Sew Your Own Activewear | Basic Close Fitting Bottom Block

Sew Your own Activewear Today on our Sew Your Own Activewear blog hop is us! Well, our lovely Sew Your Own Activewear cover girl Jade, who works with us here at SewandSo!

Jade is a bit of a fitness buff herself and quickly became addicted to the idea of sewing her own activewear wardrobe while looking through the projects from the book. So she has graciously agreed to tell us all about her first experience sewing activewear and working with stretch fabric.

Whilst I have sewn a couple of dresses in the past I had never:
  1. Worked with Lycra (daunting!)
  2. Sewn a pair of leggings or trousers
  3. Altered a pattern to fit my body shape
I usually tend to be impatient when it comes to crafting and jump right in but considering this was a bit out of my comfort zone, I decided to do everything by the book!
Starting out by reading through the sewing techniques, I learned about two must-have pieces of equipment that make sewing with Lycra easy; a walking presser foot (prevents bunching) and stretch needles (prevents skipped stitches). I purchased these in preparation along with a twin needle for the hems.

Sew Your Own Activewear

Being a UK size 4-6 and 5″1/158cm tall, I cut the smallest basic close fitting bottom block  pattern size knowing that I was still going to have to adapt it quite a lot! After fabric cutting, I sewed a toile (test garment) in cheap Lycra and then made a note of all the adjustments needed using the Common Fit Adjustments guide. Using Melissa’s clear instructions, I learned how to shorten the legs and crotch, thin the legs and bum and lower the waist by altering the block. Once I had sewn up a second toile (I was able to recycle the fabric from the first toile by unpicking), I reevaluated the block once more by lengthening the crotch and thinning the bum and moved onto the real thing!
Sew Your Own Activewear
I was surprised to find that sewing up the leggings was a very quick job and working with Lycra enjoyable. Using a twin needle for the first time, I was able to create professional looking hems very easily.
Sew Your Own Activewear
With Melissa figuratively holding my hand every step of the way, I have created a beautiful pair of leggings that fit me like a glove, a master block that I can use time and time again and perhaps most importantly, the confidence and knowledge to adapt patterns to my measurements. If I can do it with my limited experience and very basic sewing machine, you can too!


Now I’m off to nurture my new Lycra shopping obsession…


Top Tips
  • Take your time perfecting your block and don’t skip sewing the test garments.
  • Invest in a walking presser foot, stretch needles and a twin needle. You can get by without them but trust me they are worth it!
  • Read the Fabric Selection section before purchasing your fabric and consult Melissa’s global activewear fabric supplier list 

Sew Your Own ActivewearThanks Jade for sharing your activewear sewing experience with us. Share your projects with us on Facebook using #SewYourOwnActivewear. If, like Jade, you are a beginner and want to delve into the world of sewing your own activewear, pick up your copy of the physical book here or get your instant download here.

Don’t forget to check out who else is taking part in our Sew Your Own Activewear blog hop by clicking here or on the banner below.

Sew Your Own Activewear

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