I’ve taken up boxing. This winter was a dark time for me and starting in early spring I knew I needed to do what I could to help myself get out of it. One of the things that I know helps me when I’m struggling with depression is to be more physically active. Of course the worse I’m feeling the less I want to exercise, so I knew I needed to find an exercise class that I would enjoy to help give me that extra push since I just didn’t see getting into a routine again on my own. There aren’t a whole lot of options since I live on an island, but I knew there was a small studio I liked since I had enjoyed classes there before I got pregnant. There was one class that wasn’t full and was scheduled when I regularly have childcare so I decided to start boxing. And I’m loving it.Of course I needed some new exercise clothes to go with my new exercise routine. I started by sewing the top from McCalls M7446. My color blocking was entirely determined by what pieces I could eke out of some scraps – the green I used for my model’s Nautilus Swimsuit and the pink was from a top I had published in Sew News. It works alright, but I found that the upper back is a bit wide while the low waist (over my mom belly) is a bit snug and the binding around the armhole rubs a bit in my underarm.
My goal with exercising is to feel grounded in my body. I’m not setting a weight goal. I’m not setting specific fitness goals. I’m not trying to get back to my pre-baby body. I just want to feel more grounded in the new “me”, the body that has changed so much over the last 2 years. Since I committed to myself to exercise regularly I went ahead and bought an assortment of workout fabrics from Fabric Mart all of which were described as “activewear knits”. The solid charcoal is the most useful of the lot as it’s just the right weight to be a heavy top or leggings. The geometric print feels a lot like a swimsuit lycra, so it was important to beef it up a bit by mixing it with the charcoal. I went down a size on the top half and up a size on the bottom half and like the fit of this shirt better. Rather than putting in bands, I just folded the raw edges under 1/4″ and used a triple-stretch zig-zag. Not the most elegant but totally functional and no worry of rubbing under my arms.
I also tried the Fehr Trade VNA top. It’s an interesting shape pattern piece and interesting construction that gives the finished shirt some design interest. I scratched my head a bit at what seemed like sparse instructions at times, but it did all come together without a hitch so perhaps I was just overly tired when working on it.
Finally, I sewed the leggings from the McCalls pattern. The bubble fabric is a swimsuit lycra (leftover from a couple Nautilus Swimsuit hacks) given to me by Funki Fabrics. They work, but the fit isn’t perfect. They’re oddly tight around my calf (since I have chicken calves I can’t imagine them fitting anyone with normally proportioned legs) and ended up a bit loose through the thigh (though I can’t guarantee that some of the fit eccentricity didn’t come from lazy/fast tracing/sewing). They look cute and they work, and it’s really only a seamstress that’s going to pick up on their flaws, so I’ll stop complaining.
It is nice to have a handmade workout wardrobe and it’s certainly makes getting ready to workout a bit more inspiring. I still have quite a bit of fabric and a few ideas floating around, so there will definitely be more to come. Someday.
Anyone else into boxing? I have no interest in every sparring, but I sure do work up a good sweat on the speed bag and I can often feel the stress drain out of me with each punch into the heavy bag!