I’m currently trying to push myself when it comes to making activewear and to be more adventurous with my designs and construction methods, like these yoga leggings that I made last week. The drawstrings were part of the original design idea, but the leggings ended up even more laborious because I forgot to check the stretch of the fabric before I cut the pattern pieces. So instead of having a pair of comfy yoga leggings, I ended up with something that squeezed the living daylight out of my legs. Luckily I pinned the legs before I began sewing, so at least I discovered my mistake before it was too late.
But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and that led me to add the mesh pieces on the sides and I tacked on the pockets too, since they were easy to add now that the side of the leggings would be made up out of several pieces.
The pattern is based on the leggings sloper that I have drafted myself, and that I also used for my color block shorts and my yoga shorts. The pattern doesn’t have a gusset, but I plan to do add one so that I can choose between them in the future. I worked hard to get rid of the camel toe during the drafting process. But weirdly enough the camel toe returned on these particular leggings when I added some width in the sides without adjusting the crotch and inner seam. So I had to scoop out the crotch seam to make the crotch longer (see an old blog post on crotch adjustments). So now I know that I need to adjust the pattern on both sides when I add width. Makes sense I guess!
Despite some roadblocks and minor panic sessions I’m incredibly happy with how the leggings turned out. Plus there is very little sag in the butt, which is unusual as sagging fabric in the behind a common issue for me when it comes to both leggings and trousers.
I also feel like I’ve been hitting my stride design wise now when it comes to activewear, especially with these yoga leggings and the yoga top I did a while back. But it has been a long, slow progress – I’ve actually been making my own active wear for over 12 years, and in the beginning the styles were really basic.
I did this workout set back in 2004 using patterns from the Kwik Sew action wear book (the photo is from 2009, and I actually retired the capri leggings just last year!). So the complexity of my projects has definitely evolved over the years. Just learning to sew lycra knits and using a serger and coverlock machine has been a pretty steep learning curve. So it’s definitely rewarding to revisit past projects to see how the skills has improved.