Prior to lockdown and life as we know it ceasing to exist, I was getting really into going to the gym. I’ve always done a lot of yoga, and I have a very active job. However, neither of these were proving enough to keep me as fit as I was desirous of being. The gym sessions were making me feel much better, stronger and healthier and I was very much enjoying them. To celebrate I thought I’d make one of my planned makes for 2020 – the Tempo Tights by Greenstyle Creations.
I bought the fabric first, trying out Wow Fabrics for the first time. I find activewear fabric really difficult to source in the UK, if anyone has a trusted source, please do let me know. After checking out the options I decided to go with their lycra/spandex fabric. For the past 5 months that I’ve been going to the gym, I’ve been wearing my cotton jersey Avery leggings (pair 1 and pair 2), which actually really do not cut it when you’re working hard. I wanted, and needed, something a bit more wicking, and I thought that this would be a good place to start. The next part was choosing the design from all the glorious designs on offer, and I eventually settled for a marbled black and a geometric flowery version. Instead of the marbling, I would have preferred a plain black, but Wow Fabrics do not provide plain-coloured lycra/ spandex, so that was out.
The fabric arrived promptly and although I was wowed (haha) by the print and the colours, I was concerned to see that the fabric was printed on a white background. Would it not be rather see-through, and when stretched, would the white not shine through?
Anyway, it took a couple of months before I was brave enough to work with the fabric, and I made them this past weekend. The pattern was as easy to assemble as the Tie-Back Tank had been, and I cut most of the fabric out as a single layer. I used my new rotary cutter and I think I would have been in serious difficulty if I’d tried to cut the slippery fabric with my scissors. What a difference the cutter makes.
Sewing took a couple of hours, mostly using my overlocker, which behaved like an absolute dream through the whole thing. I think, reading up on sewing active wear after these were finished, I should have changed to a three-thread stitch, but never mind. I’ll know for my next pair. The pockets are super, and really clever. In fact, the whole item is very cleverly put together, and I love how at the end there’s literally only one overlocker tail end, and your hemming threads to tie in – such a neat construction.
I used elastic in the waistband as was suggested, and followed the 7/8th length cutting guide. I think I should have hemmed them slightly shorted, which I can always do in the future. I sewed my hems on the sewing machine, and it really did not like the fabric at all, meaning my hems are slightly ‘interesting’. Shortening them more would give me an excuse to cut off the messy sewing, so we’ll see.
To conclude, let me say right now that I love the design. As in, love the design. It is so clever. From the pockets, to the figure flattering cut outs, to the heart shaped back (which is slightly wonky here), it’s just so, so perfect. I will be making more Tempo Tights for sure, and will really enjoy wearing these. Over my last two makes, Greenstyle Creations have proved their worth and really showed me the value of their designs.
I do not, however, love or trust the fabric. It is not as thick as I think it should be, and it goes really white when I bend down, or put pressure on it, and these photos demonstrate just how see-through they are already (check out the colour difference next to the pockets). It’s also disappointing to see the white popping through along the seams, it shows an ill-placed delicacy and means I have strong doubts as to the longevity of the fabric. All this makes me really sad as I try to be considered and thoughtful about what I make, with the aim of ending up with items that will last.
In addition, sewing these items showed me just how fray-y polyester fabrics can be, and although they do have their place, it really brought it home to me about the micro-plastics washing down our drains. With that in mind, I have purchased a Guppyfriend, which we will now wash all our polyester clothing in – this is literally Joey’s running kit, and now this pair of leggings: I’m not a big poly fan. A wee lesson, indeed.
- The legs are equal lengths, they’re just not sitting quite right, promise!
Having worn these for yoga, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they coped with the poses. There’s a bit of stretching out at the knees, but nothing out of the ordinary after a big yoga session. The fact that they are see-through won’t stop me wearing them. No one should be looking anyway, but it might make me consider where I wear them, and how.
I’ve not tried them yet in the high tempo workouts that they were made for, but I will update when I have. I know that Wow Fabrics are a new company, and I’d like to support them – the designs are great, and possibly some less complex fabric would be better. You can’t go far wrong with a cotton, surely.
I do not know what everyone feels in terms of writing about Covid-19, and needing an escape. On my other blog, I have been writing a short series of Lockdown Diaries, aimed at relieving pressure by talking about nature, the great outdoors or wildlife sightings. Please do pop over there if you want to check it out, or just enjoy the stress-free sewing posts!
Stay well x