Athletic Wear Favorites
I haven't worked out consistently since giving birth to my youngest 3.5 years ago. I've done some yoga and weight lifting but never for an extended period of time. Needless to say, my workout wear was greatly lacking. One thing about workout wear is it needs to not just fit, it needs to fit well. I don't want to adjust my pants continually because they are falling down or keep tugging my bra up.
I've been on a mission to sew the ideal fitting athletic wear that's comfortable too. I hope to have my roundup ready soon but until then, here's my favorite combo... The Greenstyle Super Gs and Power Bra!
I've now made at least a couple of each of these patterns and can declare them the best. Here's some of the reasons why and tips I've found along the way!
Super GsThe Super Gs are a pattern I purchased after loving another compression legging pattern from Greenstyle, the Strides. I know, that seems crazy if you love one pattern why try another? Well the gusset of the Super Gs was just too intriguing, I had to give it a try. I had assumed the gusset was the standard diamond type which I don't find very helpful. I was very wrong. The gusset in the Super Gs spans from one calf to the other providing ease through the thighs and crotch. Some other draws to the Super Gs were the extra large side pockets (that even fit my iPhone 8 Plus), contour waistband in high or low heights and multiple lengths.
For my first pair of Super Gs I watched Sewing with Sarah's sew along videos on her website. It was extremely helpful as the process is a bit different than standard legging construction. She also went over reverse coverstitching which I really wanted to try. This first pair was a trial pair that I made using premium cotton lycra and athletic brushed polyester. I found they pulled on the seams quite a bit so on subsequent pairs I now use a seam allowance of 1/4" rather than the 3/8" recommended in the pattern.
A trick I found for ensuring the seams didn't pull was to actually serge the crotch seams twice. I do this for both the front and back curved crotch seams. I'll go over the seam once, turn off my serger knife and go over it again. Then I add reverse coverstitching which helps from the seam pulling more. My most recent pair has zero visible pulling!
So what is reverse coverstitching? It is the process of using my coverstitch or hemming machine with the back stitching visible. To do this I stitch with the wrong side and seam facing up and right side down. I prefer to have 3 needles in my machine and not to use stretch thread. I've found that although the stretch thread is pretty, it can get snagged easier and unravel. For this pair of Super Gs I reverse coverstitched the bottom of the pocket down, on both sides of the pocket seams down the legs and both crotch curves.
Power BraThis pattern I thought about purchasing for way too long. I've struggled with fit on all of the different bras I've tried to make and didn't know how this would be any better. I was clearly wrong. I've now made 2 in the last week.
For ready-to-wear (or often referred to as RTW) bras I normally wear a 34B. Sewing sizing is different so when I measured a 32D I was a bit surprised but went with it. There's a lot of options for this bra so for my first one I opted for the low cut racerback. I color blocked the cups and front pieces. Based on my fit issues in the past, I chose to add 1" to the strap length at the beginning. I usually find straps to be too tight and wish the length was added. I ended up removing the added length when I did a fit check with the straps.
My second one I wanted to try the strappy option. I again made the 32D with low cut front. I'd say the most difficult part of this bra option is turning the straps with elastic in them and attaching them evenly. With that being said, I definitely didn't do the back straps according to the instructions. I also emitted the clear elastic on this one. It stays up fine but the one with elastic in the seams is more supportive and moves less. I did the adjustment for a 27" elastic width for this one and prefer that fit. This is made completely from a nylon spandex swim fabric from Mily Mae Fabrics.
With all that said, the reason I love both of these patterns is because of their fit. Neither of them move while I'm biking, at all. I can wear these sets and move well without any need for adjustments. See below at my attempt of getting a jumping photo to show nothing moved. Jumping photos definitely aren't a skill I posses.
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