Last week I showed you the new workout Bra/top and workout tanks that I have made. This week I am showing you the bottoms to go with those tops. I really had so much fun creating these outfits. One of the best things about sewing is that you get to customize it all for yourself!
Items I wanted to make- Sports Bras – tops – leggings (both full length and long shorts)
Considerations for my comfort was mostly around the fact that I don’t necessarily like my tush showing while exercising. Most times it is fine but living in a major city means that people will see me while outside and some guys are just crude… So, I decided that I wanted either tops that covered my tush, or an attached skirt or leggings that are patterned and fit well. I also wanted to make sure I had a pocket on my leg for my phone. This was a must for me.
For this blog post I am going to focus on the bottoms
Pattern: Easy Fit and Sew Skort (now named Skort and Simple) from J Stern Designs.
Fit Changes: For the Skort pattern I made 3 changes. I lengthened the shorts and the skort by 5 inches. I have fat thighs and there is nothing worse than when exercise shorts, or any shorts for that matter, roll or slide up. The skirt portion I lengthened as well just to look more proportionate on me. In addition to changing the length of the shorts and skirt I did also add a little more room over the bum for the skirt only. You can certainly see this in the ruffle hem on the back that there is added fullness. However, it does not pull or ride up across the tush. I basically did this by doing a slash and spread over the fullest part of my butt cheek.
Design Changes: The original pattern is for a short pair of shorts under a skirt. Well I changed that a bit to suit my needs. I basically made 4 different versions and used elastic in the waistband for all. The shorts fit so well in the pelvis that I decided to just use that as a base for the leggings. I literally just measured the length of my favorite pair of leggings and lengthened them to full length. I also added a pocket to the skirt on the first edition but changed this to a pocket on the leg portion of the shorts or leggings. This I placed on the right at mid/low thigh. This is the easiest of all pockets to add. Literally just a rectangle, cut big enough for my iPhone, with facing at top and then topstitched down with raw edges out. Super simple and works great for my needs.
|Close up of one of the pockets- lightened up to see details. A pretty basic pocket that works out great for me. |
When making the different bottoms I wanted to make sure to incorporate designs that work for me. Warm weather, cooler weather, walking, biking, yoga/stretching and functional or light weights/band/ball workouts. The skirted styles work perfectly for walking and biking and I feel most comfortable wearing these out and about.
Version 1: Long shorts with overskirt – 2 pairs. Tester version and blue version
Version 2: Full length leggings with overskirt- 1 pair peach skirt
Version 3: Long shorts – 1 pair plain black (these are also great under a dress when I want to hop on a Divvy bike to go somewhere)
Version 4: Full length leggings - 1 pair floral pattern
Fabric: All of the black shorts/leggings are made from fabric from J Stern Designs website. It is luscious and is wicking fabric!! The 3 different skirt fabrics were to match the bra tops and tanks for a mix and match workout wardrobe. The floral patterned bottoms fabric is from Discovery Fabrics and is called Solar Stretch. LOVE IT! The pattern stretches quite a bit before you start to see the white background through it. I have enough left over to make a long sleeve top.
Interfacing: none needed
Notions/Buttons/Zippers: 1 ½ soft elastic for waistband and for one pair of shorts elastic with gripper rubber on leg openings. This was purely done out of curiosity and to try it out. I cut the elastic the finifhed length of the opening. Serged it to the edge, flipped it up to the inside, leaving the raw edge of the elastic covered and then triple coverstitched the top edge of the elastic like a hem.
|Waistband elastic on left and leg band elastic with gripper rubber on right.|
|the leg opening finished with the gripper elastic.|
Seam construction and seam finishes: Seam construction was all done on the serger with a 4 thread overlocker.
Hem Finishes: Just like with the tops I took this opportunity to play with these to find what I liked and did not like. I used both front and back coverstitch as finishes and I did some zig zag as well. My favorite for this workout capsule was the reverse coverstitch. I also did a double row of reverse coverstitch on the waistband to make sure the elastic does not roll. (I HATE it when that happens)
Thoughts on the Easy Fit and Sew Skort. It’s easy and I highly recommend as a great place to start. The fit on my body was great using the recommended size per my measurements. I like that the rise is nice and long and the waist hits me at my narrowest part which is NOT where I wear regular pants. A super comfortable place for my leggings.
I know that there are a lot of fancy workout bottoms patterns, with color blocking and interesting seaming. For my needs right now I don’t really have a need for those… They look awesome but I do notice then when I am out for a long walk and see others wearing them it just draws my eye to their legs and/or butt. Not really what I want!! LOL!! Also, in my mind less number of seams equals less possibilities for seams to rub somewhere. Never say never – I may make a pair like that in the future!
I have worn each of these in at least one long 5 plus mile walk and for functional training workouts and have no problems! Everything is super comfortable and works perfect for my needs, no pulling, binding, twisting or any other uncomfortable issues to deal with! A big win in my book!!
Another quick win was a re-fashion that I did. I am not a big re-fashioner but I love the cut and fit of this dress but have always hated the soft lavender color on me. It was meant as a wearable muslin and figured if it didn’t work then it would be fine since the color sucked for me. Well, after 5 years of being worn I finally decided to fix that color and did my first ever RIT dye in the washing machine and now I LOVE IT!!