Do you have some favorite sewing traditions? I’ll admit, I’m not very good at participating in holiday traditions (I’ve even been called a “grinch” on occasion), but I love sewing ones- especially those that involve sewing activewear (so quick! so satisfying!)
The Greenstyle FitCapsule challenge is one those annual sewing events that I look forward to every year. (Curious about last year’s post? Find it here)
In fact, my blog’s been more silent than usual, because apart from a small break I took to attend the SewExpo event in Seattle, I’ve been feverishly sewing activewear all month. I know it probably seems like I have a new pair of leggings every week, but the truth is, I actually don’t have enough pairs in my closet, and far, far too much fabric in my stash that needs to be sewn up! Everyone seems to be Mari-Kondo-ing their fabric stash lately- better sewn than donated, right?
In fact, my capsule has grown to rather epic proportions, because every time I finished a set of two or three items, I’d find a new fabric in my stash (or online…I’ll admit to ordering a few pieces as well- cough cough) that just *had* to be freed from their flat, lifeless state on the shelf. I honestly wasn’t even sure whether it would all coordinate in the end (see my post on planning- or not- here), but as luck would have it, I ended up with two very distinct capsules, each centered around a color theme.
I’m sharing the first of those two today- an earth toned themed capsule, featuring muted mauves, pinks, purples, greens and blues. If you remember my capsule from last year, which was all neons and high contrast colors, this was a bit of a departure from my normal style, but I love how it came together, and I think I’ll get plenty of wear out of these items.
I was inspired by the colors I’ve been seeing in my favorite stores like Athleta and Lululemon (ok, I never venture into the actual stores, but they send me about a million emails a week trying to entice me to buy something online- which of course, only results in me buying more fabric, because my leggings fit better than theirs).
I’ve divided my capsule into three categories: Layers, Bottoms and Tops. All told, I made 8 items for this capsule- 2 layers, four leggings, and two tanks. Most can be mixed and matched together, for maximum versatility and minimum of thought when I roll out of bed for my workout (or just to run errands). Less time spent getting dressed = more sleep!!!
Layers X 2
I used the Greenstyle Studio to Street Top (with the hood add-on) for both my layers- I love the dolman sleeve, the split hem band, and the loose boxy fit.
(bonus: these colors totally match my new Apple Watch! How did I ever live without it?)
I chose to do a reverse coverstitch on my machine to highlight the seams and bring out some of the colors in my pieces. Those sleeve seams were a little tricky, but next time I’ll change the order of construction so I add the sleeves on flat, before sewing the sleeve and side seams, to make it a bit easeier. Still, with a little elbow grease (and a few choice words after I had to unpick it!) I got it done!
Pro-Tip: I didn’t have enough spools of ice-blue thread to use for the floral hoodie, so I wound bobbins using the serger thread, and used those in my coverstitch. This is a great way to save money- bobbins cost so much less than those expesnive spoools of maxi lock!
Both fabrics are french terries from So Sew English– their french terry selection is amazing, and the weight is perfect for a lightweight layer as we transition between seasons (come ON spring!).
Tops X 2
I made two Lille tanks for this capsule. The Lille was recently updated, and my version is only very slightly modified from the new pattern- scooped out a tiny bit more at the neck and arms. I find that the shape of my face looks best with round necklines, so I tend to adjust my patterns to reflect that.
In the past, I’ve shied away from using double brushed poly for athletic tanks, but since I do most of my workouts indoors, I’ve decided it doesn’t’ really matter- and there are so many beautiful prints to choose from!
I finished the edges of both tanks with a binding, using the method I demonstrated HERE in this tutorial. I love how it comes out clean and perfect, every time- no more stretched out and wonky necks!
And, although it’s perfectly hidden by the lines of the tank, I’m wearing this power bra underneath, for a little extra bling! Technically, that set was sewn during the Challenge period, so I think I’ll count it too!
Bottoms X 4
I’ve gotten up on my soap-box enough times about the Inspire pattern that its appearance in my capsule shouldn’t come as a surprise, and I made four of them for this post, in a few variations.
The scrollwork printed leggings and the mauve space dyed leggings were both made using the no-side seam hack of the Inspires, and I only added topstitching along the waist to provide extra strength to the seam. Both of these fabrics were from So Sew English as well- they’ve really been knocking it out of the park with their bundles lately!
I wish there was more information on the weight and stretch of the items in the bundles, but I can always find a use for them, as either tops or bottoms, so I guess its all a win!
I decided to keep the side seam of the blue/grey space dyed pair, and highlight it throughout with more reverse coverstitching- my favorite trick for keeping seams chafe free and reducing the stress on the seams over time (I’m pretty hard on my leggings. Check out this video for a tutorial on how to achieve this look).
This fabric is very stretchy, and I deepened the rise adjustment that I commonly do on inspires, to account for the additional vertical stretch, which essentially added length to the crotch area that I didn’t want. The fabric here is from Surge Fabric Shop– another favorite source for activewear.
Finally, the green pair of leggings is made from fleece back athletic knit from The Fabric Fairy.
This fabric is really amazing- we shot these photos on a pretty cold and rainy day, and I was so grateful I had saved this pair for last- they really warmed me right up after all those outfit changes. I’ve pretty much bought up this fabric in every color, and since I didn’t really have a matching thread, I used a darker green for contrast.
Mix and Match!
Here are a couple combinations, mixed and matched together! I love the simplicity of having a couple pairs of leggings and tops that all coordinate, as I’ll surely wear these for both everyday wear and active pursuits.
Parking Garage Drama?
And, in case you’ve followed along with our little parking garage saga, we didn’t have any trouble this time, save for a couple joy-riding college students who kept going up and down the garage but pulled over to give us a shoutout. It was a debate between my husband and I who they were telling looked “hot”, but I guess we both took the compliment!
Well, what do you think? Are these “my colors”? I’ve always been drawn toward brights, but I’m kind of digging these more subtle tones.
Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to stay tuned- I’ll be back later this week with Part II of my fit capsule including a TUTORIAL for adding your own jogger style details to your Inspire Tights (gotta solve that pocket problem!). And yeah, I just couldn’t hold out on the neon forever.