Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jalie 2563 & 2796 - Integrated Sportswear

Inspired by Shannon over at Mushywear, I decided to tackle my first Jalie Patterns. I had a 150km rail trail bike ride with my husband coming up and the weather outlook was for a heatwave.

As a native Scot, I don't cope well with excessive heat :0), so knew I'd need some super lightweight kit. I also wanted to minimise my nightly need to wash clothes on the trail, so adapted these two patterns.

Like most women, whenever I run (mostly) or bike (a bit less), I always wear four pieces of clothing:
  • Sports bra
  • Top
  • Briefs
  • Shorts/Trousers
However, I challenged myself to get this down to just two lightweight items. Achieving it was going to require a level of integration.

The Top
For the top I chose Jalie 2563. It had been well reviewed and was very similar to several RTW crop tops I already had. As the whole outfit needed to be very lightweight, I chose red dryknit for the main fabric and a super lightweight, slippery polyknit with a 'Moroccan' pattern for the contrast.

With fabric decidedly on the lighter end of the robustness spectrum, I chose to underline the whole front and back with skin tone Powermesh. This stuff is amazing, and combined with the elastic at neck edge armholes and underbust, gives me the support I need (I'm only a B cup).

Instead of making a top as well, I designed a lower piece based on the shape of a favourite t-shirt. I stitched it on at the same time as top stitching the under bust elastic and then gave it a single line of top stitching.

The only fitting challenge was that the shoulder straps were too wide for my petite frame (I made a girl's size..). This was easily solved by trimming 1cm from each armhole edge and also made it the same strap width as my RTW tops.

The Skort
The next challenge was the skort, but fortunately Jalie had already provided me with an integration solution thanks to their built-in briefs. The challenges here mostly came down to my choice of very lightweight fabric.

First I designed a new pattern piece to give me a crotch lining in the briefs and eliminate the need to wear undies. This was sandwiched into the rear crotch seam and the front finished and left 'floating' like many RTW undies. The sides of the lining were attached as part of the leg finishing of the briefs.

Next I had to add Powermesh to underline both pocket upper and lower layers. If I'd left them as a single layer, the pocket contents would have been rubbing against my skin in use - not an appealing prospect!

Hemming these slippery fabrics required every technique I know i.e. Steam-a-Seam, soluble stabiliser and tear-away stabiliser..

Once I'd got the first skort together, I decided to go for a short test run. I'm so glad I did. After about 500 metres I had to turn back home clutching my skort as I was in danger of an extremely embarrassing wardrobe malfunction as it was sliding down my hips :0)

The problem was easily solved with one long edge of some wide elastic zigzagged to the inside top of the waistband. I used the deep waistband and find it incredibly comfortable to wear. I also top stitched just below the waistband seam to control the four fabric layers.
I made two of each item and they were an absolute success on the rail trail. They can now be seen in daily use on my fitness blog. If you want to see them actually 'in action' then you might enjoy these short but amusing videos - Hula and 70's Disco.


  1. thanks for your review of this outfit. I recently found this pattern online and have been tossing up whether or not to buy it. It's good to know the little tweaks which need to be done. :)

  2. Hi Debbie and thank you for your review. I LOVE your outfit! You may have already said this so I'm sorry if I'm asking you to repeat yourself, but did you use a serger? I have that and a regular sewing machine. I just ordered the Jalie pattern and was trying to decide which to use. Thanks so much!