I recently started going to the gym with my husband. Now, I don't know about you, but I feel extremely awkward exercising. There is something about making my body do all sorts of weird contortions that stresses me out. Stretches? I could do those all day. But cardio or faster paced exercises? No way! When you add other people, and old, ill-fitting workout clothes into the mix makes it even worse. The first couple of times we went I felt so embarrassed and painfully self-conscious. I know that exercising is good for my health and overall well-being, but I felt as if I was standing out like a sore thumb. (To be honest, nobody probably gave me a second look. It just feels like they do!) Normally, I'm not the type of person who wants anything to do with form-fitting workout clothes, but after the second trip to the gym, I knew something had to change. Enter these three pairs of lovely leggings!
Initially, I hadn't planned to make my own exercise clothes. But after I made the rounds of the stores and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, I knew that I needed to sew them myself. I ended up drafting my own pattern following Cal Patch's wonderful class on Creativebug. It was super easy! I drafted, and sewed all three pairs of leggings in one day. The first pair took the longest, but the last two took maybe an hour!
I used three different types of fabrics from Joanns. (Luckily they were all on sale!) The fuschia leggings were made with a performance fabric, the purple ones were made from an activewear knit, and the black/white ones were a printed knit. (I couldn't find the purple or black/white fabric online. . .) They all had a good amount of spandex in them, which is vital if you want to be comfortable! In order to make a pair of leggings you need stretch fabric that stretches both horizontally and vertically. Otherwise you are in danger of ending up with a garment that doesn't even remotely fit, or having a constant wedgie, and nobody wants that!
I used my serger for pretty much everything. These are some of the first things that I have sewn entirely on the serger. I normally only use my serger for finishing seams, so it was quite satisfying to watch it chop off an actual seam allowance's worth of fabric! To finish the hem on the leg, I used a basic zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine with a universal needle and my normal pressure foot.
I have a minor confession to make. . . I didn't finish the tops of any of the leggings. Since I drafted these leggings to specifically fit my body shape, I decided to make them high waisted. Because there is a pretty dramatic difference between my natural waist and my hips, the waist area of my leggings needs to be able to stretch quite a bit. In the past, I have made myself garments that fit perfectly when I tried them on before finishing the waistband, but, as soon as I add a waistband, they suddenly don't fit over my hips any more. Or if they do fit, I pop multiple stitches working them over my hips. I didn't want to risk that being an issue with these. The fabrics have fantastic recovery and they stay up perfectly. Over time they will stretch and at some point I will most likely have to add some elastic, but for now I am going to leave them alone.
I am so pleased with how these have come out! I have already been to the gym since making my leggings, and it made me feel so much better it's almost ridiculous. It is amazing what well-fitting, comfortable clothes can do for self-confidence! I am actually looking forward to exercising. It makes me feel better, more accomplished, and better prepared for my day.
How do you feel about exercising?
Does it make you feel super awkward, or is it something you have always loved to do?