One thing I always need is work out clothes. Gym clothes like bathing suits are expensive although are easy to make and don’t cost $$$ in materials.

Why are knits easy? No ironing, fit is usually not a problem and sewing them up is fast. You will need patience of course.

Here are a few of the patterns, fabrics and info that have helped me on my road to success. Purl Soho’s Gym City shorts is a great FREE beginner pattern. This pattern also comes in kids sizes and can be made in a woven or knit fabric. Knits behave differently, If you make a knit garment with a woven pattern you will need to try a smaller size.

Learning how to resize different stretchy fabric is the hardest part of working with knits. If a fabric is really stretchy you will need to make your garment smaller. I made these thermal pants out of waffle knit 3 times before I realized they had so much stretch that I could use a pair of my leggings as a pattern. Some times I have to learn the hard way.

Tracy Sews active wear

Rachael Gander from Imagine Gnats  has a good printable guide and very helpful post on sewing with knits. It’s good to do your homework before starting a new project. Be warned, she also sells awesome fabrics and patterns too. This is her Bess top pattern and stretch Chambray I bought from her online shop.

tracy sews bess top imagine gnats

Here is another example, below I used a size small t-shirt pattern to make this thermal waffle knit top. Because waffle knit is so stretchy it came out like a night-gown. I like it, so this mistake was ok.

Tracy Sews Active Wear

The wiener dog ensemble below stretch knit factor was not nearly as stretchy as the waffle knit and it came out just right. For the top I traced around my favorite tank and added my seam allowances.  If I made this out of a Spandex knit it would have been great for the gym.

Tracy Sews Active Wear

Once you’ve got the stretch part figured out you can start tracing around all of your favorite gym clothes and remaking them. I traced around my favorite Nike pants and favorite shirt, then added my own binding below.

Want to start with a pattern? I love wearing my stretch True Bias Hudson Pants to the gym, the pockets to hold my phone while I work out. $10s for an indie pattern is a great price too and it also comes in kids sizes.

Once you get going you can also make all of your wardrobe staples and then alter the patterns. That is called a pattern hack nowadays.

Above, I used the same Sewaholic Renfrew pattern on the left as I did to make the cute shirts on the right. I hacked the sleeves, neckline and length. Sewing is so much fun!

I love Jamie Christina’s Sol Hoddie Pattern too!

Jesy and my shop Sew Dayton sell Art Gallery Fabric and Robert Kaufman hight quality knits. Book a private lesson at our shop, Sew Dayton and we will walk you through your project.

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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