This weeks Crafty Bloggers' Club post is from Cynthia. You can find more of her makes on Instagram @cynthiakrafts
Oh what a year 2020 was! One good thing that came out of it for me is I become more active! ' Since the first time we 'stayed at home' I’ve been taking lovely long walks and I’ve started outdoor running. These activities have been really good for my well-being and mental health, and having the opportunity to spend more time sewing - and getting projects finished - has also been awesome :)
In my two years of sewing, I have only worked with stretch fabric once - I made a simple T-shirt. I always like a challenge so when Kim asked me if I would be interested in making activewear with stretch for a blog post I thought ‘why not? It gives me a chance to make some running bottoms that actually fit well’. This is the third My Handmade Wardrobe pattern I’ve used. The instructions come with diagrams which make it easy to follow and the text has been written so that if you are a beginner you are able to follow and complete the project.
Crafty Sew&So have a good range of active wear fabrics, and I picked the blue sprigs design as I like bold colours and blue is one of my favourite colours. The fabric has a good weight to it which made it easier to work with. Cutting out stretch material is always tricky as the fabric shifts a bit and I found it best to use a rotary cutter as this made it easier to cut accurate lines. I found sewing the garment up was actually easier than I expected, as the fabric didn’t slide around too much - phew! I used plenty of pins, and this worked pretty well.
I used a ‘stretch needle’ in my sewing machine - as recommended for the fabric - and I didn’t make any adjustments to my machine tension (but I think I will do next time, as the thread snapped a few times!) I used the stretch stitch to construct the garment (the one shaped like lightening) to get experience of using this type of stitching on stretch fabric, and I used my overlocker to finish off the edges of the fabric. I always like to finish off the raw edges on the overlocker to give a nice finish and I also thought if my stretch stitch failed, the overlocked edge would still hold the fabric together. Next time I make a pair of these leggings I will just use the overlocker as it will be quicker to finish the project, and it will still give a nice finish. Without an overlocker you can use the zig zag stitch but this might take a while - an overlocker is quicker as long as you have the tensions right - but in fact as the fabric did not fray you could get away without finishing the edges at all!
‘Lesson learnt; always do a toile to check fitting’. I jumped straight into this project and after sewing the leg pieces together I realized the leggings hung a bit lower on my hips than I like. I resolved this problem by adding an extra piece to make up the allowance. Now it looks like it’s meant to be like that - but it’s my secret (until now). After this adjustment the waistband comes up just under my waistline which is what I prefer. Next time I make these leggings I will also make the waistband a bit wider to sit on my waist as I find this gives more comfort when I’m running.
Once I had made the leggings I managed to squeeze a sports bra (making up my own pattern) out of the fabric I had left. I took my new outfit for a test run and loved how well fitted and comfortable it is. I will definitely be making more of these - and I will be making the Action Pack Top next.
“Crafty Bloggers' Club Contributors are given products and materials to test from Crafty Sew&So. We hope you enjoy their honest and impartial reviews of the products. All opinions are their own.”