Dressmaking, Handmade Wardrobe, Journal, Sew My Style, Sewing

Sewing Activewear

MeMade May MeMadeMay reinforced the fact that I wear Active Wear everyday. I’m brand loyal to Sweaty Betty because they survive wash after wash without going out of shape.  For the quality you, pay a premium price, which means I picked up a Sweaty Betty Pair of reversible leggings in the sale four years ago and they are in rotation. So I thought I would make my own with a top to match .

I searched the high street stores online to find a cut I liked. For me, it was important that the pattern be as high waisted as possible and to be as seam free as possible. I decided to use the Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings, I made view B with the high waist and liked the construction included only inside leg seams to keep the pattern as simple as possible.

The patterns calls for 4 way stretch performance stretch fabric with 70% Stretch. I knew finding the right fabric was key to the success of this project. Helens Closet blog provides a list of suggestions here  . I was directed to Fab Works Mill Italian Matte Lycra, with thanks to Wendy Ward author of Sewing with Knitted Fabrics raved about it on Instagram. I was well and truly influenced but I am glad I trusted an expert opinion because it so buttery soft and washes and wears really well.

To wear with the Avery Leggings, I decided to make the Pneunma Tank from PaperCut Patterns to match. The pattern comes with 2 views (more value for money) with an option to sew in a top to the bra on view B. It was my first time sewing and folding over elastic, that is common in construction of lingerie and swim wear, and I was a a bit nervous of the challenge, but with thanks to my trusty Walking Foot, it went in fine and it gave me the confidence to sew a swimsuit.

I used the same black sports lycra for the bra and lined it in the same fabric, the pattern isn’t lined so to line it, I just constructed the bra twice, joined at the neck seams, right sides together and turned it right way round and top stitched around the bottom edge. For the top element I used some cotton jersey I had left over and to be frank, the top requires a a jersey with a bit more drape, and white is probably not going to stay white for long if it’s washed with other sports wear, but I like wearing white in summer and it’s a great sports top as the air circulates.

I’ll definitely make both the leggings, the sports top again and to make the sports bra as a stand alone item. Sewing active wear gave me confidence to sew with lycra for a Closet Case Sophie Swimsuit. I am drawn to leggings with a great print, but I haven’t been able to find any quality activewear fabric with a design I like. I would love to design my own, but I am concerned that many of the base cloth’s I’ve seen on print on demand are white and opacity of the design can be lost when the fabric is stretched. If you have any recommendation of great, quality, print on demand lycra, i’d love to read your recommendations in the comments.

All for now.

Claire XO


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