I don’t keep up with social media quite as much as I used to (trying to spend a little more time staying grounded in the present, these days), but I was really looking forward to BraAugust this year as a time to learn some new skills, and motivate myself to sew a few new bras in the process. If you’re unfamiliar, the #braAugust hashtag on Instagram (and, to some extent Facebook) is an annual event that motivates people to sew up bras of all kinds during the month of August. I missed it last year, because I was knee deep in sewalongs and homeschool prep, but this year, I plan to take part, and today is my first post along those lines!
To get started, I decided to take it easy on myself, and sew up a couple new Greenstyle Power Bras. As far as bra sewing, I’ve now got three patterns under my (garter) belt: the Jalie Julia, the Jalie Pika, and the Power Bra. The Power Bra is by far the most frequently made of the three (check out the sewalong HERE), and since I really noticed my lack of handmade sports bra separates on the trip, I decided it was a natural choice for my first BraAugust makes.
All this hubris, of course, meant I had to fail miserably- just because you’ve done a sewalong and made a pattern 8 different times doesn’t mean you can’t/won’t screw it up! I managed, somehow, to sew it all closed (complete with clear elastic zig zagged on in a seperate pass) before realizing I couldn’t turn it right sides out- I can’t even fully explain to you how this was possible, but it involved a very lengthy date with my seam ripper (and a length search for said seam ripper, before I could get started) to sort things out.
I’m going to blame this little mistake on the feng shui of my sewing room right now- it looks like the Tasmanian Devil had an epic tantrum in there, because I was so excited to get back to sewing after our trip that I pretty much dumped everything on the floor, cleared a little room for my feet, and started in on my machines. I really, really need to take time to sort things out, but making new pretties is so much more fun. Anyone else have a disaster of a sewing space? How do you motivate yourself to clean it?
Finally, I was able to fix my mistake, and ended up two beautiful new Power Bras….and a pair of leggings to go with each (because why not?). The fabric is the “Yoga Flex” from Greenstyle’s new line, and it’s just gorgeous. The base of both of these reminds me of my favorite “yoga” or “Athletic/Swim Spandex” fabric offered by other retailers, and I’m over the moon that Greenstyle is now bringing their sophisticated design aesthetic to fabrics.
If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out- the smooth texture feels amazing on, is totally opaque (even in the light sand camo print), and wicks sweat really well on hot days, or during that gym sweat session. I’m straight up addicted to it, and am thrilled that Greenstyle has begun to print on this base. No one knows athletic fabrics like Angelyn- as a gym instructor and fitness guru (in addition to being an engineer and pattern designer!) she’s uniquely qualified to road test a variety of fabrics, and the selection they have now in the shop is the result of that expertise. I was fortunate enough to get a few more cuts of fabric that I’ll be showing in coming posts, and I’ll be sure to compare them for you as I go.
Greenstyle also sells athletic meshes and tech-sheen lining fabrics for use as linings or accents with their athletic patterns, but I happened to have this matching coral mesh in my stash (from an old So Sew English bundle), and I couldn’t resist putting it together with the Blue Grey Abstract Yoga Flex.
This is the full racerback (no keyhole) version of the Power Bra. This view probably gets the least attention, but is the most comfortable to me- no fiddling with the little straps to make sure they don’t get twisted, just a great fit and a perfect amount of support. I lined the bra in the mesh as well as using it for the side accents, but if you want a little more high impact protection, try out Greenstyle’s tech sheen fabric.
I used the Super G’s for my matching pair of leggings, accenting them with reverse cover stitching in hot pink (catch the SewAlong videos here, with a tutorial on how to do this type of stitching). I included only one side pocked on these, choosing to use the mesh again as an accent. This is a tiny bit of a “hack”, but really just involves cutting one no side seam leg piece (included in the pattern) and pairing it with a mirror image front, back, upper and lower pocket piece for the other leg. Just be sure you cut these as mirror images, so you don’t end up with two right or two left legs (voice of experience here, sadly).
For my other Power Bra, I went back to the strappy version- I have a great tan from our summer adventures (despite using plenty of sunscreen- we were just outdoors alot!), and I knew the white straps and light sand camo print would be a great contrast.
The silicone backed strapping is from the Fabric Fairy, and makes a great timesaver over turning those little tubes of fabric. The silicone also means that the straps stay in place really well during workouts, and feel more supportive.
This bra also features the “full front hack” that I shared on my blog a while back (check out the tutorial here).
It makes a pretty fast pattern go even faster, and I often use this hack for the lining, even on the bras that have a pieced front, so it lays flatter and has fewer seams to cause chafing as I run.
I can’t tell you how much I adore this set- I’ve been looking for a muted camo print for ages, and the Greenstyle team really hit the nail on the head with this one.
I’m sure I just saved myself about $200 over what I would have spent in Lululemon or Athleta- and got a much better fit to boot!
Well, that’s my #braAugust off to a great start! I’ve got a couple more bra patterns on my docket I’m hoping to share with you soon…but I’m still open to suggestions. What bra patterns (that go down to an A cup- don’t get me started on inclusive bra sizing) would you like to see me review this month? Are you participating in BraAugust? If so, what are your favorites?