Friday, May 16, 2014

Sewing to Run

I've wanted to try running in a running skirt for ever so long. I imagined a running skirt as being cool and breezy, with no constraint or chaffing from those darn shorts with their integrated underwear. My preference would be to make one, but what to do for a pattern?

Couldn't find one. So I did a little reconnaissance shopping. I researched running skirts at Lulu Lemon and Nike. Holy cow, those things are pricey! Most of them seem to have shorts included under the skirt. Then why not just wear shorts? I was paralyzed by indecision.

Running skirt version 1.0
Finally, I decided I was over-thinking it. I grabbed an old Oregon Shakespeare Festival tee shirt from my drawer and hacked off the sleeves to get a basic A-line skirt shape. I kept as much length as possible, mainly because I wanted to keep the logo on the upper right. I buzzed the sides together, added elastic at the waist and used one of the sleeves to make a pocket big enough to hold even my enormous car key.

I took it out for a test run and darn if it didn't work pretty well. I'm not one of those long-striding cheetah-type runners. Slow and steady wins the race as far as I'm concerned. It turns out that a longer skirt didn't feel constricting to me at all.

So I hauled out the wicking fabric I'd gotten at Britex many months ago and traced version 1.0 to make a pattern for version 2.0.
Running skirt 2.0 with Fehr Trade hack 1.0, modeled by the fetching Mini-Me
The top in the photo above is my first try at hacking Fehr Trade's XYT Running Top to make a running bra. Totally functional, but not quite right.  Notice the tucks under the bust? I didn't realize that the shirt pattern piece was (doh!) going to be bigger on the bottom edge than the bra pattern piece.

Fehr Trade running bra hack version 2.0
For my next version I used the bra pattern piece as the base and extended the straps on the front to meet the Y back at the shoulder seams. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, and everything matched up great.
Rear view
As you can see from my side-bar, I'm doing the Spring Race Challenge put on by Fehr Trade. I'm going to be running in the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco this weekend.
This is the outfit I plan to wear, only I'll be adding a long-sleeve shirt, a hat and running shoes. And a head. I'll let you know how it works out!


  1. Oh you will look so cute out there running in this skirt. CUTE! I have always been a runner myself until about 10 years ago. My scoliosis got really bad after I had my son but it seems we finally got it under control. I have been back at it for about 6 weeks so far with no issues. So I have been stalking the web for good workout patterns. Love the skirt idea!

    1. Congratulations on getting back to running again. I know I'm a much nicer person if I get out semi-regularly to burn off some steam. I'm glad the scoliosis is giving you a break!

  2. That's a terrific looking running outfit! Good Luck in your run!

    1. Thank you! I figure if I get to the finish line without feeling like death warmed over I've met my goal!