I recently started going back to the gym. I haven’t been for years and I’m still not sure I have any idea what I’m doing when I’m there but I figured now was probably the time to share some activewear I made… last year!
I actually made these during the first day of the Fold Line’s Sewing Weekender in 2017. Having read all the blogs and instagram posts about the very first Weekender in 2016 I knew a lot more chatting than sewing would be happening and that taking something complicated that required a huge amount of concentration probably wasn’t a very good idea! I chose to make another pair of Steeplechase Leggings by Fehr Trade (see my original version here, made as part of the Cali Fabrics blog team). The night before I had prepped all my pieces so that I was ready to sew and I’m glad I did as there wasn’t a lot of cutting space at the event that year.
The Steeplechase pattern is designed to fit in 1 metre of fabric for the main pieces and I used a weird, unknown-fibre-content-but-perfect-for-activewear mystery stretchy synthetic fabric in my stash that I’d picked up in my local market for the bargain price of £1.10 a metre. It’s an unusual grey and pink parasol print and I knew it would work perfectly for more running leggings. I was able to use some leftover black lycra from my stash and made a medium as the large had been slightly too big first time around. Thank goodness for Lycra though because 18 months later I am most definitely not a medium but they still fit!! I made no adjustments to the pattern which is unsual for me. Being quite pear-shaped I normally have to grade between 1 or 2 size but because of the negative ease in this pattern I can get away with sewing a straight size. I would strongly suggest checking the stretch percentage in your fabric before you do this though as you don’t want your leggings to be too tight or to end up too baggy once they’ve stretched a bit. I think I sewed these up in about an hour even with all the chatting and learning how to use a new sewing machine (there were digital machines on loan from Janome for the Weekender and it’s a bit fancier than my Elna!). I love a quick sew. For almost the entire time I was sewing them at the Weekender, Melissa, who designs the Fehr Trade patterns, was stood right behind me. Talk about pressure! I don’t think she noticed though, phew!
I’ve worn these for all sorts of exercise in the year since I made them and they are so comfy to wear – the lack of an inner thigh seam means there is no chaffing or rubbing. The seam runs down the back of the leg so maybe next time I might put in some piping to help highlight the design lines. The pattern pieces do look a little alarming at first glance as they’re an unusual shape but this pattern is a surprisingly speedy sew once you get started so I would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking about sewing their own active-wear!