this make and put it off for almost 2 years. But as my confidence has increased my excuses didn’t hold up and he became inpatient waiting for his top.
My OH asked for a bright top and I originally purchased some floral lycra fabric online from eBay. However when he saw it, he wasn’t keen on it so I used that for my Henrietta Swimsuit and my search for the right fabric continued. Also I felt that the lycra would be slightly uncomfortable during a hard bike ride so I looked into more technical matt jersey. I finally stumbled across a stall in Birmingham Rag Market which had technical jersey in an array of colours all at £1 a metre. I couldn’t pass by without picking some up and my OH was very happy that I was going to begin making his cycling top.
The Men’s Cycling top was included in the third book that accompanies the Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style. The pattern is included on full sized pattern sheets which I used baking paper to trace the pattern.
I have made up the ‘Shell top’ pattern from the book previously and it came up small so I was slightly nervous with the sizing. However my husband asked for the top to be skin tight like his others, so I went with the size that matched his measurements. The top in the book has long sleeves but I changed these to short sleeves for it to be a summer wear. Another request was for elasticated pockets on the back.I looked at my husbands other cycling tops and it seemed simple to add them.
I constructed the back pockets from a pattern piece that was the bottom third of the back piece. I added elastic to the top and folded it over and stitched it encasing it. I then divided this piece into three with a larger middle pocket.
The instructions are for both the overlocker and a normal machine. I’m lucky to have an overlocker and it really made it an easy sew. I used a zip that was slightly too short which brought up a problem of adding the front lower piece to the top. Luckily I had enough spare fabric to cut out another front lower piece and add a few cm more to the top.
The Finished Top:
When my husband tried on the finished top, I felt actually pleased that I had finally tackled this project. My experience in my Henrietta sew really helped me working with the jersey and a tight fitting garment.
The fit is perfect, even if its on the tight side that’s a feature that actually works. I’m pleased I took the time to correct the zip piece meeting the bottom front piece because my first attempt would have left a gap at the bottom of the zip. The zip placket gives comfort during exercise so that the zip didn’t rub.
The added pockets were a must for the top to be a wearable/workable garment. My husband filled them up with his emergency puncture kit, phone and snacks and they all stayed safe during his ride. The fabric was breathable on a hot ride and a bargain!! One point I would like to change would be to add a ‘sticky’ band to the bottom of the top, particularly at the back like his shop bought tops have. I’ve looked online for a band to add, but I can only find clear elastic which isn’t grippy enough.
Proof that this make was well received!! 🙂