Have you ever passed over a pattern because you thought, "Oh, this will never look good on me?" If you said no, let me just say that I don't believe you. I can't even begin to tell you how many gorgeous patterns I've passed over because I was convinced that it would never look good on me. Then, three months ago, I started doing CrossFit and things started changing. (Also, I'd like to make a guess that this is one of the first times CrossFit has come up in a blog about sewing...)
By things changing, I don't mean just my body. My whole attitude about myself changed. I suddenly was saying yes to things that scared me. So, when Angela of Greenstyle put out a call for testers for her new open back pullover, I applied. Much like when I signed up for my marathon, when I got the email saying I was in as the 3XL tester, I panicked. There was no way 250-pound me could sew and wear this top. I almost backed out several times, but I made a commitment and even if it looked terrible, the worst case scenario was that I wouldn't send in photos.
So, I started cutting my fabric and sewing. I was insanely apprehensive about what would happen. Unfortunately for my anxiety, but great for sewists everywhere, this pattern is extremely quick to workup. It takes about four hours from opening the pattern file to finished garment. I pulled on my first version in our living room and my husband assured me it looked good, so I packed it in my bag to wear after CrossFit the next day.
Here's the thing: in order to put the top on, I had to strip down to just my sports bra in the middle of the gym. At work. On a Tuesday. You know, no big deal. The thought had me so anxious that I actually started crying during the WOD. (I couldn't make up this story if I tried.) But, after doing a million push presses and squats, I did it. I changed in front of everyone in the box and had another athlete take my pictures. And in true Buzzfeed fashion, you'll never guess what happened next.
People started giving my compliments and were amazed when I told them I made my shirt. One of my supervisors even said "You need a red or a blue sports bra. The white one doesn't do you justice." WHAT?!
So, I did what any rational person would do: I decided to make another version.
Even though I live on the California Coast, I don't own anything for the beach. (Body issues, remember?) So, I decided to suck it up and make a shirt for pre- and post- beach outings with some flawed fabric I got from Pretty Posh Prints. While the fabric was hellacious to work with (RIP double needle), I think the final project might be one of my favorite things I've ever sewed. It's cute, flowy, and my smile in these photos is genuine: I felt happy and comfortable.
So, here's the moral of my story: if you think something is cute, make it. You never know what your next favorite project will be.
My tops took me about four hours each. My fabric came from Pretty Posh Prints.
The slub anchor fabric was a flawed lot and cost about $2 a yard. The ponte superhero print was $6 a yard. The colorblocked red jersey came from Koshtex and cost $6.75
Because I tested the pattern, I got it for free. You can get it here for $8 while it's on sale.