Athletic Apparel: The New Obsession

Just a heads up this is a wordy blog post about why I love sewing, :).

I have always been crafty thanks to my mom. I’ve done many forms from plastic canvas and cross stitch to papier mache and beading bracelets to sewing my own clothes and many things in between.

I’ve always known how to sew and mainly only hand stitched things here and there as sewing machines intimidated me, but then I finally bought my own Simple Singer back in 2011 and started sewing away doing small projects here and there. I didn’t really delve into anything too advanced until just a couple years ago when I moved to Nashville and started working in a call center. Thank goodness I am not longer in a call center! I have a good day job, pays the bills, uses some of my educational skills. Then in my off time I like to do a lot of things and currently my newest obsessions are all work out related: Aerial Silks, Zumba, Pound, running… And athletic apparel is EXPENSIVE!!! So I started Googling Athletic apparel and have come across some great free patterns like So Sew Easy’s leggings and also low cost PDFs like the Penuma Tank by Papercut Patterns and Running Skort by Jalie. I don’t think I’ll make my own jogging sports bras, I think VS has that down for me, ;). I think it’s so amazing I can make my own athletic apparel. And Craftsy has a huge selection of free and paid for patterns.

So when I’m not going to grad school part-time, working full-time, hanging out with the boyfriend, or running, I am sewing. People ask me how I find the time. I sew during my lunch break, right after work, for an hour or two late at night, etc. I fit it in because it makes me happy. I like the action, I like to research and sort out my next project, learn new techniques, and show it all off, :). No greater compliment than someone who has no idea you made your outfit complimenting you on it. Compliments on knownly made items is fantastic too, ;).

I started making things because I am picky and cheap, now I continue making things because I love it and it’s not always cheaper anymore now that I’ve discovered sites like Mood Fabrics, Girl Charlie, Sew Sassy, etc. There are just so many amazing patterns and books out there! As I gain confidence in my skills and Google stalking skills I am delving into creating my own patterns and more daring alterations.

Thanks all for following me through my journey!


Cheapest of the Cheap

I’m not sure if I’ll make the top 50 for the annual Tennessean’a Ms. Cheap’s Cheapest of the Cheap contest but submitted my idea anyway.

Been making a lot of my own workout gear of late because 1) workout clothes are EXPENSIVE! and 2) custom always fits better.

I’ve made 4 pair of leggings so far and have enough leftover fabric to make matching shorts or even swim suits.

And my awesome super cheap armband with a POCKET!!!! 🙂

Definitely lots more planned in the future for shirts, etc.

Here is my submission of links and sources gathered from lots of research:

To source my fabric I keep an eye on sales and coupons. Jo-Ann’s always has a nice selection and if you are on their email list always a coupon plus coupons in their mobile app. I’ve made several pairs for under $10 including the fabric, elastic, and thread. Other low-cost sources are the and who send out daily emails with whatever fabric is 10% off that day, also has a mailing list. Or if you want the good stuff and any of the other places located on this list by Fehr Trade: This is a great guide to deciding which fabrics are best: You can sign up for the McCall Pattern Company email list to be notified of their many sales on patterns, always a nice selection of athletic apparel patterns. Part of my foray into making my own clothes has been due in large part to making quality fitted items for a fraction of the cost they would be in store. With all the sales and options out there, making one’s own athletic apparel is definitely a savings! Also checking out thrift stores has some great options.

Free Patterns:





Sports bra:


Yoga pants:,

Yoga mat bag:

Patterns Sites:;;;;;;;


Plethora of Leggings!


As is evidenced by the above image I have been making up a leggings storm! I discovered this do it yourself pattern tutorial a few months ago and find the leggings are super easy and quick to make! My first pair took the longest but now I can get a pair out in about an hour, :). Working on a 4th pair as I write this, ;). Still finishing up the 3rd pair of hearts fabric. Tried to make an inner waistband pocket but misjudged the width I’d left for the elastic so redoing the waistband using a 1″ elastic and a hanging attached inside pocket.

The tutorial I used can be found on So Sew Easy’s webiste in which she includes a how to measure video, downloadable excel sheet and complete instructions. It is also available through Craftsy for $2.95, or there is also a similar tutorial on One Little Minute’s blog.

My first pattern!


The first pair I made were these lovely bright green and blue animal print leggings with silver reflectives all over it. Perfect for running! Purchased them from Jo-Ann’s. Waistband was a little loose and length a little long but overall turned out well.


My next pair I made all the necessary adjustments and they are PERFECT! :). Purchased some wonderful athletic apparel quality fabric, :). It was the Zirotek black 7oz anti-microbial wicking fleece lined fabric from The Online Fabric Store. Used a 2″ wide elastic and my hand dandy pattern. Knocked these out in about an hour, :). You can’t see it very well but I used my twin needle stitching in the from seam, :).


The current pair is a performance piqué fabric purchased from Wonderful selection of fun fabrics! I got the hearts are wild in dark pink for my upcoming Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate run. The fabric feels wonderful. The only negative is it is a 2 way stretch and not a 4 way, may try their Performance Knit for a future pair of shorts. So instead of being ankle length they turned out to be capris with the 2-way stretch.


I had planned a 2″ wide elastic band for these as well like the others but I misjudged some measurements and can only fit a 1″ wide elastic. I had created an inner waistband pocket and was so proud and excited about it. But I’ll just had to create an attached inner pocket instead. Next time. But here is a photo of the attempt.


For this pair because I only wanted to order 1 yard so I had to get creative with making the pattern into 3 parts: the main, the waistband, and the bottom cuff. My pattern measures about 39″, so close.


Currently working on a purple/black zebra print with silver metallics like the lime green pair, unfortunately can’t post a link because Jo-Ann’s no longer has it available. And a 2nd fleece lined black pair of course, :).

Biggest discovery is: use 4-way stretch!!! 2-way works but isn’t as comfy and you loose some length. Also learned why my twin needle kept snapping, was using the wrong stitch. Oops!