Sew My Style 2019

SMS 2019 – January : Activewear!

Today we are getting to the heart of the subject regarding the “Sew My Style” challenge.

(If you do not know what I’m talking about, I invite you to read my introductory article here)

Theme: “Activewear”!

As a reminder, this month’s theme was activewear. This leaves an extremely wide choice since we can imagine sewing a relatively simple piece such as a Jersey T-shirt or a sweatshirt, or a little more technical items, such as a swimming pool swimsuit, a sports bra, cycling shorts, or leggings in a breathable and adapted material.

First of all, since the goal here is not to sew just for the sake of sewing, but to sew something I will actually use and wear. Therefore, I asked myself what were my needs and what was my sports practice like. If all goes well, I go to my yoga class every week, I try to run at least once a week (when my useless ankle leaves me alone), and when spring comes back, I sometimes go swimming. We also often walk in the creeks or in the small mountains where we live. I am the kind of person who has never really invested time and ressources into putting together a cute sports outfit. I have two leggings that I tend to wear with old T-shirts because I know I will wear them for one hour and they will end up dirty. It does not motivate you to sew or even to buy a nice outfit. It’s a question of priority, and even though I like to play sports, I always prefer to sew a beautiful dress rather than a sports outfit! But, even if I don’t care about dressing like a slob when I go running alone, when it comes to playing sports with people, I think that I could perhaps make a bit of an effort!

I’ve always been extremely frustrated with what sportswear stores are offering: for women, it’s all about pink, a color that I do not care for, and which prevent us from having a choice and refusing stupid clichés!

My desires, my obstacles

I saw this challenge as the boost I needed to sew the sports outfit of my dreams. BUT! I ran into a major obstacle: finding affordable, suitable, and cool fabric! (Yes because if it’s to sew black leggings and a black T-shirt, I can assure that I will not find the motivation any time soon!)

There are many sites that list the online fabric shops that offer the appropriate fabric (such as Fehrtrade) but most of these online shops are abroad which makes the shipping costs quite prohibitive tos ay the least. That’s how I spent two hours last weekend choosing the fabric of my dreams to sew leggings on an british website that swarmed with options, all that to see when placing the order that the shipping costs were almost equivalent to the price of the goods …

Otherwise, there is also a very interesting article on Seamwork to learn more about the different types of fabrics used to make performance sportswear, written by Melissa Fehr, the person who runs the blog Fehrtrade for that matter, who is a reference in sports sewing material. If you listen to the “Stitcher’s Brew” podcast, you may remember her, she was interviewed to comment the release of her ebook”Sew your own activewear“.

The Jallie pattern I wanted to make.

Anyway, all that to say that if my first goal for this month was to sew leggings, it’s a miss. I would have loved to sew a set of leggings and sports bra such as those in the photo below but it will not be for this month.

(credit: Pinterest)

My VERY (!) original project

Instead I went back to a more classic project, but still useful: the zipped hoodie! It must have been two years since I had a navy blue fleece in my stock that I had bought on purpose to sew myself a classic navy blue hoodie that would go with everything. Except that as the project was kinda boring, I never made it. So that’s my goal for next weekend.

For the pattern, I am still hesitating between using the classic Gilet Monceau /Sweet Courcelles by Cozy Little World (to which I would add a hood) or to go back to the Halifax Hoodie with its five options, by Hey June Handmade (I had incidentally discovered this pattern during Sew My Style 2018 and I really liked it!).

With this, I though I would show you my “activewear” makes I made since I have started sewing.

Sewing activewear is feasible!

Last year, after my ankle surgery, I could not run anymore and I had started swimming again. I saw this as an opportunity to sew a mermaid swimsuit from the Nettie bodysuit pattern from Closet Case Patterns. I had leftover black lycra and swimwear elastic from last summer, so I just bought the lycra “mermaid” and I went crazy with the design! Nothing very complicated in itself, if you have already sewn the Nettie bodysuit and you know how it fits, you only need to draw cuts and add sewing margins. I advise you to pay attention to the shape of the bottom half because the bodysuit offers much coverage down there, which is not necessarily suitable for a swimsuit (or not, just pay attention to this detail). Once the swimsuit is assembled, all you have to do is finish all the edges with the elastic, which you sew once on the inside with a zigzag stitch, while gently pulling on the elastic as you sew. Then, you fold the elastic inwards towards the inside of the swimsuit, so that the rubber is not in contact with the skin, and you maintain it with another series of zigzag stitch.

I recommend you do some testing before on scraps, to test your fabric and your machine. If you have a serger, you can also use it, but I did not have one at that time and the zig zag stitch worked very well.

Otherwise, I sewed a couple of sweatshirts:

The Halifax Hoodie, with the cowl.

A hacked version of the Hemlock tee by Grainline Studio, which I use every week during yoga to stay warm during the relaxation bit.

More ressources:

For even more inspiration for the January challenge, I invite you to read the articles of this month’s other Leaders and Supporting Hosts:

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