I didn’t intend to make a sort of suite, it just kind of happened, but I’m excited about the end result!
I’ve been wishing for more athleisure-y pieces — things that go from “Oh shit, the baby’s up at 4:30 and wants to start the day” to “Let’s go out in public and try not to look dead,” with all the requisite crawling, reaching, stretching, and bending that comes in between.
This little collection is just four pieces, and all of them were super-easy to sew up. First up, the leggings:
I made these using a Simplicity pattern (Simplicity 1280, which I bought for the top and sewed up here), and I’ve got to say, stick with the top on this one. The leggings come out super long and pretty baggy. Granted, I have chicken legs, so don’t take my word for it if you are buff or have curvy legs. But if you have a body type like mine, go for a different pattern, or you’ll end up recutting the whole thing, like I did.
I also added a yoga-style waistband that’s just folded over. I love this style of construction, because everything comes together so easily on the serger, with no casing or visible topstitching. I only used my regular machine for the hem of the pants — generic zig-zag since my busted machine can’t handle a twin needle stitch without repairs.
These have a definite “athletic wear” vibe since the fabric is pretty synthetic and has a bit of a sheen. The spandex knit is super light and comfy and feels great for warmer weather. I took a number of inches off the bottom, and am happy with these overall.
Next, I needed another top to match with the leggings, so I snagged some tissue-weight rayon jersey knit in navy. I used McCall’s 6435, which is one of my most-used patterns.
Tissue knits can be fussy to work with, so I wanted a clean finish on the neckline instead of a narrow hem where the stitching would be visible. I cut an extra piece for both front and back yokes (barely squeaked this out in a yard of fabric!) and fully lined the yoke portions. With the exception of the extra cutting (front and back pieces in this pattern are cut in a single layer, so the tissue knit is even more wriggly), this fix was as easy as it gets, and I’ll probably do the same thing if (when) I make this again.
Next up, the funnel-neck sweatshirt.
I made a prototype of this funnel-neck style previously and just tweaked it here. I edited out the thumbholes, shortened the bottom band and cuffs, widened the sleeves, and reshaped the kangaroo pocket.
Baby JuJu gives this garment a drooly thumbs-up, because she loves to chew the drawstrings at the neck. Seriously, the cording was JuJu’d the second it was off the cutting table at the store. I’m happy with all of the adjustments I made — it’s comfy without being clingy or baggy.
I was super stoked about this orange French terry when it arrived. I remember when everyone in the sewing blog world starting freaking out about French terry and I was like, “Um, I already know what this and am not impressed,” like the snotty piece of work that I am. But dudes. I was ignorant. I just didn’t realize. This French terry is not like your 10-year-old-but-still-wearing-it-because-reasons Gap sweatshirt. This fabric is so so so soft! It’s delicious! I finally understand all the aforementioned freaking out. That said, I’ve only worn this sweatshirt a few times and it’s already pilling a bit in places (all the tears and weeping!!), so I’m reserving my final judgement.
The shorts are also made from this French terry, and they were also super easy.
I used McCall’s 7610. I was hoping to squeeze out the longer length of pant, but alas, it was not to be despite my best fabric-Tetris efforts. (And probably for the best, because I would’ve looked like a walking Creamsicle if I wore these two together…) I added the curve to the sides of these shorts for a little more interest.
And let me tell you — these are short, dudes. I know inseams have gotten shorter since I was a wee lass of 20, but damn, these are some short-ass shorts. Not sure I can wear these comfortably outside, and I definitely cannot rough-and-tumble at the park in these.
That said, they’re perfect PJs and loungewear (my code word for pajamas that I don’t change out of in the morning).
There you have it! None of these pieces is really exciting on their own, but together, they’re a fun little set that lets me go from bed to playtime to pretending I work out.
Welcome to the closet, my Affable Athleisure Suite!