The “Sew Your Own Activewear” Yoga Bottoms

It’s a fresh new week and it’s now the turn to look at the other design featured on the cover of “Sew Your Own Activewear” – the Yoga Bottoms! When I was developing this design I really wanted an easy-to-sew pair of leggings with features specifically designed for yoga and other activities which need a wide range of movement.

The description in the book is:
These close fitting leggings are perfect for yoga – or pretty much any other exercise if you prefer a wide waistband. There’s secret elastic hidden inside to give a secure fit, plus a pocket built right into the back waistband that’s generously sized for even the biggest smartphones. A crotch gusset means your leggings will have a full range of motion – even if your legs aren’t quite up to the splits yet!

From first glance, you might be mistaken thinking these are fairly basic leggings and not much change from the Close-Fitting Bottom Block (which really are basic leggings!). But this is not a design which wears its features on its sleeve – the interesting parts here are ones that are functional and more for the wearer than for showing off (though of course you can always make these in crazy print fabrics and let the fabric take centre stage!).

The biggest hidden feature here is the crotch gusset. I’ll be going further in depth into this later this week, but this crotch gusset allows for the wide range of motion needed for yoga and climbing in particular. What’s more, you’ll learn how to draft and sew a crotch gusset onto ANY PAIR OF LEGGINGS by using the instructions in this design. Yup, no more emailing me and asking if one of my leggings pattern has a crotch gusset – you can add one in yo’self!

There’s also a wide waistband with hidden elastic inside (secured so that it doesn’t twist, fold, or shift around inside, too), but you can also omit the elastic altogether if your fabric has a high lycra content and you don’t need the added support at the waist. If you’re a hot yoga fan, you could also choose to cut the inner waistband pieces from power mesh (so long as the crosswise stretch is enough to get over your hips!) to keep things a little cooler.

And finally, I added a back pocket that’s both easy to sew AND secure without any fiddly zips. It uses two overlapping layers of FOE-edged fabric to create a pocket that you can store your phone, keys, bus pass, chapstick, whatever! And since it’s on the outside of the leggings, it’s really easy to access on-the-go, too.

For the sample worn by Jade in the book, I used this heathered grey sport lycra from Stoff & Stil (that’s even on sale right now!) paired with some purple FOE (aka “foldover elastic”, which I showed you how to use in last week’s tutorial!) I’d bought from eBay years ago. The selection of FOE (sometimes called “Baby headband elastic”!) has just exploded over the past few years and the colour and print choice is just crazy now – loads more options there than any single online store I’ve found.

You can also see that we’ve paired the Yoga Bottoms here with another version of the Crop Top so you can really see the back pocket clearly. But you can see there’s actually not that much belly exposure between the high waist of the Yoga Bottoms and the wide underbust band on the Crop Top! It’s really easy to lower the rise on the bottom blocks (or Yoga Bottoms) if you don’t prefer yours to sit at the natural waist, too.

Sew Your Own Activewear cover

If you’ve missed a few posts and would like to catch up, all the details about the book including all my blog posts around it are being gathered at (or you can click “Book” from the menu at the top of your screen!

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