Are you an athleisure person? I mostly wear active wear when I’m working out (obviously) and in that to and from time frame around it. When it comes to full on comfort I’m much more of a jogger/baggy sweats person. But, my favorite exercise class is Barre 3 so naturally my workout gear consists of leggings. I’m always looking to make more vs. buy ready to wear so I wanted to try my hand at leggings. I love sewing with knits and they seemed like a pretty simple make overall. Also, active wear has a pretty high mark up in ready to wear, so this is an instance where it would be more cost effective for me to make my own. Was I concerned that my leggings would rip in the crotch during a workout? Yes! I was very concerned about this. But what the heck lets be risky!
I went with the Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings for this pair. I’ve seen some free patterns on the web, but I was really drawn to the fact that Helen’s have a crotch gusset. The gusset provides more stretch and less bulk, which would help in that whole crotch ripping fear. I went with some athletic fabric from Blackbird Fabrics, since I always love their quality, I figured it would hold up in workouts as well.
Since these leggings don’t have a side seam you must cut a straight size. I ended up emailing Helen’s Closet to ask their advice, since my waist and hip fall between two different sizes. (Waist 27 and hip 40 in inches). This put me at a small for the waist, but a large at the hips. They recommended to go with the large. I hadn’t made a pattern from Helen’s closet before so it was hard for me to gauge their fit. Kind of like how RTW sizes differ a bit by brand, I think that sewing patterns can do the same. I decided to go with a medium as the happy medium.
Construction was simple and Helen’s instructions are great. I used View A for the length and View B for the high rise. I didn’t want them to be too long on me since I’m only 5’1. If you are a beginner sewist I highly recommend Helen’s patterns. She provides a ton of info and really uses her instructions as a learning opportunity so you gain new skills and knowledge.
What would I do differently? I would have listened to the pattern designer and made the large. These leggings fit and I like the way they look, but the large would have definitely been more comfortable and slightly easier to get on and off. Lesson learned! I also would have just made the View A as View B is just slightly too high for me. How have they held up? Great! I’ve worn them through several workouts and really like how they perform. The fabric is a nice quality with great recovery so I will be buying more in the future.
I purchased 1 meter of fabric and I still had a bit left over. I used the Cottesloe bikini top pattern by Megan Nielsen to make a matching sports bra. This is a great scrap buster for your Avery leftovers! I did View D in a size 4 and just used the same fabric as the lining to provide more support. And Here we have a matching set!
I’d love to hear any recommendations you have for fabric for Active wear since I’d love to make more! I would especially like to know of great places to find deadstock fabric! Thanks, and Happy Sewing!