Another winning activewear pattern from Melissa of Fehr Trade, the new Duatholon Shorts. I've never been one for capris and don't own but one pair (for yoga/pajamas) so it was high time I had some for the transitional spring season. And how lucky am I to be a Fehr Trade pattern tester, again! You can see previous exercise patterns I've tested from her here, here and here. I have been really, really impressed what this lady has been designing... the thoroughness of the directions and the multitude of high-quality, detailed illustrations is quite terrific.
These capris are pretty cool because they are designed for not only running, yoga, walking, hiking, etc., but they also have a cool design element for the bicyclist-- a padded crotch. Now, I have this really nice bike for commuting I barely have used since I got it in 2008 or so (I was laid off soon after, so there was no job to commute to after that!) Sewing this pattern got me to dust it off, tune it up and ride it around my neighborhood to get my bicycling legs back.
I cut a size medium in the waist and graded to a large for the rest of these sassy blue capris. For reference, my best fitting RTW pair of jeans right now are a U.S. size 14 Levi skinny curvy fit pair. The side panels are a navy blue and white with navy stripes. There is even a deep little pocket on the side hip for my keys or what nots I need easy access to.
Having made the Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings before I knew my alterations for this pattern. I added about an inch (2.5 cm) to the back crotch length for the full butt and thighs I do have. I had to alter the crotch pad length the match my alteration as well. I have to note that in the end I did not use the padding bit because I realized I had nothing on hand to use for my padding! Aaaagh! But I want to show you how to alter this pattern piece if you need to as well.
First I altered the back crotch depth. I laid a piece of paper under the back leg piece, drew an extension of about 1" (2.5 cm), then cut away the excess paper. I also removed a wedge from right below the waistline-- the upper butt area-- it puckered and bulged out in this area on my PB Jam leggings' muslin (which I am sure I forgot to mention in that blog post...geeez.) Hooray... a new and improved back leg piece for me!!
Since the crotch is now longer, that padding bit needs to be longer to match the addition I made. I slashed the piece in the narrow center, opened the space up the identical length to my crotch depth addition above (about and inch/2.5 cm), taped a scrap of paper under that space and re-drew and cut the lines. Perfection!
These crazy rainbow zebra print capris were awesome on a pretty hilly 5k I did. Here I'm at one of my favorite trails in Baltimore city, the Jones Falls Trail-- it's part of the East Coast Greenway. I love urban woods running-- I'm dead in the middle of the city but you'd never know.
My main fabric for both pairs were from a KILLER warehouse sale I went to last year where a local clothing maker was selling off yardage they didn't need. I paid less the $1 a yard for this material. I am crossing my fingers they will have another sale this year soon! All of it is a nylon/spandex blend. Recently I was over at Renee's (she gave me a boatload of international sewing pattern magazines while she has been installing and cleaning up her juicy new sewing room that puts my sewing space to utter shame) and I got to pet some of her authentic Under Armour fabric. I am like 90% positive that some of my material may be Under Armour stuff... or an amazing knockoff of it. This zebra print is just some random really good quality swimsuit fabric. It's super slippery making making it nice for the inner thigh area while moving.
I made a really fantastic mistake on this pair. I sewed the side pocket facing the wrong way. My right side pocket is on the INSIDE of my capris... I slipped my house keys in there and they were extra secure and tightly held in while I ran. I will probably have one outside pocket and one inside pocket again for any of these I sew up I the future. I love it! I also took in the width of the knee area, I found them to be a bit loose and baggy in that area. That was an easy alteration after I sewn them all up but before hemming them.
I might hem the length up a smidge next time, I have fuller calves and noticed after taking photos that they settled up in the back of my knee. It was not at all weird feeling, I didn't even realize it.
Oh, boy these are some nifty capris. They are SOOOOOOOO easy to sew up. I would say if you were on the fence with sewing the PB Jam Leggings because of the swirly bits, you should try these. The pocket is simple to sew up, it's one long length of fabric that you just fold up to make the pocket. And a bonus, it took me under one yard/meter of main fabric and some odd scrappy bits for the side panels. The pattern recommends 1 meter (1.1 yards), I got it out of about .8 yards (3/4 meter) even with my alterations.
Right now, Melissa is offering a discount code for this pattern: you can use code “VMLM14” to get 10% off until April 13, 2014. You'll find the pattern here in her Etsy shop.
I've registered for a race for late April! It's a 6k to raise money for a worthy organization, here's the race website. It looks like a really cool looking course running through Fort McHenry (the place where the poem that inspired the U.S. national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, was penned during the War of 1812 from a boat out in the water by Francis Scott Key... I really the enjoy local history :) with a sweet view of all that waterfront and harbor goodness with giant ships and what nots. I think this will be a great chance to get a snapshot or two for the Spring Race Challenge Melissa is hosting, too!