When people ask me how I got back into sewing, I'm pretty honest about why: I started running half marathons and found a community of runners who ran in costume. My first half marathon, I planned on running as Merida from Brave, but chickened out of making a tutu and ended up wearing an orange headband and teal shirt. Now, 20+ races and hundreds of miles later, I rarely, if ever, run a race without some sort of themed dress, and usually, it's a costume.
I have a half marathon coming up in a few weeks and have a plan to do a rather iconic costume, but in order to do it I need to hack a pattern. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, hacking a pattern means you take a tried and true pattern and adjust it to meet your project's goals.
I thought it might be interesting to do a step-by-step journey of me creating the costume, including what could potentially be a failure à la tutu. Therefore, you are cordially invited to join me as I transform the Sweetheart Dress from Patterns for Pirates into a running costume inspired by the very first Barbie for the Peace Love Run Half Marathon in Ventura.
Read about my journey!
Part One: The striped bodice and skirt
Part Two: The nude top and laying it out
Part Three: Finishing it up
When I was in college, leggings were standard uniform for most of my friends. Maybe it was because I was in a sorority or maybe it was because I was on the track team, but I pretty much lived in my comfy cotton lycra leggings from Wal-Mart.
I have several memories involving black leggings and sweatshirts, ranging from late nights in the library to track meets. Then, my senior year, I was wearing a pair of bright pink Nike Pro leggings at a meet and some of my male teammates were having a discussion about how poor my fashion choices were. Ever since then, I've been too shy to wear leggings without something properly covering my rear, no matter how comfortable they are. So, imagine my excitement when the Peg Legs pattern from Patterns for Pirates made me feel, well, pretty.
I don't know when or how I learned of Patterns for Pirates (or P4P, as it's called in the Facebook sewist world). What I do know is that EVERYONE raves about their "pegs." EVERYONE. In fabric groups, in other sewing groups, in running groups. Peg Legs are everywhere. So, last Saturday I decided I was going to do make some of my own. I took the plunge, cut into some of my precious brushed poly spandex from Pretty Posh Prints, and attempted to make leggings.
Before we continue, it's important for me to point out that for the longest time, I've been afraid of making any type of pants or bottoms. I'm not entirely sure why, but the thought of making my own pants was a hurdle that I needed to cross. If you have a similar trepidations, this pattern is a great place to start. It's simple and easy-to-understand and only took me an hour or so to sew them, which is amazing.
The instructions walk you through how to make them, and while I constructed mine with a serger, I don't think it would be too hard to make these with a regular machine and some ball point needles. There is one point in the construction where I freaked out a bit because the waistband isn't parallel and actually comes to a point. Don't worry when you see it, but if you need reassurance, check out this tutorial.
I didn't put a gusset in this pair, but I have plans to for an upcoming running costume that would have the gusset. When I do that pair, I plan on taking step by step pictures, but until then, sew on!
My leggings took a little over one yard of fabric and took about two hours of sewing after work to complete.
The pattern was free and the fabric cost $8.85 a yard once shipping was included. I had all of the notions I needed in my stash. Total cost of the project was $10.
Being tall has its perks sometimes. You get can reach the top shelf without a stool. You usually get to see things without obstruction when at sporting events or concerts. You're easy to spot in crowd. For all of the perks, though, you get to live a life of struggling to find things that actually fit you.
I'm 5'10". Not tall enough to be in the six foot club, but tall enough to have issues with inseams and accidentally mooning people. While finding pants is a nightmare, finding a good, comfortable day dress with my body type is akin to torture. Even though I sewed a lot growing up, it wasn't something I did to fill the gaps in my wardrobe. I sewed for 4-H projects, not for clothing. Suffice to say, after years of this, I lost any interest I had in sewing.
Although I returned to sewing a few years ago, I still didn't sew my own clothing. I think that I thought I wasn't capable of it, or that if I sewed my own clothing, I wouldn't look good in it. It took another year and discovering PDF patterns for me to get over it. In November, I stocked up on a bunch of patterns during post-Thanksgiving sales. I'd been lusting after Moneta for a long time and I finally got the nerve up to sew one.
I chose a brown ponte de roma from Girl Charlee. For some reason, I've been wanting a brown dress for a while. While I love the finished result, part of me can't help but think of The Sound of Music. I'm just a few cream colored sleeves away from Do-Re-Mi-ing in the Alps. I realized that I need to dress up the dress with a long necklace or another lively accessory, otherwise it can be dowdy in a heartbeat.
Because I started this blog, I realized that I needed photographs of me in the dress, which meant teaching my husband how to take good photos. The photo above is one he took of me while trying to educate him on what pictures should look like. It actually is one of the best showing the fit of the dress. Gotta love candid photos. The sleeves were easy to sew, as were the in-seam pockets. In a technical sense, the pattern was extremely simple and the directions were easy to follow. However, if you didn't have a serger, it could be a bit more complicated. In all, I'd definitely recommend a casual sewist to try the pattern.
My dress took a little over two yards of fabric and took about a week of sewing after work to complete.
The pattern cost 11.20 and the fabric cost $2.50 a yard. I also had to go to Wal-Mart and get some more thread, which cost $6. Total cost of the project was $24.70.
Hi there! I'm Meredith and a dork who happens to be bad at running and mediocre at sewing, but in love with both of them.