Valentine’s day collection

Sewing activewear is my addiction and White Tree Fabrics asked me to use Sewaholic’s Dunbar top and Pacific leggings using fabrics from their ‘Aladdin’ fabric cave.

I chose black and pink plus two mesh fabrics for my ‘Valentine’s day collection’.

Two Pacific leggings. Two Dunbar tops. One Dunbar sports bra.

These White Tree Fabrics fabrics have great two-way stretch and feels strong enough to sew compression wear. They’re not moisture wicking but are supportive and flexible.

During the week I practically live at the gym and now have a few new pieces to wear.

Pacific leggings

It’s the middle of Summer here and I train both indoors and outdoors. Dodging mozzies during sunrise training sessions outdoors is an ongoing challenge. At the moment I do long runs on weekends and I’ve found compression wear tights help me train stronger and recover well.

The bottom line is I need to train in supportive leggings. I wear lots of black or dark colour leggings but I splashed out and chose this strong Valentine’s day pink as a contrast.

Left to right: View A test leggings, pink mesh reflective View B and pink View B.

While I don’t run on the road, I do like to wear activewear with some reflective piping, so I’ve added some reflective piping to these leggings with the fine mesh overlay.

 Here’s the working photo prepping the mesh zipper and pieces of reflective piping.

The fine mesh is quite strong but isn’t as stretchy as the lycra. The mesh on pink fabric can look like purple so that gives me more wear options. 

The reflective piping has no stretch so I’ve learnt to apply it in small amounts and not have any piping in seam allowances. This creates bulk that can cause chafing or my overlocker to stop stitching.

Technical changes:

On the pattern pieces, I added 2cm to the centre back seam length and lowered the derriere curve. I also shortened legs by 3cm at the lengthen/shorten line. 

After making the test pair using View A or the ‘leggings basics’ pair, I took out more room around the knees. 

On both Views A and B I then took another 4cm off the leg length and some more room out of the knee area. 

On View B, I took the additional 4cm out of the lower leg panel rather than chop it off the lower panel length.

Sewaholic’s instructions are very straight forward. 

Sewaholic has put up a blog post about sewing in the gusset so you really can’t go too wrong. Sewing in the gusset took me a few attempts but I’m more confident now. I’ve shortened the gusset and made it slimmer.

Design play:

The beauty of Pacific leggings is you have 3 views you can ‘play’ with. In my case, the first pair (View A) used the plain waistband. The second version has the back zipper pocket and mesh and pink panels at the back. 

Here’s how the mesh pocket looks before constructing the waistband.

The third pair had no zipper but the back pocket had a 1.5cm overlap. 
This was my ‘bright idea’ and not part of the pattern.

Nice idea but it didn’t work.  
The pocket kept gaping open so I inserted a zipper and kept the original topstitching. 
Problem resolved.

I learnt a lot making these leggings.

Here’s the effect of the reflective tape piping. I dream about looking like a seeded runner wearing this pair. A girl can dream right?

Dunbar top

This top has all the ready to wear features I want in a sports bra and/or support tee. The colour pieces and the binding are great for more design freedom. The internal bra has insert pieces so you can add bra cups. I’m searching for the right bra cups now.

Left to right: The prints are test versions. Pink mesh top, pink crop and black top wear really well.

Technical changes
The test crop bra is a 10. I adjusted the cup curves and width for a better fit and it ended up matching size 6. I then made the test top as a 6 and that’s the size I kept using.

These are my test pieces.
I tried to add reflective piping on the back seam of the crop top.
The piping did work but as the width was too much, I resorted to taking out the width using the overlocker.

I didn’t use reflective piping on these tops but I will in future tops.

I used powermesh from my stash for the support layer.

Below is a closer view of the finer mesh on the top.

front view

This mesh is easy to work with.

back view

Design play:
This pink black version has a cool but not functional pocket on the back using the larger black mesh White Tree Fabrics has. This pocket idea is one I’d seen before so I thought it would be fun trying. 

Pretty mesh pocket

Sewaholic now has a blog post about sewing on the binding.

Sewing the mesh on the fabric before constructing was the only additional step I needed to for this top.

Work in progress to keep the mesh flat during construction

I misread the instructions and used normal elastic on the support bra panels. This elastic doesn’t cause chafing and it’s really firm so in effect, I have medium support bras built into these tops.

The second sports bra used the rest of the fabric remnants.

As I’ve said, sewing activewear is addictive. During this sewing frenzy, I decided to relearn how to use my coverpro machine watching free You Tube videos hence the neat top stitching on these pieces.

As a sewing addict, I sewed up the last pieces of fabric using New Look 6160 to make this top using the larger black mesh on the shoulder panels. 

Here’s a closer view of the mesh on the shoulder. 

I’ve used a touch of coverstitching in white.
I’m actually wearing the pink Dunbar crop top underneath this top as my sports bra.

This is my ‘ta da’ picture.

I still have plenty of the larger mesh fabric so I hope to develop a topper to these pieces soon.

While these pieces form a great collection, I’ll be wearing these with other gym pieces I already have so I don’t match all the time. But the beauty of this collection is I have a ‘gym collection’. 

Each piece fits me perfectly. 
Each piece is functional. 
Each piece is ‘one of a kind’.

That’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes – gymwear included.

Thanks White Tree Fabrics for encouraging me to undertake this project. I’ve had such a ball making each piece and having the encouragement to be creative.

I can honestly say Sewaholic’s patterns work and look great.

Hmm…the Sewaholic’s Seymour Cape is now looking tempting for Autumn.

After dark hoodie

Well it didn’t take long to make this up on a Sunday afternoon. Below’s the day version.

This day version has been keeping me warm when I’m at the gym in the morning. I keep this on when I’m doing my warm up. That doesn’t take long at the moment.
I’m wearing this with my leather skirt made from a $20 leather jacket.

This is a size 4 and not a size 6.

This body of this version is lined with a fine rayon knit from the stash. Yes Renata, the rayon knit lining was from that Pitt Trading remnant bin again. The burnt velour was from The Remnant Warehouse.

The front panels were cut as 1 piece so the front panel has no horizontal line. The side panels were left as two pieces.

The sleeves and body are shorter by 2cm.

The hem band is slimmer. If I make it again, I’ll leave the hem band off. But the hem band will stay on for a casual gym hoodie.

Sway back adjustment

The hood was cut down and now it’s a soft collar. It’s no more than 15cm wide.

I originally made the hood 10cm wide/long and then I added another 5 cm before I cut the fabric.
There are no pockets on this version and I’ve still included the sleeveband thumb opening.

I’ve now worn it out to dinner on a cold Saturday night and while we had a very late one, this was quiet appropriate to wear to a huge dinner with friends and their families.

PS: Thank you for the comments on my gym wear. I do wear my gym wear to the gym so while the top and tights are classed as lounge wear, they don’t get much lounging.

Mini wardrobe maze

These are the new patterns I’m thinking of making with this red/white stash. Last weekend, while DH read the paper, I played with paper and altered Butterick 5333

Here are the questions that I’m still grappling with. “Mini Wardrobe Contest” March 16 to April 15, 2010 This is a contest to create a 4-piece wardrobe in 4 weeks on PR Review.

Do I do work/weekend clothes? I’ve got enough pieces that I’ll need to plan well for. Black is definitely not going to be considered this time.
Do I make 4 new untested pieces? This depends on how brave I intend to be in a 4 week period. DH should take note. The patterns I’ve been using are now not that exciting but they suit my shape.
Do I make 4 pieces for the gym? This would be quick to complete, but I’ll have to get the fabric really fast. That can be a tough call in any large city so mail order is out of the question.
Would any of these options be voted as popular? My strength is being productive. My weakness is on creativeness and interesting design.
Can I do four dresses that look distinct from each other? Maybe. I can do four quick knit fabric dresses but the challenge is making plain fabric look interesting.

The basic red fabric might work with the Vogue skirt. The white print could be a sleeveless top, The red print with white roses is a silk that could work as a dress or a slim line skirt. The white cotton would be a second top. The knit dress is just one that I could work on in a dark wine knit to keep my motivation going.