Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Which I Continue My Battle For Cute Workout-gear and Finally Conquer Sweatshirt Fleece

This post contains photos with really terrible lighting...and everything I photographed is black. Not a good combination. I am still working out where to take photos in the new house.


Remember awhile back, I made a shorts jumper inspired by vintage gym-suits? If you recall, I put the zipper in too low and couldn't rip it out again. I added some hook and eyes above the zipper for modesty's sake, but they didn't stay closed properly. Not good. Fighting with hook and eyes while you are trying to work out is not fun. I only wore it to the gym a couple of times before I went back to my old "rock t-shirt and capri leggings" gym style.

I recently bought a new seam ripper at the Japanese dollar store and was amazed at how sharp it was. I decided to see if maybe I could rip out and re-install that zipper with a new sharper seam ripper. It worked! The new tool plus the much better lighting in the new sewing room made it easy to remove the zipper. I re-installed it and now am much more confident about wearing my gym suit.

I also replaced the leg elastic. I used a much wider and longer piece of elastic. The legs no longer climb up and I don't have thigh rolls below the elastic any more. Success!

I was so inspired by the new look of my gym suit, that I decided it was time to make another one. I had a lot of sweatshirt fleece left over and I thought that this 70s jumpsuit pattern would be relatively easy to put together.

I made a sleeveless version with capri length legs. Construction was a breeze. The fleece didn't fight me nearly as much as last time and nothing major went wrong.

I left out all of the facings and, instead, rolled the fleece over at the stay-stitching line and then sewed it down with a zig-zag over a straight stitch. I trimmed off any excess fabric on the inside of the sleeve and it looks great. It's almost like the edges have been serged. Almost. We'll see how well the sleeves and neckline hold up after a few washings.

The final result is a bit more Bananarama than "glamour girl goes to the gym" but I like it.

It's so very comfy and soft: kind of like zip-in pajamas for grown ups. Plus it will make a great last minute Halloween costume, if need be.

I still had a bunch of fleece left over so I made a pair of shorts from this pattern.

Instead of putting elastic at the waist, I used grossgrain ribbon to make a drawstring. I love how it looks! They will be great for dance class...when I can afford to take dance classes again.

I don't know why I had so many problems with fleece the first time I used it. I had no trouble at all this time. Maybe the pattern I used before was too complicated? It's possible that I was just so nervous about using a new material that I made it more complicated than it needed to be. I actually, really liked using fleece to make these two projects and I think it's kinda cool that I can make my own workout wear instead of relying on whatever is on sale at Target.

...and I am seriously considering making big-girl zip-in pajamas.


  1. Ooooh, love both the suits. I was just thinking 'I could do that' until I read the last post on making your gym suit.
    Although if it was better the second time around...maybe it'll go at the bottom of my to-do list.
    I am loving the idea of zip in pjs though! Hope you do make some :)

  2. Thanks Lauren! It was totally worth trying again. I think the last time was a disaster because of new-fabric-anxiety but I'm really glad I gave it another shot. You can do it!

  3. You are adorable. If you make big girl zipin PJs I would like a pair too please.

  4. Thanks Tricia! LOVE your site by the way!!! I didn't realize that you and the girls were doing a book review blog. So cool!!

  5. I love the second work out/halloween outfit - so inspiring. Cute workout clothes are almost impossible to find.

  6. I stumbled on to you last night and I stayed up till 2 AM reading old posts! You are speaking my language. I am an amateur self taught seamstress that dares to wear the rags I create in public... sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

    I am near your age and I find many ladies doing vintage on the web are much younger. I thought I might be too old to be fantabulous however, you have given me the green light to keep workin' it! Thank you for your inspiration. Looking forward to a long relationship!

  7. Mrs Jeffries: Welcome to my blog and thank you for your sweet comments! IMHO one is never to old to be fabulous. I'm glad I could inspire you!!