My 100th blog entry…and I’m only talking about leggings


  • Sewaholic Pacific Leggings
  • Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings

I can’t believe it, but I’ve written 100 blog entries for this blog! It’s been such a sporadic journey as I try to write about my sewing. I have good intentions that never seem to carry out as work and life always get in the way. And I’ve also done nothing to promote myself and get myself out into the sewing blogging community. I am even worse at keeping up with my favorite blogs. My reading has dropped off more than my writing. But I have slowly kept at this somewhat, even though I’m pretty much writing to an empty audience (by my fault of course). My take two project have been going slowly, but 2022 is coming to a close and there were a few project ideas that I will not get to this year. In fact, I was hoping this month to write about my second attempt at a skirt, but I haven’t had much motivation to finish it and I’ve been moving on it a lot slower than I hoped. As I tried to work up some motivation to just get the darn thing finished, I ended up making some more leggings instead. After my pretty successful attempts earlier this year, there were some other ideas I wanted to try, even though I technically don’t need any more leggings this year.

The first pair was from a pattern I’ve already used, the Sewaholic Pacific leggings. I like the different panels on these, but I wanted to try to make a shorter version with the zipper in the back. I didn’t include the bottom leg panel and adjusted it so it was the length I wanted. I think maybe next time, I may have to keep all the panels and just shorten the leg to where I want it. The bottom of these kind of bunch up in a weird way, probably because it’s not designed to be the bottom. I think I didn’t quite taper the bottom correctly to create the right hem.

They are not bad though, and I did some topstitching on the legs using a kind of flatlock stitch, which I like. I also added some holes on the inside waistband so I have the option to add a drawstring inside to help with fit. The last pair I made felt a bit loose and I’ve had to hike them up when I run sometimes. This will hopeful secure them, I just need to find a good drawstring that will work to insert into them.

As you can see I added two button holes into the waistband on the inside, so I have the option to add a drawstring on the inside to make these pants more secure.

For the other pair, I took a chance on a new-to-me pattern by Fehr Trade, the PB Jam Leggings. I was excited to try this pattern out with this yoga-wear fabric I had bought a while back. It had such cool colors in it and an interesting design, that I thought it would be great with some color blocking. I needed to find a solid color that would work, so I settled on this navy blue lycra spandex, which I was actually able to use for a number of other projects as well. This design worked perfectly for what I envisioned for this fabric as it had these curved side panels and also a section at the knees.

I think they look pretty nice, especially for a first time. It was tough lining up the front and back legs so that the side swirl lined up okay. It’s still not perfect, but after basting them 5 different times, I was finally able to get it the best I could.

They are definitely very fitted! I definitely can’t gain any weight any time soon, but hopefully that won’t be too much of an issue, since I’m jumping right back into marathon training. I actually got an invitation to run the Boston Marathon from my running club! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time, but I think if I can focus on my training, I can get good results. And now I have some new pants to train with!

Reflecting on 100 posts, it’s been a pretty great 8 years of sewing. I’ve learned a lot since that first skirt I made back in 2014. I’m not sure I would have known then that I would still be keeping up with making my own wardrobe. But I’m glad to have stuck with it, even if my projects ebb and flow the way they do. I’m hoping to still have a few more posts this year and I definitely have many projects lined up for the winter. Maybe I can even get out there so I can get people to read this blog…well one thing at a time anyways.

Thanks for reading, whoever is out there!

Take two for 2022: Bicycle shorts made from bicycles (fabric)

Pattern: Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts

I ran a marathon!

Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts pattern

The past few months have been extremely busy with training and working, I barely had time for sewing. And I definitely had no time for blogging. But I did get a chance to sew up some exercise shorts which were a re-do from one of the first times I attempted to sew workout clothes.

Back in the days when I couldn’t even fathom running a full marathon, I had made the capri length version of this pattern to wear for a half marathon. The pattern was easy to follow and the pants easy to sew up, but what I didn’t understand at that time was how to size them properly. I was going off of finished measurements, not remembering that running pants are supposed to fit tight and stretch over your body. Therefore the measurements should be smaller than your normal pants measurements. I ended up making them a size large, which fit extremely loose at the time. To make matters worse, I ended up losing some weight after my initial wear, which made these pants basically useless for exercising in. It was a bit disappointing since I really liked how they came out. I knew I had to make another pair at some point, and this time I would not be afraid to make a smaller size.

running pants - final

Even though I use these for running, they are technically bicycle shorts. I actually like to run in longer shorts because it prevents thigh chafing. I had gotten this bicycle fabric a while back because I thought the print would look cute for a pair of leggings. I happen to have the pink and purple spandex, which made a great contrast for the side pockets.

As I mentioned, my first attempt was a size large. These are a size small, which seems like the perfect fit for me. This time around I also used a twin needle for the a double row of stitching on the waist and hem. I didn’t need to do anything special to prevent the tunneling of the fabric, so it ended up being a good gamble.

Even though I made these right before the big race, I did not wear them for the marathon. However, I did do some sewing for the main event. I knew I needed to fuel up a lot since I would be out there for many hours, so I sewed up a few arm bands made from a free pattern by Fehr Trade that I had also made years ago. I also made a running belt to match, all matching the red, white and blue of my marathon outfit. The fabric was softer than spandex and the belt stayed in place a lot better than other ones I had made in the past. It was nice to have another way to carry fuel, since my pants pockets were already stuffed to the gills.

I haven’t had a chance to wear these new shorts on a run yet, I just put them on for a celebratory photo with my marathon medal. This marathon ended up being pretty special for me as I ran it with a giant group from my running club. We trained together all summer and fall and traveled to Washington DC for the main event. The weather was beautiful, the course was inspiring and even though I didn’t get quite the time I wanted, I did end up with a personal best. I’m not sure what my next running goal will be, but when that time comes, I’ll be ready with some new gear.

Phone in arm band pocket

The running band: Trying to get back to it

Pattern: Fehr Trade Running Armband Pocket (free pattern!)Fehr Trade Running Arm Band pattern

It’s no surprise that I haven’t been sewing lately.  Summer is in full force, I just started a new job where my commute is longer and I’ve been taking some online courses to brush up on my skills – you know all the usual.  Oh and I’ve been running more.  After the success of my last half marathon in May, I decided to sign up for another one in October…and then another one later in October.  I also have some smaller races and relay races coming up that I’m trying to stay prepared for.  I’ve been running as long as I’ve been sewing, but it seemed that most of my energy that I reserved for sewing has transferred to running and running related activities.  I started track workouts with my running club once a week.  I’m also a bit more consistent with my long runs on the weekends.  I have been working a bit harder at it and I think I’m finally starting to show some improvement.

But I miss sewing. Every time I look over at my machines Continue reading “The running band: Trying to get back to it”

crossing the finish line

Run for it! A reflection on running as I sew with spandex

Pattern: Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts (3-quarter length)Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts pattern

Skills acquired:

  • PDF patterns

I’ve never considered myself a runner.  When I was in middle school, we were forced to run a mile and a half in gym class and it was always a day I dreaded.  The gym teacher made fun of the way I swung my arms when I ran.  “You look like this,” she said, while she made some exaggerated movements.  She called me a retard.  She said I was un-athletic.  This would turn anyone off from running.

I didn’t really pick up running, except for the odd jog around the neighborhood, until I started having some real life problems.  Lack of control in my life situations created major anxiety.  I was not myself, I was just a walking bundle of nerves and hurt feelings.  I wasn’t sleeping properly and so I slowly introduced a running routine to “tire me out” during the day.  It also relieved some of those anxious feelings:

Oh you have to move – run 5 miles to feel better
Grad school is getting to you – see if you can make it to 6 miles
You didn’t get that job – run 3 miles faster than you have before

Everything would play through my head during these runs, and I started to add more Continue reading “Run for it! A reflection on running as I sew with spandex”