Three posts in one week – I’ve been on such a sewing kick that I want to share what’s been going on in my little world!
I’ve been saying for a long time that I’ve wanted to invest in making activewear. It’s one of those projects, much like jeans, that comes with fear. I need activewear that’s going to work – like really work. I need comfortable, durable and proper fit. As a runner, it is so hard finding supportive sports bras at a reasonable price, and while leggings are a dime a dozen, I need thick, moisture wicking pairs and they have to have a pocket.
The absolute most difficult part about sewing activewear is the fabric. Recently, JoAnn’s has been offering amazing active fabrics, and I’ve picked up a few different pieces. Before that discovery, I bought from a couple online stores and was pleased with the materials as well. I tend to stay away from materials that are too thin, because the finished product can feel cheap, and the thinner something is, the less likely I am to wear it on a constant basis.
The second most difficult part about sewing activewear is finding the right pattern. I made the Pneuma Tank, but discovered that it really isn’t as running friendly as I would like. There are a ton of leggings patterns, and I’ve made a few, but have come to love Sloan Leggings because of the pocket option. I love the design lines, because they don’t cut off horizontally, but rather vertically, which is petite leg friendly.
I’m still working on making tops, and have a couple patterns to try out but I wanted to test a new sports bra first. There are a few sports bra sewing patterns on the market, but many of them look weak (meant more for yoga or walking, not high impact). I snatched up a copy of Simplicity’s latest sports bra pattern #8339 and tested it out with some leftover active fabrics and am very happy with the result.
I made view C, but it’s actually difficult to figure out what view is what based on the envelope. I made the version with skinny straps, lower back and no bra closure. I followed the instructions on measurements and based on my size, made a C, and cut out pattern pieces for size 30. If you plan on making this bra, it is SO important to follow the pattern sizes and not your typical bra size. The fit came out so well for me and if I had sewn my ready-to-wear size, it would have been way too small.
I’ve mentioned in the past that my bras need a layer of padding and I feel very uncomfortable without one. This pattern makes it pretty easy to add cups but no, this bra does not come with instructions for adding cups – I’m still waiting for a pattern like that! Luckily there is Petite Josette’s tutorial for adding bra cups, so I took that base and remixed it.
I did not make the cups in this bra removable. If you don’t care that your cups are removable, there are just a few steps to adding them to this bra- I’m planning on writing a small tutorial post for those interested.
The skinny straps on this bra are rather supportive, but I wouldn’t wear this if I was going out for a 10 mile run. I haven’t tested it yet, but I’m sure it would be great for a shorter 3-5 mile run. When I’m going on longer runs I like to wear clothes I would wear for race day, and I think the thicker strap bra would be a winner for that. I didn’t make the thick straps because I like the lower back of view C but plan on making view B for my next bra. The strap support of view B has major potential to be my go to sports bra pattern.
Now I need to be honest here, I wear my sports bras for more than running. I wear them as often as I can, because regular bras are a pain. In my everyday life I’m pretty active, with working on the farm and constantly moving around in my sewing studio, that the need for a real bra only exists when I go out. Mind you, I’m a small B, so I also don’t need to constantly wear a super supportive and fancy real bra. So this bra is not just for running – it’s just an added perk that I can wear it for multiple uses. If you are a bra specialist, I apologize, I’m sure this is a HUGE no-no – It’s just what I enjoy wearing!
This pattern is a definite keeper. It’s cute, comfortable, comes with various sewing options and it’s supportive. This version also matches one of my favorite pairs of Sloan Leggings!
Plum Active Fabric: Sold out from Imagine Gnats but there are other colors available!
Floral Cotton Lycra: Sold Out from Spandex World but this site has a ton of fabric options.
Pink Waistband Elastic: Joann Fabrics
Grey (straps): Joann Fabric
I can sometimes be on the fence with bigger pattern companies, because sizing can be so off on my body. I encourage you to give this pattern a try if you are looking for a good sports bra. Next on my pattern wishlist is a pair of double running shorts (bike shorts underneath a pair of regular shorts). This is my favorite style of running shorts and they are SO difficult to find! Guess I have to make my own pattern!
Have a great weekend!