Looking for some great activewear sewing patterns?
I’ve dabbled off and on sewing my own activewear, and I’ll say it now, it’s worth the effort.
When you make your own activewear, you can create fun custom looks you’d be hard pressed to find. And with all of the wonderful activewear fabrics available to home sewists these days, you can make designer worthy activewear without the designer price tag.
This post is all about giving you some ideas of where to look to find great activewear sewing patterns and resources that can get you started making your own activewear. I’m highlighting specific pattern companies and relevant patterns to help you find the best of the best.
So grab that nylon spandex from your stash that’s in search of a project, and let’s find some good patterns that’ll get you moving.
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Table of Contents
DIY activewear patterns and tutorials
- DIY fleece leggings
- Add a drawstring cowl to a t-shirt
- Raglan tee series: tons of ideas for how to make a raglan t-shirt pattern and then hack it many ways. Making your own patterns for activewear is fun! Raglan tees are perfect for activewear with their comfortable sleeves and you can make them in a variety of knits that’s perfect for your favorite athletic activity.
Free activewear patterns
Before I highlight all the various companies who make activewear sewing patterns, here’s some free activewear patterns you can try:
- Love Notions Leggin’s: size 2T-girls 14 with elastic or yoga waistband
- Mood Sewciety: the legendary fabric store of Project Runway has an excellent selection of free paterns. Check out their activewear/athleisure patterns. They do a good job incorporating fashion details into their patterns. The June Bralette and Arbor Skort are two that catch my eye.
- Birch Fabrics Basic Yoga Pants: comfy pull-on pants for yoga, women’s xs-xl.
5 out of 4 Patterns
5 out of 4 Patterns has a good selection of swim patterns for women, men, and kids as well as some good sportswear jackets and activewear skirts.
- Swim trunks: for men xxs-5xl
- Mona Monokini: women’s xxs-5xl and girls’ 0-3 months-14
- Shenanigans skort: with optional ball pocket. Sizing is women’s xxs-5xl and girls’ 2-18.
Boo Designs is an Aussie shop that has one of the best selection of activewear sewing patterns for kids, babies and tweens you’ll find. These patterns are definitely designed for active kids for sports like gymnastics, dance, and swimming. They are also a fabric shop, so you’ve got everything you need to make your own activewear at your fingertips.
Cool patterns from Boo Designs to try:
- Pocket leggings: bike shorts/longer leggings for sizes 2T-14
- Dynamite activewear: active top/crop top with cool crossover back detail and multi length leggings and bike shorts. Sizes are 2T-14.
If you’re looking for activewear patterns with curvy sizing, Cashmerette has an excellent activewear bundle for sizes 0-16 (bust 33”/hip 35”-bust 44”/ hip 46”) and 12-32 (bust 40”/hip 42”-bust 60”/ hip 62”).
This collection has some great yoga sewing patterns that are beginner friendly:
- Belmont Leggings and yoga pants
- Cedar dolman top
- Spruce tank
- Shawmut yoga bag
To my knowledge Controlled Exposure doesn’t have a website, but I always see their patterns in outdoor friendly sewing shops like Rockywoods, The Rain Shed, and Seattle Fabrics. They have patterns that’ll keep you toasty in snowy conditions. If you ski or snowboard or snowshoe, I would give these a try.
They’re very specific in detailing the types of fabrics/notions you need to make gear that’s reliable and suited for the mountains. These patterns definitely have the potential to save you some money by making things yourself.
Try these Controlled Exposure patterns:
Daniela of DG Patterns is a highly creative and prolific pattern designer, so I’m glad to see she’s got some activewear sewing options out there. All of these are beginner friendly to boot.
- Eugenia Sportswear: race back bra pattern + leggings
- Caine leggings: great athleisure leggings pattern with pockets
- Rowen activewear set: colorblocked workout tank pattern + leggings with unique wrap around seaming
Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade is an avid marathon runner, so when she started designing patterns, you know they’re road-tested—literally! Look for RTW inspired colorblocking in her designs, comfortable patterns for distance running, and yoga patterns. She always adds cool details that are fun to sew and make a visual statement.
Her book Sew Your Own Activewear is also a favorite on my shelf. It’ll walk you through making your own yoga pants, crop top and running leggings as well as giving you loads of helpful advice on sewing quality activewear at home.
Sizing is for women’s xxs-xxl (bust 33”-45”, hips 35.5”-48”)
Patterns to try from Fehr Trade:
- Knot-maste Yoga set
- Kinetic Tee: so cool for a warm-up or post gym top!.
- Steeplechase Leggings: no inseams with an optional hidden back pocket.
Green Pepper has been making sewing patterns for outdoor enthusiasts since 1973. There’s sewing patterns specifically for skiing, hiking, skating, and biking with a lot of useful accessories for keeping you warm. If there’s a specific outdoor activity you love, and you’re interested in saving some money sewing your own gear, Green Pepper can help you out! Some patterns to consider:
- Kids’ Sugarpine overalls: great for skiing/snow gear.
- Sunset Bay cargo shorts/zip pants: perfect for hiking
- Rainier wind and rain suit
Greenstyle Patterns has done a great job creating activewear sewing patterns that look like high end designer activewear. If you love the styling details of brand names of activewear, Greenstyle is an excellent resource for your DIY activewear making.
Sizes for most bottoms run from B-M (Hips 32-62”), sports bras of various size ranges (most inclusive from 28-46 and cups A-H in the Power Sports Bra).
They have tons of leggings patterns (some with add-on free patterns for extra cool details), excellent patterns for sports bras and other cool active lifestyle patterns that can wean you off Lululemon for good.
Patterns to check out:
- Endurance Sports Bra: this one looks like my favorite Enell running bra
- Tempo Athletic Tights
- Waimea Rash Guard
I can’t talk about activewear sewing without talking about Jalie. Based out of Montreal, Jalie is known for creating sewing patterns for specialized sports like figure skating, ballroom dancing and gymnastics as well as fitness patterns for running and other outdoor activities like swimming and surfing.
Every Jalie pattern comes in sizes from 2T-women’s 56 (28 sizes!), which makes them an excellent value for families needing multiple sizes. They’re all excellently drafted with clever construction techniques that’ll make you a smarter sewist.
For activewear, try:
- Audrey workout top: great for yoga, weight lifting, barre, just about anything.
- Anne-Marie tank and dress: designed for tennis with optional places to hold your tennis balls.
- Stretch soft shell jacket: great for hiking
- Sports bra and short tights
- Cora tights: awesome for running with genius pocket for holding your phone and comfortable seams that don’t chafe.
- Marie-Claude raglan pullover: great layering top with thumbhole cuffs for running, hiking etc.
I’ve been a Jalie fan girl since 2009! Some of my Jalie makes:
- Jalie Valerie rashguard and swim shorts
- Lace bodysuit from Jalie’s Bella dress
- Jalie Cora leggings x2
As I understand, Kwik Sew as a brand no longer exists (sad!!!!), but their patterns are still out there if you’re willing to look. Here’s some awesome Kwik Sew activewear patterns I found:
- Kwik Sew 4163: bike shorts, workout tank/top and long leggings (great modest set with fun colorblocking)
- Kwik Sew 2082:vintage oop pattern for halter style bikini and pattern for making wrap skirts for swim coverups.
Love Notions has a great selection of everyday wear patterns. For activewear, try out:
- Resolution Bottoms: yoga pants pattern (straight leg and boot cut), jogger pants pattern, and leggings (plain and motorcycle leggings) all in one.
Madalynne makes beautiful bra patterns, so I was glad to see they have some sports bra patterns too available as sewing kits or just the patterns themselves. They have fresh modern styling with good details and the excellent construction you’d hope for from a bra designer.
- Roxie bralette: cool design with asymmetric mesh detail, A-J cups with 8 band sizes.
- Simplicity 9620 kit: Simplicity publishes some Madalynne patterns, but it’s nice to have a physical sewing kit for some of them too sold by Madalynne.
McCall’s has done a good job keeping up with indie pattern companies with their activewear patterns. If you live close to a store with paper patterns, definitely watch the sales for patterns like these:
- M7874: a great running jacket with thumbhole cuffs and other great details
- M7417: girls and women’s rash guard/swim bottoms. Nice for swimming/surfing/those who need all the sunscreen (me!)
- M8208: cycling top and bike shorts pattern
I’ve always been a fan of Ottobre for their excellent basics with interesting RTW details. My collection of their magazines for women, kids and family has served my family well. There are often activewear sewing patterns inside of individual issues, though you can’t buy individual patterns. The women’s 2/2021 issue has both a good sports bra and leggings patterns inside.
If you’re interested in Ottobre, I suggest browsing through the individual issues (click on the all patterns PDF for line drawings) to get an idea. You can buy back issues from Ottobre. I’ve also bought them on Etsy, Ebay and in Patternreview’s classifieds.
Peekaboo Pattern Shop
Peekaboo Pattern Shop is a great place for kids’ patterns and patterns for the whole family in general. There’s a good selection of kids’ activewear, outerwear and swimwear patterns. Kids sizes are 12 mos-12 years.
Patterns to try:
- Kids Momentum Shorts: all around active kid shorts with options for layered shorts, bike shorts and more. Also available for women.
- Agility Leggings: many lengths of leggings with optional added skirt. I love the bow in the side panel!
- Swan Lake Leotard and Swimsuit Pattern: sizes 3 mos-12 yrs.
Porcelynne is a great resource if you want to get into bramaking in general. They have several styles of sports bra patterns with additional add-on patterns if you want to turn your sports bra into a top.
The size ranges are excellent with up to 195 sizes available. The largest size range I found is from 28AAA-52N.
The files are available as PDFs and also projector patterns.
Rebecca Page is always a good choice for their family bundle patterns. Look for these activewear offerings from Rebecca Page:
- Stirrup Leggings: available for girls and women (curvy sizing available).
- Children’s Ballet Bundle
- Bralette Tank
If you do cold weather sports, this Finnish company should not be overlooked. My husband wears his Shelby Nallo Jacket pretty much all winter long. These people know what’s needed of cold weather activewear, and they make patterns that have ALL the details.
Patterns to try:
- Shelby Nallo Jacket: softshell jacket with extremely warm hood, for men sizes 44-56.
- Korouoma Pant pattern: for technical fabrics with instructions for adapting it for hiking, raingear, or winter sports activities. Available for men and women.
Simplicity always has a good selection of activewear patterns, so this category is always worth checking out if you’re a paper patterns person.
Simplicity current activewear patterns (Jan 2023):
- S9620: cool bralette and tights designed by Madalynne, so you know the bra construction is good!
- S9609: cool swimsuit pattern with fun cutout and colorblocking options.
- S8560: fun sports bra pattern (30-44 band and A-G cup sizes)
Style Arc fuses ready to wear elements into all of their excellent patterns. Be sure to check their size chart as they offer either single size patterns or ones with a limited number of multi-sizes. Here are some of their activewear offerings:
- Becky Yoga Pants: boot leg cut and elastic waistband
- Monica Sports Legging: eye-catching waistband detail and paneled knees for freedom of movement.
- Steffi Jacket: Such innovative seaming on this one! This would be a perfect jacket for running.
The Last Stitch
Johanna Lundstrom like Melissa Fehr sews her own beautifully detailed activewear. Her Sewing Activewear book is chock full of helpful tips to get your own handmade activewear looking professional. Also check out her leggings pattern:
- Aila leggings: fun side and back details on this runner-friendly leggings pattern.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.