When Kristen and I decided to run a half marathon together, we knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make our own running gear. And what’s better than handmade running gear?
Cat-themed handmade running gear.
My top was made with the Fehr Trade XYT top pattern, which Melissa kindly let me try out. It was a lot of fun to make and I finished it in just a couple hours.
I made a couple minor adjustments, which are mainly a matter of preference and my general love of experimentation. I decided to finish the edges with fold over elastic, which makes the binding process very easy. I did the back X in black powermesh, just for fun.
I also did a little switcheroo in the order of sewing operations and left one shoulder seam open until the binding was installed, in order to avoid binding in the round. I’ll avoid binding in the round whenever I can, and with knits that’s pretty easy to do.
I went by the size chart to determine my size, which put me at an XS (I am usually a small or medium, fyi). The only issue I had with cutting this small size was that the bra lining was extremely tight, perhaps because I am a larger cup size.
As a busty runner, I usually avoid compression-style sports bras, so I think next time I might omit the lining and wear one of my favorite encapsulation-style sports bras underneath.
Kristen’s top was modeled after a tank top she already had, but her shorts were made from the Fehr Trade Duathalon shorts. Kristen cut them a little longer than the booty-shorts version.
Check out the gel pocket! Kristen even matched up the little kitty heads on it.
The fabric we used is from Spoonflower.
Spoonflower has a couple of options for performance fabric. The regular performance knit has moderate one-way stretch. The hand feels like you’d expect a poly jersey to feel. Not my favorite thing to touch, but it’s sort of what you’re used to if you wear athletic gear.
(If you missed it, here’s a more in depth look at why polyester is such a good choice for athletic apparel.)
I opted for the performance knit because I thought the smaller amount of stretch might help provide support. This turned out not to be necessary, but still the fabric worked out just fine! It performed well all 13 miles. The print I bought was this one called pussycat in summer coral by magentarose.
Kristen went for Spoonflower’s other performance fabric, the performance pique. This is a bit softer and much stretchier, very similar to the sorts of fabric I’m used to in serious athletic clothes. In the future, I’d go with this fabric for tops, for sure.
These fabrics aren’t cheap, but you don’t need much to make summer workout gear. I used much less than a yard.
I know that talking about running is super boring to non-runners, so I’ll just say that this race was a real beauty: flat, gorgeous, and perfect weather.
This was Kristen’s first half, and it was really fun to run together. We should make it a tradition. Every year, a different cat-themed outfit!