crafts · fabric · Life · Sewing


I’ve had a crazy week!  My friend who was moving has been farewell partied, packed, and is now in  Washington DC.  Another friend got married this weekend in a beautiful ceremony.  I was involved in the music (and she’s a fellow soprano, so there was a lot of music!)

My in-laws came down for a bit, and we toured Homearama (the new homes showcase.)  This year it was in a crazy development.  It contains houses that are designed to look like the houses in my neighborhood (ie grand victorians) but for twice as much money as one would cost in my neighborhood (and a good 30 minutes from downtown.)  My friend who runs one of the local preservation organizations called it “Historic done by Disney,” and the comparison was apt.  I would never want to live there, but it was curious to see.  And I am certainly glad to see the idea of creating neighborhoods like mine, but I wish they didn’t also have that odd isolationist aspect to them.  I know perfectly well that there are odd and crazy people where I live (along with really rich people) but I like it that way – I would hate to only be around people like me!

I have done zero crafting.  It’s too hot to stay in my sewing room (tomorrow’s temp: 100 degrees, and that’s without the humidity factored in.)  I did take advantage of the sale on knits had last week.  I bought entirely too much knit fabric, but it was so cheap – and it’s all nice quality too!  These are mostly ITY knits or what calls “starlet knit,” which is basically ITY (poly/lycra jersey.)  I find this sort of fabric comfortable in both summer and winter – it’s not like old polyesters!

The purple leopard is a doubleknit, and the green/black swirl print on the bottom row is what they call “silky knit,” and what I call “stretchy woven charmeuse.”  I don’t think it’s like a knit.  I plan to use it to make one of the Vogue patterns I have that call for charmeuse.  I’m happy with all these, but you should be aware that not all the ity knits sells are the same weight – some are light and others heavy!

I’ve been trying out different things for my exercise plan.  As my husband said “You don’t do anything halfway, do you?”  Nope.  If I’m going to do something, I’m going to be good at it, darn it!  I’ve taken a few pilates classes, based on your recommendations.  I really love it!  It reminds me of ballet class, and it doesn’t have the spiritual aspect of yoga, which to be honest is not really my thing.   I’ve also tried some workout videos (also from your recs) through my Netflix plan.  I don’t feel nearly as silly doing them as I thought, though we don’t have the largest living room ever (my piano lives in the actual living room, and we use a loft area instead.)  I’ve also been using the elliptical machines at the gym, with a killer workout mix I made on my ipod.  Marc got me a dependent ID, which entitles my to work out at the student center gym, the hospital/medical campus gym, and the faculty/staff gym.  At $60 a year (plus a $45 fee every semester for group classes) it’s very cost effective.  It isn’t fancy or anything, but it’s working so far.  I’m waiting to see how crowed it is during the regular school year (though I mainly use the hospital and off campus gyms anyway… we don’t have a university parking permit, as Marc bikes or rides the bus to work.)

My current dilemma involves workout clothing – it’s expensive, and I’m thinking of making my own.  Does anyone have any patterns/fabric sources to recommend to me?  I’m a total newbie to that sort of clothing!

17 thoughts on “Whew…

  1. I would recommend checking out the blog ‘the slapdash sewist’ if you haven’t already. she’s sewn a lot of her own workout gear and has great info on fabric selection and patterns.

  2. I can also say that the blog “The Slapdash Sewist” has some great info about sewing workout wear. I’ve done some, and if since you sew with knits already, you’ll be fine. Kwik Sew 2723 has a great yoga top (although it runs short, I’d lengthen it) and I love Jalie patterns. They have a new yoga pant that is a copy of lululemon (don’t know if you have that down in the US, but it’s pricey yoga wear). Hope this helps! Buy good quality fabric as it gets hard/sweaty wear.

  3. Yay I love pilates as well! I don’t have any recommendations for sewing athletic clothes- but if you are interested in buying them: I’ve only ever bought them at a discount… So I’d recommend checking out TJ Maxx/Marshall’s type of stores, sometimes you can find some really cheap! I’d definitely say check out Old Navy – I’ve gotten yoga pants/capris/shorts from $5-$12? bucks and they are good quality and long-lasting. Sports bras from Champion at Target, they go on sale from $10-$15, and check out the clearance rack if your Target has one. There are definitely lower-cost places to get workout gear, as opposed to going to stores like Lululemon or Nike store, those would be painful on the wallet.

    Oh actually last year I purchased some poly-spandex fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club website, they were advertised as being from the brand Patagonia, and specifically said would be good for active wear. So I think FFC would be a good place to look for fabric, and since I bought it during the sale, the price was $2.99 or something quite low.

  4. For exercise stuff I cannot recommend The Slapdash Sewist enough!
    She has made her own workout gear and even a bunch of cute outfits for a bicycling holiday she went on. What determination! And she explains everything she does, a lot of proper pattern reviews and how she modified things for her body. Amazing. Have a read thru her archives 🙂

  5. I second the Target workout gear. I bought a couple of Champion tops for cycling & yoga and they fit, wear, and wash well. If you take on cycling at some point, Pearl Izumi makes THE best cycling gear. Check out

    One little suggestion for you that I’ve learned the hard way…start slow and build fitness gently. Back in the winter/spring, I went from doing nothing to a 5-day cycling workout on the stationary trainer, and hurt my hip/IT band. While resting that, I did a walking workout, and developed tendonitis in my ankle, which is very painful and so slow to heal. The doctor stressed going slowly, incorporating strength training and stretching along with the cardio stuff, so as to prevent “overuse” injuries like what I did to myself. I hope your journey into fitness is much less painful!!! Rest days are important.

  6. I’m very frugal, I sew and I run (marathons), bike and swim.
    I used to buy inexpensive cotton/lycra workout clothes – the get smelly really quickly and it’s impossible to get rid of. Or, the clothes get out of shape and fade. Now I buy quality running clothes, made of ‘performance’ materials, on Sale, never full price. In the long run (no pun intended) this for me is definitely worth it. They last longer, keep their shape longer, don’t smell, and you look good exercising.
    As for sewing my own… I sew my own clothes for something unique and that fits better than OTR. Since this isn’t important or and issue to me when it comes to workout clothes then I would rather just buy something and spend my time and energy sewing a pretty dress or blouse!

  7. I look forward to seeing what you make with your new fabrics. I am interested to hear about the silky knit as I have never used any before. I know your garments will be beautiful.

  8. I absolutely make my workout gear. I’ve used Jalie, Kwik-Sew and have a TNT top pattern that is from a Burda mag that looks exactly like lululemon. One thing I will do next time will use a size smaller pattern for the shelf bra to make it more supportive (unless it extends into the straps, then I would use the same size.) There are a good variety of on-line sellers of technical fabric, too.

  9. Hi! I know what you mean about the workout clothes. I have no fabric suggestions, but I have to say that JC Penney has frequent deep sales (like almost every day), and their Xertion (sp?) line wicks sweat away like nobody’s business. Most of my workout clothes are from that brand. As for Netflix recs, I recommend the Crunch Super Slim Down, which is Pilates + yoga – spirituality. It’s a butt-kicking workout.

    Finally, I love your sewing! I’ve been following your blog for a long time. You’re one of my fashion inspirations.

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