Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#SewMyStyle2019 Workout Gear: Patterns + Fabrics

Sew My Style 2019 has officially begun! The theme for January is "Anything Goes Workout Gear" which means any type of workout apparel you sew is eligible for this month's prize. This month's theme is up for interpretation so you could easily pull a pattern from your stash, fill a hole in your wardrobe, or try something totally new. If you were unsure about joining this challenge or if you are new to sewing activewear, I hope the flexibility of this month's theme will persuade you to give it a try!

I'll be honest. I was a little scared to be one of the leaders of this month's challenge since I've never sewn activewear, but my hesitation quickly turned to excitement as I was compiling this post. If you think about it, almost ANYTHING can be considered activewear. Whether you're headed to the gym or out running errands, you can easily get lots of wear out of wardrobe staples like t-shirts, leggings, and light outerwear.

I pulled suggestions and recommendations along with patterns that caught my eye on a Pinterest board to help narrow down my favorites. There are a lot of options out there, but here are a selection of my favorites.

A good pair of leggings can go so far and can take you from workouts to everyday wear. I personally love leggings for travel days too!
  • Virginia Leggings by Megan Nielsen. 2 waistline options including one ideal for maternity. Skill: 1/5. Sizes 0-30.
  • Cora Tights and Shorts by Jalie. Ankle-length, seamless between the legs, wide waistband and practical pocket at the back. Sizes 4-22.
  • Avery Leggings by Helen's Closet. No outer leg seam, crotch gusset, and an ultra highwaist band option. Skill: Advanced beginner. Sizes XS-XXL.
  • Super G Tights by Greenstyle Creations. Side pocket, center gusset, and compression fit. Skill: Confident beginner. Sizes XXS-3XL.
  • Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates. 2 rises and 4 lengths. Add-on options available for additional features. Skill: Beginner friendly. Sizes XXS-Plus 3X. Free pattern!

I love a great workout tank especially one made from moisture wicking fabric. I wear these for workouts as well as any occasion that I might sweat in like camping, hiking, Disney days, etc.

  • Lago Tank by Itch to Stitch. Relaxed fit, scoop neck, and hip length. Skill: Beginner. Sizes 00-20. Free pattern! 
  • Solo Tank by Greenstyle Creations. Low armholes and racerback style. Skill: Confident beginner. Sizes XXS-3XL.
  • Tie Back Tank by Greenstyle Creations. Open back tank that you can leave open, tie, or overlap. Skill: Confident beginner. Sizes XXS-3XL.
  • Workout Top, Shorts, and Tights by Jalie. Short, 3/4 or long tights and tank top with neckband and armhole binding. Skill: Very easy to make. Sizes 4-22.

Sports Bras
I'm sure I'm not the only one that has a hard time finding the perfect fit in stores so I'm excited to try making my own.

  • Power Sports Bra by Greenstyle Creations. Pick cup size and band size plus lots of back options. Skill: Intermediate. Sizes: Cups A - H and Bands 28 - 46.
  • Pneuma Tank by Papercut Patterns. Sports bra with double elastic shoulder straps and optional tank for more coverage. Skill: Skilled. Sizes XXS-XL.
  • Dunbar Top by Sewaholic. Your choice of a mid-hip length tank top or pull-on sports bra featuring sweetheart seaming, contrast straps and bound edges. Skill: Intermediate. Sizes 0-20.
  • Sports Bra and Short Tights by Jalie. Basics for your workout or for a swim. Sizes 4-22.

A lot of my hesitation in making workout apparel was finding the right fabric. After finding a guide to activewear fabrics and learning a bit more about the different terms, I've found that a lot of small online shops have a great selection with details on each fabric and what it might be good for which has made this part of the planning process a lot easier.

*Note: The fabric below is from US based shops. If you have a recommendation for other sources, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

I'm a sucker for neutrals and I always gravitate toward blacks and grays, especially for wardrobe staples that I know I'll wear a lot. Here are some favorites I found while looking online:
  1. I love how this grey/white microstripe fabric from Stonemountain & Daughter adds beautiful visual detail while also having moisture wicking properties and 60% stretch.
  2. I've heard amazing things about this heavyweight activewear fabric from La Mercerie. It has it all: moisture wicking, antimicrobial, UV protection, 70% stretch, not sheer when stretched... 
  3. This heathered dash fabric from Harts Fabric has 60% stretch and moisture wicking properties. This fabric also gives a little extra pattern detail without going overboard.
  4. A classic black with amazing high-wicking properties: Nike Lycra Jersey from Stonemountain & Daughter. 

While neutrals are great, sometimes you just want something bright and fun! If you're looking for bolder fabrics, here are several options I found:
  1. This distressed gray fabric from Stonemountain & Daughter features a beautiful print in a neutral pallete with 40% stretch. If prints are outside your comfort zone, I'd definitely take a look at this!
  2. I fell in love with this floral scuba knit from Style Maker Fabrics the second I saw it. It has 50% stretch and would be great for leggings.
  3. This galaxy spandex knit from Harts Fabric has 70% stretch making it perfect for just about any activewear pattern.
  4. Double brushed poly (AKA DBP) is the go-to fabric for secret pajamas and I'm loving this rainbow geo print from So Sew English! 

More fabric options:
The shops listed above have great activewear options aside from my picks so be sure to check them out. If you're looking for even more options, here's a roundup from more shops that would be perfect for your workout gear!

  • I just discovered that the Fabric Fairy is hosting a sewalong for the Power Sports Bra in mid-January. Because of that, they have SAL kits with everything you need (except the main fabric) for a limited time. 
  • Supplex from Phee Fabrics would also be amazing with all the things I look for in performance fabric: moisture wicking, antimicrobial, and 75% stretch.
  • Blue Moon Fabrics has tons of great options including these printed nylon spandex fabrics.
  • Great selection and descriptions in the activewear section over at Surge Fabric Shop makes it so much easier to shop online.

Other Thoughts
If you look closely at some of the patterns above, you'll see that several of them are jampacked with options and some even have a top and bottom included. If you want to make it easier on yourself (and your wallet), I would recommend looking at those patterns first especially if you're a beginner or new to activewear.

I don't have personal experience with every designer, but here are my thoughts on the ones I've used:
  • Helen's Closet: I absolutely love her patterns! Instructions are very clear, her blog posts are helpful throughout the process (from finding fabric to easy to do hacks), and I always walk away feeling like I've learned a new skill.
  • Jalie: Instead of making something for yourself, you could try a leotard for your kid. I use this pattern for my daughter and it's helped me become more comfortable sewing with performance knits. I haven't tried their other patterns yet, but I love that their patterns include all sizes (girls and womens).
  • Patterns for Pirates: Their patterns are easy to print and piece together (no need to trim the pages) which is ideal for quick makes. They have great instructions and their large community means you have access to tons of inspiration.

As I go through and narrow down my options, I'm really excited to get started and I hope this post helped you in finding the perfect workout pattern and fabric too! Again, this is only a list of some of my top picks so be sure to take a look at my Pinterest board for more pattern suggestions or check out the other leader's comprehensive post for even more. If you have a favorite pattern or fabric shop that isn't listed here, let me know in the comments below!

To learn more about #sewmystyle and to be eligible for discounts and prizes, be sure to check out this post for all things #sewmystyle2019 and don't forget to join the Facebook group for more resources. It's going to be a very fun year and I hope you join us!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

No comments:

Post a Comment