Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Running (!) Clothes

Four weeks ago, I started running. Those of you who know me might find this surprising.  But, believe me when I tell you that you are no more surprised than I am.  I've tried being a runner before and never liked it.  I'd even get to the point where I could do it without it being painful and I still didn't like it, so I never stuck with it.  For some crazy reason, right now I'm loving it.  I don't understand it at all, but I'm not fighting it. My initial goal was to run three miles in 30 minutes and I'm just about there. Everything about it feels good.

NOW everything about it feels good because I fixed the problem of having nothing suitable to wear while running. I learned early on that sleeves feel like they are in my way and I don't like them.  I also learned that shorts that ride up are no good. (But, really they only ride up for the first half of the run - after that I'm sweaty enough that they stick in place.  Lovely). Since I was really only after some basic clothes - no high tech fabrics, gussets in unique places, grippy elastic, etc - I thought I could quickly make something.

New Look 6160 and Kwik Sew 3660

New Look 6160 is a pretty good top pattern.  The front pattern piece is drafted with extra ease for the bust and you ease stitch it in between well-marked notches that match up with the back.  I think this is a good feature of a basic T-shirt pattern. Here I used a raspberry rib knit and dark gray interlock. After making a muslin, I took in the side seams 1/2", decreased the width of the neckband, and added bands around the armholes.  The pattern suggests hemming them with a 5/8" hem.  On the muslin, I found that the armhole gapes and I just don't like how it looks as much.

New Look 6160

I should note that I do wear the muslin and will until I can replace it with something better. I made it in record time and the sloppy work is proof (not photoworthy). However, judging from the number of people I see yawning while they're driving at 6:30 AM, no one is going to notice it while I'm running.

For the shorts, I used Kwik Sew 3660. Shorts are not one of the options given in the pattern - I just cut off the pant legs at the length I wanted. After making (and wearing) a muslin of these shorts, I felt that the rise was too high. On the pattern envelope the pants sit below the model's bellybutton. Mine came just above my belly button and I prefer a lower rise. I trimmed 5/8" off the top of the front and back pieces and left the waistband unchanged.  That made a much better fit.

Kwik Sew 3660

The waistband is folded in half and there is a piece of elastic (pattern suggests 1", I used 3/8") zigzagged to the inside.  I have a purchased pair of yoga pants just like this and really like it.  It is both secure and stretchy without being bulky.

I'd like to make more running clothes, but there are some other things that are increasing in urgency.


  1. Your outfit looks really good and comfortable.
    I like the gray and raspberry color.
    It's nice to see you are enjoying it. As a runner myself, it is my favorite choice of exercising, and I agree about the sleeves,I just cannot run (in the summer) with tops that have sleeves..and I now have my husband converted too :) Comfortable clothes is so important. I like both your choices of patterns, I have them both.

    You are doing really well :) 30 mins for 3 miles(4.8kms) is a very good pace and time.

  2. I really need to make some running clothes too. I have my fabric and patterns, but other things keep interesting me more. I hope you have inspired me to get at least one outfit done. Nice color choice on yours. Funny, I do not like sleeves on my running tops either. Drives me crazy. Glad you are enjoying running. I love it!

  3. the sewing blog 'Two on Two off, is amazing,,, she just made some running stuff, if you scroll back a bit , you can see it.