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Strong Is The New Skinny | Ballet

Strong is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

Happy New Year Everyone! Thanks for stopping by my stop on the Strong Is The New Skinny Blog Tour!

I love the fresh start offered by the new year – the chance to evaluate last year and make plans for this one. I had a few goals in mind for 2016, but when I saw Becca’s call for the Strong is the New Skinny blog tour, I knew it fit in perfectly with how I’ve been thinking recently about my personal health & fitness. I also had some fitness projects in my sewing stash I was hoping to finish for January so hopping on the tour was a given!

Strong is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

My Fitness History

I didn’t love running in Jr. High. I did a kind of walk run that was mostly walking. Later in high school I took a weight lifting class. I cried after the first class because a cheer leader could effortlessly lift more than I could. In college, I joined a gym after gaining my Freshmen 15, but didn’t really know what I was doing there. After school & newly married, I reminisced about a handful of cardio kickboxing classes I took briefly at the end of High School and remembered having a good time, so I grabbed a used copy of Tae Bo to do at home between gym sessions with my husband. And that is what I stuck with for YEARS. I mean, I could probably do the original Tae Bo series in my sleep! (How’s that for a hidden talent?!) After I had my son I took up running and ran my first 5k, but I’ve pretty much kept up either with running or some version of cardio kickboxing for the last 10 years.

First 5K | Made By Jaime

I had also tried out various ways of changing my eating habits. I tried low carb, a vegan/gluten free/dairy free three week cleanse, added green smoothies to my diet, etc. And of course, there was the negative body image we all struggle with in one way or another – a problem area here that plagued me, the doing too much then getting burned out and doing nothing.

New Adventures

Early in 2015 I was ready for a change. I found it more and more difficult to be excited about the same old videos and keeping up with extreme meal plans was exhausting. Plus there’s #momlife and leftovers that need to be eaten. I started to crave a more balanced approach.

As a teenager, I started to think maybe I’d like to try ballet. I loved Audrey Hepburn, who was a ballet dancer before she became an actress, and I was drawn to the beauty and delicacy portrayed by ballerinas. I’ve talked about it off an on for several years, but this past year, I finally found the courage to find an adult beginner ballet class and took the plunge. I am so thrilled that I did.

Audrey Hepburn (source)

When I talked to the instructor at one of our local studios, she let me know the best time to start would be in 2 months time, since they were currently in the throws of choreography for the upcoming show. I was like a little kid, counting down the days and gathering the appropriate ballet-wear. It only took one class to confirm that ballet was everything I had hoped for, but what wasn’t completely evident to me was the strength required to look that effortless! I fell in love with the new challenge, with the idea that ballet couldn’t be memorized on a video and repeated ad nauseum, with the guidance and instant feedback from the instructor and the experience and camaraderie of a live, group class.

Strong Is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

Ballet has also given me a positive goal for my fitness. Whereas before I was focusing a lot on how I looked, now I find myself wanting to be strong so I can dance better! This is a huge shift in my thinking.

Sewing for Ballet & Dance

Last spring while I was dreaming of starting ballet, I purchased this pattern, Kwik Sew 3671. It is out of print but you can still find it on the Kwik Sew website and uncut copies on etsy & ebay.

In sewing for ballet or dance, lycra is king! If you haven’t sewn with stretch fabrics before, do not fear! Just make sure you have a ball point or stretch needle to use with your machine. You will be using a stretch straight stitch or narrow zigzag stitch on your home machine or your serger.

Strong Is The New Skinny | Ballet | Made By Jaime

This clear lightweight elastic I got from Wawak is great for swim & dancewear. You can also use cotton elastic.

I had made swimsuits before so I felt comfortable with the fabrics and techniques, but I wanted to feel the fabrics for this project, their weight and stretch. So I headed to my local store, F&M Fabrics (online as There are several local theaters in town between the high schools and the melodrama, not to mention the dance studios, and everyone knows F&M Fabrics has the best stretch fabrics for costumes & dance. I was lucky enough to grab a few yards of this black spandex as the bolt was taken off the delivery truck that day, as it is difficult for them to keep it in stock!

Strong Is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

I also grabbed a thinner pink fabric to make a skirt. I started a ballet pinterest board as soon as I knew I would be taking classes and pulled up this tutorial. It went SO FAST – I mean if you cut straight, you don’t even have to hem it. There are no side seams, just cut, attach the waistband and you’re done!

Strong Is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

This particular leotard is so comfy to wear and I love the simple elegance. The one I purchased above for my first class just doesn’t fit well – it’s too short in the torso and I don’t feel great wearing it. I actually broke the Kwik Sew rules and blended sizes to get the perfect fit (it actually says in bold letters not to blend sizes – I now REBEL!).


Strong Is the New Skinny | Made By Jaime

Since I’ve started ballet class, several of my friends have expressed their long held desire to be a ballerina. I cannot stress this enough – if this is something you’ve been thinking about, find a class and GO FOR IT! You will be re-inspired, learn something new, make new friends and have lots and lots of fun along the way.

Waiting Backstage #ballet

A photo posted by Jaime Johnson (@madebyjaime) on

I hope you are inspired and if you want more inspiration and fitness sewing tips, check out the entire tour!

Strong Is The New Skinny Blog Tour | Made By Jaime

I feel silly even needing to state this disclaimer, but “better safe than sorry,” they say. The talented women participating in this tour are NOT trained physicians (unless they state otherwise). I hope you find their testimony encouraging and motivating – but they are NOT adequate substitutes for the advice of your own doctor, trainer, or other health professional. Please consult an expert before adjusting or creating your own fitness regimen.

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M is for Moto Joggers by Hatchling Patterns

You guys!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited to share this pattern with you and be a part of the M is for Moto Joggers Pattern Tour!

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

As you may know, I’ve made wedding dresses. I’ve made quilts. I’ve made kids clothes. I’ve made wallets. I’ve made stuffed toys. But I rarely make or even buy lounge wear. However, the M is for Moto Joggers Pattern*, the first women’s pattern from Hatchlings Patterns, has changed all that for me. This style has been around for a little bit and I’m not usually the type to jump on every new trend, but I’m definitely sold on this style even if it is a little late in the game. I’ve made three versions taking advantage of several of the pattern’s options so I hope you’ll stick with me through the whole post to see how versatile this pattern is!

The first version I made is a size large, full length, no pockets, original waistline. My measurements fell in between medium and large so I felt it was safe to start with Large and take in if need be. I wanted to make the simplest version first to see what I had to work with. I got the fabric, a soft, stretchy, warm, mid-weight knit, at F&M Fabrics locally. For those of you not in the area, they are online at This fabric is interesting on both sides so I made the main part in the stripe and the cuffs in the grey sweater look on the reverse side. These pants are SOOOOOOooooo comfy.

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

I felt like these were the “loungiest” version I made and the waistline is very generous. Hatchlings Pattern describes the pattern like this: “The pattern is designed to sit 2 inches below the natural waist, with extra room across the hips, a very slightly dropped crotch and skinny/tapered legs.

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

They are roomy and comfy and I definitely see myself on Saturday morning with my coffee and iPad loungin’ on the porch (after soccer season, of course).

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

The second version I made in size medium in the capri or under-knee length. This fabric is also from F&M Fabrics/, but its a super soft, lighter-weight charcoal knit. Out of personal preference, I lowered the waistline 3.75 inches so it sits more on my low waist/hips.

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

These are PERFECT for workouts and I fully intend to wear them to ballet class if it should ever cool down here in CA. Hopefully you can see where the waistband hits me here.

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

This version is loose in the right places, stretchy where you need it and the cuffs will keep the pant leg in place even with active movement. I want to wear these all the days….

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

For my third version, I wanted to use the back side of the version 1 fabric for the whole garment. Since it’s more of a solid, I thought it would be a great chance to add the moto detailing. I also really regretted not putting the pockets in my first version. So Version 3 is size medium, lowered waistline with pockets and quilted knee. I was cruising Pinterest for how to style my new moto joggers and was inspired by this look

Inspiration Photo (source)

So I grabbed what I could to try and replicate it from my closet.

M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaimeM is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

I think it’s so fun how this style can go from lounge to workout to every-day! This pattern has many more length options and I love, love, love the waistband construction – just align the elastic with the pants top edge, serge in place, fold down and stretch-&-sew a few rows. No extra waistband piece, not threading the elastic through a tube. After making my first pair, the second pair was done in an hour, cut to wear. And while the more trendy styling is fun, we all know this picture below will be me most every weekend from now until spring!M is for Moto Joggers Blog Tour | MadeByJaime

The M is for Moto pattern* is currently on sale for $9 AUD which is around $6.50 USD and it will be at that price for the duration of the tour! If you have not jumped on the jogger bandwagon, now is the time to join the rest of us in this comfy goodness! And be sure to stop by to see all the other versions on the tour:

October 26th
Paisley Roots, Sew Not Perfect

October 27th
Create 3.5, Miss Castelinhos, Fa Sew La

October 28th
Whisk ‘Em, Nap Time Creations, Made By Sara

October 29th
Friends Stitched Together, From A Box, Made By Jaime

October 30th
Max CaliforniaHouse Of EstrelaMade By Amanda Rose

October 31st
Rebel and Malice, Ma, Me, Mi… Mo 


*Any link marked with an asterisk is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking the link, I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!