by Kim Dickerson
Lately I have been obsessed with the Calvin Klein elastic branding on their briefs, their performance wear, well anything! I think it is because of all the 90’s trends going around. I have actually not been a fan of logo since Jessica Simpson and her colorful LV’s haha! So why not make my own?
With Melissa’s permission [Boss Lady at Phee Fabrics], I decided to start with a version inspired by Calvin’s print lettering, with Phee’s name. I have a lot of projects in mind to use a waistband like this on and settled on an athletic outfit for myself.
I wanted a very basic sports bra with a racerback. Something a little more masculine than the strappier version I am also dying to try. When I was searching the Jalie Pattern site I came across their Crop Tops and Gym Shorts Pattern. It was exactly what I had been looking for except the waistband was too skinny. [Yay! I love any excuse to hack and make a pattern my own.]
For the fabric I decided on Nylon Spandex. I love this fabric so much that I was inspired to make it reversible especially after I pre-read the instructions and realized how easy it would be to do with knit binding. Another bonus that comes with making this sports bra in Nylon Spandex is that it can double as swim. That is four tops in one, giving me two sports bras and two swim tops!
The specific fabrics I used are the 12.3 oz Insane in the Membrane Nylon Spandex , some scrap 9.3 oz Jade Nylon Spandex Tricot, White Circular Knit and Powernet for the optional lining layer. I personally love Phee Nylon Spandex. It truly does stand apart with its amazing hand, moisture wicking and antimicrobial properties. I have personally bought from many other vendors and this is always my go-to!
In addition to fashion fabrics I decided to add in the optional lining layer. For this the obvious choice was Powernet. I mean it is a sports bra and the purpose is support right? None of my sports bra’s ever goes without Powernet! I also chose Nude because the background of my print is White.
If you have not ever worked with Powernet I strongly suggest you purchase some to have on hand. It works for so many different things. Did you read Debora’s blog last week about her Greenstyle Sports Bra hack? Best Powernet trick ever!
Making the Crop Top Sports Bra Reversible
Once I cut out all my pieces I simply cut a second front and back in a different fashion fabric. Once the Powernet was basted on and the shoulder and side seams were sewn, I attached the two sports bras wrong sides together. Then basted the neck, arm and waist. Making this one solid piece by basting will make it much easier to work with.
The sports bra also called for fold over elastic to finish the neckline, arm and waistband. I personally always like to make my own out of coordinating fabrics and add elastic inside if needed. I did not add any elastic in this garment.
I chose the White Circular Knit as a coordinate because it matched both fashion fabrics and gave each side a totally different look. I cut the binding 1 6/8 inches wide by the length indicated on the “Elastics Length” Chart. This measurement gave me a finished 5/8 inch binding with 1/4 inch seam allowances. I then attached it with the same method you would attach fold over elastic or knit binding.
When top-stitching my binding I sewed as close as I could to the edge while still catching both sides of the fabrics. This can be very intimidating to execute beautifully on the underside but as long as you take the extra time to measure and pin it will all work out in the end.
Creating a wider waistband for the Crop Top Sports Bra
This was actually a very simple hack. I found the waistband on the shorts to be the exact width I was hoping for, so I cut two. Then I adjusted the length of the second waistband to the same length indicated on the “Elastics Length” chart.
Creating HTV Calvin inspired logo/ lettering
After I finished creating my waistbands I surged the small ends right sides together and then pressed the wrong sides together in preparation for attaching. I often do not press when making a waistband but because we are going to be adding wording this is very important for ensuring exact placement.
At this point I used a clear ruler and found that a 1 inch tall letter would have the scale and proportion I was looking for on my waistband. Then I decided on a font I felt resembled the overall feel of Calvin’s font. Both my waistbands would fit the wording 3x so I needed 6 in total. After that my Cricut took care of the rest!
I usually use normal HTV on my knits but the last time I purchased Black the new Stretch HTV was on sale so I had it on hand. It has a different look on the back. Instead of being flat, or all one even color it has a swirl pattern, but not anything you will see on your cut outs. It is on the underside.
Overall I really love the stuff and can see a difference in the way it stretches with my knits. But at the same time I would still use the regular too if it was what I had on hand because it also works really well on knits too. Just in case you have been wondering about the difference like I have 😁
I placed the first cut out perfectly centered on the front and then placed the other on the right and left so it was evenly spaced.TThe sports bra waistband is then attached with the same seam allowance and top-stitching as the binding.
Overall I am extremely happy with the way this worked out and love my version way more than any Calvin Klein original!