I’ve been doing quite a lot of exercise lately and found that the loose t-shirts I’ve been wearing just don’t cut it, particularly when I’m upside down. I decided to address this problem and dragged a top out of my drawer that I never wear but really like the design.
This top was designed and made by a woman that I used to do hard-core SAS training with back in the 1980s (yes, that’s how long I’ve had it!) and the little label on the back has the initials SAS on it as her husband was the trainer and ex-SAS. I love the fact that it’s very fitted and I like the design of the back.
However I never wore it much because it’s made from lycra and I hate exercising in it. It’s also a bit short (possibly because I’m a bit wider now) and whenever I lift my arms up an alarming expanse of skin is exposed. Teamed with my Helen’s Closet Avery leggings it’s not too bad because the leggings have a nice wide waistband, but it’s still a problem for me.
So I did what all self-respecting sewists do – I copied it! I used the rubbing off method and took particular note of the method of construction. I used a piece of fabric in my stash that had once been a rather prissy pink cotton knit from Knitwit and which I dyed blue and then overdyed with a triangular shibori pattern. I was going to make underwear from the result, but the pattern was just too big, and actually rather ugly, and I couldn’t get my head round wearing something made from this fabric so it has been in the stash since 2015.
Happily it showed itself to me when I was considering this top and it is the perfect fabric. I was treating this make as a bit of a toile so wasn’t overly fussed about pattern matching, but what do you know, it worked out fairly perfectly!
I can stretch and bend and it doesn’t ride up at all.
and I am really happy that I captured the style lines of the back.
The Helen’s Closet Avery leggings have been absolutely fabulous; that little triangle makes an astonishing difference, and as I had plenty of fabric left, I thought I’d make a pair to match my top. This also fits into the Sewalongs and Sewing Contests challenge on Facebook, which is “Matchy May”. Well this is pretty matchy!
I thought I’d include an action shot, but the problem with action shots is that they go out of focus. I’d like to say that it’s because I was skipping fast, but don’t think that’s the reason.
Speaking of leggings, I made a pair quite a few years ago that I never wore. I loved the soft cotton fabric, but couldn’t face this design on my legs. I didn’t get a photo of me wearing them, but here is one side now deconstructed.
In a moment of pure inspiration, I wondered whether my new top would fit on to the fabric, and did a bit of pattern tetris. Thanks to the small pattern pieces and lots of seams, I managed to get the top cut out. I put elastic in the neckline and armholes for this one, but I don’t think it made any difference to the fit. I won’t do that again, it so wasn’t worth the effort.
I made yet another pair of black cotton knit Avery leggings and added the leftover waistband so that the two items kind of matched.
when I lift my arms up there is just a tiny peek of waistband (and skin). I am very happy with this set, but have to say that I could have done with a deeper waistband or more fabric to make a longer top. I had thought to show all the photos as action shots, but as I’m rather hopeless I got a large number of images like this one below. I thought it might be fun to use one of them though!
So I now have two completely new sets of exercise gear in addition to the Averys I’ve already made. I think a few more of these tops might be in order when I get small pieces of cotton knit left over.
I’m currently in Tasmania, so have written this post in absentia.