I used gray Supplex from Phee Fabrics for the bra portion of my top. Since the bra needs to be comfortable, supportive, and able to withstand sweaty workouts, your fabric needs to be moisture wicking with good stability and excellent recovery. Supplex is my go-to fabric for workout wear. I used tricot for the body portion and straps because it comes in fun colors, and is also moisture wicking and abrasion resistant. It is important to use powernet when making a bra. The support and smoothing provided by powernet is, in my mind, essential to achieving a high quality finished product. An added bonus is that I don’t have to use bra cups when I use powernet! It’s that good at keeping “the girls” in place.
Omitting the band, I cut out my bra per pattern directions, as well as cutting a layer of powernet for all the bra pieces. I trim the powernet about 1/8″ smaller on all sides (which is much easier if you have a rotary cutter). Doing this will cut down on the bulk in your seams. I then baste the powernet to my lining pieces, and treat them as one piece moving forward.
Other than the straps, I sewed the bra together per pattern instructions. While I love the look of the double straps, they are more time consuming to construct. So I still cut out four strap pieces, but used them flat (as main fabric and lining fabric) rather than as double straps sewn to each shoulder. I used powernet in my straps rather than adding elastic.
Once you’ve sewn your main and lining pieces together along the top, try the bra on, adjust the straps to length, then push the straps through the openings and stitch.
To avoid bulk, be sure to trim the seam allowances at the back strap openings on an angle before turning the bra right side out. It’s important to press as you sew. It helps everything lay more smoothly, and gives your projects a more professional finish. See the difference pressing makes between the left and right straps in the photo below?
Now you’re at the part where you would normally add the band, but are instead going to make it a workout top. I used the GreenStyle Lille Tank as the tank portion of my workout top.
I literally used a Lille tank that I had made previously, but never wear because I didn’t do a good job on the binding. Since it was just taking up space in my workout wear drawer, I decided to upcycle it by cutting the top straight across below the arm openings. The extra length gave me the opportunity to add ruching to the sides.
The Lille body was wider than my bra. If I were making the body out of Supplex, and wanted it more fitted, I would have slimmed the top of the body a bit. Since I was going for a drapier fit with ruching, I just matched up my quarter points and eased the body to fit the bra.
I could have added a band with elastic on the inside at this point, but wanted to try something else. I used 3/8″ swim elastic cut to fit me at the snug yet comfortable length (just like you would trial fit the wider elastic in the band). I overlapped the elastic and stitched it together making a circle. Then I matched up my quarter points, and zig zagged the elastic to the seam allowance. After that, I flipped the seam allowance toward the bra, and top-stitched it in place.
To ruche the sides, I cut two pieces of swim elastic a couple of inches shorter than my side seams. I zig-zagged the elastic to the side seams and ta-dah, instant ruching!
When I go to the beach to get photographs in my makes, sometimes silliness overtakes me. But we’ll just say I was jump testing the workout top to ensure that everything stays in place!
This workout top passed the jump test with flying colors! 😉 Working out is more fun when you wear cute, comfortable, me-made outfits. 🙂
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