The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation


Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about activewear and it’s not just a pop in the pan.  If you stop to think about it – it’s pretty logical.




This is an awful lot of buzz for something that’s not quite a trend.  And it looks like it has some $$$ behind it.  By that I mean that this is pretty much an untapped market.  The marketers are probably right – it is.  It’s like a whole new category – not formal wear, not casual wear, not denim, but something else entirely.

What I’ve noticed is that there’s more fashion to activewear.  No longer the plain black yoga pants (although those are pretty classic), but blog topics as “Is It OK To Wear Yoga Pants To Work?” or “On Dress Down Friday, Can I Wear Boot Cut Knit Pants To Work?” beg the question is activewear far behind in the office.  Well, if it isn’t then that means it’s going to have to get a lot more fashionable.

Enter the designer activewear market.


And enter the home sewists into the activewear market.  I couldn’t resist this, and even more, couldn’t resist a whole newsletter this month on patterns, finishing details, fabric sources and had a blast writing this up.  As much as the marketers I’m really into this type of garment.

For the last 4 years I’ve been making and designing my own active wear and I’m frankly shocked.  Not only in the quality of the garment, but how much I love it.  I thought when I made my hiking pants that I would honestly make about 3 or 4 pairs – cause after all that’s how many RTW I had – so I could do that.  But I love my first pair so much and they have lasted and lasted (and honestly they have really gotten better with the washings and wearings), that I haven’t even thought about making a new pair.  That’s the way I feel about my Matissesque biking outfit (above).  I thought I would make a Miro one, a Picasso one, a Klimt one (That delicious gold background of “The Kiss” is to die for!!!), but I can’t stop wearing the Mattise one and don’t seem to need another. (I need some snazzy new shoes to go with this outfit though!)

This isn’t as much a summer trend, although summertime is a great time to start working on some activewear, but fall and winter are just as wonderful.  I have visions of wonderful layering of some silk and cotton and bamboo that would be so hard to find, much less to buy, and some excellent fleece that would have pockets all the places I need them.  That’s what I love about my hiking pants. When Walt says, “Hey where’s that wide angle lens?” I got that puppy cause I have pockets specifically designed to securely hold a large lens; and when I need to put away the keys while we’re out hiking and crawling around on heaven knows what or where, the keys won’t fall out cause I have them securely zippered in my pocket, it just makes hiking that much more fun!


Hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter as I had a blast putting it all together for you.


  1. This is so timely, there is a huge amount of active wear sewing going on in the blogging world and I plan on making my own garments this month.

  2. I’m starting to sew my active wear too. I’m seeing great pattern offerings from Jalie, Kwik Sew and an independent named Fehr Trade available on Etsy. After seeing prices at Athleta, lululemon and the sort I knew I had to start sewing my stuff. Also, per your note, it’s a way to incorporate some jazzy prints and fun that I might not choose to use in my everyday wear. Case in point, I just picked up a pink and green watermelon performance knit. Now I’m torn on do I make a running skirt or a swimsuit? Or maybe both!

    • In my July Newsletter I list a whole bunch of activewear patterns and sources for fabric. This has always been one of my biggest hurdles, but since the market is beginning to expand, there’s more available for the home sewist. Even Spoonflower has come out with two different activewear fabrics, but more than this, I see headlines almost daily now about the fashion market getting into activewear. Don’t forget those details and edgings, they can really add a lot to your activewear!

  3. The exercise tights I was making were insanely popular and in demand.
    I would never have guessed they would be so much in demand,
    So much so I could not keep up the quantities that needed to be made,
    I had to tell the lady who was marketing them that she needed a factory outlet to make them, just to keep up to the orders 🙂
    So it was a wonderful,successful and profitable venture but not what I wanted to do long term. After 250+ pants in just a couple months I now
    Know that is not how I want to sew 🙂 so making a couple now and then, for myself or friends,family and the occasional order, is wonderfull and so much appreciated. I just love your outfit.
    I’ll have to look into your newsletter, I love your topics. you seem to be on par with my topics of the day 🙂

Leave a Reply