Reach for the Stars! (with your fabric, that is)
Ya wanna know my biggest fabric pet peeve ever? When a fabric company refuses to list important details, like weight, stretch and content on something, and simply labels it as “activewear”. There are as many types of activewear fabrics as there are stars in the sky, and knowing these important features helps me determine whether I should plan to make a jacket, swimsuit, leggings or top out of the fabric. While I love a good surprise party, I do not particularly enjoy being surprised with the type of fabric I’ve ordered, especially as I’ve gotten more experience and now order fabric with specific projects in mind.
Some fabric, though, is just so unique you have to order it to understand it, and the Italian Stardust from Styled Magnolia was one such item. I’ve been begging Meagan from the jump to offer a sparkle printed fabric, but she wanted to keep her inventory unique (since so many other groups print sparkles), which I can totally respect. Fortunately, she came up with a solution in the Italian Stardust line, and I was anxious to try it out.
When it arrived, I tore into the package, and started making mental notes. The stretch is very good, but “snappy”, meaning it will feel slightly tighter when worn than other more supple activewear fabrics, like supplex.
The recovery was excellent however, so there was no danger of it bagging out at the knees, and the weight and deep color meant it would be totally squat-proof. The shimmers are textured, but not rough, and the backing is smooth, so it wouldn’t irritate my skin.
Being on the thicker side, it also wouldn’t wick sweat as well as an athletic brushed poly or supplex, so it is best suited for indoor workouts or cooler weather.
I decided to sew up the Inspire Leggings (with the no side seam hack. See SAL here), since they only require 50% stretch (this fabric has 100% four way stretch, but due to the “snappy” factor, I didn’t want to sew up a pattern like the Super Gs, until I had a better sense for how it would wear). I added a back pocket, because without pockets, my leggings are pretty much useless (see tutorial here) and cut the cropped length. They fit perfectly, and I decided that while I was making stardust leggings, I might as well go all in and create a sparkly bra too.
I chose the Effie Crop Top from Evie La Luve, adding in the side cutouts and a sparkly decorative elastic for the bottom. The arms and neck openings are trimmed with black fold over elastic from the Fabric Fairy, since I didn’t have a matching blue, and I like the “edge” it adds to the outfit.
I also really enjoyed following Evie La Luve’s instructions- while I wouldn’t describe them as “hand-holding”, she has extensive experience crafting lingerie for her own Etsy shop, and I learned new things about applying the FOE and bottom band from reading through them.
She also has videos on YouTube for many of her patterns and techniques, which I love because they give me an extra boost of confidence, knowing the extra visual help is there if I need it. Some of her older patterns don’t come in my size, but the newer ones offer the XXS size, which is perfect for me.
This video on sewing FOE was especially helpful:
The Effie is really meant as a “crop top” more than a sports bra, since it’s unlined, but one could easily turn it into more of an athletic bra if you added a lining and clear elastic to support the arm and neck edges. I think I’ll take up the shoulders slightly on my next version, but other than that, this crop fits really well, and while I feel a bit “vegas showgirl” wearing the top and leggings together, I’m embracing the bling and having fun with it.
I’m modeling it here with an Elevate overlay over the top (see my Elevate review/post here). I love the crossover in the front for showing off just the right amount of the bra underneath, and for giving me the option to wear this set when i’m not exercising. Do you think it’s too much to wear out for a fancy dinner this way? Hmm….
I’m also thinking of red stardust leggings for the holidays, and, predictably, as soon as my daughter saw the fabric, she demanded a leotard out of it, so I better get some extra for that project as well. In fact, I’m actually thankful it doesn’t come in pink, because if it did, I’m sure she’d decide that her entire wardrobe needed some element of stardust in it.
What do you think? Does this fabric catch your fancy? What would you do with it?
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I know just what you mean about online fabric listings not including as much information as I would like. I appreciate that most denim and some other bottomweight fabrics are being listed with oz per yard now – I wish online stores would do that for other fabric types as well!
Yay, you are now a sparkly unicorn! =D