Sporty Shorties – Chapter 3

posted in: Finished projects | 1

In search of the perfect pair of running shorts, I have completed the second prototype. My first (pink Lycra) pair had the following problems:

    • wrong fabric
    • wrong type of elastic
    • not quite enough flare
    • integral underwear not quite right either
    • bad waist band design

Fabric and materials

My second attempt tried to rectify these issues.

I searched the internet for all the trade names mentioned eg Supplex, CoolMax, and got quite confused. I tried a number of shops in Berwick Street, proposed by ModJoe, but found nothing suitable. In the end, on a trip to John Lewis, I discovered some nice 95% polyester 5% Spandex fabric from John Kaldor. Its deep royal (purple) and it even has a name: Ritual. It was £13 a metre, which is nearly three times the price of my pink Lycra from Robert, but I got a tag, with composition details and washing instructions. Nice.

Available with composition and washing instructions
Available with composition and washing instructions

John Lewis also had a large range of elastics, pre-cut, on cards. I doubt this is the most economical way to buy elastic but I bought a few types in order to give them a try and to educate myself about elastics. For this project I used what they call “baby elastic”. Its soft, and narrow, and light yellow.

Design and pattern cutting

Making the shorts more flared was a simple matter of slashing my pattern into four sections and spreading each by 1.5cms. I think that will do the trick.

Adding some additional flare to the shorts
Adding some additional flare to the shorts

Next I tackled the underwear question.

I didn’t have a knicker pattern at home. For my first prototype I traced off the pants inside my InSport shorts but it wasn’t a perfect job as they are all gathered up. Searching  the internet and I found something quite wonderful, designed by Jeanne.

VeraVenus Grannie Pannie pants
VeraVenus Grannie Pannie pants

VeraVenus has produced what she calls Grannie Pannie knickers and I downloaded them at home. Jeanne kindly provided this pattern free of charge to celebrate 100 followers. Thank you for your generosity.

The Grannie knickers serve as a lining for my shorts.

Ready to attach the lining to the shorts
Ready to attach the lining to the shorts

This second pair is a major improvement on my pink pair. I took the waist band very slowly and it works fine. But it is just a bit large, as is the flare. The shorts have a nice relaxed look, but seem to have lost their sportiness. Suitable for warm weather but not quite right for running in.



Running shorts version 2
Running shorts version 2

For the next version:

  • return to a more sporty silhouette (ie streamline)
  • lengthen the inner pants a little so the waistbands meet
  • use a still lighter elastic for the inner pants
  • consider making the waist of both shorts and pants the same length (rather than a smaller one for the inner pants)
  • try a new waistband treatment that is easier and neater
  • pockets would be nice!

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