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Pattern Roundup: Activewear

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Many of us made resolutions in the new year to get in shape and hit the gym more often. What better way to get motivated than to put on a comfortable, great-looking workout outfit. There’s a problem, though. Athletic clothes can be expensive or made with materials that wear out too quickly, and you may not find the style and size that gives you the boost you want to get to the health club. Luckily, making your own activewear can be easy enough with the right resources.

A twin needle can produce professional-looking finishes on activewear. For advice on getting started with twin needles, see “How to Thread a Twin Needle,” part of the Threads Essential Techniques video series.

Likewise, a flatlock stitch is a traditional finish to activewear, but it may not be the best option for home sewers. Read more about it in “Q&A: Real vs. Mock Flatlock” by Melissa Fehr.

Many fabrics for activewear garments contain spandex (sometimes called by its trade name, Lycra). Sandra Betzina offers an introduction to working with these materials in “Sewing with Lycra Blends.”

If you’re a Threads Insider, check out “Casing-Free Elastic Waist” by Threads Digital Ambassador Pamela Howard for a way to finish elastic waistbands.

Another Insider exclusive is Louise Cutting’s video, “Pattern Adjustment for a Full Bust in Knits,” which could be helpful for sewers who need to make adjustments to their activewear patterns.

Find eight activewear patterns below:

Cashmerette Belmont Leggings & Yoga Pants


Catering to curvy sewers, the Belmont leggings have two styles: view A  is a full-length legging with a hidden elastic waist; view B is a capri-length yoga pant and foldover waistband. The pattern includes optional gussets for ease of movement. Suggested fabrics are four-way stretch knits with at least 50 percent stretch in both directions.


Fehr Trade XYT Workout Top


This workout top is sleeveless and features a front scoop neckline, as well as three back style options. There is an optional built-in bra for support. The pattern requires stretch knits with good recovery, as it includes negative ease.


Jalie PIKA Sport Bra and Layered Blouson Tank


This bundle includes a sports bra pattern and a blousey tank top. The bra has wide straps and a racerback style with contrast elements on the front and back. The top has a wide hem band to keep it from riding up and contrast elements in the same style as the bra. Suggested fabrics are knits with 60 percent stretch in both directions.


KwikSew 4256


This pattern includes a short-sleeve top, sleeveless tank top, shorts, and capri-length pants. The short sleeve top has a draped front and curved V-neckline. The tank has colorblocking that mimics a sweetheart neckline and is close-fitting. The shorts and pants feature style lines and color blocking. The shorts end at mid-thigh and the pants have an angled hem that ends below the knee. Suggested fabrics are interlock, jersey, and performance knits.


McCall’s 7874


This ensemble includes a top with variations and leggings. The top has three neckline variations and two cuff options. The style lines hide side in-seam pockets. The leggings are simple with a wide waistband for comfort. Suggested fabrics are athletic knits, and two-way stretch knits with at least 50 percent crosswise stretch.


Paprika Patterns Ruby Joggers


These comfortable joggers have a V-shaped front and back yoke and elastic in the back waist. The legs are finished with wide cuffs. They are loose-fitting, but not baggy. Suggested fabrics include cotton jersey and french terry.


Simplicity 8560


This sports bra pattern includes a multitude of sizes for better fit. It also includes three style variations for the front, three style variations for the back, and two closure options. This pattern requires performance fabrics with 50 to 60 percent crosswise stretch.


Tuesday Stitches Citrus Leggings

This high-waisted, ankle-length legging pattern has seams down the center front and back of each leg. The pattern includes the option for decorative gathers along different seams: either the side seam, back seam, or front seam. It includes three separate inseams for better fitting on women of different heights. Suggested fabrics are light to midweight knits with 40 percent stretch in all directions.

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