Activewear: Greenstyle Creations Tie back tank and Simplicity 8424


The other day I saw myself walking into the gym and realized that I was dressed like an elementary school student. I was wearing pink polka-dotted shorts, a t-shirt from elementary school (no lie), and an obnoxious blue UNC headband. The great thing about this look is that no one bothers you while working out, but I decided to put a little more effort into my workout wardrobe. Enter the Tie Back Tank by Greenstyle Creations and a second version of the Simplicity 84244 leggings .

There are lots of versions of this shirt on the blogosphere, but Lara of Handmade by Lara Liz’s version inspried me to give this top a try. She wasn’t super happy with the fit, but I’m happy to report that it works great on me. If you’re thinking about making this top, be sure to check out her informative post too! If you’re not thinking about making this top, but want one for yourself, The Gap has a super similar top for $30.


This top was an easy sew. It’s no harder to make than a regular t-shirt. The pattern comes with options for either bindings or bands for the neckline and armscyes. For this first version, I went with bands, for no particular reason. I top stitched down the bands around the neckline with my twin needle for a professional finish. I completely forgot to topstitch down the bands around the arms. Oh well.

This is one of those shirts that I started wearing immediately after making it, without worrying about taking pictures for the blog. Well, I promptly washed it with some new red pants, and you can guess what happened next… Fortunately, most of the pink came out with bleach.

After having worn it many times now, I can report that it is great for the gym and running, but not so great for Pilates or yoga classes. The knot on the back makes it difficult/painful to do exercises laying on your back.


On to the leggings! I was not happy with my first version of the Simplicity 8424 leggings. They were baggy at the knees and the ballet-inspired ties were awkward. I ended up tweaking that pair by narrowing in the side seams at the knee and removing the leggings. I’m happy to report that they’re now in regular rotation in my gym wardrobe. So, when I decided to make another pair of athletic leggings, I gave this pattern another try.

This time I used view B, with the full-length legs and no frills. I narrowed the pattern at the knees from the get-go, and this worked out great. These leggings are super simple but get the job done. After spending a lot of time investigating athletic fabrics, and watching a lot of IG stories by @ammonlane on the topic, I ended up buying Pine Crest Fabrics’ navy supplex from This fabric is great – but it cannot go through the dryer. I’m still getting used to pulling workout wear out of the washer to hang dry.


I’m super happy with how both of these pieces turned out. I feel much more like an adult at the gym when wearing this outfit than the getup that inspired me to up my workout wardrobe game. Hurrah!

Abstract: Top
Fabric: 1 yard mystery white knit from Scrap Exchange @ $3/yard
Notions: n/a
Cost: $3.00 fabric + thread from stash = $3.00 ($13.00 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 3 hours
Abstract: Leggings
Pattern: Simplicity 8424, view B, size S
Fabric: 1 yard Pine Crest Fabrics navy supplex @ $21.89/yard
Notions: 3/8″ elastic from stash
Cost: $21,89 fabric + thread  and elastic from stash = $21.89
Time: 3 hours

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