Flatlocked Steeplechase Leggings for Cambridge Half

The other week I shared some activewear topstitching tips and gave you a peek at some Steeplechase Leggings I was working on at the time. Despite running most days of the week, I generally only have 2 or 3 big races every year, and for these I like to make myself something new to race in. This means I get to mark the occasion and make it feel a bit more special, reward myself for the months of training, but also it means that I always think of that race whenever I wear the top/leggings/shorts in training afterwards.

My first big race of the season was Cambridge Half on Sunday. This is my second time running it, and back in 2015 I made my circuitboard Steeplechase Leggings to mark the occasion (and to appeal to the boffins of Cambridge!). Even though I’ve released quite a few patterns between then and now, I still find myself reaching for the Steeplechase when I want a quick sew that I know will work well in a race situation, so rather than use one of the new patterns I’ve got in development (which would also mean I couldn’t share any race photos yet!), I paired my old favourite pattern with some gorgeous blue & lime heathered supplex in my stash that I’d bought at Fabrics Galore last Fall (and as of January, they still have both colourways in stock at their Clapham store – get in touch with them to buy some as it’s LUSCIOUS!)

With the Threads article fresh in my mind, I decided to do some contrast faux-flatlocking up that curved side seam on this pair like I did for the sample featured in the article. I used neon yellow thread in both loopers to really make them pop, then stretched the seam across its width afterwards until it laid flat. It’s pretty robust, but never quite as strong as my standard 4-thread overlock (but not that much of an issue for a pattern I’ve run in so many times).

I used the same neon yellow thread to topstitch the back yoke seam with a triple-zigzag thread, and, without much thought, I just kept my overlocker in faux flatlock mode to sew the last crotch seam, too. As soon as I’d done it I realised that I probably should’ve switched it back to my normal 4-thread overlock settings, as I’ve now got a neon yellow line on my crotch, but frankly, I’m not that bothered. Certain segments of the sewing internet seem to be weirdly obsessed with my crotch anyway, so this’ll just give the trolls something to talk about. 💅

As for the Half, and the whole reason for the leggings? Well, the short version is that I’d been fighting off a nasty sinus infection all last week, and it was still very much lingering on for race day, so gunning for a new PB was out of the question. The weather was abysmal (torrential rain and only hovering above freezing), so I employed my best “bin bag chic” at the start, along with a sacrificial hat and jumper, too.

I posted a full race review on my poor neglected running site, but the end result is that I finished in 1:45 feeling much stronger than I was expecting to, and feeling more comfortable below my marathon pace than I had previously done in training.

So that’s a very good confidence boost for London marathon, which is quickly approaching!

And I will be running in one of my new designs for that. 😉


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  1. 2
    Patricia O

    Firstly, I take my hat off to you for running when plagued by sinusitis. I’ve had sinus trouble at various times and it is truly horrible (to me anyway). It takes me all my time to run a bath never mind a half marathon! Would “certain sections of the internet” include GOMI? I’ve lurked there sometimes and have – occasionally – posted, though they do have positive threads about people deemed to be SOMIs (Stay on my Internets) too. Recently I haven’t been able to get on there even just to lurk – I do run Adblock but I couldn’t get on there recently even using a different browser. I’m not that bothered – it’s good for a laugh sometimes but there are a lot more important things in life than lurking on or looking at GOMI.

    More on topic I can see that using a tried and true pattern, here your own creation, would make sense – after all you need leggings that will stay put especially when running. I’ve made leggings by drawing round (half) of some old purchased leggings with mixed success. As a friend said to me not all knits are created equal – the ones that have worked best for me are some from a fabric that had 7% stretch.

  2. 3

    Ooooh!! What a tease! I love to get my hands on some of that Space Dye but Fabrics Galore declined to ship to this side of the pond! C’est la vie! And I finally got a hold of Threads with your article. Well done!! What a delight and I can’t wait for the surprise you aluded to in your byline. What an ambitious project that will be. And…congrats on a good run despite your traitorous nose!

  3. 4

    Ah the trolls. Well, you must be doing something right if you have someone who thinks you’re not.
    I’m always tempted to respond: “You sound hungry. You should go upstairs and have your mom make you a sandwich.”

  4. 5

    I love that fabric – and they look really comfy too. Tempted to try and make myself some leggings for VLM too, but would worry that my sewing really isn’t up to the challenge. Neither are my legs/running ability either come to that …!

  5. 6

    Have you tried a felt tip pen on your highlighted crotch seam?
    It might help to take the eye to a different bit of your anatomy!
    On the other hand it could be a star garment in your new book!

    • 7

      ah, good thinking on the sharpie – having a UX husband means we’ve got a million colours and I’ve still got some stitch samples I can test it on. thanks!

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