Sporty Shorties, Chapter Two

posted in: Finished projects | 0


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.

Plenty left over for a scrunch
Plenty left over for a scrunchie

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!

Red knicker elastic with pink lycra?
Red knicker elastic with pink lycra?


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.

2014-06-08 12.50.46 2014-06-08 12.51.30

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.

Running shorts V1, with Monet print vest
Running shorts V1, with Monet print vest

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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