Dare to Compare

I’ve been sewing since I was six years old, and when I lived at my last place, there wasn’t really any space for me to sew, so I took a few years off. I’ve always been one to sew wovens, it’s been a love for almost 30 years of my life, but when I came back to sewing, Phee was hosting the Green Tee sew-a-long.

During the sew-a-long, I fell for the community of the Phee Facebook Sewalong group, as well as the rayon spandex I was using. This is when I was able to create my first lululemon replacement of the Love Tee with some hacks from the sew-a-long. From there I started researching the different fabrics Phee carried, and knew that I needed to start, or should I say stop, my lulu habit, and start making the things in basically identical fabrics.

After I made my first pair of leggings with one yard of supplex (I have short legs), I was sold. That’s also when my daughter asked for some, and I knew that I wouldn’t have to buy her ivviva (lululemon’s girl brand) or Athleta Girl leggings again.

My daughter is 10 years old, and has recently taken up aerial, she’s never been active before, but she loves the way that her expensive ivviva and Athleta Girl leggings and bras feel. So for Christmas I decided to make her a matching set in the peacock supplex, since teal is her favorite color. (The last time I made clothes for my daughter was when she was 4 years old.)

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It was really hard to photograph the Peacock and get an accurate color, and I’ve taken all sorts of photography classes in college. I don’t know how they do it Phee, but the color on the website is spot on!

For both items, I used Jalie patterns, this is a company I have never used, but have had my eye on over the past couple of years as I have become more active myself, and kept thinking of sewing activewear. The bra is the cropped top with criss-cross spaghetti back straps from 3247, and the leggings are the Clara high-waisted leggings (3887) that were released in June. I am an experienced sewer, and the minimal instructions, not trying to over explain everything was amazing for me!

Criss-Cross Crop Top

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The crop top called for a folded elastic, but I couldn’t find any that would match the peacock supplex to my liking. I added a ¼” seam allowance and was going to add an elastic to the seam allowance, but that was a complete disaster. I’m happy to say that if you are making both of these items for a slender 55” child, you can get away with 1 yard of fabric, and make 2 bras. Yes, I cut out a second bra and started over.

So I then opted to try my hand at a binding, which I have never done before on knits. I cut 1” wide supplex strips in the length required by the pattern. I opted for a zig zag stitch to top stitch the binding. For the lining I used a scrap of rayon spandex, because I know she’s going to wear this bra for everyday wear, and not just to aerial, she’s 10, and likes soft things.

The spaghetti straps were fun, I saw a video somewhere that showed an easy way to sew and turn right side out, so I completely ignored the instructions on this. Using your serger, sew a long chain stitch the length of your strap by sewing without any fabric and pull it to lengthen it. Without cutting from the machine, lay the chain stitch down the middle of your fabric strip, and fold in half. Serge down the raw edges of your fabric strip all the way to the end and cut from machine. Pull the chain stitches that are in the tube of fabric till it comes right side out. With the supplex being more compressive, this will take some time, but I found it really easy, and satisfying!

Clara Leggings

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I was intrigued by the lack of front seam in the Clara Leggings, that I thought sewing them up for my daughter would be a good test before making some for myself. The lack of this front seam makes these leggings sew up super-fast! I asked my daughter which style of waist she liked best out of all her leggings, and of course she pulled out her ivivva rhythmic tights which have a contoured waistband, so I used that option for hers.

The contour waistband calls for 3/8” elastic to be added to the seam allowance. It didn’t specify if this was to be clear elastic, like most leggings patterns I’ve used, or if it should be something else. I decided to try a knit non-roll elastic to see how that would work since I had some on hand, although next time, I think I’ll go with some clear elastic to reduce some of the bulk in the waistband.

The instructions have you top stitch the gusset’s seam allowances before attaching the legs. This isn’t something I would have thought about, but I can see the benefit of those seams not bothering you while you’re wearing the leggings.

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The overall fit is amazing, and she loves the feel of the supplex. I know they are a little long on my daughter, but her feet just grew 3 full sizes, so I know she’s about to hit a growth spirt, and I’m hoping the extra length will help these last her awhile.

The Verdict

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She wore both items to aerial, and they worked out great. I think the bra is also her new favorite because I saw her wearing it again yesterday. I already have another bra cut out for her in the neon stripes with the baby pink circular knit as the lining. This same supplex styled set in the brands she’s used to would have cost me anywhere from $70-$92 (excluding tax and shipping), but the fabric for this set was only $18 (excluding shipping), that’s a savings of at least $52!

I plan on making both of these items for myself with some modifications to the bra to make it more supportive. I’m going to add powernet between the supplex and the lining, as well as adding a ¼” clear elastic to the spaghetti strap. I think adding both of these things will help make this more than just a crop top, and more like a sports bra with support. I’m needing more strappy bras with lighter support for yoga, and since Jalie patterns include so many sizes, I figure I might as well try it out.

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