Posted in sewing

Jalie Isabelle Leggings

I seem to make my workout gear in multiples. Last fall I made three pairs of Cora tights and this year I’m back with four of the Isabelle leggings (capris) from Jalie. I actually really like making work out pants. The cost of materials is low and the rate of return on the amount of wear I get from them can’t be beat! It’s part of the reason I stopped sewing my formal dresses. I’d spend weeks sewing up something that gets worn once or twice a year. But, with gym clothes — you just wear them over and over and over.

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I love my Coras (Jalie 3462). But, I definitely prefer a capri length for summer. For the Isabelle’s (Jalie 3674) I cut the same size for the Cora – a X at the waist and Y through the thighs. I do cut the elastic at the waistband for one size smaller — otherwise I find it slides down.  A little on picking my sizing:  I measure at the the lower thigh into a BB ( 46 inches).  My actual hips are at 43 inches though. For my Jalie jeans I do cut a BB for my jeans because I like my denim fabric with a lot less stretch than the recommended.

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I’ve always really like a red, white and blue color combo. I bought this gold lycra from a local warehouse sale a few years ago with the idea I’d make a gold lame bikini. Well, my gold lame bikini days are behind me. But, I thought I could incorporate them into a Wonder Woman style swim suit or gym outfit.

I love this pair the most because it touches all my geeked out dreams of being Wonder Woman’s black twin sister, Nubia.

I made the Wonder Woman pair from swimwear fabric. I am not really a fan :-/ I don’t love the way the fabric feels and the stretch seems more restrictive than the athletic wicking material I’m used to. That said, it doesn’t show crotch sweat. And, as you’ll see below that can’t be said for all my athletic fabric.

The ones below are made up from my stash from Suzie’s Supplex in Montreal. They have long stopped stocking this material as the warehouse burned down. But, it’s my absolute favorite fabric. Because this fabric were ends of the best stuff I’ve personally found for making activewear the colors are a bit odd. In retrospect, they all kind of work together because they were likely from the same collection.

Air squatsssss! Isabelle leggings by @jalie_patterns 📸 by @mcjenamin #memademay #mmmay17 #mmm17 #crossfit

A post shared by Renee (@missceliespants) on

I skipped the pockets on all my Isabelle’s as I don’t need them. I’m not running so I don’t need keys or a phone at the gym. Minus the pocket they sew up SO FAST! I can easily make one pair in under two hours. Maybe even one if I focused.

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The rise in these are excellent. The back comes up well over my butt and the front is above my belly button. There is no peep show doing squats and the pants stay put during  lunges and sprints. Also, the pattern has a gusset so the pants fit nice and flush in the crotch. The seams have a clever design at the inside so no chaffing from seams either.

And, if I’m being honest. I love how my butt looks in this cut. The material helps too. I noticed on the swimwear fabric leggings my butt’s more squishy looking and I have some cottage cheese show through. This material has NO show through of skin texture.

Okay, I’m asked all the time how Isabelle and Coras compare. I don’t know that they do. They both fit the same IMHO, have good rise and require no tweaking from me. It’s the style lines that really set them apart. I think I prefer the Isabelle’s ONLY because they make up faster. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with either.

For a while I was working out five days a week. But, the repetitive motion from weight lifting wreaked havoc on my tendonitis afflicted right hand. Now after a few months of physical therapy, turmeric, acupuncture and daily hand exercises my grip is generally back and I’m no longer in daily pain. That said, I have to be extremely careful with my hand — particularly my thumb :-/ So, I do still work out at the gym. But, down to a few times a week and I always wear my thumb isolating wrist brace to work out and type and ice my hand on the drive home.

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Posted in sewing

Athletic Wear: Jalie 3462, Cora Leggings

You guys.

You guys.

I made leggings that did not require a full seat, full/forward/muscular/fat thigh nor a sway back adjustment.

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Don’t adjust your phone screen. What I speak is the truth. Because, the Jalie Cora Leggings are the MOTHER LOVING BUSINESS. Or magic. But, probably just really well drafted if we’re being honest. Yet, still a strong possibility of magic.

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When it comes to workout clothes, I’m a big fan of leggings. As my thighs have touched since birth, shorts give me continual chub rub and I don’t like to chafe. Leggings are my friend. I made three pairs of these and I LOVE them. They are stylish and comfotable and I felt totally hawt and fit!

Now, one bit of advice I would give should you choose to make these.  Listen is to your inner voice and DO NOT put the lightest color as the inner thigh contrast. Holy stare at my butt Batman!

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Eggplant, grey, teal with an eyeful of me.

After making this mistake with my first pair, I was far more judicious in my color choices with my  second and third pair – making sure to put the darker color at the center. Most of the fabric is from Suzie Spandex in Montréal – which I bought in purple, grey, black, red and blue during PR Weekend there like six years ago. What’s funny is the Jalie women were on that trip and raved about the Suziplex. The accent colors of baby blue and mint green are Supplex from Stretch House, purchased about six years ago in NY

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Black, grey, baby blue w. reflective tape

On my second pair, I added stretchy sew-in reflective tape to the calf and pocket seams (above).  Speaking of the pocket… Do you see my iPod bulging a bit at the back below my waist? It’s a crazy great pocket. It fits my huge android phone, keys and ID too.

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Chocolate brown and mint green

Of the many many yards of athletic fabric I’ve bought including Under Armor, Nike, and general supplex this Suziplex is the best stuff I’ve ever used. And, it’s sadly no longer being made. Melissa from FehrTrade tipped me off that they weren’t selling it anymore last year and I called and placed an obscene order – tariffs and international shipping be dammed! This of course left me with some odd colors (brown, teal, burgundy, and violet). But, I do not care. I will hoard these until they are sold for a $1 a yard at my estate sale.

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reflective tape

I sewed a size X at the waist grading to a Z at the thigh based on my measurements. That’s it. No alterations. No special tricks. No sizing down. No topstitching the seams. I sewed this mostly mostly on my serger and used my coverstitch for the hemming.  I did add some reflective tape on two pairs for some night visibility.

I do vacillate between feeling really good with how these look on my butt to feeling like they show a lot of my butt. It’s so hurrrd being a  woman.

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reflective tape

That’s it. I love them. Please pardon me while I go work out. Or walk the dog. He clearly is ready to go out.

 

 

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Burda 7-2014-113: Cycling / Sport Dress

We are back from our grand tour and I have so much to share about the kindness of international bloggers, lingerie fabric shopapalooza and our fantastic trip in general. But, I figured I’d start with the most sewing related, which is my cycle dress previewed before I left. I’m not sure how long cycling dresses have been around. But, it was Ann Marie from Montreal on Facebook who first suggested one to me. WHO KNEW? Plus, Claire has done all these terrific posts on making her own biking gear. I decided I wanted to wear bike dresses for this trip for a few reasons. 1. I do not look good in bike shorts. 2. I love dresses. 3. Packing is so easy!

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As soon as I saw this pattern in the July 2014 BurdaStyle I thought it was perfect. It has a short flared skirt, the zipper in the front is great for venting and I wanted to keep my shoulders covered. I’ll tell you this much, it was referred to as a tennis dress on our trip more than once! But, overall was a hit with the women in our group.  What I found amusing is that our group was dressed in serious biking gear. All bike shorts, jerseys and racing helmets.  I felt my outfits were right in the middle and I didn’t look too athletic for our 50km a day rides. And, um, I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup in 80 percent of these photos. Please, don’t judge me 🙂

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in Ghent, Belgium

Anywhoo, a few details.  Alterations included unpetiting the pattern and making a FBA. I made three versions for the trip. The first in blue and grey was really my muslin. It’s made from something or the other from some online store or the other. I seriously have minimal recollection.I think it’s four years old.

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This fabric was TERRIBLE for this. It’s too thin, not enough recovery and you can see my drawers. I made the back all dark grey since I thought light blue would make my rear look wide as a trailer. This fabric was a BEYOTCH to get through my Brother Coverstitch. I, um, don’t know that this version is staying in my collection.

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I also recommend adding several inches to the length if you make this one up. It’s short. Especially on a bike. The other change I made was just to use an invisible zipper at the center front instead of an exposed zip. I totally would have done one if I’d had a sport plastic style on hand. But, I didn’t.

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The other two versions were fabric from the DelMarVa blogger meet up 18 months ago. I got it from Beth who I think was planning golf clothes. I don’t remember why she gave up the ghost. But, it worked out well for me! The fabric was from FabricMart probably three years ago and some kind of wicking athletic fabric. I essentially let the amount of fabric I have dictate the print placement.

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On the reddish burgundy, the print is through the center front and center back only. Super narrow cut. I also added an inseam zipper pocket for my phone or snacks. I ran out of the print and used plain black jersey from my stash for the neck and sleeve bands.

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On the tan/ cafe au lait, the dahlia print is on the outside edges. The tan version proved to be my most popular one on Instagram.

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You’ll note I didn’t follow Burda’s suggested color blocking. Because, when you sew you don’t have to.

For all three versions, I used my coverstitch to finish. And, on the tan, I added an extra inch. I am so not well versed in my overstitch usage. This project was good for getting me to use it more. But, I notice on thin fabrics it was really stretching it out (note the neckline on the red version). But, it loved the beefier Fabric Mart knits I made the final two from (note the flat neckline on the tan version).

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I’m wearing padded shorts underneath all of them.

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I wore these dresses for the one week we were biking (washing one each night in the sink) so they were worn twice each. In the mornings I would put on my Under Armour cropped studio jacket. It also helped make it look different.

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As for the weather…It was kind of terrible some days, lol! There was one day I didn’t bike at all because it was freezing and starting to sprinkle. Me and two Brazillians stayed on board. At the end of the day, Jordan came back and said it was awful. The temps dipped below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 mins into the ride, cold, horizontal rain. Some of the people came back having used the lunch sandwich bags as little gloves to keep the cold and rain from their fingers. I went from feeling lazy for staying on board the barge to super smart in 22 seconds. It also was a cold snap in general with temps about 20 degrees (F)  less than they were at home and ten degrees (F) less than is normal for that time of year. We had to go to H&M our first day in town and stock up on warmer clothing. Like, fall coats. Layers I had. But, not enough long pants to keep me warm when not biking.

Overall, I REALLY like this pattern. I’m totally making it up in the winter with 3/4 sleeves in wool jersey.  The pattern needs some tweaking in the upper bust for fit (wrinkles) before I make it up for regular wear. But, as is, these are great for running, tennis, golfing and biking 🙂 It’s a little Star Trekie. But, I happen to really like Star Trek. And, Star Wars. And, the X-Men franchise. And, the Avengers….

Posted in sewing

Wrap Yoga Top: Burda 11-2007-121

I went on my deli / bakery bicycle ride  (today’s Sun story) yesterday wearing my new yoga pants over thermal wicking underwear and a new ‘base layer’ wrap top from the Burda in November 2007 under a fleece. It was about 35 F (1.6 C) outside. So, just about freezing and, I swear to you, I wasn’t cold! But, more on that after I show some food.

Our first stop was Wockenfuss Candies. I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but I couldn’t resist.



The second stop was at Mueller’s. It’s a German speciality store I’d never been to.

I bought potato dumpling mix for my mom, reisling for myself and ate Lebkuchen the remainder of the ride. My brother Ted loved lebkuchen when we lived in Germany. Sadly, they are not able to bring Kindereggs into the country anymore. Choking hazard or some such nonsense.

The final stop was at an Italian deli (didn’t catch the name) where I bough fresh mozzarella to make pizza later today and got a bowl of olives. Mmmmm. What a neat way to experience Baltimroe city! There were about 10 other riders. So much fun.

It helped that I dressed in all knits! For my outfit, I worked in layers.

On top I wore this wrap top from the November 2007 Burda Magazine. The fabric is knitting wickaway from Wazoodle. It wasn’t what I had in mind at all when I ordered it. Upon closer inspection I realized it was the same kind of material that Eddie Bauer uses in their ‘base layer’. So, I decided I would use the gobs I got for long sleeve tops, wider leg cropped pants and maybe some running skirts. The direction is only two way so I think they can also substitute for woven patterns.

For this one, I cut a 38 at the top, made a so-so 1/2 inch FBA. I used elastic at the neckline to snug up the fit. I shortened the elastic by one inch and it’s a bit too much. You can see it pulling at the shoulders. If I were to make this again, I wouldn’t add the elastic and I would go down a size. I ended up pulling the wrap section taught by almost two inches on each side.

I did make a swayback adjustment with a CB seam but there’s still a lot of gathering because I think the shirt is just big on me around the waist and the elastic I used just pulls awkwardly. For the hem, I used my friend Liliya’s coverstitch machine. In fact, all the knits I made the last week were taken to her place for hemming.

I doubt I’ll make this again. The size IMHO is too loose for me and I think I don’t like wrap tops. I don’t know where it’s supposed to wrap. Over my bust, under my bust, across? It confuses me. And, they take up more fabric. I prefer sleeveless tops for working out. I like my arms a lot. I made the sleeveless top from this same issue. I’ll try to post that before Christmas. This top makes a good base layer but it’s not my style. Of course, that won’t stop me from wearing it to ice skate in this afternoon!

Posted in sewing

Burda Magazine 11-2008-126: The Accidental Maternity Pants

I’m going outdoor ice skating and on a cold weather bicycle ride this weekend. How cold? Well, it’s mid 20s F (-2 C) here right now and was like 17 degrees (-8 C) yesterday with the wind chill. The ride is four hours to various bakeries and delis in NE Baltimore city.  I figure we’ll be biking 20 minutes, stopping and eating so it shouldn’t be *too* bad. I realized I was going to need to dig into my supplex and make myself some exercise / yoga pants. I went with the November 2008 Burda pants. I eliminated the pocket because I wanted a quick and dirty project.

I cut a 38 at the waist and graduated to a 44 at the thigh based on my measurements. The good news is this can be made in a couple of hours. The bad news is that as drafted and with my design ideas, they looked like maternity pants.

Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wanted a pop of pastel yellow color and liked that the pants were bisected. But, instead I made them look like a maternity panel.

It’s not helped with the elastic I cheated with instead of a drawstring. They were also too big at the hips by several inches.

I slept in them overnight and actually got overheated! I also wore them under a dress for my morning commute (I took them off once I got to work). They are very warm and didn’t lose thier shape. When I got home, I removed the waistband and reduced the width by half.

I also took about three inches out at the side and center front seams of the pants and the waistband.

I used the drawstring (actually the remnant from shortening the waistband) they recommended instead of elastic at the top. Whoa. Much better.

Despite making a swayback adjustment of 1.5 inches (the same adjustment also helps for  a full seat), I still needed the drawstring to snug up the back of the pants. I’m concerned about showing my unmentionables in these since they ended up being lower than planned. This supplex is AWESOME. It’s thick enough to lift and support and dark enough to smooth everything out and not show any cottage cheese.

I read several positive reviews on PR about the pattern as drafted. But, for me, it was too big and my bad idea to use such  high waisted contrast.

The belly shot is not intended to show my stomach per se. It’s to show how much lower the pants are with my modification. I prefer them higher waisted. I’m no longer at the point where my mid-section should be seen without me sucking in (as I am doing above). I’m not sure why I feel the need to explain that either though.  I’m generally happy with how these worked out. Especially given how comical they were before. I made a second pair with a two inch sway back adjustment with a blue accent and the waistband is a little higher.

I thought I was going to do the Sticher’s Guild SWAP for a new workout wardrobe. But, I needed to get a jump on my sewing for this weekend. I have a wrap top cut out that I hope to get sewn up in time for Saturday. I’m thinking two coordinating sleeveless tops from the 2006 Burda and leggings from the January 2011 Burda. That should be pretty easy over the Christmas break.