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My first running skirt

14 August 2012, 13:03

This is definitely turning into The Year of Lycra for me, and it’s barely halfway finished, so I hope you’re not too bored yet (wonderfully, I’ve even inspired some of you to start running)! Running has been a part of my life for about 8 or 9 years now, but training for a marathon is now really upping my enthusiasm to sew cute clothes for the approx 5 hours every week I’m actively running (wow that’s a lot!).

I’ve had the Jalie multisports skirt (2796) pattern in my stash for several years now, but English summers are never particularly hot anyway, and I usually run in the early mornings, meaning it’s rarely too warm for running tights. But I’ve got some mid-day races coming up, and sometimes it’s warm in the evenings for Run dem Crew, so while I was ill in the latest bout of hot weather, I made up what will be the first of many running skirts!

There’s lots of mix & match options in this pattern- briefs or compression shorts on their own (with either wide or narrow waistband), or you can have the skirt with either briefs or shorts underneath (again with either a wide or narrow waistband). I do not run in shorts normally (or wear them outside the boat, to be honest) but I went for the shorts under the skirt, with the wide waistband.

I’ve loved every single Jalie pattern I’ve ever sewn, and this is no exception. They’re fantastic to sew, but what keeps me coming back is that these are equally fantastic to wear – Jalie totally “get” exercise gear.

The pattern itself is great – tons of sizes, great instructions (I love that they’re available as pdfs so you can view them on your computer or tablet, though I used Jalie’s excellent iPhone app to read them this time around). They’ve really thought about how they’ll be worn when moving, too – the constructions steps mean that seams that might chafe are concealed as much as possible.

The main fabric I used on the skirt, waistband, and compression shorts here is black supplex from Tia Knight on eBay, and for interest on the sides of the skirt, I used some leftover foil lycra from my Liberace Leggings (which I bought from Suzie Spandex in Montreal).

Besides being really flattering and comfortable to run in, my main love here are those BIG side pockets! For my long runs, I need to carry a fair amount of stuff with me (usually in various running arm bands), but when I run in this skirt, I can fit my iPhone & Oystercard on one side, and two big packs of gummy gels on the other, meaning I can head out the door with just my Camelbak and nothing on my arms!

When I posted earlier about my plans to road-test this skirt, I was warned of others’ issues with the waistband dropping down mid-run (eeek!) and the shorts’ legs riding up (thanks Scruffy badger and Cidell!) so I prepared for the worst…. and actually these were just fine on me. The shorts moved up about two inches but then settled into my inner thigh divet and stayed in place. So I won’t be making any changes at all in my next pair!

Here’s a shot of those hidden shorts:

And a back view!

In case you were wondering, these photos were taken after my longest run yet: 15.5 miles (25km) from Tower Bridge to Wandsworth Bridge and around, which took about 2.5 hours. Yes, I ran TWO AND A HALF HOURS before these photos were taken. No one can say I don’t put enough effort into road-testing my exercise gear! And if you feel the need to snark at my sweaty face, I follow the “Be pretty on rest days” school of thought, so I really don’t care.

(Oh, and you may notice my bloody knee – in all my years of running, this is only my second “road kiss”, but it was a doozy, at 7km in. Thankfully my friend Daniel bought me some plasters at a petrol station so we could carry on without too much blood running down my leg, ewww. I’ve spared you the closeup wound photo I had prepared, though. You’re welcome.)

My next piece of sewn running gear is a fancy dress running costume (fully functional and wicking, of course!) for the Bacchus half marathon on 9 Sept, but before that, I’m nearly finished with my Cynthia Rowley fuchsia party dress, and I think I may have contracted Peplum Fever, too…

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  1. Great skirt and the pockets are excellent. I’ve never run in a skirt before, but I’ve been eyeing this pattern for awhile. Thanks for relating your roadtest!

    — Jen    Aug 14, 04:55 PM    #
  2. I don’t do any running (though I probably should!), but I have this pattern and have considered making it up for golfing or working out at home or whatever. However, if we’re being honest, I’m about as motivated to make these as I am to work out…which lately hasn’t been very.

    CGCouture    Aug 14, 09:03 PM    #
  3. Yes, I like the Jalie patterns though the ones I have made have been tops rather than sports attire though I did make their sports bra (and now I can’t find the darn pattern should I want to make another). If you made your T-shirt too you are doing very well.

    — Patricia O    Aug 14, 09:40 PM    #
  4. I have had this pattern a while and not used it. I have fabric ready though. Glad to hear that it is such a functional pattern.

    Katherine    Aug 14, 10:56 PM    #
  5. Very cool. I love the side pocket. You got the marathon bug.

    Gail    Aug 15, 12:19 AM    #
  6. How flattering, practical, and just plain cute! It looks great on you, too.

    — Mom    Aug 15, 12:28 AM    #
  7. Oooo so glad that it worked so well for you. It looks great too. I LOVE running skirts and agree that this pattern, as with other jalie fitness gear, is really well thought out. Your success will encourage another attempt with maybe a drawstring in the waistband….just in case. Your running adventures are so exciting….great stuff ….2.5 hours running is hard going and you certainly don’t look like I’ve felt after that amount of time in trainers !

    Scruffy badger    Aug 15, 07:54 AM    #
  8. I have this pattern and made it to play tennis.
    Much better than playing in shorts or anything else!

    Andrea    Aug 15, 11:46 AM    #
  9. Your skirt looks excellent. When you mentioned your plan to make one I thought a running skirt sounded a good idea,and considered making one from a Jalie pattern that has a ?skating skirt with briefs attached, but this pattern looks far superior with the shorts and pockets. I am off to buy it – a 2.5 hour successful running wear test demonstrates that it must be a very practical pattern. Thanks for the review and the road test.

    kbenco    Aug 15, 10:24 PM    #
  10. You have definitely inspired me to run. The running skirt would be perfect for me, Florida this time of the year is just brutal. …. Love love the pockets. Why don’t they put more pockets in running gear? I have followed your blog for years and find that keeping up with your boat adventures, sewing projects, running, and kitty news is like keeping up with an old friend. I started running this year and plan my first half marathon in November, in part because of you. Thank you 

    — Marlies    Aug 16, 03:06 AM    #
  11. Your skirt is great! I just made the same skirt, but need to make a couple adjustments to the pattern. Glad to hear it’s been road tested.

    Andrea    Aug 16, 04:41 AM    #
  12. I love your skirt, I will have to stop running as much as I do, sit down and start sewing. I’m really nervous swing Lycra. But you have have inspired me. The pockets are a big plus for me because I have to have my music when I head out and I don’t feel comfortable with the armband. I could just make one, anyway your skirt looks great.

    Renata    Aug 16, 11:01 PM    #
  13. I just bought this pattern because of you. :) I plan on making a couple pairs of these soon. Your version is awesome.

    Dawn    Aug 17, 04:52 AM    #
  14. Nice skirt! Wish you good running on marathon and other events!%))

    Sveta    Aug 22, 12:30 PM    #
  15. Have been considering making a running skirt and was wondering if you can make the shorts in this longer?

    — Tawnya    Oct 7, 09:44 PM    #
  16. Great review! Based on your post, I just picked up this pattern, and another Jalie one for dance/skating skirts off of eBay! Can’t wait til they arrive! Any tips for picking fabric, etc? I’m a beginner sewer, so I’m hoping these aren’t too out of my league…

    Lindsey @ Prairie Princess Runners    Aug 8, 07:19 PM    #

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