I don’t often make New Year’s Resolutions, but for once I was ahead of the game and made my resolutions for 2017 last year! My one and only resolution was to take part in a minimum of one ParkRun a month throughout 2017, and naturally that means I absolutely needed new workout gear! I usually struggle to find workout gear that isn’t extortionately priced, so making my own was the next logical step.
I got this amazing splatter print stretch lycra last year as a treat (from me to me). I’d been eyeing it up for weeks on the Cali Fabrics site before I purchased it! I think there might have been a sale on, and it turned up so quickly – I’m always surprised how quickly it arrives in the UK from California. Not quite instant gratification, but it is lovely getting new fabric in the post! When I bought the print I didn’t have a pattern in mind so I did a bit of digging around online. I ideally wanted to support an independent pattern company so I chose the Steeplechase leggings from Fehrtrade – I really liked the interesting curved seams and there are no seams on the inside leg which is a bit comfier for curvy girls like me (mermaid thighs for life yo). I picked up the pattern in a Pattern Review sale on Black Friday and decided I wanted to have a plain coloured waistband to help highlight the print more (not that it needs a lot of help!). I ordered some black lycra from Cali Fabrics that was the same weight as the splatter print and prewashed both fabrics; there was very little colour run and I don’t think either piece shrunk at all!
The fabric doesn’t fray and the edges didn’t really curl under too much like jersey can sometimes do, which made marking notches and pinning together really easy to do. I assembled the leggings on my overlocker, and I’d been a bit concerned that the overlocker stitching would warp the lycra but it was absolutely fine. The trickiest bit was attaching the elastic to the waistband; my sewing machine skipped a few stitches due to the thickness. I was really surprised how nice the lycra was to sew with. I’d been expecting a struggle as I don’t sew stretch often and have never sewn lycra before, but both the print and the plain lycras were nice and stable. I used a twin needle to finish the hems and the waistband and used contrasting thread as I didn’t have enough black thread, but the effect looks really cool!
These leggings got their first proper outing at a 5k race in Hyde Park in London – I got my fastest recorded 5k time! Based on my measurements I’d originally cut a size XL but when I toiled them in a cheap jersey they were laughably big, so for the lycra pair I cut the large size. However, you can see in the photos that there is a little bit of extra fabrics around the leg. The recovery on the fabric is great, but I think the excess is just because they’re a little big. I think on my next pair I will cut the legs between the M and the L size to see how this works out. But even with the excess fabric, these are really comfy and have been worn a lot. I think the only other change I would make is to shorten the leg a little bit more. I haven’t got a fabric in mind for the next pair but I like this galaxy print and this geometric print on the Cali Fabrics site. I want to pick out the long curved seams with some piping next time to really emphasise the design lines so I might invest in some brightly coloured piping, or maybe even reflective piping to enhance the sporty look. I was surprised how much I enjoyed sewing active wear – these definitely won’t be my only pair! That being said, ‘active wear’ always makes me think of this video… I won’t be seen doing the weekly grocery shop in these any time soon!!!
Please note: the Cali Fabrics blog team and I have been provided with different fabrics in exchange for our participation and our honest reviews. All opinions expressed in my posts will be my own. Where supplies were purchased elsewhere, this will clearly noted with alternatives available at Cali Fabrics given where possible. For the purposes of clarity, in this case the splatter lycra was purchased by myself from Cali Fabrics specifically with the intention of sha
ring my make here and was not provided by them for the purpose of a review. The black lycra was provided by Cali Fabrics