Sew Your Own Activewear - Fehr Trade Selection

I'm continuing along the elastic lines today and wanted to share my activewear project with you. I have been using the Sew Your Own Activewear book by Melissa Fehr which I pre-bought whilst at the Sewing Bee Live exhibition in...::cough::...2017.

Yes, talk about late to the party - it's 2019 and I STILL hadn't completed my initial drafts started shortly after purchasing it. UNTIL NOW.

Goodness knows why it has taken so long. Each time I reach for gym wear I moan that nothing fits or is suitable and then 'make do' with some ill-fitting top that annoys me during exercise.  WHY?!

Due to being fed up of my own whinging, I set about making the Raglan Tee. The book comes with 4 basic blocks, which you trace to your size guide and then pattern alter as per the instructions for each of the 15 patterns. The instructions for pattern alterations are absolutely wonderful and I should not have feared the drafting. Step-by-step it takes you through each change with good illustrations and clear language.

I had been saving some absolutely beautiful bamboo knit from Ray Stitch for the occasion and  I am pleased to report it did not disappoint. Once you go bamboo it's hard to go back! I've recently discovered a new UK supplier SimplyBabooFabrics and they also have some great stock.

The construction was a little unusual for me however I did it as per the book. Unfortunately I put the sleeves in the wrong way and so my seams were showing! This was a happy bit of fortune in the end as I covered the seams with jersey binding and it made the top pop! The Snoopy is a little decal I made on the Cricut - I copied a cartoon, scanned it in and cut it on white iron on vinyl. So cute.

The size is pretty decent, its nice and loose which I prefer, but I think next time round I may shape the waist just to make it a little more fitted to avoid it creeping up my body and over the head when doing floor work. It has been tested in the gym and the fabric was excellent - super sweaty but it wicked away moisture well and there were no patches.

Next up was the Yoga Bottoms. Not necessarily for yoga but I preferred the shape and contour band for fit so went with these instead of the Active Leggings. This was also a 'two toile' situation.

Measurements put me at an L so I mocked up some leggings in scrap poly-lycra. I'm not sure if I had traced incorrectly but they were initially huge. The picture above is after I had taken a good 2 inches from the inner and outer leg seams. The book recommends a test fit so it was no surprise that fitting had to be done and after a bit of pinning, re-sewing and adjusting the pattern pieces I got my leggings block!

The next test was to try the basic pattern with all the bells and whistles. I went contour band, moto knee patch, side stripe, gusset and just for good measure....another Snoopy. My reasoning was that if I could get all the things on one pattern, there would be no need for any further toiles and I'd have a block for all variations. A friend from sewing class kindly let me have a go on her cover-stitch machine and now I'm a bit obsessed with it. This could get expensive.

This fabric was cotton lycra from Girl Charlee UK which was a much better quality than my first toile but certainly not gym appropriate. (See-through!)

Absolutely fine for yoga/sport/gardening at home but out of the house.... no-one needs to see your downward dog luv.

The waistband needs a better, thicker elastic for me to hold everything in but other than that the fit was pretty good.

With regards to the gusset feature I'm not sure if I need it or not. Firstly I can't stand the word so not having to type/say it again would be fabulous. It also felt a bit like the leggings were being pulled down at the crotch, and the range of movement was pretty good in the originals anyway. Will take suggestions on that one!

My favourite part of these is the side stripe. Oooohhhhh the possibilities. On to phase 2 of my mission - finding actual performance-grade fabric! (It shall be a true testament to the fabric if it can maintain its opacity on my derriere. Challenge set.)

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  1. Hey, these look awesome! I love the Snoopy detail - I just went to see the last week of the Charlie Brown exhibition recently which was fab!

    1. Same! I rarely go to London but made the trip just for that exhibition! :)