I love sewing workout wear for several reasons. First of all, I need something to wear to yoga class. Secondly, I am far too frugal to spend $50 or more on a cute workout top. And last but not least, I can customize my makes to suit my style and color preferences.
I have had the vision of a white workout top with powernet inserts floating around in my head for a while. I just hadn’t gotten around to sewing one up. Enter the GreenStyle Jillian Tank (on sale for 15% off as a May 2019 “Pattern of the Month”). 🙂 The pattern is loaded with options: a bandeau top; an inner tank, with or without a built in sports bra; and an outer tank that can be made with knit or woven fabric (Hello Stretch Twill!) I made the inner tank with a built in sports bra, but now I need to order some Stretch Twill and sew up the outer tank!
I used white Supplex and white Powernet from Phee Fabrics to make my Jillian Tank. Let’s be honest, I pretty much use Supplex and Powernet for ALL of my workout wear. Oh, occasionally I’ll throw in some Tricot or Circular Knit, but Supplex and Powernet are definitely staples in my workout wear fabric stash.
I like the simple design of the Jillian inner tank, because it gives the powernet inserts the opportunity to stand out. Adding inserts is really easy, it’s basically a simple color blocking technique. I cut two right angle triangles out of my powernet, being sure to cut them straight on the grain, with the greatest stretch going side to side. The sides of the L part of the triangles were 7″ long. I laid the triangles on the bottom corner of the tank front, and trimmed off the excess powernet to match the shape of the corners.
I marked the tank front 6.25″ up and 6.25″ over from the bottom corner and using my quilting ruler and rotary cutter, cut off the (smaller sized) triangles from the bottom corners of my tank front. Then I laid the powernet triangles on the tank front right sides together and stitched them together. I pressed the seam allowances toward the Supplex and top-stitched them in place so that you wouldn’t see them through the powernet.
I like to walk the beach whenever I get the chance. Since I don’t want to have to carry my phone and keys, I need pockets. I put pockets in all my workout tights and shorts, but occasionally, I’ll find myself wearing something without pockets. So why not start adding pockets to my workout tops? A hidden seam pocket gives cleaner lines than a patch pocket, not to mention how much easier it is to keep straight while sewing!
I cut a 4.5″ wide by 8″ tall rectangle out of powernet. I made it that large to ensure that my phone would stay snugly in place, yet still be able to reach in and grab a key or lip balm from the bottom of the pocket. I folded the top of the pocket down and stitched it in place. Then I laid the pocket right sides together 3.75″ from the right edge of the tank back at the bottom corner. I stitched along the right hand side of the pocket.
Then I flipped the pocket over and basted it along the side seam, and zig-zagged it in place along the bottom of the pocket. (Had I cut the pocket a bit longer, I would have lined it up with the bottom of the tank and just basted it in place.) When the tank is hemmed, the bottom of the pocket is securely sewn in place.
After these simple modifications, I just followed the pattern tutorial to complete my tank. I made another small adjustment to the pattern out of necessity. The pattern calls for double straps threaded through the top of the front shoulder strap. Rather than cutting and sewing the straps, I used plush bra strap elastic to speed up my sewing time. Since my strapping was wider than the sewn straps would have been, I went with a single strap.
I love having a solid white workout top to mix and match with my Super G‘s. The powernet inserts and pocket give the simple lines a little extra pizazz.
I can style it with a skirt or shorts for a completely different look.
I could see myself using this simple color-blocking technique to add in coordinating fabrics if I were trying to match workout tights with color-blocked side panels. The hidden seam pocket can be customized to fit whatever you want to carry. It’s so much more useful than the tiny little key pockets you find on ready to wear!
Go ahead and sew all the workout wear! After all, it is #memademay.
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