Gym Wear - Cycle Shorts

Leopard Paint Spandex - Review by Sonia Sethi
Hi, I am Sonia, otherwise known as S by S - a 26-year old, pink-obsessed sewist, whose ambition since the UK-wide lockdown has been to design and create my own wardrobe. 

This is a review of Fabric Styles’ leopard paint spandex. I am writing this blog to provide you some tried-and-tested real-life information on this fabric, so you can make an informed choice when purchasing.

For more ideas on how to use this and other fabrics sold by Fabric Styles, visit:

What colours does this fabric not have? The main base of this fabric is purple (the spots are a plum colour while the background is a lilac), but this fabric also contains oranges, yellows, pinks, blues and greens. The colours vary from pastel to bright throughout the fabric.

The other side of the fabric is white, but you can see a hint of the leopard print through it – it is actually very nice, I plan to use this side to make something one day.

Note that the patterned side of the fabric appears whiter when stretched.
If you were to pair this fabric with other colours, I recommend a plain fabric given that there is a lot going on. I have used black, but a lilac, dusky pink, royal blue or mint green would work well.

Given there are so many colours in this fabric, there are many thread colours that would work with this. I have used black, given that this is the colour I paired the spandex. You can see in the below picture that black works fairly well:

This fabric is a spandex. It is fairly light-weight – for those of you who are new to sewing, it has the same feel as a thin bikini. This property gives the fabric excellent drape, perfect for angel sleeves and full-circle skirts. Given it is so light-weight, I recommend using 2 layers for garments that require more support, like cycling shorts.

The best part about spandex is its stretch. This fabric has a 4-way stretch and high elasticity. This makes it perfect for bodysuits, swimwear and sports-garments. When it stretches, the fabric does not become translucent.

This fabric is very opaque, and doesn’t lose this when stretching. You will not have a problem with undergarments being able to be seen through this fabric. However, the fabric is thin, so I recommend using 2 layers if you are making something tight-fitted. In all of the photographs in this blog, I have used 2 layers of fabric.
This fabric is really smooth and comfortable to wear, so if you don’t line the fabric it shouldn’t be a problem. The underside of the fabric is white, so bear this in mind when making skirts or dresses where the inside may be seen.

Ease of Sewing
I am by no means an expert sewist, so how easy a fabric is to sew is really important to me.
On a scale of chiffon (0) to cotton (10), I would give this fabric a score of 7 out of 10 for the ease of sewing. It is a stretchy fabric, which always requires some care when sewing in a machine. However, this was fairly easy to sew if you are using the correct needle. I cannot stress how important it is to use a stretch needle for this fabric – without this, I really struggled. With the stretch needle, it was as easy to sew as scuba. The fabric can feed through without the need for human help, just try to avoid stretching the fabric as you sew. I set my stitch length setting to 4 while sewing this fabric.

You don’t need much sewing experience to sew this fabric. It doesn’t have a particular way up, so you don’t need to worry about how you position your pattern pieces when cutting. The stretch means that the fibres bounce back really well when you rip stitches out, so you aren’t left with holes in the fabric.

Another amazing thing with this fabric is that it doesn't fray when cutting. This means that it is very easy to finish. You don't need to worry about overlocking the fabric on the inside of the garment, and you don't have to turn up at the edges either (although if you choose not to do this, I recommend you cut carefully for a professional finish). Given I was making these clothes for exercise purposes, I used a zig zag stitch on most seams for extra strength.

The best part of this fabric is its stretch, so it is perfect for sportswear, swimwear and leggings. I have used this fabric a few times now, and made the following:

This fabric is perfect for making gymwear, I really recommend you try it for yourself! 
For more inspiration on using this and other fabrics by Fabric Styles, head to

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