July 8, 2016

Sewing and climbing

Here's a promise: This will be the last post about rock climbing for a little while. In the coming weeks, I plan some normal sewing related blog posts. I'm thinking about some vintage magazine stuff, some modern sewing, some vintage and maybe I can even come up with a nice tutorial... 
But in this blog post, I would like to share some of the pictures from last weekend. 

Last weekend, E and I went to the Belgian Ardennes (if you live in the Netherlands, those are the mountains closest to home) with a group of people from our local department of the Dutch climbing and mountaineering club to practice our outdoor climbing skills. (because there are no mountains in the Netherlands, the vast majority of Dutch climbers starts out on the plastic of the climbing gym and only makes the transition to real rock later. The club facilitates that learning curve by training instructors who help gym-climbers to get their first taste of the great vertical outdoors in a safe way. The third person in some of these pictures is our instructor, a different one each day).
Of course, that in itself doesn't really qualify for page-time here, on my sewing blog (I don't have other blogs but you know what I mean). I feel I can show off my climbing pictures here because I only wore me-made clothes on that climbing trip.   

To be precise, I wore these jeans and this jacket (and sports tops I made too, but those can't be seen in the pictures). And (also not pictured) in the evening at the campsite I layered my old, fairly worn, green tweed double breasted jacket on top.

Both jeans and jacket were sort of experimental in pattern and design. 
The jacket was made as sportswear and does excellent duty as such. I had some doubts about the fabric when I first finished it but in every-day use it is fine. It may feel a bit synthetic when you first put it on but that impression doesn't last. Not even when I wore it when warming up in the climbing gym in late winter. And neither in the not-quite-warm-enough vaguely summer-y weather we had at the Belgian crags. 
The fitted shape makes it sit well under my climbing harness. The slightly (over)long sleeves and bottom edge mean creeping up doesn't become an issue and it has zippered pockets in such a position that the contents would only get crushed on very acrobatic moves (and I'm still a newbie on real rock so I don't really go in for those yet)

The trousers were originally meant to take a place in my normal wardrobe. They were to be my cool-girl-trousers. I had come up with this odd slightly baggy fit with a bit of added room at the crotch and upper legs. 
They are very, very comfortable and I sort of liked them but I never quite succeeded at matching them well with any tops in my wardrobe (the outfit with the jacket, in the original blog post, was by far the best look I ever found for these). They did see plenty of wear for hiking and for all kinds of activities where functionality and comfort are rated higher than style. 
So, it was only logical that I would take them rock climbing (I actually own one pair of RTW outdoor trousers but I don't like the fit of those. The waistline sits at a level that just feels uncomfortable). I could move really well in them and the fabric (fairly thick denim, softened by an early treatment with fabric softener and subsequent wear and laundry) proved sturdy enough to withstand two days of brushing against rough limestone. 

Of course, clothes made from such every-day-fabrics as these won't work well if I ever get into serious alpine climbing but for outings like this one, they're absolutely fine. In fact, I am thinking about making one more of each before my summer holiday...

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