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Made by a Fabricista: Handmade Tennis Outfits

Let me start by giving my “official creative adviser” a public THANK YOU. I was stuck, browsing through ideas, looking for inspiration. My Fabric Mart cart had 24 fabric options at some point, but nothing really “clicked”. What would I sew next? I am glad I asked that out loud! My husband got the answers I needed to hear. From the concept (a tennis outfit) to the patterns (a skort and a dress), up to the fabric choice (a fabulous combo of Activewear Lycras), he helped me get my inspiration back! As soon as I ordered the fabric and patterns, my enthusiasm had come back in full force! 

While waiting for the package, I read about sewing Lycras. I got the basic theory, such as using a ballpoint needle and elastic stitches. I made sure the fabric had the required elasticity for both patterns. Anytime either of the patterns called for straight stitches, such as in the sidebands on the skort and the pocket on the dress, I used my domestic machine with a ballpoint needle. For elastic stitches, I used my serger. It can all be done without a serger, though! One trick I found very helpful was using a fabric glue pen to prepare the hems. Lycra can be slippery, so this glue helps to stabilize it until it’s sewn and then it dissolves.

Let’s start with the Jalie skort. The pattern is well done, and instructions are easy to follow. It provides three options: just the short, a skirt-culotte, and a skirt-short (skort). The only measurement needed is your hip. Based on previous experiences with store-bought garments, I was worried the short was going to be too tight or rolling up my thighs. This happens very often to me, but not this time! I’m happy to report that the skort feels comfortable and stays in place, even when I am jumping up or running! I cannot say if it’s the pattern, the fabric, or both, but it works! The main fabric is a Nylon/Lycra blend, in a “Cool Black” color. 

I used a colorful patterned Lycra on the sidebands, which also includes pockets. One very important detail about this fabric: the description on the website says “Color More Vibrant In Person”, and it is perfectly true! The colors are vibrant indeed, almost phosphorescent, which is even better for me. I love strong colors! I now have a skort that perfectly coordinates with multiple tennis shirts.

Since I liked this patterned fabric so much, I used it for the front and back pieces for the Jalie Anne Marie dress. This dress has such a clever design: simple, yet effective and practical. It even has a helpful pocket on the back and an integrated bra on the inside! I must say I found a helpful tutorial to sew it. The step-by-step process is described on the pattern, but to follow instructions in such a large pattern, I need to leave it wide open on the floor of my living room. Not ideal. Also, this dress has a couple of tricky steps that were clearly shown in the video. It would have been hard for me to get them right by myself. The side panels of the dress provide flare to it, a nice and comfortable touch that works well with this light fabric.


I have used my skort and dress to play a couple of times already, and I can say that they are all I can ask for! I would now do more versions of these. I am imagining a cool “color-block” version of the dress, very ’80s, with popping solid colors! And what about a denim knit version of the skort? I have been playing tennis since childhood, but never in a tennis dress or a pretty outfit. Random shorts and T-shirts would fit the bill. Whenever I tried on a dress or skirt at a shop, I would feel self-conscious. I thought those were reserved for long-legged pros. But I am seriously reconsidering now. Making your own garments is empowering, don’t you think?

I hope this post is useful to you. Let me know if you get inspired to sew your outfits, go out, and exercise a little!




INES  @bynunis


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: ACTIVEWEAR
You can also shop our collection of Jalie patterns HERE.

Comments

  1. Wow! Sewing attractive workout wear that fits well and works well is tricky. You nailed this. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!!! It is a really beautiful pattern! I have some remnants and will try to make a bikini or something with it!

      Delete
  2. When I saw this in the Fabric Mart website I just had to open and read it. It really caught my eye. This looks fabulous on you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow great looking skort and tennis dress!! Great makes. This inspires me to move forward on making more active wear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to have inspired you! I definitely recommend these two makes!

      Delete

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