Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas

Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas
 Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas

Hey you. Me. Again. Finally. It wasn’t my intention to be so long away from the keyboard, but my latest project nearly swallowed me whole. It all started with a thrift store find. Four way stretch fabric with a decidedly denim vibe. I knew exactly what I wanted to create…a yoga pants version of Closet Case Files Ginger Skinny Jeans. And apparently I didn’t want to create just one pair. Originally, I thought two….the first as a wearable muslin…the second with my treasured denim. But. After my first pair {the green ones}, the weather got chilly enough to warrant the cozy yellow pair. Still…my ankles were feeling fickle…I further tweaked my Ginger Jeans et voila…ankle length yoga pants with self fabric cuffs. My activewear is deliciously close to being lounge wear. After three rounds, I finally felt ready to cut into the four dollar good stuff. After meticulously fitting my bottom with four pairs of stylish bottoms, it seemed just that my upper half receive likewise attention. And looky dat….Tasia at Sewaholic releases her athletic-inspired collection including the Dunbar Top. High ho, high ho…off I go to sew. Now…sitting amidst a colourful pile of stretchy clothing…I do believe I’ve unintentionally created my very own, ultra exclusive, Yoga Wear brand.

Vancouver has, over the years, become quite the fit city, and yoga is wildly popular at the moment. For once, I was ahead of a trend. I started yoga in about 1975. Yep…’75. My Mom and I registered for evening classes at the local YM/YWCA. I’ve continued yoga on and off for…ack….forty…forty years. I love how yoga is more than just movement…it’s mindfulness, meditative, strengthening, toning, grounding.

There have been times when I’ve done less yoga and more exercise based movement…specifically the eighties….I was a bit of a gym rat and was big on aerobics classes…high impact, low impact, Jazzercise, Step Aerobics…you name it, I probably did it. It was during that time that I made and sold activewear. For real. It was on a very, very, small scale. I had leotards ready made and ready to sell, but everyone kept requesting custom this and custom that, and it all became tedious rather quickly. Curious about my makes? Here, I’ve googled 1980’s aerobics clothing. for you. And it’s really okay….I had a good laugh too.

Eep…now that I’ve talked all about me for several paragraphs, let’s talk shop for a minute. As I mentioned, all fabrics are 4-way stretch fabrics. I cut and sewed my yoga pants the same size as my Ginger Skinny Jeans. I cut them just below knee length and added a half moon shaped band of fabric to the bottom. {The orange pants were done a little differently…they are full length with a self fabric ribbed cuff.} I did not add a zipper, but I did keep the fly front fabric, which I stitched flat with top stitching. I did not add front pockets, but the back pockets are fully functioning. The waistband is tweaked from the original jeans pattern. I traced out a front and back waistband, using CCF’s waistband as a template. Instead of cutting separate waistband and facings, I made the waistband width wide enough to fold over in half. I trimmed some length off of both front and back waistband pieces; the exact amount really being dependent on how stretchy the fabric is. You want enough stretch that your pants will stay up {very important}, but not so much that you can’t get them up over your hips {also very important}. For reference, my waistband pieces are about 3/4 of the measurement of the pants waistline plus seam allowances. After sewing the front and back waistbands together at the side seams, I folded the waistband in half, right sides together and machine sewed it to the pants. On the orange ones, I added two eyelets and a drawstring. On the others, I left a small opening in one inner side seam where I can add elastic if the pants begin to lose their stretch.

Next up…my Dunbar Tops. Although I am not Tasia’s target market….she drafts for the pear shaped body….I really wanted at least one piece from the new Vancouver Collection, because…hello….Vancouver. Having sewn both her Cambie Dress and her Minoru Jacket, I was confident that I could alter my Dunbar Top to fit. And…yes…I feel I was successful. I do, however, notice just a bit of rippling along the necklines of my tops, and I know that is because I did not alter the built in shelf bra properly. Yes…I cheated…altering the outside to perfection while leaving the innards basically unchanged. It wasn’t until I sewed the elastic bra band on that I truly saw the error of my ways. To be clear….my tops fit like a dream; there’s no bouncing or pinching. They’re Comfort with a capital C. But? Well, I just want to make the perfect one. So, yep. I’m going to sew at least one more, and I’ll be building it right, including the insides. I might even sew the sports bra view B for a different look. Then, I’ll write a post giving the Dunbar Top the schtar treatment it deserves! Hey, I might even come up with a few more yoga poses…

All righty, ’til next we chat. Happy sewing. Happy styling. Happy smiling.


  • Reply Flo November 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    How cool! Isn't it fun to take a pattern you've already used and find another item you can make from it? Those all turned out great, and they look very comfy, perfect for yoga.

  • Reply Hana Velvet Ribbon November 23, 2015 at 6:47 am

    They turned out great! I can not say which one is my favourite, I love them all 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo November 23, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Look at you doing the splits!!! Lots of great form here…I can tell you've been doing yoga for 40+ years. Oh right…I'm supposed to talk about your sewing ; P

    Well as a non sewer this of course just floors me. I've tried to sew some stretchy polyester before and snagged it within an inch of its life. I wound up with a huge mess. I have loads of admiration for those that can sew stretchy fabric.

    I REALLY like the demin style ones. Been looking for some decent pants like that which as you wrote, stay up. I find that is the problem with the pants I've bought. I'm constantly pulling them up.


  • Reply Justine/ Sew Country Chick November 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Fun idea! I think you might start a trend! I was a gym rat in the 80's too, and still am. Remember those G- string leotards worn OVER leggings? Ha!

  • Reply Vix November 23, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I can see you've been practising yoga for decades, look how toned and fantastic you look! the top is inspired and the pants look super comfy. xxx

  • Reply amy mayen November 23, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Ooh reading this post made me want to stretch. Love it all! I really like the sweetheart shape of the tops, you look very hourglass Sue! I always love seeing what you've been up to. Write again soon!

  • Reply Anonymous November 23, 2015 at 10:16 am

    You look fantastic Sue. Love the colours and fit. And, yes, Yoga is the best.

  • Reply Anne-Marie November 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Woaw ! You were productive! Nice nice nice line of clothing.The colours are yummy and in winter we need that.

  • Reply Melanie November 23, 2015 at 11:23 am

    The splits? You are a superhero! I didn't realize you've been doing yoga that long. That is beyond cool. There must be a colourful belt, not black belt, but like a kaleidoscope belt for such an achievement. But you don't need that when you have all these truly amazing colourful yoga outfits. These are incredible! Like Suzanne wrote, anyone who can stitch stretch lives in another realm

    I also like how you saved the good stuff $4 fabric (heh) till you perfected the pants. Move over Lululemon for LuluSue. Although, as you said, the reality of selling and the joy of making are two different things. I laughed over the '80s wear. I was one of them for a short time. Great stuff, Sue. You are creating a storm over there. Hurrah!

  • Reply fashionandfoodandotherstuff November 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Very lovely colours!

  • Reply Curtise November 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    My goodness, you really can sew anything and everything, Sue! I love your yoga wear, it's bright and colourful and completely suitable for its purpose, and I am (as always) extremely impressed! (With both your sewing and your yoga skills!) xxx

  • Reply Shirl November 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    lovin' these tops and pants that you have sewn. And you are looking very well in your pics too.


  • Reply Val S November 23, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    You're just doubly amazing – sewing stretchy fabric AND being a yoga guru! I didn't even know yoga existed in 1975. No wonder you're always smiling – you're blissed out all the time.

  • Reply Merche Martinez November 24, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Hello there, yoga girl! It is always fun to find new things about people you admire. So there you are all beautifully clothed for your fitness regime.. You´ve done a great job!
    I'm also into sewing active wear at the moment, I've sewed some track pants for the children and one for me, I used Vogue 8909, and they look good, but the sizing..oh well!
    Always enjoying your posts!!!

  • Reply Heather November 24, 2015 at 5:48 am

    What a great idea! You look amazing Sue! 80's leotards always crack me up!

  • Reply Louise Perry November 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Wow you have made a lot of clothes here! Great idea to use the ginger jeans as a base for these. Impressed with the bendy poses, not sure I could do that!

  • Reply Connie November 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Not only are you physically flexible but you are sewingly flexible. I'm pretty certain that you could sew just about anything. These things are gorgeous and you are gorgeous in them. As a former Pilates instructor I know how important these outfits are. And heck yeah. I had a thigh high leotard in the 80's as I grapevined my way through “Gloria” by Laura Brannigan. Once again you have me floored by your skills. In your honor I am now doing a downward dog and a pigeon. Ruff! Squawk!!!

  • Reply Patti November 25, 2015 at 6:29 am

    You're beautifully fllexible, Sue! Love your yoga wear too, you are such a talent. xox


  • Reply petite josette November 25, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Great stuff! I love the colourful print of your last photo!
    I spent most of october sewing activewear myself, but for running (just posted about it a couple of days ago). I'd already bought the pneuma tank pattern when Tasia came out with the Dunbar top, but I'm thinking I'd really like to try it too! Great idea also to turn the Ginger Jeans into yoga jeans!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion November 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    My goodness… I took a sharp breath when I saw you doing the splits. I bow my head deep for you. I also have to say that you have a pretty awesome body. Very good proportioned. You see, fitness wear (I don't do yoga unfortunately… long story) on me, makes me look like a stick or an interted triangle. You have a tiny waist and you have hips… perfect shape.
    As for the yoga garments… they are perfect. What are you going on about “rippling”??? There is no rippling!! You are over-critical my dear. I love the colours and the shapes. You could indeed sell them (don't … they are too good).
    I wanted to say that the green outfit with the shorts was my favourite but then I went from outfit to outfit: “no this one is the best, no this one…” It is a tie.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks Flo. Yes FUN indeed! Working with a tried and true pattern just makes everything SOOOO much easier.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks Hana. I haven't decided which is my favourite either, LOL…but the orange ones are 'this' close to being pyjamas. I must make a top to go-with.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks Suzanne. The denim ones were the ONES I was inspiring to create. And I too, am super happy with the outcome.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    LOL…oooh, that could mean I'm ahead of two trends.

    And those G-string leotards over leggings…been there, done that. The ones that make me laugh more are the suspender ones worn over a skimpy t-shirt. I made a few of those.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    And the more decades I accumulate, the more yoga resonates. Thanks Vix. xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks Amy! Tasia has made a lovely neckline. One of the things I like about the Dunbar Top is that the lines are relatively simple, but very flattering. I'll try and be back soon with more!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Oooh…another yogi! Namaste.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you so much Anne-Marie. You are so right. We need colour more than ever during these ever darker winter days.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    But Melanie, you can fly!!! That is much more superhero-ish. I had to do the math a couple of times…it's kind of scary thinking I've even been around that long, but it is what it is.

    LuluSue has the best ring to it! I love it!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you! I'm always on the lookout for colourful fabrics, that's for sure.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks Cuz. These have all been test-driven…they feel as suitable or even more so than ready to wear gear that I've bought previously.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks Shirl. The light green top makes me think of you…your colour.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    LOL…that makes me think back to those days. I'm pretty sure my Mom and I were trying this *new yoga thing* as a lark. But it stuck good on both of us.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks Merche. Hope you've been well. I'm off to take a peek at 8909. Too bad that the sizing was off.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks Heather. Happy we both had a good giggle over the leotards and leg warmers. Come to think of it…pretty much all 80's fashion was over the top.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Well…I have always been bendy. I think flexibility is somewhat genetic, although practice does help.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    OMG, OMG, OMG….you've got me grapevining across the living room…with the massive clap at the end before heading back, LOL.

    So Pilates, eh? And an instructor. No wonder your posture is so good. I've done some mat Pilates and love it too.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks bunches Patti. I've lost some flexibility in my spine. Hopefully my new yoga wear will inspire me to hit the mat more frequently. xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks Josette! I realize that I didn't mention where I bought some of the fabric. The printed fabric in the last photo is from Fabric Fairy in the US. I don't routinely order online from the states, but I received a gift certificate from them while participating in Sew Mama Sew's Online Sewing Contest a few years ago. It's swimsuit fabric, so not 100% the best for workout wear, but it's actually quite comfortable on.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas November 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Aw…thanks Greetje! I love the shorts outfit too. That version of the top is the most 'orginal' to the pattern…it has the lowest neckline. I actually have enough fabric to make a long pair of yoga pants to go-with as well. I traced a RTW pair of shorts for the shorts pattern.

  • Reply Rebecca November 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Your work is just incredible! So many people sew clothing but I have never seen anyone make workout wear before! They look so incredibly comfortable and the fact that you say 4 way stretch sounds amazing! Vancouver is definitely big on the yoga trend, lululemon was invented there. I think you will be big like them selling your beautiful creations!


  • Reply No Fear of Fashion November 29, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I tried the hands behind tour back position which you show. Whahaha… I get nowhere near…. I bow for you.

  • Reply Kezzie November 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    WOOOOOOOOO!!!!! To make workout wear is amazing!!! I cannot believe you made your own! It must be hard to work with that type of material! AND, the splits move you did is super! (I physically have never been able to do the splits due to a muscle condiition!) SOOOO impressed!!!!
    This is TOTALLY cheeky and rather shameless, but I decided to enter a Facebook competition to style a dress from Lady Vintage London and I could win a totally lovely prize if I got the most likes on Facebook! At the moment, I am trailing in 3rd place behind 2 other ladies who have at least 100 more likes than me, so I was wondering if you were willing to give me a like at all!?!?! I'm the first one in pink in the album if you were able to like it at all!??

    If not, don't worry, totally cheeky, but worth a try, I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want to win!!!
    Hope all is well with you!


  • Reply dan November 30, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Nothing is more relaxing than some exercise! Good for health and for the soul…
    Your new project gave excellent results and an exclusive Yoga Wear brand is a thrilling challenge!!
    Happy smiling to you too, Sue!!

  • Reply November 30, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    So clever, these are great. Love the idea of jeans look yoga pants, might have to try that. Namaste

  • Reply Cheryl December 1, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Look at you, you're as stretchy and flexible as your cute new outfits. You look fantastic!

  • Reply Lori December 2, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    That is some amazing active wear and what a find on the fabric for the yoga pants

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks so much Rebecca! I know from reading your blog that you look for top quality garments so your words mean a lot!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks Kezzie! Once you get over the learning curve, lycra and other 4 way stretch fabrics are generally okay to work with.

    Your facebook competition dress is adorable! I hope you finished first!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Exercise is indeed good for health and the soul. The only thing better might be a puppy! 😉

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks BJ! I'd love for you to try the yoga jeans. Namaste.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    LOL….I never thought of it that way.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas December 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Thank you very much Lori! I have lucked out with bottom weight stretch fabrics recently….there's even a few more in my stash that I haven't sewn with yet.

  • Reply jen storer December 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Happy holidays, gorgeous! LOVE the gear, you look fantastic and so…bendy! Who cares how much gingerbread you eat, you'll just spring right back! Loads of best wishes. J xx

  • Reply Shipra Sharma January 2, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Very beautiful Yoga pants, You are looking so happy and comfortable in these Yoga Pants.

  • Reply Lynn January 6, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Oh, these look great! I especially like the last outfit.

  • Reply Kelly January 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I love how happy and awesome you look in these fits! Seriously great work, and great writing! It was my absolute pleasure learning about how you sewed the outfits together. I actually just started taking a weekly sewing class last week and I am SO EXCITED! To be able to make my own clothes like you do.. or alter them however I see fit. You are an inspiration 🙂

    Love your blog and love this post! Everything looks excellent and exactly like what I would order if given the chance.. I wish I was there to try this out! Thank you for sharing 😉


  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks sweet Jen! Not quite as much spring as I used to have, LOL. The gingerbread was worth it though! xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you so much Shipra. They are indeed comfortable.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you Lynn! The last one feels so very spring like and I like the high neckline on it too!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks Kelly! I am SO EXCITED for you…taking a sewing class sounds awesome. The very best with all things creative this 2016!

  • Reply velosewer January 30, 2016 at 12:26 am

    You've convinced me the Dunbar is worth making. And you've made so many great versions too!

  • Reply Anonymous January 31, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Sue these are all amazing – what an array of workout variations you now have! I love the way you have taken the ginger jeans to a new level (who'd have thought?!!) & I have the Dunbar pattern too so it's great to be inspired by your versions! Scruffy badger xx

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas February 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I wear them a lot and am really happy with them. I do prefer the ones that I drafted with a slightly higher neckline.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas February 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks so much Winnie! I'm so happy you popped by to say Hi! Your Dunbar tops will be sooooo much fun! I just know it! xo

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