What’s your favorite time of day to exercise? I’ve never been a morning person, but in the last six months I’ve experimented with waking up early to get my workout in before I have to jump into my #momduties, and I’m loving it. For those that know me personally, this is a pretty big surprise, since my M.O. has always been to stay up late for my “me time”, then sleep in as long as possible to make up the minutes. My workout time was always squeezed haphazardly into the afternoon or evening- which made it difficult to be consistent and achieve my goals.
I assumed that by sleeping away as much of the morning as possible, I’d be a more pleasant human being (#notamorningperson), but I’ve found recently that by waking up before the family, I’m really able to get the peace and quiet I crave, and the opportunity to be more consistent in my athletic training.
For the first time in my life since having kids, I get a full 30 minutes to sip my coffee before heading out the door for a run (or stepping into one of my indoor workout options, if the weather is bad), and the effect has been magical- I’m able to attend much better to my kids, because I’ve made my self care a priority as well. Its the classic “put your mask on first” situation- not something its easy for us moms (or dads) to do, but so critical for getting what we need to serve our families and ourselves well.
This routine, however, means that as the weather cools, I’m finding myself in dire need of winter athletic clothing- there’s really a bite to the morning air these days, and I needed some more long pairs of tights to keep myself warm, especially in those first few moments when part of me wants to crawl back under the covers!
Truth be told, they’ve always been my least favorite of the Greenstyle leggings line-up- but a recent update to enlarge the pockets, and the new size range, which added more sizes at both ends of the chart, offered me the chance to get a better fit than I have in the past, while helping out a company that I admire for really listening to their customers and stepping up to do the hard work of revamping their fit to empower more women to sew their own athletic clothes.
For my first pair, I sewed up a size B (a size smaller than the previous size range offered), with pockets (because, pockets!), and I’m loving it. The curved back seam is very flattering (making me look like I actually have a butt! lol!) and the pockets are plenty big enough to hold my Iphone in its case.
While you could do one side with a pocket and one without, I added both to this pair because I can use the second pocket to stash my nutrition/small water bottle during a race. I haven’t decided exactly what to wear for my half marathon that’s coming up in two weeks, but these tights are a close contender!
I’m wearing it with a circular knit Lille tank here, and my new race day kicks (I’m breaking them in now!), which just happened to match the bright color scheme perfectly (and also happened to be the cheapest on Amazon- winning!!)
I did a reverse coverstitch on all the seams I could reach- and used the oval gusset. The way the leggings are constructed, you don’t have the opportunity to do a reverse coverstitch on the side seams until the end, which makes it very challenging to get them through your coverstitch machine (especially if it doesn’t have a free arm, which mine doesn’t).
To remedy this, Angelyn added instructions for changing the order of construction and using the triangle gusset instead, which is what I chose to do on my second pair, made in the dark maroon yoga flex. Since I used the triangle gusset (see my video tutorial for sewing it during the Inspire tights sewalong), I could get to all the outer seams and give them a nice coverstitch accent, which in addition to being decorative, also helps cut down on chafing.
This pair felt tighter than my last, and ended up pulling down a bit. I think I need to shorten the front rise a bit (something I always do on the Inspires, but didn’t do with my highlighter explosion pair).
I also think I could stand to grade out for my calves in a “snappier” fabric like the yoga flex. My calves are pretty muscular for my size due to my training, and I think the tightness there could also be contributing to the feeling of needing to pull them up.
Another thing that’s new on the Strides, besides the expanded sizes, is an option for an ultra high rise contoured waistband. I tried it out on the maroon pair, and I think it’s a great option for sewists who prefer not to put elastic in the top of their leggings.
I’m a bit undecided on which type of waistband is my favorite- both fit well, and I think ultimately, it depends on the intended activity i’m sewing for- for athletic purposes, I’ll still add the clear elastic in the top, and use the standard waistband, but for more casual leggings, I’ll go with the contour without elastic. Like the gussets, the waistbands are interchangeable between the strides and inspires, so if you like the contour waistband, you can easily transfer it between patterns. I haven’t tried it, but I suspect it would fit the Super Gs as well.
As a nod to fall, I’m wearing my favorite Midway Bomber Jacket with this pair of strides- and repping Norcal with this cool tank from Upper Park Clothing.
If I need something ready to wear, I prefer to buy locally if possible, and I have several of these tanks that remind me of my favorite local hikes and parks in our area.
The Strides pattern is on sale for the update- you can check it out here, and find all the fabrics I used here. I was provided fabric and pattern in exchange for testing/sharing, but all opinions are my own (of course!).
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