I used to have a terrible habit of jumping straight onto the sewing band wagon. Whatever people happened to post on their blogs I immediately wanted one the same, even if I'd had no intention of making it previously. Shiny new patterns piled up in my shopping basket at an alarming rate. Over time I've learnt to temper this mad "gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude, but there are definite traces still lurking. A recent sewing category I was almost lured in by was sewing my own exercise gear.
|Mr Bolt, even faster than the Bionic Man|
As you probably know, Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time is a fine, accomplished runner. Running is a passion for her and a huge part of her life, so, quite rightly, she makes her own running kit. In true Badger style, her creations are brightly coloured and stylish, mostly using patterns from Fehr Trade (I think). After seeing her VNA Top in the summer I had the pattern in my shopping basket faster than the speed of light, finger hovering over the "Purchase" button. But for once, I hesitated, did I really want to devote my precious sewing time to making exercise gear? To answer that, I need to explain the role exercise plays in my life.
Until recently, it played no role whatsoever. Apart from a bit of sporadic hoola hooping, and going on walks with the family, I did no formal exercise at all. Why? Because I'm lazy of course, there's no point beating about the bush, I simply Couldn't. Be. Arsed. I'm also in the lucky position of being happy with the size I am - a slim(ish), medium-sized UK 12. The problem is, I'm also a middle aged woman (45 years of age and counting) and the sorry fact is that the older you get, the harder it is to stuff your face with pies and still remain the same size. Plus a close family member recently had a fatal heart attack, and the shock and heartbreak that followed his death was like nothing I've ever known. I needed to do some exercise, if nothing else, just to stay fit and healthy.
So for the past few months, I've been running twice, sometimes thrice, a week. Now there are two things you should know about me and running:
1. I'm rubbish at it, and although it is getting a bit easier, I'll never be able to run further than 5K.
2. I hate running. HATE. IT. I do it because it's fast, easy(ish) and free. I have the time and I have a park at the end of my road - that's all.
|In case you're wondering, that smile is forced.|
But I started to think that because I run (ha!), I should also make my own gear. Currently I wear basic, black exercise gear from Marks and Spencer that fulfils its purpose masterfully. It's sort of flattering (as much as skin tight lycra can ever be), it's relatively cheap, it's black and it's anonymous. I know lots of people are driven to making their own running gear purely because they're fed up of only having boring black to choose from, but for me that's exactly what I want. I want to be anonymous and I certainly DON'T want to draw attention to myself. Plus, there's quite a skill involved in sewing your own stretch gear. There's a lot of negative ease to contend with and I just don't have those skills, I can't even make a decent pair of knickers for goodness sake. If I was making exercise gear I'd want it to look like this…
But I'm reasonably certain that any exercise gear I ever made would turn out like Mrs Overall's:
Sometimes you just have to accept when an area of sewing is not for you. And sewing exercise gear, swimsuits, knickers or anything of that ilk is just not for me. The very rambling moral of my story is, just sew what makes you happy. Running doesn't really make me happy, it's a necessary evil, so I don't want to invest time and effort into sewing running gear. Sewing dresses makes me happy, sewing multiple versions of favourite patterns makes me happy and sewing quick, easy, flattering knits makes me happy. I'll carry on wearing my boring, black kit and leave the sewing of beautiful, stylish exercise gear to the true experts!
So tell me, which sewing categories do you like or dislike sewing? I'm all ears! x