Friday, March 22, 2019

Florals and Stripes Oh My - The Secret to Sewing Activewear that You Love

It is no secret that I love sewing my own athletic clothes. I think the hardest part of sewing your own athletic clothes, though, is finding the right fabrics. Even though I mostly make my own now, I still love to go to Lululemon and Athleta just to touch the fabric, drool over the prints, and get a sense of what the higher quality stuff feels like. I am very blessed to live close to a fabric district, and I feel like a kid in a candy store when they get shipments of quality athletic overstock. However, as a blogger, this does not really help my readers when I tell them I found an amazing fabric at an amazing deal in a warehouse in Dallas. 

I still try to order online and get a sense of which shops carry what types of fabric. It is really frustrating when I pay a lot of money to a store that I see seamstresses raving about, and then, when I receive it, the quality is inconsistent, and it's often not advertised as what I would ever use it for. I have several shelves of fabric like this, that I need to figure out something better to do with. I do have a few stores that I currently trust and try to blog about as much as I can. One of my long time favorites is Zenith and Quasar (which I most recently blogged about here), and today, I am so excited to add The Styled Magnolia to my list of favorite athletic fabric online retailers. 

I Tried the ABP First

When I first saw The Styled Magnolia fabric show up in Facebook sewing groups, they definitely caught my eye. Their artwork and prints were just outstanding, and I could not pass it up. I ordered my first print on their athletic brushed polyester (ABP) base about 2 months ago, and I was actually a bit underwhelmed when I first received it. I loved the print, but the brushed wrong side was furrier than I expected. I don't have the gentlest wash routine so I was actually concerned that the fabric wouldn't hold up to me if it already looked a little pilled on the wrong side after the first wash. The right side still looked fantastic, though, so I quickly sewed the print up because I couldn't wait to put it to the test.

I wore the tights initially in this blogpost on the Studio to Street Top. When worn, they felt like the coziest second pair of skin. The fabric had great compression and was just downright comfortable. I am so glad to report to you that I have since worn them every single time they are washed and can't get enough of them. The right side has stayed remarkably beautiful and washed so well. The wrong side has also stayed the same. I now think that the first wash fluffed up the brushed fibers a little on the wrong side because it has not changed at all since then. I have also worked out in them several times and was so excited that they held up great for my workouts. It's crazy how much a first impression can change when you give a fabric a chance. 

I Tried the Supplex Next

Next, I started stalking The Styled Magnolia Facebook group. I wanted to see what prints and fabric bases that she would have next and see if she was getting more of this ABP. To my absolute excitement, I saw a call out for seamstresses to sew up athletic fabric. I am sure you know how this is going to go. I put both hands up and said "Pick Me!"

The first fabric that she sent me to try was her Supplex base. Last month, I blogged HERE about her solid Supplex that she keeps in stock. Today, I get to show you the prints that she is offering on Supplex by preorder - Mystic Rose

My Supplex Opinion 

I absolutely LOVE The Styled Magnolia Supplex. It feels soft and stable like cotton but does not crease or retain moisture. It is also a great weight, which has a completely different meaning depending on who you ask. Some people love thick and heavy Supplex, but personally, I prefer a more midweight if I plan to work out in it. I also live in Texas where the heat can feel unbearable in the summer. This Supplex comes in at 300 gsm which is the perfect balance of not too thin and not too thick. The fiber content is 87% Nylon/13% Spandex.

I used the Greenstyle Inspire Tights and Power Sports Bra for the Mystic Rose Floral Supplex Strikes. I love how firm the stretch is on these pants. They seriously will hold you in, but are still very comfortable. My personal preference is to use the Strides or Inspire tights for this Supplex. I would probably size up if using this Supplex on the Super G pattern. Keep in mind that my measurements fall in the top of my size in the Super Gs, and the Super Gs are drafted for fabric with 75% stretch. You can definitely stretch this fabric to 75%, but I find the stretch very firm when stretched that far. The Greenstyle Strides or Inspires only need 50% stretch, and I fall at the bottom of the measurement range for my size on those patterns so I tend to gravitate towards Strides or Inspires for this fabric. 

My bra also has the perfect amount of support in this fabric. I am not wearing any cups and only lined the bra in a thinner athletic knit. To give you some background: I have nursed 5 babies and am no longer 20 so I need all the help I can get. 

I used the nursing modification included in the Power Sports Bra Pattern and also made the strappy back version. I used 1.5 inch soft plush elastic for the underbust band. I have never seen a sports bra I loved this much in the stores and that had NURSING access! 

I am planning for my 1 year old to be our last baby, and all I can think about is "Where was this bra when I had my first baby!!!" I really don't know what I am going to do with it when our nursing journey ends.  

What do you think of this print?! 

Bring on the Stripes!

I am glad you made it this far because the next bra and leggings combination that I want to show you is SO EXCITING! I titled this post "The Secret to Sewing Activewear that You Love" because the secret is you need awesome prints and fabric that you don't want to take off. The correct kind of athletic fabric needs to: (a) hold up to a sweaty work out by giving you the right kind of compression, wicking sweat away, and breathing, (b) make you want to go workout, and (c) make you feel like a million bucks while working out (or just going out if you tend to wear your athletic clothes like real clothes like I do!)

Aren't these stripes AMAZING?! The stripes are a panel that is 39 inches. The stripes are directional, so you put the smaller stripes at your ankles and have wider stripes towards your butt. 

I also used the Inspire Tights and Power Sports Bra patterns for this set. They are just so quick and fun to make, and I notice I wear them the most. I used the no side seam hack for the Inspires because I did not want to match all the stripes on my side seam. 

Since the stripes are printed (and not yarn-dyed), you definitely don't want a pattern that stretches them to their max or you will see the white base show through. Also, look at that tummy control that this fabric offers!! 

For this Power Sports Bra, I made another nursing version and used the U-back included in the pattern. I did not cross my straps and just made them like regular bra straps. I also used regular bra strapping so that they are adjustable. 

This particular colorway of stripes will be on preorder closer to the end of the year. There are 4 other fantastic colorways being ran on Supplex currently that you can preorder now. 

  • The Styled Magnolia Supplex Preorder can be found HERE. The Preorder will be open through April 12th. 
  • The Greenstyle Power Sports Bra Pattern can be found HERE.
  • The Greenstyle Inspire Tights Pattern can be found HERE
Thanks for reading today! I hope I have inspired you to sew your own activewear that you love. I love mine so much I seem to wear it more than to the gym lately. Would you wear these stripes out to more than the gym? I hope so because I have been!

Disclosures: I received this fabric for free after paying for shipping to give the fabric shop feedback about the quality and details of the fabric. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything, and I appreciate the support. Any and all opinions expressed are still my own.

Sofilantjes Velocitas Hoodie + Reinforcing Grommets

Do you sew for your children? My son is 6, and he still absolutely loves when I take time to make him something special. He recently asked for a hoodie to wear on the chilly mornings and evenings of Spring; so, I was pretty excited to oblige. For today's post, I am talking about the newest Sofilantjes pattern as well as what to do when grommets are ripped out! 

Pattern Details

The new Velocitas pattern by Sofilantjes features 2 different views to give you plenty of colorblocking fun on the main body. The pattern can be short or long sleeves and comes in sizes 12 months to 12 years. I made a size 7 width and length for my son based on his chest measurement and height. 

This pattern is great for layering and works wonderfully for the thicker fabrics that do not have a lot of stretch. Since we live in an area with milder weather, I used a thicker interlock for the main fabric and paired it with cotton lycra from Made Whimsy

Grommets + Kids 

What I did not think about when making this hoodie for him was just how ROUGH boys can be on their clothes. You see those holes in his jeans? Let me just say that I am one grateful mama that ripped jeans are considered in style these days! Anyways, I stayed up later than I would like to admit one night finishing this hoodie for him and couldn't wait until he woke up to show it to him. When I let him try it on for fit photos the next day, he excitedly and zealously tried out his hood and ripped one of the grommets all the way out. Yikes! I had ironed on interfacing on the wrong side, but it was not enough!

To fix it, I partially seam ripped part of the hood off to get to the grommets. Then, I reinforced the grommets with a one inch square of Kraft Tex paper on the right side. I use a straight stitch when sewing the paper on. Then, I reinstalled the grommets, and voila! Fixed. Stabilizing with interfacing alone was not enough for this high stress area. 

I really like the look the Kraft Tex paper gives. It looks like leather when washed, feels like paper, but sews like fabric. It is some pretty cool stuff. I keep a variety pack on hand so I have many colors on hand. 

I made his drawstring out of the black cotton lycra I used as contrast on his fabric. I cut a long strip that was 1.5 inches wide and sewed it along the long edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance on my serger. I turned it right side out and fed it through the channel with a safety pin. Based on US Safety Standards, I only allowed 3 inches of drawstring to stick out when the hood is not cinched. I also sewed a bar tack/safety stitch in the middle of the channel of the drawstring so that he cannot pull the drawstring out. 

He has worn his Velocitas Hoodie a bunch since I made it. He just started baseball last month and is now requesting that I make him another hoodie in his team color - red - so that when they have early morning games, he can keep warm. 

The Velocitas Hoodie pattern is on sale now through early Monday morning so grab your copy! It is available in English, French, and Dutch. You can find the English pattern HERE

Thanks for reading my post today! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Staple Sewing Pattern You Need to Make

I am super excited that you joined me today!! Greenstyle Creations just released their latest tank pattern, and it is a definite closet staple. In fact, the pattern is so aptly named - the Staple Tank - because everyone needs a tank just like this in their closet. Let me take that back. YOU need a handful of these tanks in your closet. ASAP. The good news is that this top is super easy and quick to make, even for a beginner, and the pattern works so well in many different types of fabrics. 

I wear tank tops all year long, no matter what the season. It is definitely the most useful part of my wardrobe. I wear them in the summer to stay cool. I wear them to work out in. I wear them as an underlayer to stay modest when nursing. I wear them in the winter, fall, and spring under cardigans or sweaters. I prefer a more fitted tank when I plan to wear it for layering, and I like to have straps that cover a traditional bra or show off a strappy racerback bra. 

The Staple Tank pattern works great for knits with 75% stretch. I have four Staple Tanks to show you today: 2 in cotton lycra, 1 in double brushed polyester, and 1 in brushed nylon. The first tank - the bright pink one - was made using brushed nylon from Zenith and Quasar. The brushed nylon is only brushed on one side and is smooth on the other. I faced the soft brushed side towards my skin and put the smooth layer out. I think this will really help the tank not to cling to any shirt I may wear over it. 

The next tank is in a bright yellow double brushed polyester from Knitpop. I received this fabric in a scrap box and normally would never order this shade of yellow, but I really think I like it! My daughter told me I looked like the man with the yellow hat from Curious George. Maybe that is a compliment?

Next up is my favorite! For this Staple Tank, I used a black cotton lycra from Made Whimsy. Black is such a versatile part of my wardrobe, and I have shirts and leggings from Made Whimsy black that I have washed so many times that still are just as black as the day I made them. Her black is the most colorfast and is such a great weight. This tank was made in an earlier testing version of the pattern that was more form fitting. A small amount of ease was added to the hips after this version.

I am wearing a traditional bra in these photos, just so that you can see the coverage in this pattern. I did not have to adjust the pattern for my bra to be hidden. 

Another thing I love about this pattern is that it comes with the option of bands or binding. Also, I found that even with all the different fabrics that I used, I could trust the binding and band pattern pieces and did not need to measure my own. 

The next Staple tank that I needed in my closet for layering was a white tank. White just goes with everything (especially crazy leggings)! This white tank is also a cotton lycra from Made Whimsy

The pants I am wearing with my tops is my latest pair of Inspire tights. I am quite obsessed with this pattern right now because (a) it is so quick to make and (b) even though it is a tight legging, it is super comfortable to wear. I don't like too much compression when I plan to wear my leggings all day. Leggings are more than a gym basic in my closet. So, I notice I prefer them to feel like a second skin. I don't like to feel any part of them "touching me."

On this pair of Inspires, I tried out a new waistband pocket idea. I don't really like the feel of a zipper on the back of my waistband, so I wanted to take a stab at a back pocket that would still hold my phone and not have a zipper. 

And, it worked! I overlapped two pieces that are finished with binding, and I have an inside piece to store whatever I want. I will say that my phone is so big that it just felt awkward to carry it over my bottom, but it definitely stayed put. I may just use the pocket for my keys or something not as bulky. 

  1. Greenstyle Staple Tank. Pattern comes in XXS-3XL. I made size XXS. 
  2. Greenstyle Inspire Tights. Pattern comes in XXS-3XL. I made size S with an XS waistband.
  3. The black and white cotton lycra fabric came from Made Whimsy.
  4. The pink brushed nylon fabric came from Zenith and Quasar.
  5. The bright yellow double brushed poly fabric came from Knitpop.
  6. The fabric for my Inspire tights came from Golden D'or. They have some of their athletic knits listed on their website, but if you get a chance to visit their store in Dallas, they have a room of athletic knits that are really nice right now! 
Thanks for reading! I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.