Hi again, everyone! I’m super excited to share my next project with you… this one puts a smile on my face and a fry in my tummy. 🙂
When I was perusing the Cali Fabrics knits, the French Fries on Black Stretch Brushed Jersey caught my eye. Heck, it caught my eye, my heart, AND my stomach! And I’m not the only one who fell in love with it. Check out Kirsten’s multiple garments made from the same fabric. (Pssst, Kirsten, can I be part of the fry gang, now?)
I thought it would be hilarious to make an active-wear set for the gym since indulgence in fries is the reason I need to go.
I’m still getting used to which fabrics go with which project, so when I ordered this poly/lycra blend, I wasn’t sure if it would be suitable for gym clothes. When it arrived, I still wasn’t sure it would work. I pulled the bundle out of the packaging and… whoah… it felt like it was made from warm hugs and unicorns. I kid you not, this stuff is SOFT. And all it wants to do is cuddle with you.
Now, cuddly fabric does not sound like something that would work while you’re working out. You want something tough and moisture-wicking and RAWR! But I decided to give it a try and figured they could always be comfortable pajamas if it didn’t work out.
After 4 wears to the gym, I am happy to say this stuff works! Yes, it does feel like I’m rolling around in clouds of comfort while I’m wearing these at the gym, but sometimes you need a little support to keep going, am I right?
Not only does this fabric feel good at the gym and dries fairly quickly, but it’s a dream to sew! If you are hesitant to sew with stretchy knits, this is the perfect “beginner-friendly” fabric for you.
It’s easy to sew because:
- The brushed surface texture helps to keep the fabric from shifting while you’re running it through the machine. It kind of grabs onto itself and doesn’t slip around.
- Unlike some jerseys, the raw edges don’t curl out of control. This means less wrestling with your fabric!
- Graphic French Fries make life more exciting, so it keeps your interest while sewing with it! Hah!
Just remember while you’re sewing a stretchy fabric, you’ll want to sew with a stitch that will stretch with your fabric. (Ask me about a wardrobe mishap when I didn’t know any better…) This means you can use a zig-zag stitch, a lightning stitch, or a serger. For these, I used a serger for the main construction, and a lightning stitch for the hems and gusset reinforcement.
Now let’s move on to the patterns! I made a pattern for the top by tracing a store-bought exercise top I like and wear a lot. I tried documenting some of the process but some photos didn’t come out too sharp. 🙁
If you look real hard, you’ll see I laid my store-bought top flat on the table and placed tracing paper over it. I then traced the seam lines. The picture above shows the back side pattern piece. The original top is one piece in front and the back has a center panel with 2 side pieces to make a princess seam. The piecing in the back helps the shirt to hug my back curve.
I added a 3/8 inch seam allowance around the sketch and added 1 inch for the hem. I added 3/8 inch instead of the standard 5/8 inch because sergers usually serge at 3/8 inch. After I took this picture, I realized I forgot to add the grain line mark! Woops.
So I continued on like this for the other pieces and ended up with 3 altogether.
From left to right:
- Center front piece – I flared the bottom side out about an inch because I wanted more room in my tummy (darn that junk food…). You can see the faint line where the original seam is on the store-bought top.
- Center back – So I completely spazzed out and added a seam allowance right along the center back. You’ll see that addition along the arrowed line. Totally not supposed to be there! Luckily I noticed my mistake and cut that seam allowance off when I was trimming my pieces. Whew, crisis averted!
- Side back – Same as before but I added the grain line and threw in some notch marks to aid with construction.
I sewed all the pieces together, serged the raw edges, then turned all the edges under and stitched them down. I used my trusty Steam-A-Seam to keep the turned edges and hem in place.
The result is a perfect-fitting top that will get tons of wear, both inside and outside the gym.
For the bottoms, I used the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings pattern and hiked the length up to lengthen/shorten line to make them shorts.
My measurements put me at a straight size 12 and these fit comfortably. I think for my next rendition of this pattern, I’ll go for a size 10 instead so they shift around a little less (and hopefully will accommodate my future fitness goals).
I absolutely love the fit and length of these. The shorts do not ride up my legs like my other store-bought exercise shorts do. Ain’t nobody got time for pulling down your shorts legs while you’re kicking ass at the gym!
To show you how well this outfit holds up, here are some action shots!
I couldn’t help but turn it up a notch and ask my good friend Steve-O to “upgrade” my photos…
And finally, how I truly look while working out…
Thanks for the laughs, Steve-O! 😀
I hope I’ve inspired you to have a little fun with your projects – or to get active – or to treat yo’self and grab some fries! Happy sewing/exercising/nomming!
You can follow more of Rachel’s adventures in sewing, fry-eating, cat wrangling, and chicken wooing at sewredy.wordpress.com!