When I'm not sewing, I love to work out. Here's where you can find all the sportswear I've made, including running leggings, yoga tops and sports bras.

Floral Mighty Sports Bra – Evie la Luve

Pretty and Practical

This is the first of a series of posts I'm going to be sharing on the subject of bra making. I've only ever made one bralette and it was a disaster! So these posts will probably be filled with fitting issues, sewing mistakes and links to any tutorials I find as I work my way through a list of bra patterns, starting with sports bras and bralettes and moving on to underwired bras and bikinis. My hope is that they will be useful to anyone else who is thinking of venturing into bra making.

To prevent myself from abandoning projects when they start to go wrong, I'm going to publish a post when I start each bra and update it weekly with my progress. Hopefully this will also remind me to take more progress pictures and notes along the way.

First up is a sports bra...

The Pattern

The first pattern on the list is the Mighty Sports Bra by Evie la Luve. It's available in sizes 2XS-3XL (30-45″ chest measurement). This is a relatively small size range so if you're looking for a similar pattern for a larger chest measurement, I recommend the Simplicity 8339 (or the Simplicity 8560 if you're looking for something more supportive). This pattern is available in sizes 30A-44G and back view A looks very similar to the version I'm making in this post.

My chest measurement is 35″ which makes me a size S for this pattern but I cut out a size M instead because I need to be able to get it over my shoulders to put it on. I bought enough fabric to make a couple of toiles so I can experiment with the fit.

Fabric and Notions

The pattern recommends fabrics with 20-30% stretch such as spandex or scuba. I'm using this floral polyester lycra fabric (flex) from funkifabrics, a plain black scuba from my stash (this is available from most fabric shops) and some black powermesh for the back.

Indigo and black fabric swatches with pink flowers

If you're not sure what the stretch percentage of your fabric is, cut out a 10 cm

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Abstract Scuba Manila Leggings – Seamwork

Sew out of this World

When I bought this fabric from Sew Me Sunshine I had planned to turn it into yoga leggings but, being a lightweight scuba, it doesn’t quite have the stretch percentage that leggings patterns usually require. When I tested it against the stretch gauge of a few patterns, it did reach the minimum stretch marker but the print was distorted and the fabric became see-through – not what you want when you’re doing the downward-facing dog.

Side view of navy, pink and purple abstract print leggings

With my mind still set on making leggings, I decided to try sizing up, reducing the amount of negative ease to make up for the difference in stretch percentage. Expecting my first attempt to be a disaster, I ordered some extra fabric – this time from Sewloco. Lucy left a note with my order mentioning the Sew out of this World challenge so I thought I’d take part with my leggings.

Image of Sew out of this World text on a starry background with a drawing of a rocket Image of Sew out of this World text on a starry background with a drawing of a rocket

This project was perfect for mission one – To Infinity and Beyond! (sewing out of your comfort zone) – as whenever I've made an alteration in the past (other than my usual small bust adjustment and shortening of the bodice) it's always ended in disappointment so I often try to avoid patterns that require lots of adjustments. I've wanted to make trousers for a long time so leggings are a good first step since knit fabric stretches to the shape of the body so it doesn't require as many fitting adjustments.

I had some Seamwork credits left over so I decided to use the Manila leggings pattern. It's designed for double knit and ponte fabrics so it has a smaller amount of negative ease than other leggings patterns. It also includes an interesting petal cuff detail and a thin waistband which looks better on my body shape than the wide band of the Shelly leggings.

Fabric pieces and rose gold scissors

Because of the stretch content of the fabric, I chose my size based on the finished garment measurements – a size L which gave me 1” of negative ease. I have large calf muscles so I compared my measurement to the pattern pieces and found there

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