This is probably the longest-running project I’ve done since my epic wedding gown refashion, but I’m really proud of the results and the fact that I can finally show them off after much hinting and whispering round these parts. This would’ve never happened at all without the spark from Charlie, the founder of Run dem Crew (the Tuesday night running family that has utterly transformed my life in the past year I’ve been a member). When he found out I sewed, he raised the idea of a refashioning project, then proceeded to gather together all the pieces to make it happen.
The idea was simple – start with 19 pieces of running clothing – some used, some promotional, and some brand new with tags on (including some ££££ Gyakusou designer gear!), and refashion them.
I started this project back in April, but stalled during the 5 weeks our boat was in drydock and I was without access to my overlocker and sewing room. Happily, I got some fantastic help with ideas from fellow RDC runner Jennie, who’s worked for years as a product designer for a well-known clothing company, and came over to sift through the clothes and it really helped for me to bounce ideas off her and vice-versa.
So her reward was some enforced modelling when the project was finished! Ha!
From the initial bag of clothes, I made 8 garments – tops and bottoms for two ladies and two men. I’ve been promised some modelled shots of the men’s clothing coming up soon, but here are the two ladies’ outfits, modelled by Jennie and I….
I had the fore-thought to take images of all the Before clothing, so I was able to do a nice collage like this, showing you what the various pieces turned into:
Jennie’s top started out as a green technical race tee. I cut off the sleeves, turned the tube of fabric around so the motif was on the upper back instead of the front, then replaced the upper back with some matching green stretch lace from my stash, in a racerback style. I then finished off the neck and arm edges with blue binding cut from a Paris marathon race tee (I used this blue fabric for several pieces to tie it together as more of a “collection”).
Jennie’s running skirt started off as a pair of men’s long shorts. I removed the inseam and re-sewed the CF and CB seams, shortened the hem, and painted/stencilled RDC men as an all-over print. This meant the pockets and inner mesh brief were kept intact, and the drawstring waistband remained adjustable.
You may recognise the base pattern of the top I’m wearing – yes, it’s the Pattern Magic “Flip Turned” pattern, but with a slight change to have the centre portion flipped overtop rather than the side, and I introduced a hidden seam in the flip so I could have one one portion in the light grey marl. The darker grey marl is from a Nike Running technical tee, and the lighter grey is from another teeshirt. As with Jennie’s top, I’ve bound the edges in the same blue Paris race tee, and then I’ve stencilled a large RDC man on the back of the shirt in metallic blue paint.
For my trousers, I took a pair of wide-legged Nike yoga trousers and first removed the yoked waistband (keeping it intact to reattached later). I knew I wanted to use my favourite Papercut patterns leggings as the base pattern, but I also wanted to introduce some colour, so I chose the brightest coloured shirts available, cut them into pieces, serged them together in a long strip, split this in half lengthwise, and then inserted this into the front side panel of the trousers. I was imagining the coloured sections wouldn’t be quite as wide as they are here, but as I learned with my Liberace leggings, you can’t be TOO bold in running gear!
One of my overriding aims during this whole process was to make the back views as interesting as the front, and I think that really shows! I mean, we’re running so fast that you want people to say “wow, what was that??” and get a good look at your back, too!
The whole refashioning process involved a lot of creative thinking, pattern adaptation, and a lot more painting and stencilling than I’m used to, and cutting out tons of RDC men shapes in freezer paper with an Xacto knife was really tedious! I used three different sizes of men and I lost count of how many different stencils I actually cut (you can cut about three at once if you press hard enough).
But, as reported at the time, do NOT attempt to print onto freezer paper with a laser printer!
For now, I’ll leave you with our RDC salute… Gunfinger!