Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February Challenge - Workout Gear SMT (GR) *UPDATED*

Hello everyone, 

This is a special blog post on a challenge I'm hosting for the Alethia's "Sew Much Talent (GR)" group on Facebook.  The challenge runs the month of February and I'm really excited, especially since I've never sewn any workout gear before! So to help others who are joining the challenge, I'm going to devote this blog post to the Workout Gear challenge.

First, the Patterns.  There are so many on the market to choose, from you could easily become overwhelmed!  If this is your first time making workout gear, I would suggest selecting a very easy pattern.  Depending on what you want to make, below are a few options out there.

  
McCalls 7261 On Sale @ JoAnn Fabrics 2/2/16 for $1.99
(Rated "Highly recommend" on PatternReview.com)

   
McCalls 7514 On Sale @ JoAnn Fabrics 2/2/16 for $1.99
 

  
Butterick 6295


  
Kwik Sew 3660


   

Jalie 2796 Rated "Highly Recommended" on PatternReview.com


 
Jalie 2444 Rated "Highly Recommended" on PatternReview.com


Jalie 2795 Rated "Highly Recommend" & "Great Wardrobe Builder" on PatternReview.com 

Second, the Fabrics.  There are many types of knit fabrics you can use to create workout gear and there is one thing they all have in common...stretch!  However, they are all not created specifically for workout gear.  So if you truly plan on using your garment to workout in, there are a few things to keep in mind.  Technical, also known as "High Performance" fabrics are most used in the making of workout gear.  Stay away from knits like cotton which can hold 25 times it's weight in water and takes a long time to dry.  Not something I would want to workout in!  Technical or High Performance fabrics are "wicking" fabrics that helps your body stay cooler by keeping moisture on the surface.  Here's a definition of Wicking fabrics...

Wicking fabrics are modern technical fabrics which draw moisture away from the body. They are made of high-tech polyester, which, unlike cotton, absorbs very little water.

Below are links to a few online fabric stores that carry a variety of High Performance or Wicking fabrics:

SpandexByYard.com (one of my favs; little pricey)


Fabric.com (inexpensive)

Michael Levine, Inc. (one of my favs; little pricey)

Mood Fabrics (pricey)




*Updated 2-3-16* So Sew English Fabrics


Amazon (don't forget about them!)

Also, check your local JoAnn's for High Performance fabrics...they have it too!

Third, Needles and Thread.  When working with knit fabrics, always use a "ball point", "stretch" or "jersey" needle (that includes "Twin" needles for hemming!).  Size depends on the weight of your fabric.  I typically use #10, #11 or #12.  I've used "universal" ballpoint needles before...however, you get the best performance with the ones shown below.

 

   Threads...if you don't want to expose yourself with a "popped" seam, LOL! stay away from 100% cotton thread!  Polyester thread provides the best stretch for sewing knits.  However, you can use cotton wrapped polyester too (like Coats & Clarks Dual Duty)...it provides both strength and stretch.

  
 
Fourth, Machines and Sewing Feet (the machine's feet, not yours, LOL!).  Both Sergers and Sewing Machines can be used when sewing Workout Gear (I do use both!)  The Serger is easy and basically needs no explanation because the stitches automatically have the stretch needed for knit seams.  Sewing machines can also be used...but to be successful in sewing your workout gear, you need to follow a few suggestions.

If your machine has a Stretch stitch, use it!  If not, try a Zizag stitch...on light to medium weight knits, try using a stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 5. This setting closely mimics the look and function of an overlock stitch. When sewing, remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of every seam to secure, then trim seams.  Also, support your knit fabric while sewing, never force fabric by pulling from behind or forward to prevent stretching.

The three most popular styles of Sewing Machine Pressure Feet to use for sewing your workout gear are...

- Knit Foot (I need to get one!).  This knit foot has holding teeth that holds the fabric at just the right moment as the needle is going down through the fabric. The foot is designed to work with your machine's needle bar. As the needle bar goes up, it lifts the lever on the knit foot which pulls up the holding teeth and allows your machine's feeding system to advance the fabric forward for the next stitch.  Price approximately $6 - $14.

 
- Plastic Zizag Foot (what I use now when I use my sewing machine).  Most machines come with one and can be all plastic or an "all purpose" one that has metal on the bottom of the foot.  The "all" plastic is recommended.  Price approximately $10
  
- Walking Foot.  Attaching this foot to your machine is not as quick and easy as the others above...using it also helps move knit fabrics evenly through your machine (like the Knit Foot) so they don't stretch out of shape.  However, it can be cumbersome when sewing curves or turning corners, you may not obtain consistent stitches. (But perfect for straight seams!) There are many brands and styles that can run you from $15 - $130.
  

Lastly, Sewing With Knits Tutorials. I love working with knits (my preferred fabric!).  However, this is my first time creating Workout gear...So I've done a bit a research over the last couple of days to prepare myself and wanted to share my findings with you all!  Below are some of the sewing tutorials I found helpful and hope you do too!










That's it for my little research!  I hope this will be as informative for others as it has been for me compiling it!  I'm not done with my research, there's SO MUCH out there...I will continue because I am truly "hyped" about creating my very own workout gear!

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time...

Happy Sewing!




22 comments:

  1. I tried making an exercise top once a few years ago. It was a pretty serious fail, but I think that had more to do with my fabric, which was supposed to be awesome but was definitely not. It might be time to try again, especially now that I have my serger and coverstitch. :-)

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    1. Yes Jenny you should join me this month in sewing your own workout gear! It couldn't hurt to make just one piece could it? I hope you consider it and I will be watching your blog!

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  2. Myra - thanks so much for sharing these patterns. I am definitely looking for something easy. I will participate this month. I have to catch that sewing blab too. Nateida

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    1. You're very welcome Nateida! I think it's going to be a lot of fun!

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  3. Very detailed, there is no way anyone is going into this challenge uninformed! Great info!I'm making some work-out gear for the Patternreview challenge but I'm going to join you ladies!

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    1. Thank you Miss Michelle! We would love to have you join us and share some of your wisdom too! I am so looking forward to this and very excited!

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  4. Very informative post. Thanks.

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    1. You're very welcome Ms. Sheila!

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  5. Very nice and thanks for the sites to add to my stash!

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    1. Thank you Ms. Ila! And you're very welcome!

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  6. Very informative. Thanks so much for the info and leading this months challenge.

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  7. Thanks Janna! And you're very welcome!

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  8. I have M7261 and have been wanting to make it for a while. This is such great information. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're very welcome and I am so happy you found it informative!

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  9. Hey Myra! Thank you so much! Today, I watched your inverview on Sewing Blab and both periscope videos. You have truly given us lots of great information and I'm excited to get started on my workout gear. First I have two even pieces to make. I have several workout patterns already, two that you've listed here (M7261 & B6295). I LOVE Michael Levine Fabrics too. I'll check out some of the tutorials you've listed also. Can't wait to see your finished workout gear.

    May I also say that you are so very beautiful! You have such a calm demeanor that is so appealing. Thank you for all the research that you're doing. I'm so excited about this challenge.

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    1. Thank you so very much for the kind words Ms. Anita! I take that as the highest form of compliment coming from someone as beautiful and talented as you! It truly makes me happy that others are finding this information beneficial! I can't wait to see your creations (as well as others) in the challenge! Good luck with your project!

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  10. You have done an excellent job compiling all the important info! I have never heard of the knit foot before, that sounds like an awesome tool if it does what it promises to do!

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    1. Thank you Johanna! I hope the "knit foot" does what it promises to do as well because I plan on purchasing one!

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It truly makes me happy to hear from you....