I mentioned I was going to attempt to make a pair of lined running shorts as part of Karen Ball’s Sporty Summer Sewathon. This weekend I made a passable pattern, which I tested by making the first prototype. I am not entirely happy with it, but that is normal when I am in the early stages of working on a design. The materials I used were sub optimal and I chose the wrong treatment for the waistband. I will now have a think about how to rectify the design issues, and revisit these shorts over the next week or two.
Design and pattern cutting
I was pleased with my pattern. Using the design and dimensions of my blue running shorts, I adapted my trouser block, omitting the darts, extending the waist to allow for a folded-over channel for the elastic. I created a little side split but otherwise they are completely plain. I don’t have an underwear block, so I just traced off the integral knickers from inside my shorts. And I designed a little inside pocket, on the same principal as a “housewife” pillow case.
I fitted the knickers first. I had to take a little off the side seams so that the back elastic stayed where it needed to. Ladies blessed with a curvy rear will know what I mean. I now have a good pattern for underwear – but I am not sure why anyone would sew their own pants, frankly, at 3 pairs for a fiver at Marks and Spencer.
Fabric and other materials
My existing InSport shorts are made out of 100% Polyester (with a nice cottony feel) and lined with “Cool max”. The knicker legs and waist band are elasticated and feel very soft and comfortable when worn.
At this stage I just wanted to test the fit and style of the pattern so I used some Lycra from Simply Fabrics. Avoiding the black I went for pink. Robert asked me if I was entering Run for Life. I didn’t buy elastic as I thought I had some at in my cupboard. It turned out to be two metres of red, fold over, elastic. I used this to finish the knicker leg openings. It is much too heavy for the Lycra, and I will need to look for an alternative before I make the final pair.
I have had some excellent suggestions on fabric and patterns from Patricia, Bessie C, and read the thread on Exercise Clothing on Artisan Square. Thank you!
I once made Esme a black leotard for school, about 22 years ago. I made an identical one for Alice (her teddy). That was my last experience with something both clingy and stretchy.
I basted the leg elastic, but otherwise just pinned. I used a mixture of a zig zag and straight stitch depending on the seam was, ironed on cool, and turned up the hems. I found using a bit of Magic tape rather than pins worked well, especially at the corners.
I put the knickers inside the shorts, wrong sides together. Then I had a bit of trouble with the waistband. I tried a simple folded over channel, into which I inserted some pyjama elastic. I am not very happy with the look to be honest, so will think of a different approach with the next pair.
My T shirt is self printed with a lino print of miniature flints on a blue background. Once fixed, I painted the white spaces with watered down fabric paint. Inspired by Monet.
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