Our bodies are remarkably smart, and tend to adapt quickly to routine. When I first started running I had one pace- and I trained at that pace during every. single. run. While I developed great physical endurance from all the time on my feet, my race times didn’t budge, because I wasn’t challenging my body (and mind) with various speeds. I decided to join a running group, and they introduced me to the idea of Tempo Runs- longer, sustained efforts (20-45 minutes) at a comfortably hard pace- not an all out sprint, but not conversational by any means (this is where podcasts, like the Love to Sew Podcast, come in really handy).
All of sudden I started seeing big gains in both my physical speed and mental endurance- I could tackle longer distances with less fatigue, and my mind also benefited from the variation in my routine.
The same principle holds true for sewing- a little variety keeps me mentally engaged. I’ve been pretty stuck on the Inspire Tights for a while, with a side of Super G or Strides thrown in for good measure. I absolutely adore those patterns, but I really needed something new to get me out of my leggings-rut, and the new Tempo Tights were just the spice I needed to get me excited about sewing more activewear for winter.
Based on the same block as the Inspires, Strides and Super G, the Tempo Tights take color blocking to a whole new level. There’s probably a math equation to be solved in how many options and fabrics one could combine, but I’m not your gal there- so we will just say there are plenty of ways to mix these up.
They also make fantastic scrap busters for all those awkwardly sized athletic fabrics hanging around your donation pile. If I’m using a solid fabric, I can easily get a pair out of yard, but if I’m color blocking them, I can use pieces that are much smaller. They also come in three separate sizing blocks: tall, standard, and petite (all included in one pattern for purchase).
I stitched up a mashup of the size B/C petite, and found the fit to be perfect- slightly longer than the “cropped” length of the Inspires, with all the color blocked pieces hitting me exactly where they should (in other words, no adjustments needed for height! yay!). I did shorten the crotch slightly on my second pair (which I haven’t had time to photograph yet, so you’ll see them soon)- a modification that I also make to the Inspires and Strides.
If you’ve got your fit dialed in with any of the Greenstyle Leggings line up, you should find that the same mods work with the Tempo Tights. In general, I would say they aren’t quite as compressive as the Super Gs (more along the lines of the Inspires in terms of compression), and that if you’re a runner you might need to look at grading out a bit at the calves, but other than that, they’re pretty spot on! They include the contour waistband similar to the updated Strides, but a quick check reveals that the standard waistband from the Inspires would also fit, if that’s more your jam.
The Tempo Tights also include an optional, but highly recommended pocket for storing your phone/essentials. I’m demo-ing it here with a Samsung Galaxy S8, which is my husband’s, and fits with room to spare. My smaller Iphone was busy during this photo shoot keeping the toddler distracted, but I think this pocket would fit pretty much anything shy of a mini laptop. I chose not to topstitch the pocket, because I wanted to keep the seam as stretchy as possible.
There are two back options included- a “heart” shaped back and a straight back. I chose the straight back, but I think the heart is really cute as well. Just like on the Inspires, the Tempo Tights include an optional triangular gusset- you could switch it out for the oval gusset of the Strides, but the triangle is my favorite to use, because it’s easy to assemble and fits me well. You can see a tutorial for sewing it here.
I chose to do a reverse cover stitch to accent the color blocked panels- I have a tutorial for that here, as part of the Super G SewAlong.
Here’s the cliff notes version: I use three needles, and press my seam allowance to the left, lining up my far right needle just to the right of the seam, and then stitch with the wrong side up.
Of course, a cover stitch isn’t necessary for these at all- it just provides a decorative accent and reduces chafing/seam irritation. You could easily use a decorative stitch on your sewing machine instead, or just leave it off entirely- they’ll still be awesome! Regardless, I highly recommend using washaway wonder tape to make sure the color blocked panels line up at the inner legs- my serger always seems to pull things out of alignment if I get lazy and try to skip it.
Since we are coming into some cooler weather, I chose to use heavier fabrics for this pair. The solid black is from my stash, and the grey is heavy supplex from Zenith and Quasar. The laser cut mesh for the calf accent pieces is from Greenstyle– even in cold temperatures, its nice to have a little airflow!
I’m wearing the tights with my Jalie Crop top (blogged here) and the Greenstyle Elevate Pullover (blogged here). You might notice that the Elevate has a hood added…I’m not at liberty to share more about that just yet, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for more on that soon (#justsaying).
I’ve also got a couple new video tutorials coming at you soon, so watch this space for those as well- I’ve missed doing them, and look forward to putting a few more together. It always makes me happy when someone is able to get the confidence to sew a project or try a new technique because of a video I’ve shared!
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