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  • Writer's pictureJenni Beth

Working Out with Rebecca Page

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to be a part of a blog tour! Rebecca Page is one of my favorite pattern designers, and I had so much fun with these sews!

Recently, RP has released a few different work-out patterns. I have blogged about the Girls' Sports Shorts and Leggings and Bralette and Tank here, and I have written about the Ladies Bralette and Tank here. So rather than writing another post promoting those new patterns, I decided that I wanted to write a post comparing the new Ladies Sports Shorts and Leggings with Rebecca Page's older Lily Leggings, both of which are awesome for workouts. So without further goes :)

The Grammar

Athletic Fabric - It turns out that when you want to make athletic clothing to actually work out in, instead of just wearing to chase kids, specific athletic fabric is helpful. This fabric is usually synthetic (nylon or polyester spandex), and often moisture wicking, quick-dry, and antimicrobial. The fabric I used on these outfits was from Zenith and Quasar. The leggings are made primarily made from their yoga swim spandex, a 250 GSM blend of polyester and spandex that is moisture-wicking and sun protecting. It was really great to sew with! This print is called "Spring Fling." The solid purple Bralette Tank with pleated skirt is made from their hybrid athletic knit, a nylon/poly/lycra blend that was also really great to sew on.

Coverstitch - A coverstitch machine is a separate machine used to make double-lined stitching with looper-stitching on the reverse side (as this is typically the machine used to hem t-shirts, you can probably look at the bottom of one of your t-shirts and see what this type of stitching looks like). Coverstitch machines are also sometimes used to make decorative stitching on the outside of athletic wear. this is called "reverse coverstitching." Rebecca Page's athletic patterns have a video imbedded in them discussing how to use a coverstitch machine for topstitching in this way. I used reverse coverstitching primarily on the Lily Leggings, although I did use my coverstitch machine on the

The Logic

Lily Leggings

The Women's Lily Leggings are mid-to-high rise and full length leggings with a contour waistband. They have optional side stripes, chevron colorblocking, a bum-sculpting panel, and a pocket big enough for my phone on the waistband.

I decided to try out all the options on this one. And I really like all the parts. I think the bum-sculpting panel is a super-fun detail, I love the stripes and chevrons, and the pocket in back is so necessary! The fit is great. They are very comfortable to wear, both for chasing toddlers around and actually working out in. The only part of my leggings that are a little tighter than I prefer is the reverse coverstitching on the chevrons on the legs. Next time, I may leave the chevrons off or topstitch everywhere but there :)

So I absolutely love the fit on these, but an additional side-benefit is that all the colorblocking makes them into an amazing scrapbuster. I made both pairs of leggings out of 2 yards of YSS fabric, and I still have about 2/3 of a yard of it left!

Sports Shorts and Leggings

This pattern is two-in-one. It has running shorts, designed for mobility, along with super easy-to-sew leggings. You can either sew them up separately or put them together like I did. It also has four different lengths from short-shorts to full-length leggings. I sewed up the mid-calf length for mine.

Unlike the Lily Leggings, this pattern has an exposed elastic waistband. This makes the waistband so much quicker to sew in, and if you like the elastic you choose, it is a great option! Make sure to test the elastic for comfort as well as aesthetics (the waistband I used on my muslin has some metallic glitter thread going through it that is very beautiful, but not as comfortable as this plain blue band).

The main lesson that I learned on this sew is the need to pay check the fit on the shorts and the leggings separately. Since I am only 5'3.5", I knew that I would need to adjust the rise and the inseam on this pattern. What I didn't expect, however, was that I would need to adjust the rise different amounts on the different part of the pattern. I took 1.5" out of the rise of the leggings in the front and the back (next time, I will probably just do 1"). But when I tried to take that much out of the shorts, they pulled was just too much. So I ended up leaving the back as-is to cover my large behind and taking an inch only out of the front rise. The great thing about this pattern, though, is that it is really easy to make those adjustments, and still have everything fit together properly :)

The Verdict

So I'm sure you're wondering which pair of leggings I liked better. And there are definitely different things I like about each one. The contour waistband is slightly more comfortable in my opinion than the exposed elastic. And I really like the bum-sculpting panel. I think that is more my style than the running shorts overlay. But I really like the length options on the sports shorts and leggings. And they are so fast to sew, especially if you're not messing with the overlay! Now that I have played with fit on both of them, I will probably try both of them again, but likely with some hacks. I would like to try the contour waistband on the sports shorts AND the sports shorts varying lengths on the Lily Leggings. In general, I will probably make the Lily Leggings for working out and the Sports Short Leggings for lounging in. Both patterns are well drafted, and the tutorials are very well-written.

Here are the links to the pattern one more time:

Rebecca Page Ladies Lily Leggings

Rebecca Page Ladies Sports Shorts and Leggings

Rebecca Page Ladies Bralette and Tank

Comment below so you can click that button the Rafflecopter giveaway. And make sure to check out all the other posts in the Working Out with Rebecca Page Blog Tour.

This post contains various affiliate links. Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales. The commission helps to fund my fabric costs, and is very appreciated.

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Why "Sewing and the Trivium"

The Story

Classical educators like to divide education into developmental stages called the Trivium. These are called "Grammar," "Logic," and "Rhetoric." Grammar refers to the first steps of learning anything: learning the vocabulary of the subject being studied and memorizing facts about that vocabulary. Classically speaking, this corresponds to the elementary years of learning - years when students never seem to grow tired of astounding the adults around them with fact after fact about things they are interested in. Have you experienced talking to a six year old who is really into dinosaurs? enough said...

Adults also begin learning with the grammar of a subject. Each subject has its own unique terminology and facts that need to be mastered before one can explore the more complicated applications of that subject. Sewing is no different. What is a french seam? What kinds of knit fabrics are better for different applications? What is a dolman sleeve or a raglan top? These are grammar queries.

In classical education, logic refers to the action of logically processing the grammar facts students have learned, or are learning. The student who is particularly suited to this type of thought is the middle-school scholar - the student who wants to argue his or her way through the world and "be right" about all the things. This pattern of thought includes bringing different ideas together, comparing and contrasting them, analyzing what an authority figure says about an argument, and deciding whether different arguments are consistent with each other. In the sewing world, logical questions include things like, "How is knit fabric different than woven fabric?" and "Why does this pattern ask for a particular fabric type?" as well as tasks such as mashing two patterns together or changing the sleeve/length/placket from how the pattern was designed.

The final part of the classical trivium, rhetoric, is when a student makes an argument of his or her own by developing a "thesis" or main point and then laying it out for someone else in writing or speech. Typically, students are ready for formal rhetoric in their high school years - years that they are very concerned about what they look like to other people and gain an interest in learning to craft a message in a way that will be most effective for their purposes. Examples of rhetoric in sewing would be fully-formed tutorials or sew-alongs - or even the writing of a blog post itself. Anything that is explaining previously thought-out/tried-out projects can count as rhetoric. 

My goal on this blog is to lay out my sews and thoughts using this framework. And that is why I chose this title.

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