I first met Melissa Fehr when she gave a really inspiring talk at the Sewing Weekender last year. I loved her take on drafting patterns for clothes that would work with your body as you move.
I was thrilled to be asked to be part of Melissa’s blog tour to launch her book, Sew Your Own Activewear.
I decided that I would like to try out the yoga pants, as yoga is pretty much the only active thing I do at the moment (apparently, sewing doesn’t count)! I loved the design detail of the little pocket within the waistband.
I spotted this gorgeous neon coral sports jersey from Fabric Godmother and thought it would work well for the leggings. I also used some of their suede scuba which I had leftover from a dress, for the contrasting pockets. I even found some coral fold over elastic in my stash for the pocket trim.
What I found really interesting about the book is that, rather than being provided with patterns, you are given four blocks (close fitting top and bottom and loose fitting top and bottom), which you then use to create the patterns in the book, closely guided by Melissa’s instructions.
I have sewn a couple of simple leggings patterns before but I liked the separate waistband pieces of Melissa’s yoga pants.
I sewed these up on my overlocker, so that I could get the best and most long-wearing finish, with the exception of the elastic, which has to be attached using a regular sewing machine.
Next time, however, I would use a wider piece of elastic than indicated and probably wouldn’t attach it, as I did find that this method made the inside of the waistband bunch up slightly.
In terms of adjustments, I just took the inseam in slightly for a better fit and have adjusted my pattern already for the next time.
The leggings came together pretty quickly and easily in a couple of hours, including drafting the pattern.
I finished my hems using my coverstitch machine and even added some overstitching below the waistband for some interest.
The only issue I encountered was when I attached the waistband to the leggings inside out so had to spend 20 minutes unpicking the overlocking – but that will teach me for sewing when I am too tired!
Next time, I think I would use a fabric with a pattern on it, as plain colours like this do show up every lump and bump! It was certainly a challenge finding underwear that wouldn’t show up underneath them!
If you would like to sew your own activewear, you can buy the book here.
You can also get a sneak peak at the book here: