The Activewear course is now over, and I must say that although it kept me rather busy for the last 6 weeks, it was certainly a fun and rewarding experience.

I now have slopers for activewear and enough pattern-drafting know-how to create all sorts of wacky workout wear!

For example, here’s my effort for the Sports Bra.

Sports bra front & back

Don’t judge me on the outer finishes. This is, essentially, a muslin.

I used a printed lycra that had had a previous life as a failed pair of leggings, elastic at the lower edge and plain black lycra for the upper binding and straps. The strap configuration was kind of organic, as in I put the unfinished bra onto Suzanne (that’s the dressmaker’s model, not a real person) and did a bit of ad-hoc draping with the straps.

The course had us sewing in bra cups, but a) I didn’t have any in my stash and b) I’ve never found them to be either comfortable or useful. So instead, I just lined the entire bra with powernet:

sports bra lining

Again, don’t judge me on the finishes.

Anyhoo, I gave this sucker a test run during the week. The compression factor was excellent, but I will have to adjust the front armscye as it was a little too high for comfortable movement. You can actually see that in the first photo.

The course also included shorts and yoga pants, both of which I didn’t make (but may yet return to). However, I used the shorts waistband instructions and drafted a pair of leggings of my very own!

Side stripe leggings

Here’s what my draft looked like.


It’s all made of the standard slightly-shiny lycra. Here’s a couple of truly terribly pictures of the leggings on me:

side stripe leggings ON

In hindsight (or possibly thighsight) those green panels at the hip hit me at exactly the most unflattering point. “Look world, here’s my widest bit!” Still, I love my sidestripes. This lycra is stretchy-er than the the gray one I used for the previous pair, so the tights aren’t as close-fitting as I would have liked; also the reduction on the waistband wasn’t quite enough to create a nice tight fit.

I solved the waistband problem with some elastic zig-zagged to the upper edge. Things got a little tricky around the in-seam pocket, but I managed. I actually haven’t given these a test run yet – I’ll let you know how they travel!


So yesterday, all inspired I went and haunted the fabric consignment shops in Marrickville. There’s a lot of truly horrible nasty stuff in those shops, but there’s also some bargains to be had. I got these fabulously raucous printed lycra’s for $12/m.


I adore that spacy rainbow one on the right. I think that just gets made into a plain pair of leggings with no extra embellishments, and just let the print speak for itself!! These are all nylon/lycra blends (I quizzed the shop guy fairly heavily on fabric content). From what I understand, nylon lycra takes colour a lot better than polyester. Polyester is apparently better for workout wear though, due to it’s hydrophobic qualities (meaning it takes up no water at all, as opposed to nylon which is hydrophilic and will take up a small amount of moisture – hence why it takes colour better!). Then there’s wicking, which is a combination of fibre type, fibre shape and the actual construction of the knit. It’s all terribly complicated. Have a look at this article.

Have you tried making any activewear? What patterns and fabrics have you used?