The quest for perfectly fitting running shorts

- Made by me, My makes, Sewing activewear
Running shorts made by me

As I talked about before I’m forever working on perfecting a leggings sloper that I can use for all my activewear bottoms. My latest attempt is making a pair of running shorts that are short enough for summer but long enough to not ride up when running and getting sweaty.

RTW shorts never works for me as the thighband is either so tight that it cuts into my legs or the shorts just rides up. Plus the waistband never seems to sit well on me either. I like wide bands that are fitted but not tight. That’s why I’m obsessed with creating a master pattern myself. This my fourth attempt (spread out over several years) and apart from a little crotch issue, these are by far the best of the bunch.

Running shorts made by me

Maybe it sounds a little cray cray that I’ve spent several years (on and off) just perfecting a pair of running shorts. But that’s one of the things I love about sewing and why this hobby fits my personality so well. It’s like our little experiment lab, where we can test new ideas and methods, discard the ones that doesn’t work, move on to new things and always improving.

Running shorts made by me

Running shorts made by me

As I’ve added a gusset to the mix I’ve run into some crotch issues. I’ve never done a gusset for trousers before and I tried to apply the same principles as I would do for sleeves, but there are some differences for sure. In these shorts the crotch ended up too tight with some wrinkles at the same time but not so that it bothers me while working out. Also after I did these shorts I had a gusset revelation (yes that’s a thing!) and made another pair applying those changes and now I’m happy to report that I have indeed a leggings pattern that fits me perfectly!

Running shorts made by me

The shorts have lots of pockets of course! I also added a little pouch pocket inside that I can use for keys and cards. These shorts are a development of the flower print yoga hot pants I did a few weeks ago. 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    LinB
    July 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I don't know why more garments don't feature gussets — I mean, beyond the cut-on ones as in the pointy bits of a crotch curve, and the underarms of a sleeve. Gussets are an easy way to alter ready-to-wear for clients who are busty, or who are more curvy in the legs, thighs, and hips than standard.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      July 16, 2016 at 6:52 am

      That's a good point! I suspect it's because since time is money the garment industry wants to use as simple constructions as possible. But since bad fit can be a huge issue with RTW there could be a market for at least mid price point garments. Your suggestions makes me intrigued and I would definitely want to explore gussets further, I've only done them for kimono sleeves and such previously.

  • Reply
    Lynsey Jane
    July 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Your shorts look great on, perfect fit and I like the pockets. I've never seen a gusset as few patterns have them but can see how they'd make a difference.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      July 17, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Thank you! Yes I agree they are very uncommon in sewing patterns, I suspect it's because they can be a bit intimidating to attach (even though it's easier than it looks). The only ones I've encountered in patterns are for activewear and under kimono/raglan sleeves.

  • Reply
    Kyle
    July 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

    You are tenacious with your perfection of patterns–I love it!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      July 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you for appreciating my obsessiveness 🙂

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