I have been having a grand old time playing with the X Factor pattern lately. I’ve discovered that when you know about it? YOU REALLY KNOW.
Even though it was designed as a swim top, X Factor is quite literally, the best sports bra in the universe. In the last few years I’ve run (and more importantly trained for) 5 half marathons. I have also given birth to many children. The bouncing is real, is what I’m saying. The cost of good sports bras IS ALSO REAL. And you are just going to have to trust me when I tell you that when made properly, the X Factor has out performed every other sports bra/top that I own. (Including one I paid $128 for. We are not discussing it.)
SO – for those of you who maybe haven’t explored the X Factor, I thought I’d take you on a little three part tour of ways to have fun with this! Part 1 will explore the fit of X Factor, Part 2 is a hack to add mesh to the X, and Part 3 is a dress version!
Understanding the Fit!
Before we go any further it’s a good idea to get an understanding of the fit of the X Factor. As written, this is a swim pattern. Obviously this is completely delightful if you are making a swim top. If you want to use it as a sports bra or exercise tank, you need to know that it’s FITTED like a swim pattern. It fits very close to the body, and using the regular cut line it isn’t going to give you a TON of hip/booty coverage. (Exactly what you want if you don’t want a tankini floating up around you in the water, right???)
This is a basic X Factor tank I made in my measured size using the regular length cut line. I used an extra layer of power mesh in between the main fabric and lining in the front and lower back pieces so that it would be super supportive.
As you can see, it’s a really supportive compression type tank that does not leave much to the imagination. On long runs, this is exactly what I want. I don’t want my clothes to get in my way, I don’t want chafing, and I definitely don’t want bouncing. This fits the bill perfectly.
But lets say you want a reasonably supportive workout tank to wear to a class, or for a less high impact workout? Or you know, around other people where maybe you don’t want it *quite* so form fitting? Enter the longer cut line:
This one is almost exactly the same as the first one – I still used a power mesh layer in the top for support, and I still cut my measured size for the bra top portion. The difference is that I used the longer cut line and I graded to the next size up (BELOW the bra band!).
I still wanted the fit to be snug and supportive in the chest but this gives me a little more coverage and ease through the body. It makes me less self conscious about how fitted it is. Super easy fix right?
Honestly there is SO much versatility with this pattern!! I hope this gives you some ideas about how to make the fit work for you.
In the next part of this series I’m going to show you how to replace that “X” piece with a single layer of mesh. It’s a super easy hack to give your top some extra air flow in the heat! In the final part I will show you how to take X Factor and make it into a quick and easy summer dress.