For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been practicing bikram yoga weekly. I’m a Hot Yoga kinda gal – I love the heat (seriously, I could nap in that damn room), and I love how it forces me to focus on breathing and not passing out (otherwise, I’m the kind of yogi who gets BORED AS SHIT about 10 minutes in). While I can only afford to go once a week to this place, it’s really done some amazing things for my mind and spirit – not to mention my flexibility (even at one practice a week!). But this post isn’t about yoga. This post is about my new yoga PANTS.
My Ooh La Yoga Pants, if you will ;)
One thing I’ve never liked about workout wear – yoga gear or otherwise – is anything that involves wearing a shirt. Not because I want to look ~sexy~ while I’m jogging or whatev, but because I just like a breeze on my stomach (I guess). That being said, I’m also in the same camp as a lot of women who don’t necessarily want to be blaring their navel when they go outside. I don’t know why I draw the line at the navel, but it is what it is (I so wish I had the confidence to rock something midriff-baring like my girl Lola. I mean, damn girl!). Things I also hate when I’m working out: long pants, anything baggy (I know it’s supposed to be breezier, but it really just gets in the way), sleeves. This here – cropped pants with a sports bra – is my ideal workout outfit, for my ideal workouts (yoga and running). Honestly, I’d probably be most comfortable in some teensy little shorts, BUT I’m pretty sure no one wants to see asscheek when I bend over, so I compromise with a little bit of leg coverage. Y’ALL ARE WELCOME.
Anyway, my favorite workout leggings pattern is the Ooh La Leggings pattern from Papercut Patterns. They fit quite nicely, with a high waist that covers my belly button (while still allowing some sports bra goodness!). There are interesting seam lines, which mean I have way more exciting pants than anyone else in my class. I’ve made soooo many pairs of these – in both full length and various stages of cropped – and they just rule. I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of girl who wears crazy leggings as normal out-and-about clothing, but all bets are off when it comes to exercise gear.
I have a few more pairs I’d like to show you, but let’s focus on this one specific pair first. This fabric came all the way from the UK, courtesy of Funki Fabrics. They reached out to me and asked if I’d like to try a piece of fabric, and I cheekily asked for two patterns (the second which you’ll be seeing in a future post!). So here’s the first one – galaxy-leggings!
Funki Fabrics specializes in stretch knits for performance wear – such as exercise gear, swimwear, dance costumes, etc. Think lots of polyester and LOTS of 4 way stretch. I know we all love to hate on poly (well, I love to hate on poly haha), but to be frank – poly is ideal for your sweat gear. It dries quickly and has a good recovery, which is essential if you don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a wet and droopy diaper. I’ve tried making workout gear with cotton and rayon, and polyester is for sure the way to go. The 4 way stretch is also extremely important – you need them to stretch both vertically and horizontally, or else your leggings might end up lower-waisted than you prefer (plus, they’re not very comfortable with just a 2 way stretch!).
If you’re anything like me and find the available options overwhelming (seriously – SO MANY OPTIONS), you might want to consider checking out their new sample sheet, which includes swatches of a bunch of different designs, all printed and ready to ship.
Anyway, the print quality on this stuff is GREAT. Very rich and bright colors that did not fade a bit in the wash (the verdict is still out on multiple washes, as I haven’t reached that point yet, but I will be sure to update if I notice a fade in the future). One thing to keep in mind when ordering (and cutting, for that matter!) is that the fabric is printed with a wide white border on all 4 sides, which reduces the printed width of the fabric. Also, as I mentioned with cutting – be careful that you don’t cut into the white border. I nearly had a disaster where one leg on the underside ended up being half white – whoops! Fortunately, I had enough leftovers to recut, but now my dreams of having a matching bra-and-leggings galaxy set have been shattered ;)
Like I said, this is a great pattern that doesn’t require much tweaking to yogi-fy them. I did shorten the legs for cropped pants (on this particular pair, I added a small cuff because… I dunno, I liked it?), but that’s about it. Oh yeah, I also changed the way the waistband is sewn. The instructions have you fold over and then thread the elastic through, which works, but then you have a hole to close up (not to mention, sometimes the elastic can twist, which sucks). Katie actually clued me in to an easier way to sew the elastic – you close the elastic into a circle first, then sew the elastic to the top of the pants on the wrong side (mark it into quarters and stretch to fit, as you would a knit band), then fold everything once to the inside and topstitch along the edge of the elastic. It’s much easier and you don’t get twisted elastic! For all my other pairs, I topstitched with a twin needle – but for this pair, I tried the zigzag. I like the way it looks :) Like underwear, ha!
Anyway, here are some action shots so you can see how comfy these dang leggings are:
This is the closest thing you’ll get to a yoga post. Sorry! Excuse my dirty foot.
This is less of an ‘action shot’ and more of me ‘falling out of an action shot’ haha.
Anyway, here are the rest of the leggings I made! Same pattern, fabric sourced from various whereabouts~
Up until I made the galaxy leggings, these were my favorites. They’re a great 4 way stretch poly, and they are sooo comfy (and I love the colors!). Fabric was sent to me from Juli.
These are ok – I love the pattern and they are fun to wear, but the cotton percentage and lack of a good 4 way stretch (there’s some stretch vertically, but not as much as there is horizontally) mean they’re not as comfy as the others. Check out that print-matching, though! Can you even SEE the center leg seams?! Neither can I :P Fabric is from The Fabric Studio here in Nashville!
These are my least favorite, mostly because they are boring black (and the fabric is sort of weird). I actually topstitched all the seams on these, if you can see it. Fabric is this black solid knit from Mood Fabrics. It’s… ok. Kind of thick (aka kind of hot!) and the cotton/rayon blend means they tend to bag out. They are also strangely shiny, which I sort of like.
That’s it! Love me some colorful yoga pants – especially when I MADE THEM MYSELF. I really want to try the Pneuma Tank next (either as a tank – which might solve my I-can’t-have-anything-touch-my-stomach-when-I-sweat problem, or just as a solo sport bra because THOSE STRAPS), but I acknowledge that I’ve also been saying that since it’s release and obviously haven’t gotten around to it yet. I also want to try some of the workout patterns made by Fehr Trade (and, ooh, just noticed that there’s a free pattern for an Armband Pocket! NICE!), but again, haven’t gotten around to it. So many things to make, so little time!
What about you? Do you ever sew your own workout gear? What sort of fabric do you prefer to sweat in? Do you yoga? What’s your favorite pose? Mine is Tree and Camel… ooh, and Eagle. Mostly because it’s called Eagle ;)
Disclaimer: The galaxy print was sent to me free from Funki Fabrics, in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!