I have been sewing all kinds of active wear since I started running regularly. It seems my machine always has a stretch needle on it.
First up, sports bras. I have made several versions of Jalie 2563. I made a size V and lined the fronts with firm powernet in order to have some serious compression. I also lined the backs with less firm powernet. Compression indeed! The negative side effect of this compression is that once sweaty, the bra was really hard to get off. I needed some escape help. So...I tweaked the back and added bra hooks! It was a simple change involving making a "U" shaped cut out of the back the width of the bra hooks I wanted to add. I covered the edges of the U with fold over elastic before attaching the hooks. Now I can get it off without contorting myself.
I used a variety of fabrics including swimwear nylon spandex, red supplex, and a gray wicking activewear knit.
Next up: Steeplechase Leggings!!
I really like wearing running tights in colder weather and was very interested in the Fehr Trade Steeplechase leggings since they have clever seaming an no seams on the inner thighs. I did make a muslin of these to check the fit. My hips were a L and waist was closer to a M, so I cut a L for the legs and made the yoke smaller by making several partial depth cuts at the top of the pattern piece and then overlapping the cuts to make it 3/4" smaller. I followed the advice of fellow pear shaped runner, Kathy, and raised the CB up 1", although she took the complicated route, and I just made the yoke taller in the back tapering to 0" at the sides. Like her, I found the legs to be a little loose and took them in about 1/2" with my serger after they were assembled.
My first pair were capri length and made from a gray/black "space print" I found at Hancock Fabrics (RIP). The my 2nd pair was made to be bike short length, above the knee. The leggings are drafted for someone with longer legs than mine, and I need to shorten them almost 3". This pair was made with a blue/pink "space print" also purchased at Hancock. I omitted the back pocket since I wear a hydration belt (like this) when I run and didn't need the extra pocket.
Here they are:
(For comparison of body shape, the gray pair was photographed in mid-May and the blue on July 1st.)
I really like the Steeplechase leggings and find them to be very comfortable when running. With that success, I really wanted to try the Cora running short from my beloved Jalie Patterns. Again I consulted Kathy's blog to see what she did with her Coras. Based on her recommendation, I did not raise the CB since she said they had great coverage as is. I also wanted some compression so I made a straight size X which is one size smaller than my high hip measurement. The fabric was a High Performance ATY Nylon Spandex in Heather Purple from SpandexWorld.com for the main body of the shorts. The waistband and leg bands were made with a Violet Nylon Activewear knit from FabricMart, which was slightly stretchier than the Heather Purple. Construction-wise the pattern is excellent. The fit was great too. They are definitely compression shorts both because I made a smaller size than suggested and also because my fabric was slightly firm. They are very comfortable for running and they make me feel awesome!
My next pair was made with my blue/pink "space print" for the front of the legs and denim blue supplex from FabricMart for the remainder. I skipped the back pocket for both pairs.
The blue supplex was less firm than the Heather Purple, so I didn't hesitate to make this pair in a size X as well. They are also excellent, just not a compressing.
But wait...there is more! More activewear and more Jalie!
Enter Jalie 2796 multi-sport skort. I made a few tweaks to this pattern. I had read reviews of other curvy sewists who said that the back of the skirt was a little snug across their curves. So I slashed and spread the back of the skirt pattern piece to be 1" wider at hip level. The back piece is very A-line now.
My first version was the royal blue which was made with an athletic mesh type knit that I think I bought at Hancockfabrics.com but I really don't know for sure. The mesh wasn't as stretchy as was needed for the waistband (I couldn't even come close to getting it past my hips. Thankfully I had some royal blue swimwear spandex that worked perfectly. Underneath the skirt, I made the compression shorts using a Nike Dri-Fit purchased from Sewsassy.com. I didn't even bother hemming the shorts...no need for extra seams or bulk along the inseam. I felt like the waist should have come up higher, all around, especially in the back. I raised the front waistband up 3/4" and raised the back waistband up 3/4" at the side seams and 1.5" at the center back. I also lengthened the skirt. Version 2 was the marron version using the same mesh-type fabric. I knew I didn't have any matching spandex to use for the waistband, so I used gray wicking athletic knit. The 3rd version was the black/gray space print and black ITY for the contrast and waistband. I love these!!
Last up is the one thing that isn't really me. I bought the Fehr Trade VNA top, and for some reason I thought it had a built in sports bra...it doesn't. I guess I got confused with the XYT top. Anyway, I used my violet activewear knit from Fabric mart for the lower front/back and bindings and the blue/pink space print for everything else. I raised the neckline up 2" to provide more coverage on my chest.
The instructions were very good an walked you through the assembly step by step. I made a size Small and that seems right. I think I need a little more length in the upper front, the seam hit me in a weird place. I have worn it, and it is comfortable, and not having side seams is a plus, but it doesn't really feel like me. I really don't like excess sun exposure and I feel a little exposed in this top. Maybe I'll wear it on cloudy days.
There you go, lots of sewing, lots of activewear!