Like the Wind Pop-Up Event- Street Art and Sewing

Like the Wind is a magazine for runners, by runners. Printed on responsibly sourced paper, the magazine is packed with stories about running from the track, trail and road, alongside beautiful illustrations and photography.

The team behind Like the Wind recently rented a gallery and bar in Shoreditch, to host a pop-up celebrating all things running. The week long pop-up housed a series of events including film screenings, speakers and workshops. 

I was lucky enough to nab a place on the Street Art run which Like the Wind organised in collaboration with Adidas and Alternative London

Gary, our guide was incredibly knowledgeable on the East End of London and it’s vast array of street art. He led us around the back-streets, parks and canals of Shoreditch, Hoxton, Hackney and Islington giving insights into the art, culture and the history of the area.

We covered 5 miles at a gentle pace, stopping frequently to listen to Gary’s commentary on the art works. We learned that street art is a tool for communicating ideas, challenging societal values and bringing art to groups of society who might not be exposed traditional galleries and exhibitions. 

Some of the pieces were not initially noticeable to the untrained eye, particularly the tiny artworks by Ben Wilson who paints intricate pieces on chewing gum stuck to the pavements. I would have run straight past this miniature painting which depicts a crowd of drinkers outside a local pub! 

The tour was packed with information including the materials and methods used to create the art- much of the street-art is done quickly under cover of darkness to avoid being caught and facing prosecution. Without permission from the builder owner, street art is considered vandalism and carries a penalty of 22 months imprisonment. 

It was also interesting to hear about female street artists becoming more prolific, I loved this pasted-paper portrait by American street-artist Swoon:

Alternative London run these tours several times a week, if your interested in finding out more about the art of the East End, check out their website.

On Sunday, I headed back to the pop-up for a sewing workshop taught by Melissa Fehr. I had jumped at the opportunity to create my own pair of running leggings when I saw the workshop announced on Facebook!

We selected our fabrics in advance from the wide variety of printed Lycra from Funki Fabrics. This website is an absolute goldmine for stretch fabrics in any print imaginable. I opted for a purple cloud print, while the other ladies had chosen Batman, comic books, geometric gems and rainbow lace designs. 

Melissa patiently led us through the process of creating our leggings. We began by taking some body measurements, then laid out our fabrics and pinned the pattern on top. I feel more comfortable in capris so I cut my cloth into a cropped pair of leggings, whereas the other ladies went for the full-length option.

We used an over-locker to stitch the crotch, then the inside leg seams. I’ve done a fair bit of dressmaking in the past, but I’ve always worked with woven fabrics- this was my first time using super stretchy Lycra, but it was very simple to sew.

Next we tried on the leggings to make any adjustments to the fit, before finishing them with an elasticated waistband, and cover-stitched hems. It was super exciting to see everyone’s leggings taking shape, Georgina’s Batman pair looked absolutely amazing. We rounded off the afternoon with a fashion show and photographs in our new creations. 

Knowing how easy it was to make these leggings, I have plans for a bulk fabric order and making myself a whole new active-wear wardrobe! Melissa gave us a pattern for a running armband pocket, to use up the spare fabric in a matching accessory. She also sells patterns on Etsy, and runs other sewing workshops- check out her website and Thrifty Stitcher for details.

Such a fantastic weekend of learning new skills and exploring London alongside other runners, thanks to Like the Wind for organising these events. You can subscribe to the magazine here

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