Sporty Summer Sewathon – Olivia who? Exercise Outfit

It was during Me Made May ’14 that I realised my good intentions to sew my own sportswear had gone wayward and Karen’s Sporty Summer Sewathon was all the motivation I need.


When I told Karen I’d be making an exercise outfit for the sewathon she gave an interesting reply…

Karen and Olivia

If like me, the only thing you remember Olivia Newton John for is Grease and, if like me, you’re wondering why Karen could possibly dream an exercise outfit out of a tight black shiny catsuit then let me enlighten you…

About 2 years before I was born, Olivia Newton John released a song called ‘Physical’ complete with an innuendo filled music video in which she wears traditional 80s exercise get-up.

Karen if you’re reading this then I’m happy to oblige with a blue top but please can I be forgiven for not providing pink leggings, white high-leg leotard, sweat band and legwarmers? And I ain’t doing this pose either!

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 1

With my printer broken I couldn’t print out the pattern I’d intended to use for the top so I returned to Kwik Sew 3672 which was a failed make of mine from last year. To fix the previous fit problems I graded in for waist and out for hips and fitted the neck and back straps on the fly. For both functional and aesthetic reasons I cut 4 back strap pieces, sewing two together then turning right sides out before attaching to the top.

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 4

The shelf bra was completely useless last time so I just omitted it this time and delegated bounce control to my tried and tested sports bras. It doesn’t look that bad underneath… does it? My fellow gym goers all seem to flash their sports undergarments so it doesn’t feel like I’m breaking the rules.

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 5

My other deviation from the pattern instructions was to three-step zig zag the elastic round the neckline which gives better retractable stretch of the elasticated edges than the recommended twin needle top stitch.

Oh and since I promised Karen a whole outfit… I made leggings too!

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 3

I copied my favourite RTW cropped leggings but I pattern hacked the cross-over waistband of the skirt from Kwik Sew 3672. I’m loving the v-waistline but it’s a little difficult to see in this print.

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 7

I need to make a few tweaks to perfect my leggings pattern but not bad for a first sew-up of a cloned and hacked pattern. Plus my imagination is running wild playing with colour in the waistband to highlight the cross-over… not to mention the growing inspiration I’m accumulating on my Pinterest ‘Workout Look Great’ board.

Having implied that Karen’s joke was way before my time, I’m outta here!

Sewathon Exercise Outfit 2

17 responses to “Sporty Summer Sewathon – Olivia who? Exercise Outfit

  1. These are great, much better than Olivia’s 😉 I especially like the back of the top, and I agree, sports bras are to be seen as tops rather than undergarments:)

  2. Being old enough to remember Olivia Newton John getting ‘physical’ I think that you’ve done a fabulous job!

  3. I loved the rather kitsch ONJ’s ‘Get Physical’ video and think you have paid a fitting homage to her cool lycra-clad outfit.
    Now I think you need to practise those downward-facing-dogs a bit more so in your next ‘work-out’ blogpost we can see you re-create some of ONJ’s more challenging poses ; )
    Your new work-out top looks fab and I agree with SewingGoddess that sports bra’s are absolutely fine to be on show – and in a contrast colour can add a whole new dimension to your work-out wardrobe.

  4. Having just spent a fortune in the Sweaty Betty sale, this was the perfect inspiration post for me. Looks great and loving the poses 🙂

    • Oh I know, RTW sports wear is so expensive and often only comes in pink and black. These are the two main reasons why I’m making a concerted effort to sew my own.

  5. Love the outfit, particularly the print for the leggings and from the poses it’s obviously practical too. well done

    • Well yes, I did a quick test for the photos but I’ve already worn the top to two classes and the leggings to one for proper testing! Both stood up to the workouts well and the top got compliments.

  6. Pingback: Lost In Translation | Did You Make That?

  7. Really like your leggings!! Great workout attire! Oh yes I remember Olivia Newton John and dancing to that video as a kid.

  8. What a fantastic workout outfit! I love the colour combination.

  9. Two years before you were born?! You missed out! This is a fantastic outfit, you look beautiful and svelte and it doesn’t matter at all that you can glimpse your sports bra! I am very impressed. Thanks for taking part!

    • Aww thanks Karen. It was a great idea for a sewing challenge and has really inspired me. I’ve got the Papercut Pneuma Tank pattern in its way to me and I’m dead set on honing those capri leggings.

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