Working It Out

Not to psychoanalyze my sewing, but I've worked up a pretty good theory about my recent obsession with activewear. In the before times, I could care less about what I looked like when I worked out. I wanted clothes that were comfy and, preferably, with a pocket for my keys, but beyond that the same running clothes I'd worn for the past 15 years seemed fine. Now, I'm suddenly dreaming up pink matching workout sets and buying leopard-print spandex. What happened?

Well, my theory is this. Before, I could put my energy into fun dresses, skinny jeans, and outfits to wear out. Now, my main outings each day are usually just my morning run and afternoon dog walk. That's it. Suddenly that becomes my only chance to show off my personal style. To see and be seen. And damn it I'm going to take advantage of it!

So with that, I present to you my latest, a leopard print running outfit. 

Pattern: Greenstyle Creations Tempo Tights and Sophie Hines Axis Tank
Fabric: 2 yds reversible leopard print activewear in dusty rose, plus black mesh
Cost: $30

This is another version of the Greenstyle Creations Tempo Tights, which I love for its good fit and fun print mixing possibilities. The reversible fabric on this one made it really easy. I also ordered some more black mesh, this time in a more open weave. (OK I also ordered like a ton more spandex. More on that later.) 

The one update that I made to this pattern, which you can see in the photo above, is that I cut the lower leg insert on the fold rather than as a front and back piece. This eliminates the center seam and allows me to cut the mesh all as one piece. You have to sew it in last after sewing the inseam closed, but it works out well.

The top is another Sophie Hines Axis Tank. I like my tops a bit longer so I lengthened it again, and this time made it with the design panels - one cut in coordinating print and another in mesh. It's fun, but I actually think I might prefer slightly looser tops. And I still can't seem to get the bindings quite the right size. 

Of course, as soon as this fabric arrived the weather really warmed up and long running pants weren't working out too well. (Also, the fires came, so I had to take a break for running for a bit.) But once we had clear skies I thought I might also like some in a bike short length. My thighs tend to rub together when running, so I prefer spandex to looser shorts and wanted them long enough to protect my legs from the rub. I used another spandex from my mail order to put these together. 

These are actually a modified version of the Greenstyle Stride Tights that I have been drafting up. They are designed to have diagonal pieces all down the legs. For the shorts, I raised the diagonal line some and sewed the bottom panel in mesh. This makes them super breathable. The top part still has the pocket and it's even long enough to stash a phone in (though I usually don't run with one). The one update I made after sewing was that waistband, which is double thickness, felt pretty warm on my run. I unpicked it and resewed it as a single layer. Much better!

The tank is an a-line top that's a combination of the Megan Nielsen Reef Camisole with the Axis Tank straps and neckline. The fabric is super soft and I may even steal this (or make another) for non-workout wear. This is definitely my preferred style for runs and it so perfect!

So, one last thing. After making these tights I of course made a few more. And a few more. And as you can tell my obsession is growing. Rather than keep on with the blog posts I figured I'd put it into one quick video for you! Ha!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend and finding fun ways to fill your time! 


  1. so clever and I was wondering about running with long tights, too hot! I want to wear shorts all year round but of course it does get too chilly. Great video and great workout wear.

  2. Haha, loved the video! And great work with all those outfits. I don't exercise enough to wear any of my workout gear out.


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