adult's clothing · sewing

Activewear, activewear…

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I am not a sporting person.  Or an active one, really.  I know the benefits of exercise, and have gone through period of life where I’ve attended a gym, or walked regularly, but overall it really isn’t my thing.  What I like about exercise is how I feel when it finishes.  However, I do recognise that as someone rapidly approaching a significant birthday I really do need to improve my overall fitness.  On my work days I generally get off the train at an earlier station and walk for 25 minutes to work.  And last year I tried going to yoga – which is what this blog post is all about. So, shield your eyes, because here comes my “activewear”.


These leggings are sewn from the Stylearc Laura leggings pattern. It’s a simple one piece pattern and works just fine for me.


There are loads of leggings patterns around if you want to sew your own activewear – it really depends on what features you are looking for.  I’ve got a few others patterns I haven’t tried yet, including the Papercut Patterns Ooh La La leggings, but there are SO many that you can really go wild.  It depends on what type of waistband treatment you like, if you want seaming details, pockets, etc.  Jalie have some great patterns, as do Simplicity at the moment and a fair few independent pattern companies.  Experiment and have fun – or do what I did and sew up a basic style in fabulous fabrics!


My stretchy leggings fabrics probably came from Rathdowne Fabrics. I sewed exactly the same pattern in each of the fabrics, and the fit is quite different between them depending on the thickness of the fabric and the amount of stretch. Please be aware of that when sewing stretch fabrics – fit can be highly fabric dependent. I sewed these up on the overlocker, and used a zig-zag to secure the hems and the waist elastic. I don’t own a coverstitch machine. And because I know that leggings are not pants, I sewed some longer tops with bands at the bottom to go with them. I learned very quickly that for yoga I needed tops that were secure at the waist, otherwise they draped and fell back and exposed much too much in various poses. Hoods were a pain for the same reason – they got in the way. This orange top is a Jalie pattern that has been in my stash for ages. It was really a trial garment – I need to try it again in another fabric, probably a size larger.


The purple top is a Sewaholic Renfrew, and boy, that neckline! That’s a definite fail and is what comes from using the pattern piece provided for the neckband.


Check out those ripples – eeuurrgghh. Even the magic power of the steam iron couldn’t fix that. So I got out the unpicker, took out all those zig zag stitches, took out all the overlocking, cut the band shorter, and stitched it back into place. SO much better!  Once again I refer you to this great tutorial by Gillian of Crafting A Rainbow for determining knit neckband length.


Well, despite now having clothes to wear to yoga and a myriad of activewear sewing patterns, am I now embracing a more active lifestyle? Um, no. I haven’t been to yoga since last year….


10 thoughts on “Activewear, activewear…

  1. This reminds me I need to make a pattern for leggings – or maybe I should just download one. I’ve read that we need 30 min activity daily, your 25 min to work almost fills that. Walking the stairs and avoiding lifts is another way to sneak in some exercise. I don’t manage exercising, it kills my body, but I try to move about as much as possible (not that it helps, but I like to imagine it does). At least I don’t deteriorate as quickly as I would if I did nothing…

  2. I find exercise a bit of a chore as well. I do try to do some sort of regular exercise where I can. Because I drive to work and have an office job I really have to. At this time of the year it tends to involve my spin bike or walking.

    I am for some reason not so keen on making my own, preferring instead to buy mine despite having this pattern. I really like the bright colours you have chosen they look perfect for yoga.

  3. I would probably own tons of leggings if I knew the fabric would be perfect for them. It’s so hard to find fabric with the right feel, weight, opacity and stretch.

    These are cute and perfect for yoga!

  4. I’m not an exercise person, but have done pilates now for about seven years. I’m still yet to make clothes for it, and am always on the look out for stuff that works. Love these leggings. I love the tops too, especially that Jalie one. Tops in the shops are all for slim types with no tum and no bust!

  5. Ha, ha love that video. Must share that one. Your outfits would make great jammies too. And I need some of those now my hot flushes have subsided and this cold weather. Thanks for the link on the neckline, such an improvement.

  6. Thanks for reminding me of the Laura leggings pattern. I have to make some new leggings as the old ones are looking very daggy and this pattern will do me too. I recently made StyleArcs new tee – the Besharl top and it is a fabulous one for active wear.

  7. Well done on becoming more active and in such stylish attire. I’m a cyclist so everyone hates me but I love it. As one becomes older it is worth getting active. Of all the major health problems, exercise, and stability in weight, is the one thing that can have a profound affect on your health as you age. Your daughters, and hubby, want to have you to be around for a long time yet, don’t give up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s