Completed: Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

12 Jul

Since moving into my new apartment last month, I have been busy discovering all the cool stuff in my area (bonus that it’s all pretty walkable/bikeable, unlike at my last place in the middle of nowhere :P). One major selling point for me was that I am now super close – about 2 blocks, and again, walkable – to a really great greenway. The multi-use paths are nice and wide, mostly shaded by the trees, and there is a big creek that runs through it which means lots of cool bridges to cross! It’s a fantastic area for both cycling *and* running, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it.

While I have my fair share of workout wear, it quickly became clear to me that what I had was lacking pretty badly, at least for running. My preferred workout of choice has traditionally been hot yoga – where I tend to wear leggings or capris (you know, for the sake of whoever is unfortunate enough to practice right behind me hahaha) and they don’t need any pockets because you are standing in one place. I find those long pant lengths to be way too hot and restrictive for running, at least in the summer time. And I definitely need a pocket to hold my phone and keys, so I can listen to music and/or podcasts and keep my hands free! I noticed that Mood Fabrics has added a lot of performance/activewear fabric to their site, so this seemed like a good excuse to stock up and try them out.

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

I ended up making 3 pairs of shorts and a sports bra. The first pair uses Midnight Black Max Dri Performance jersey, although you can see here that they are much closer to a darker grey. I love these mottled jerseys and bought them in several colors!

Also – hello from my new studio! I’m still trying to get the hang of taking photos indoors (not cool enough to lug a tripod down the greenway and take action shorts, sorry guys), so I’m sorry that these are subpar.

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

The pattern I used is the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings – although, obviously, I made some changes to the pattern to turn them into little running shorts! This was as simple as drawing a line where I wanted the new hemline to be, making sure to include a 3/4″ seam allowance for hemming. I started out with a 4.5″ inseam, based on a pair of shorts I already had, but ended up taking another inch off before hemming. I like my shorts short enough for some buttcheek to peek out. Ain’t no shame in that.

I made this pattern before earlier this year, for a couple of full-length yoga pants (which I never posted about, ha). It’s pretty great in terms of fit. I sewed my usual Sewaholic size – a 0 – and even though the line is geared toward pear shapes, my un-pear-shaped ass fits in it just fine. The pattern has some cool seaming on the legs (which is awesome for color and pattern blocking), a nice snug waistband that stays in place, and a back zippered back pocket that is actually big enough to hold my iPhone 6 – check it out!

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

Now I can run to my heart’s content and know that my phone is safe and secure without worrying that it’s going to bounce out. This pocket is also big enough to hold my key and cash, should I need it (laugh all you want, but the greenway in question actually connects to a Target, soo… I’m just saying.).

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

The second pair of shorts is pretty much the same as the first pair, except I used the Husky Grey colorway instead. You can barely see the zipper in this picture – it’s pale blue (that was the closest match I had on hand in my stash).

As with the first pair, I used a combination of my serger + sewing machine to construct these. The zipper area gets stabilized with a piece of fusible stay tape (to keep the fabric from going haywire while you’re putting the zipper in), so it’s really easy to sew in. The waistband has clear elastic sewn inside the seam allowances at the top to keep things snug and in place. The only part I did not enjoy sewing was the gusset – that thing is super tricky! I found the only way to get it in even somewhat nicely was to baste with my sewing machine first (because you are gonna end up ripping it out multiple times, so you might as well make it easy on yourself) and then go over the basting with my serger. I am still not a huge fan of the gusset – it kind of gives me cameltoe, if we’re being completely honest here (aaand now that I’ve said THAT word, I’m gonna get some weirdos in here via Google search, lord). I just ignore it and figure – if someone is staring there hard enough to judge the ‘toe, I’ve got a much bigger problem on hand hahahah.

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts

Last pair of shorts! These are a boring, basic black. The fabric is one that I have had in my stash for a couple of years – it’s a another dry-wicking activewear fabric, although I think it’s actually from Nike. My girl Lola sent me a yard of it way back in the day, so I’m not sure where it was purchased from. What I can tell you is that I put it in a really weird stash place and couldn’t find it for those 2 years, whoops. Imagine my delight when I unearthed it while packing for this recent move! Yay! In comparison to the stuff from Mood, this fabric is a lot thicker and more robust. It wears and dries about the same, but the heavier weight does make it feel like it’s a higher quality. It was a little more difficult to sew because it is more slippery, but not too bad. Even with adding a zipper and dealing with a tricky fabric, these shorts don’t take a lot of time – or fabric! – to make. And they are SO MUCH cheaper than buying some shitty Lululemon or whatever.

(In case you were curious, the yellow/grey sports bra is not a handmade – it’s RTW. I like the color combo though and would like to try something similar! Also, I have no idea what happened to the lighting in those photos! Took them at the same time as the others, wtf)

Sewaholic Dunbar Sports Bra

Finally, the sports bra! I’ll be honest – I am 100% a-ok with the stash of RTW sports bras in my drawer. I have a fairly small bust, don’t need a lot of support, and fit well within the size ranges that are available at the store. I tend to buy them on clearance, so they rarely cost me more than $15 a pop. I wasn’t totally interested in making a sports bra because what I already have works, but the Dunbar top pattern (also from Sewaholic) caught my attention enough where I figured I’d try it. I like the details and fabric combinations, and being able to use one of the cool printed Activewear fabrics that Mood Fabrics carries (or even just making a bra to match my shorts because I am SO that person) was a plus. So I tried it out, and I’m a fan! I spent a really long time debating what size to sew – and even traced the pattern just in case I chose the wrong one – but ultimately, went with my usual size 0 and the fit is pretty good. I ended up taking in the band elastic a LOT more than what the pattern calls for, but I have a small ribcage so that’s not surprising (I think the pattern calls for 26″ of elastic at the band, and my ribcage measures 27″. I needed more negative ease than that!). For the record, my full bust measures closer to the size 4, but the 0 was just the right amount negative ease for me.

I used – again! – the Max-Dri Performance Jersey, this time in Midnight Blue – for the main color of my top. For the dark blue contrast, I used navy nylon spandex. The top gets its support by compression – which is achieved with an underlayer of Powermesh . I can’t speak for every boob out there, but my experience with the support in this bra was great. Again, I ain’t rocking a huge cup size here and I don’t need much support to begin with, so take that as you will ๐Ÿ™‚

Sewaholic Dunbar Sports Bra

Sewaholic Dunbar Sports Bra

Sewaholic Dunbar Sports Bra

Anyway, the sports bra was a bit fiddly with all the little pieces – but it was overall easy to make. I used my sewing machine for the majority of the construction and elastic application, just as you would with a regular bra. I think it turned out quite nice! I think the ability to have really cool patterned/colored sports bras (especially using some of my leftover swimwear spandex, which I am totally eyeballing now) negates the downside of how fiddly it was to sew. It wasn’t even difficult to make, just time consuming with a lot of tiny pieces. Sort of like, I dunno, a bra. lolz.

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts

I’m feeling pretty good about these new additions to my drawers! I didn’t realize how much more fun it is to exercise when your clothes are fun too – even if you’re going to get all sweaty, it’s nice to feel like you look nice while you’re doing it. And speaking of sweaty – these performance fabrics have definitely lived up to their “Max-Dri” hype. I still sweat – a lot! – but they dry very quickly, which is awesome.

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra

I am pretty sure one of the things I said I would never make is activewear – so, I guess I take that back! Honestly, though, I’m running (lol) out of practical holes to fill in my closet, at least in terms of fun practical. Now I’m down to sewing things activewear, white tshirts, and panties. I really love the experience behind sewing and creating, but I don’t want to be wasteful and make things just to make them, you know? So this feels like a good compromise, even if it’s not a necessarily interesting end result.

Note: The fabrics used for some of these projects were supplied by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. I should also point out that Tasia of Sewaholic sent me all the patterns in the Vancouver collection – which includes the Dunbar Top and Pacific Leggings – free of charge last year when the line launched. There was no stipulation that I needed to review the patterns, Tasia is just a nice person ๐Ÿ™‚ And I have nice things to say about her patterns because they are fucking awesome. That is all.

41 Responses to “Completed: Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra”

  1. Michelle July 12, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    I love how you converted the leggings to shorts. For as many hours each week as I spend in the gym and/or running, I should really dip my toes into the waters of active wear sewing. Some day, when I have a completely functional closet of everyday/ every occasion clothes, maybe. It’s at least good to know that Mood and other stores are starting to carry more performance fabrics. Because, while I wear my fair share of running tights to Target, I need those babies to really WORK. I can’t be bothered to stop and pull my pants up after every bench hop or in between squats, ya know?

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

      Oh yeah, ill-fitting exercise clothes are the WORST. Working out is bad enough without having to mess with your clothes every few minutes!

  2. Sandra P. July 12, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    Great shorts and sports bra, but, curious about the lights over your ironing board??

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

      They’re from Ikea! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have a whole post about my studio and everything in it, once I get around to photographing it ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Stefanie July 12, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    So, I absolutely adore you and your creations – these are great as well! But… OMG you got (made?) a new ironing board cover!!! About time ๐Ÿ˜›

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

      RIGHT?! Finally! It took me WAY too long to find a fabric that I liked enough, but I’m really happy with this one! And yep, I made it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 12, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Ooooh, me likey! A lot! I’ve made the Dunbar top and although I love it, could do with a few tweaks for a better full bust fit. I haven’t made the leggings…I’ve been tracing off of RTW with my leggings todate…but seeing your short shorts makes me want to give them a go. I’m in Vancouver, so I wanna represent, LOL.

    I disagree…this is an interesting post/sew to me! Thanks for sharing! And funny, or maybe not, I’ve got white tees and underwear next on my list too.

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

      I really like the way the leggings fit! I have other yoga pants – both RTW and that I made myself (using the Papercut Ooh La Leggings pattern and the Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings pattern) and I really like where these hit at the waist and how the legs fit. They are very fitted without being too tight. And the style lines are pretty cool. You gotta represent! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Anonymous July 12, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Please be sure to carry some form of ID and emergency contact info in that “handy” pocket. Our phones are not always a big help…locked, etc. Good job!

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

      I usually do at least carry ID, but you make a good point ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Catherine July 12, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Never mind the running kit .. I LOVE the pin board with swatch and pattern ideas ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Yes! It’s super handy for planning projects ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Becca July 12, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Great assortment of activewear. It’s good to know that the pocket on the pacific leggings pattern is so roomy. I agree, it’s always more fun to exercise while wearing cute clothes! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, can’t blame you for taking photos inside. The weather is gross here right now.

    • Wahzoo July 12, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

      I’ve been eyeballing these patterns for awhile. Was the size you selected true to your actual measurements?

      • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

        Not necessarily, but I always size down with Sewaholic patterns because I like my stuff really fitted. I always sew a 0 with this pattern line, so that part was accurate. If it helps, my full bust is 32″, waist is 25.5″ and hip is 34″. If you look at the body measurements for the size 0, I’m a bit off (bigger bust and waist, smaller hip) but these fit me perfectly.

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      I actually looooove the weather here right now, but I’m a weirdo who enjoys the humidity! It’s like a warm blanket, ahh ๐Ÿ˜‰ HAHAHAHA

  8. Karla July 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Did you do anything special on the hem of the shorts to keep them from riding up? I have a pair of RTW shorts like that, but they ride up like nobody’s business so I hardly ever wear them. I need to figure out some sort of alteration (maybe some type of little silicone grippers on hems or something?) to keep them from moving around so much.

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      Nothing special, I just turned the hem allowance 3/4″ and sewed it with a zigzag. These don’t ride up, but they are pretty fitted so maybe that’s why? I imagine using rubber elastic or some kind of silicone might help too if you had that issue, but I also can’t imagine that would be very comfortable! It’s also possible that mine are *so* short that they just don’t have any room to ride up ๐Ÿ˜›

      • Karla August 31, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        Just in case anyone else finds this helpful, I ended up buying some gripper elastic ( and sewing it into the hems of the shorts by using a narrow zig-zag on both the top and bottom of the elastic. It’s not the nicest looking thing I’ve ever done, but they’re black shorts that I wear under tennis skirts, so it’s not really visible to anyone other than me.

        No more riding up, and they’re not uncomfortable to wear, either!

  9. Renae July 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    I’m curious if the waistband is strong enough to support the weight of your phone? When you run and bounce, does the phone stay snug or does it start to pull the waist of your shorts down? I might have to try to the pattern out! Thanks for a great review!

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

      I have worn these a few times with my phone in the back pocket and I have not had any problems with the weight of the phone pulling the waistband down. I actually wondered about that with my first pair, but like I said, it’s not an issue! I think the elastic inside the waist seam is the key to keeping it in place. It’s a little more snug than the actual waistband, so it holds things in place.

  10. Aubrey July 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

    I love these makes! It seems like your new space has given you new inspiration to sew, as you’re adjusting to your new ‘hood and commute.

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

      Yeah man! I feel like I am on FIRE these days! In a good way, ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Lynsey July 13, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    I love your running makes, although the thought of running brings me out in a sweat ๐Ÿ˜‚ No chance I will be copying these but still enjoy reading about them. Your bod is amazing too (maybe I should run!) glad it’s all good where you’ve moved, sounds lovely there

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2016 at 7:22 am #

      Haha thank you! Although I will say, I think my body looks like this more so because of my diet, and less from exercise. I don’t exercise very often (and generally only do because I know it’ll make me feel and sleep better!).

      • Leanne July 13, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

        Please tell us more, I need to know how to get abs like that. I’ve had zero success in getting any kind of muscle definition but I always thought it was because I was pear/hourglass shaped.

        • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 9:10 am #

          I just eat a really high fat/moderate protein diet with a lot of vegetables and a good amount of fruit. I don’t eat wheat and I eat very limited grains (they tend to upset my stomach), rarely eat dairy, and I try to limit my sugar. I also don’t eat anything that comes out of a package – I cook everything at home, including breakfast every morning – and don’t eat fast food. And I drink Bulletproof Coffee (google that if you don’t know what it is!) I followed the Whole 30 at the beginning of this year because I was having a lot of digestive issues that needed to be dealt with, and this particular combination has worked really well for me. Writing down a big list of all the stuff I *don’t* eat sounds really overwhelming and sad – I loved shit like pasta and bread and was reluctant to give it up, but I’ve found I don’t miss it at all and am much happier with how I feel ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially since it keeps my blood sugar stable so I’m not hungry every couple of hours!

          ALL THAT BEING SAID, I’m not a nutrition expert sooo I definitely advise doing your own research and talking to your doctor before doing any sort of diet changes, etc etc etc ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Noelle July 13, 2016 at 5:13 am #

    Very cool!
    I think that the gusset in the Pacific Leggings makes the wearer look like they have a weird fabric vagina. I just don’t like it. But I just can’t figure out how to make it look less vagina-like.

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      Yeah, I think it’s just the gusset in general – I’ve always had that experience with anything gusseted right there (Pacific Leggins or RTW). It’s supposed to give you better range of motion for yoga, but I just think it looks weird. In the meantime, I pray that no one is really staring that hard at my vagina hahaha

  13. Gen July 14, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Your review came JUST in the knick of time! My pacific and Dunbar patterns are due to arrive tomorrow, AND I was looking at Mood’s selection of activewear fabrics! I was definitely “that” basic fit chick who nearly lived in Lululemon, but the patterns were just too good to pass up. In your opinion, are the Mood fabrics sheer when stretched? I do mostly weight training and the last thing I want is a see-through booty during squats. lol

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 10:34 am #

      I don’t think they are sheer at all! there’s quite a bit of negative ease in the shorts, and I tend to wear really bright/patterned underwear, soo…. yeah, you can’t see through those suckers hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. JamieLMac July 15, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Nice abs chica! I do prefer handmade active bottoms but I’ve never tried tops. I’m assuming the construction would be a lot simpler than an everyday bra. I might have to give it a go!

    • LLADYBIRD July 16, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      It’s definitely a lot more simple! There are still some bra-like elements to it (like the elastic application), but both construction and fit are much more streamlined and simple for this sort of bra ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Ashley July 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm #

    Can you comment on the durability of these Max-Dri fabrics now that they’ve been (presumably) in use for a while? Have you noticed any loss in stretch/recovery, or any pilling in high-friction areas (inseams, underarms)?

    • LLADYBIRD July 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

      I have not had any issues with loss of recovery or pilling, and have been wearing these garments 2-3 times a week during the past 2 summers.

      • Ashley July 6, 2018 at 8:46 am #

        Thanks for the reply!


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