Sporty shorties

posted in: Inspiration | 4

I go to the gym most days. I wear running shorts and a sports bra, socks and trainers. All of these items are bought, not made.

It’s the shorts I have a problem with. I like wearing shorts, but not too short. The three pairs I have – bought years ago from Run and Become – are great. They have the following essential features:

  • Classic cut
  • built in briefs
  • comfy elastic waistband with adjustable cord
  • small interior pocket (for my earplugs)
  • non clingy quick dry fabric
  • long enough to look reasonable on a non-Amazonian women
  • side pockets, if possible (for earphones and hanky)
  • nice colours (not black!)

My shorts are mauve, tasteful greyish-brown (think Farrow and Ball), and today’s pair in bright blue (with pink bra top). With constant and daily use all are showing signs of wear but, sadly, I have been unable to replace them.

Decent running shorts
Decent running shorts

I have searched the internet, specialist sports shops, discount outlets and department stores. I did find some boys’ running shorts that nearly met the criteria but the shape and fit were out of the question. In the gym today I looked round and found everyone in my Body Pump class had black shorts on.

Why are (nearly) all the shorts black?
Why are (nearly) all the shorts black?

As usual I am being driven to make my own clothes as I can’t buy what I want.

When I saw that Karen’s Sporty Summer Sewathon I thought I might bite the bullet. This means finding or drafting an appropriate pattern, identifying suitable fabrics, and tackling the construction with an ordinary, ageing, domestic machine. If you know of any patterns or have fabric suggestions I would love to hear from you!


4 Responses

  1. Patricia

    Can you trace a pattern off the shorts you have? For fabric, I suggest supplex or taslan which are brand names of a modern performance fabric of nylon with a cotton hand. Or a polyester microfibre.

    • fabrickated

      Thanks a lot for the fabric suggestions Patricia – that’s really helpful! I guess I will have a go at copying my shorts as I haven’t been able to find a running shorts pattern.

  2. bessiec

    Your requirements for shorts are very similar to mine. My favorite running shorts are from New Balance…probably as old as yours are. New Balance seems to still have similar shorts…look at the 5 inch Go 2 short…look at the others, too. I posted on the SG forum (“Sewing Exercise/Workout Clothes” thread) about a pattern I think that can be successfully adapted: Jalie 3351. It’s meant to be a swim short. My prototype version isn’t finished, but I’d recommend lots of extra length. The shorts seems to run very short! I’m eager to see what you end up with…

    • fabrickated

      I think the blue ones in the photograph are New Balance, Bessiec. I will check out the thread you mention. Scruffy Badger, another blogging/sewing/runner suggested Jalie too. I have actually drafted my own pattern and so far, so good. I am making them up in some cheap pink lycra and some fold over red elastic (yes I know) to check out the fit of my pattern. I am keen to try and get some of the fabric mentioned by Patricia. But I am also thinking stretch silk, perhaps painted? (Go, Kate, Go?)

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