Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fehr Trade Duatholon Shorts... in a Capri length (Plus a discount code!)


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 herehere 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! 

18 comments:

  1. You look so sporty! I'm so excited about her patterns!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Yeah, her patterns are really solid and well thought out. This one in particular is so functional... I gotta make some shorts with it soon.

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  2. These look so great! I love diagonal stripes on the blue pair too. I just downloaded the pattern myself (ran out of tape though!). Thanks for showing your alterations, I think I have a very similar body shape to you so I reckon I will be doing the same steps. I know I'll definitely have to add a little to the calf width at the back, all my RTW capri's bunch up.

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    1. Thanks!! I really love this pattern, I bet you'll think it's a winner :)

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  3. Your active wear wardrobe is looking great!

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    1. Thanks, Sue! It's such a motivator to have new garment to wear, so I have to go out and use it :)

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  4. Thanks for clueing me in to this pattern - it looks great! I love your half-stripey side panels! I'm an extremely avid cyclist, and bike clothes are just about the only non-handmade clothes I wear anymore. I never thought I'd make bike shorts, the padding seemed too complicated. But now I'm thinking about it...

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    1. No probz! And thanks. I've never been a major bike rider and never even thought about padding before. It was interesting to know it even existed.

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  5. These look wonderful! And I'm happy to see that you had to take out that little bulge in the back rise as well--that was an issue on my first PB Jams as well. I am looking forward to sewing up my second pair soon, and will need to remember to change the pattern piece also. :-)

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    1. Thanks! I have a big back side but just not way up under the waist. It's an easy fix anyhow.

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  6. I love the racing stripes! I bet it looks really cool to see you streaking by on your bike. I'm a little jealous of your fabric score, I know there are good online sources for fancy activewear fabrics, but I always want to feel it before I buy it. And best of luck with the race! I'm considering signing up for one, but i've never done one before. Please do a report on it, I'd love to read all the details!

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    1. Thanks!! I don't exactly "race" by on my bike... I barely go faster then a jogging kitten. And that goes for my running, too :)

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  7. You always look so sporty! I really like the blue pair with the contrast stripe. I'm getting ready to make my first XYT top, my first real piece of activewear!

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  8. I'm always jelaous of people who have an oppurtunity to buy inexpensive high quality exercise fabric. Okay, "jelaous" is a strong word, but it's just so frustrating that there is almost no places that sell good materials in my country so I have to order online and it's expensive, mostly the shipping part obviously, but still... The second issue is that ordering online you actually never know what you're gonna get exactly, so I was wondering if you happen to know what would "tactel jersey lycra " feel like (in terms of making leggings). I just can't seem to find anything reliable on that type of fabric, I have my eye on it at an online shop as it seems to have quite a good price, is wicking, available in wide range of colours and should be suitable for making "dancewear or catsuits" (as the description states), but I just don't feel I can trust that description if I can't find anything else on that fabric type rather than just mentioning it here and there. It's said that the fabric consists of 95% tactel and 5% lycra and weighs about 200 grams per meter - my main concern is that as tactel seems to often be used for making underwear it might be too sheer and thin for leggings... Do you have any experience with something similar to "tactel jersey lycra" or do you have any suggestions?

    And needless to say, those blue capris look super cute ;)

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  9. Hi, Aveli! That would be sooo frustrating!!! You can order swatches, but that can take a while to get in the mail... and be expensive to just get shipped.

    I've never used Tactel Jersey before, but I've seen it online. I've been curious about it as well. I looked up some info about it. You may have already seen this, I saw there was a discussion on Pattern Review about tactel jersey-- http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/46037

    Melissa of Fehr Trade mentions tactel here on this post:
    http://www.coletterie.com/fabric-haberdashery/sewing-activewear-with-melissa-fehr

    Also, you should email Melissa (at Fehr Trade) since she mentioned it. She has sewn loads and loads of activewear, I bet she has used it at one point.

    I have used supplex before and love it. It is a blend of nylon and spandex (be careful, there is non-stretch supplex.. good for men's swimming shorts-- I bought some last week!)

    I wish I had a better answer for activewear suppliers in Estonia. And a better answer for Tactel jersey! There are so many options in the U.S. for activewear fabrics, we are so lucky.

    On Melissa's list of global fabric suppliers she does have some in the UK and Europe, which may be less expensive for shipping. http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/748/where-to-buy-exercise-fabric-a-global-list

    I see some really nice fabrics from Australia but can't afford the shipping!



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    1. I've also used swimwear fabric for activewear--it's nylon/spandex. It's great for the 5-10k runs I do but I would prefer a sweat wicking fabric for longer distances and more intense runs. Swimwear fabric dries fast but isn't "wicking".

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    2. Thank you for a really informative answer :) I've seen most of the links you mentioned before but still, they don't seem to be much of a help. I've used supplex before and it's really nice (of course if it's a good quality one, some seem to be better than others although they all are called "supplex"), but good quality supplex is hard to find even online and if found it's usually quite expensive so that's whay I'm looking into that tactel jersey as I've found it for a really good price from some places.

      The probleem in Estonia is small market so it's not very profitable for importers to bring in exercise fabric as there wouldn't be many people interested in it. Of course we have fabric stores and a pretty good selection of "normal" fabrics and even lycras, but they are never wicking and seem to be ment more for swimwear or gymnastics leotards and stuff (although I would sew a gymnastics leotard also from wicking lycra or supplex if I had to make one :D ) so basically the fabric suppliers don't seem to understand that there might be people out there who'd like to make their own exercise gear also besides their normal clothing but at the same time - if there were good quality fabrics available, there might be people who buy them...tricky one. Seems that I should just become a pioneer and start importing some nice sports fabrics myself just like Melinda from Runner's fabrics in Australia :D

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    3. I had a feeling that you had already done your research and seen all those links! You should import some of the good sports fabrics!! I really wish I had a better answer about the tactel. I wonder if another blogger has a scrap or sample of the tactel to mail you?
      If there is any way you can find Under Armour brand wicking fabrics (it's not easy to find) you will surely be getting good quality material. This may be of little help but I know of a shop that sells Under Armour (they are in the U.S.-- they do ship internationally-- but I'd imagine the cost would be quite high.) http://www.rockywoods.com/ I'm not sure if Under Armour is in Estonia-- they are a company that makes high quality exercise and sports clothing.

      Good Luck!!!!

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