Since moving into my new apartment last month, I have been busy discovering all the cool stuff in my area (bonus that it’s all pretty walkable, unlike at my last place in the middle of nowhere :P). One major selling point for me was that I am now super close – about 2 blocks, and again, walkable – to a really great greenway. The multi-use paths are nice and wide, mostly shaded by the trees, and there is a big creek that runs through it which means lots of cool bridges to cross! It’s a fantastic area for both cycling *and* running, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it.
While I have my fair share of workout wear, it quickly became clear to me that what I had was lacking pretty badly. My preferred workout of choice has traditionally been hot yoga – where I tend to wear leggings or capris (you know, for the sake of whoever is unfortunate enough to practice right behind me hahaha) and they don’t need any pockets. I find those long lengths to be way too hot and restrictive for running, at least in the summer time. And I definitely need a pocket to hold my phone and keys, so I can listen to music and/or podcasts and keep my hands free! I noticed that Mood Fabrics has added a lot of performance fabric to their site, so this seemed like a good excuse to stock up and try them out.
I ended up making 2 pairs of shorts and a sports bra. The first pair uses Midnight Black Max Dri Performance jersey, although you can see here that they are much closer to a darker grey. I love these mottled jerseys and bought them in several colors! The pattern I used is the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings – although, again, I made some changes to the pattern to turn them into little running shorts! The pattern has some cool seaming on the legs, a nice snug waistband that stays in place, and a back zippered back pocket that is actually big enough to hold my iPhone 6.
Check it out!
Now I can run to my heart’s content and know that my phone is safe and secure without worrying that it’s going to bounce out. This pocket is also big enough to hold my key and cash, should I need it (laugh all you want, but the greenway in question actually connects to a Target, soo… I’m just saying.).
The second pair of shorts is pretty much the same as the first pair, except I used the Husky Grey colorway instead. As with the first pair, I used a combination of my serger + sewing machine to construct these. The zipper area gets stabilized with a piece of stay tape (to keep the fabric from going haywire while you’re putting the zipper in) and the waistband has clear elastic sewn inside the seam allowances at the top to keep things snug and in place. Even with adding a zipper, these shorts don’t take a lot of time – or fabric! – to make. And they are SO MUCH cheaper than buying some Lululemon or whatever.
Finally, the sports bra! I’ll be honest – I am 100% a-ok with the stash of RTW sports bras in my drawer. I have a fairly small bust, don’t need a lot of support, and fit well within the size ranges that are available at the store. I tend to buy them on clearance, so they rarely cost me more than $15 a pop. I wasn’t totally interested in making a sports bra because what I already have works, but the Dunbar top pattern (also from Sewaholic) caught my attention enough where I figured I’d try it. I like the details and fabric combinations, and being able to use one of the cool printed Activewear fabrics that Mood Fabrics carries (or even just making a bra to match my shorts because I am SO that person) was a plus. So I tried it out, and it’s pretty nice!
I used – again! – the Max-Dri Performance Jersey, this time in Midnight Blue – for the main color of my top. For the dark blue contrast, I used navy nylon spandex. The top gets its support by compression – which is achieved with an underlayer of Powermesh (mine probably came from Mood, but I’m not 100% sure because I pulled it out of my big ol’ stash box of Powermesh). I can’t speak for every boob out there, but my experience with the support in this bra was great. Again, I ain’t rocking a huge cup size here and I don’t need much support to begin with, so take that as you will.
Anyway, the sports bra was a bit fiddly with all the little pieces – but it was overall easy to make. I used my sewing machine for the majority of the construction and elastic application, just as you would with a regular bra. I think it turned out quite nice!
I’m feeling pretty good about these new additions to my drawers! I didn’t realize how much more fun it is to exercise when your clothes are fun too – even if you’re going to get all sweaty, it’s nice to feel like you look nice while you’re doing it. And speaking of sweaty – these performance fabrics have definitely lived up to their “Max-Dri” hype. I still sweat – a lot! – but they dry very quickly, which is awesome.