I’m not entirely sure where the time went since my birthday and the release of my latest Duathlon shorts pattern (oh yeah, I ran that marathon thing…), but the internet has simply exploded with amazing finished versions of the Duathlon Shorts and capris in only a few short weeks.
If you’re looking for inspiration to sew up your own activewear or join in the Spring Race Challenge (open through 4th July weekend now!), then settle on in…
Kathy’s one of my pattern testers so she had a bit of a head start on the rest of you, but she liked the pattern so much she went on to make two versions of the capris, both with really nice contrasting fabric choices:
Kathy also shows how to alter the pattern to increase the back crotch length, which can be really useful if you’re a visual learner like me! One thing to note though is that Kathy’s showing the test version of the pattern – in the final version the little bump is smoothed out and I’ve added 2cm to the upper back to account for the seated posture of cyclists. Otherwise the fit should be exactly the same as my PB Jam Leggings, so if you made fit alterations to those, you can confidently do the same to these!
Kathy also turned a mistake into a great design feature – if you flip the upper side panel to the inside, you can have a pocket that opens against your body for extra security! She has one opening out for easy access, and one opening in for stuff like keys and ID.
Katherine’s bikers & gathered-side swimmers
Katherine’s another one of my pattern testers, so her first biker shorts pair are pretty much straight off the pattern to test for me (though I really like having the top side panel be the only contrast!), but then for her second pair, she’s gone and done one of the most exciting adaptations ever!!
She’s taken the booty short length, but shortened the side panel and gathered the front and back to match – making the panel stand out just by the texture change! She’s also completely lined these and made them in chlorine-resistant lycra so she can swim in them. Omg, do I now have to change the name to Triathlon Shorts??
Sandra’s sunny capris
I love that by total coincidence, Sandra has made the inverse of Katherine’s colourblocking on her capris! You can really see how the whole look changes when you change the colours of the three main sections.
Sandra makes some great points about the pocket in her post, too – when I was designing these I tried to adopt a “cycle first” mentality, and the pocket illustrates this perfectly. Instead of placing the pocket anywhere along the side seam, I sat down, saw where the crease of my leg was, and made sure the pocket didn’t cover this area – if it had, the contents would dig into your legs every time you pedaled! So it may feel a little low if you’re not cycling, but it’ll make sense when you sit down.
I also designed the pocket to be a few centimeters narrower than the iPhone 5 (my standard “phone” I draft around), so that the stretch of the fabric keeps it securely in the pocket. Since there’s no closure on the pocket and your legs are constantly moving, it needs to be super secure.
Make sure to read the rest of Sandra’s post because she took the concept of the integrated pocket and applied it to a long sleeved merino workout top, putting a pocket into the upper sleeve! How genius is that
Karen’s cycling booty shorts
I hope Karen doesn’t mind me saying this, but I am utterly in her debt for the amazing feedback she gave me during the development of the Duathlon Shorts pattern. As part of an entire family of avid cyclists, she was able to tell me exactly where my pattern was lacking in comparison to RTW cycling shorts, and how the differences were manifest in terms of patternmaking. She’s the one responsible for convincing me there needed to be extra Centre Back length to accomodate the seated position, for starters!
The booty short version above is modeled by her daughter (nice touch with the sportive number still attached!), but she went on to make a biker short pair for herself despite needing a fair few fit adjustments. But as she admits that one’s still a work-in-progress, I’ll let you to click through to see that version!
Suzy’s galaxy biker shorts
I was so excited when I saw Suzy’s version come through my email! I’ve always felt strongly about releasing my patterns in as many sizes as possible, and I know how hard it can be to find nice RTW sportswear in Plus sizes.
Suzy’s pair are so freaking stylish (How much do I love that galaxy lycra?!), and show that you can look great working out no matter what your size! She also very wisely basted the seams on her first version – if you don’t have the time or fabric to muslin a pair, this is a great idea as I’m hearing over and and over that most people need a few tweaks in the first pair, but the second are perfect. Basting means you can can try on, adjust, and get perfect in your first pair. Clever, eh?
Maria’s mid-thigh shorts
Maria liked the pattern so much she only went and made four pairs of it in varying colours!
She chose to make hers “mid thigh” length, so somewhere between the biker and booty short lengths. This raises a great point, because when I was developing the pattern, I thought about what lengths people might go for, and then just drew the lines there. But there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from drawing the hem lines where you prefer them to be! You can even use the marked hem lengths as a guide, and add or subtract from there.
She’s also made her orange print version coordinate with her XYT top by using some of the leftover patterned fabric as the lower side piece! I never like throwing away any scraps of fabric, let alone expensive wicking lycra, so I try to incorporate smaller contrast portions into my patterns so you can do exactly this.
Winnie’s junglesome capris and booty shorts
Winnie is no shrinking violet and has found an opportunity to incorporate more leopard-print lycra into her capri-length Duathlons! Like Maria, this means she’s now got a coordinating set with her leopard XYT top (also seen here).
But she decided to go one further and step out of her comfort zone to try the booty short length, too. She makes an important distinction that “booty” is not the same as “boy shorts” – these have a little bit of inseam (unlike those running briefs the elites wear!), but they are quite short. I’ve got some tips on keeping the short hems in place later this week, too… Frankly, I think Winnie’s got the legs to pull them off – we just need another hot summer here in the UK and she’ll be tearing up the Bath hills in them!
There are also a few other Duathlon versions posted on Pattern Review that don’t have blogs to link to, including one which cleverly flips the side panel upside down so the pocket can be used for tennis ball storage!!
Since there were a few versions of my XYT Workout Tops and PB Jam Leggings patterns posted since I shared my last roundup, I thought it’d be fun to show these off, too, since we’re getting all inspired!
Louise’s PB Jam Capris
Louise loved the design of the PB Jams, but wanted to alter them to compliment her petite frame, so to make her pair, she taped all the pieces together to maintain the swirls, made her adjustments, smoothed out the curves, and separated the pieces out again.
What she’s left with is a great pair of workout capris that look utterly fantastic on her – nothing’s too big, nothing’s too small – she got the proportions exactly right! And I think I agree with her when she says that the capri length suits her height much better than the full length. She also gives some great hints about basting and marking changes, so if you want a primer on alterations, be sure to read her post.
Gwen’s Cupid PB Jams & turquoise X-Back top
I love that when Gwen first saw my PB Jam pattern, all she could see was hot pink and red – and instantly wanted to make a totally bright “Cupid” pair! And when the first pink lycra was err, a bit on the Lululemon-see-through side of things, she didn’t let that stop her, and she replaced the fabric with another.
She also caught the workout sewing bug and made a turquoise X-back version of my XYT Workout Top to match with a pair of Kwik Sew leggings (that oddly could be the sister to Kathy’s Duathlon shorts seen at the top of this post!).
Her posts are really well worth a read as she has had some fitting issues with both, and talking through what problems she had, the advice she got, and ways to fix them is really helpful to understand the why of fit issues. Working with stretch fabrics can sometimes be easier to fit, but being able to read the pulling lines in jerseys is a different aspect of the art of “reading wrinkles” when it comes to fitting wovens!
Mel’s Quartet of XYTs
And finally, I feel awful because I totally missed out on Melinda’s four different versions of my XYT Tops when I did my previous roundup. Four of them!!
She’s incorporated so many high-end finishes into her tops – on one she’s used Swarovski hot-fix crystals for a total bling look, on another she’s used reflective tape as an accent on the sides as well as the upper T-back, and two fantastic prints that wouldn’t be out of place in a little boutique. She’s also detailed her alterations, too, and shows photos of her trail running in them, also, so you know they’ve been put through their paces!
Fancy making your own? Go to my Shop section or head straight to Etsy below…