I’m sooooo excited about this one, you guys!
Like a lot of people, my relationship with exercise can be described best as “on-again, off-again.” I wasn’t particularly athletically inclined in high school or college and I often feel pretty lost in a gym. The one thing that I have been able to turn to when I’m feeling less than fit, is running. I personally get a little accomplishment high after every run (no matter how much I struggle through it…).
Recently, I’ve been trying to get in shape and I’ve been craving some hot new exercise gear. I’m part of the camp that thinks wearing real workout clothes will make me a better “athlete”(…still unproven, but it does make me feel like a BOSS). Still, I’m not into the crazy price tags that come with the hottest stuff out now. Soooo I decided to whip up a pair of my own running pants.
It’s incredibly simple to make up your own workout pants and the color/pattern options are endless. For this set, I chose a polyester spandex that I picked up from Spandex House here in NY (One of the perks of living in the city, but this store does have delivery available). I love the underground rave/zebra print thing this fabric has going on. It’s a great chance to wear crazy patterns that I normally wouldn’t touch for my day-to-day outfits.
I decided to start off with this awesome leggings tutorial over at One Little Minute blog to draft my pattern. It’s really easy to follow and the results were just what I was looking for. I especially liked the tips on drafting a crotch curve. I still needed to tweak the fit a little bit after getting the basic shape down, but it got me to a really good starting point. After drafting up my pattern, I altered the length to match the cropped style that has been my go-to look.
When it came to the band, I opted for a wider waistband for added cinching effect. I used a technique from ready to wear for applying the elastic. I took a peak in a pair of torn workout pants by snipping into the waistband to see how the elastic was applied. These also have a wider waistband, but the actual elastic is only 3/8 inch wide. I cut the waistband so that the width was double the desired finished width. I positioned the elastic so that the top edge was right below where the band would be folded horizontally when finished.
I then zigzag stitched the elastic, while stretching ever so slightly, all the way around the band. Then I folded the top of the fabric over the elastic and sewed the waistband to the legs as usual. This provided the wider band that I wanted while ensuring that it doesn’t slide down or shift from my waist.
I’ve worn these pants to a killer spin class at Monster Cycle and for running short distances. They’ve held up great! I love that they’re one of a kind and me-made. I went on a shopping spree in the Garment District to pick up a bunch of colorful spandex to add more pants to my workout wardrobe.
I also think I’ll start working on adding some matching sports bras to the mix. Bra Maker’s Supply offers sports bra patterns inspired by the Indian sari and one with a modern front zipper that I’ve been DYING to try. Can’t wait to snag a couple copies and test them out!
Have you had any luck making your own workout clothes or sports bras? Any pattern recommendations?