if at first you don’t succeed

I have been a bit fixated on making my own activewear and knitwear lately. The thing is, I’m not very good at it, and I keep messing things up, but I just won’t give up! One of the reasons may be because I am astounded by the price tags on activewear. $85 for a pair of running tights? $50 for a running top? Crazy! [And yes, I realize that I’m probably spending that much if you count the items I have messed up and thus can’t really wear, but bear with me.] Another reason I don’t want to give up is because Rose City Textiles has SO MUCH GREAT FABRIC, and I can’t resist it. So, there you go.
The top above I made recently, and I haven’t had the chance to test it out running yet, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The fabric is a little bit heavier than some of the other wickaway lycras, so it should be great on those somewhat cold days where you need some sleeves but no jacket.
At Rose City Textiles they had a top similar to this one but in red. The fabric was so much fun that I decided I needed some. Unfortunately, they were out of the red, but then Annette dragged out this lovely green! Sold! The raglan sleeves are really nice for running, because you don’t have any seams digging into your armpits. And if you’re lazy like me, the rolled edge on the serger is a lifesaver for hems.
So, there you go. I still have more activewear to make, including some tights. Tights are hard because, well, they are tights, and they aren’t particularly flattering. I was wearing one pair of homemade tights, and Peter told me they made my butt look weird. This kind of implies that my butt sometimes looks normal, but you know, I think perhaps I just have a weird-looking butt. I try to keep it covered when I run, but that’s not always feasible. Well, I reckon I should stop talking about my butt now and go make dinner.

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19 Responses to if at first you don’t succeed

  1. Claire says:

    Wow. I still cannot believe that you make your own running wear. You are so incredibly talented!
    (And anyone that is that talented does not have a weird-looking butt. Rest assured. 🙂

  2. jenny says:

    I’m an occasional lurker, but I’m wondering about Rose City Textiles. As a member of the public, can I just pop by and buy fabric or does one need to make an appointment?

  3. Siew says:

    I love both these tops! They’re great. As someone who is wearing all her performance/running tops thin I think I may take the plunge with you – although I don’t think my machine can flatlock. That may be a bit of a challenge.

  4. Mandy says:

    Mariko, this post is hilarious. Both of those tops are fully bitchin’, and I would choose them over my very most favorite Patagonia tops in which I almost live. Whose butt doesn’t look weird in tights?!? I was on J. Crew’s website the other day, and their very own butt model had a weird butt!!!

  5. debbie says:

    i’d say the tops would probably cost a mint if you bought comparable ones in shops – yours are so good lookin’ – good job!

  6. sara says:

    Mariko, you crack me up! I can’t believe you make your own active wear? How cool is that? Btw, I noticed these are on a dress form…I’ve been shopping for one for a long time and was wondering if you had one you’d recommend? I don’t want to spend a fortune and it seems like all the reviews of the cheaper ones I’ve read have a lot of very negative and some very positive reviews. (i.e. the reviews overall aren’t that helpful.)

  7. Kay says:

    I worry that insecurity about your butt is holding you back on the homemade undies. As my mother always said, “Nobody is looking at your butt!” People are too worried about their own butts to be bothered about yours.
    For winter running I always wore those vaguely Scandinavian track pants with the zippered ankles. These could be hard to find in the sea of tights, but they were warmer because they held some air inside, and you could wear tights under them if it was really cold. Also they had pockets. But then I have SUCH an attractive butt that perhaps I am not one to be giving advice, lol.

  8. Seanna Lea says:

    I would happily wear the green top running!
    I haven’t gotten that much outdoor running done this season, because even with the cold weather gear I’m cold. The few times I have gone out either to run or walk I am wearing 2 or 3 layers and I’m still pretty chilly. But we’re going to have a heat wave this weekend (temps in the mid-30s!), so I will hopefully be out there with bells on!

  9. Alma says:

    Those tops are really, really nice.
    Your husband needs to go to remedial husband school. No husband tells his wife her butt looks anything less than superb.

  10. Tammie says:

    i cannot believe you make your own running wear!
    as for the weird butt/tights dilemma, couldn’t you just cover it with the snazzy butt warmer you made a few weeks back? i think that thing is just the coolest.

  11. leslie says:

    what do you use for patterns and do you use a serger?

  12. marianne says:

    I think all your knit wear looks great! It’s given me the itch to get back to sewing more clothes.

  13. Arawa says:

    Nice tops! I could never make my own running gear. With my luck, some unfortunate split or tear would occur. Hey, I bet a really nice headband would draw the eye up and away from your butt. (ha,ha)

  14. Lydia says:

    Nice shirts, both of them, but I really like the orange strip one. I don’t exercise, well not much, that way I don’t have to worry about overpriced activewear, and scaring people by putting my butt in lycra. But you go, girl!

  15. Susan says:

    They are both splendiforous. I love the green one!

  16. i am hesitant to post after the previous viagra ad… also hesitant to talk about your butt…
    living in Japan, I have had more than a fair share of comments regarding my “foreign” shaped butt. there is even padded underwear sold here to give japanese women a shapely butt, for those that don’t have one.
    all very interesting food for thought.
    my husband wears hot pink running tights,…..I don’t run. I like that green shirt and I am very impressed that you sew your own gear…I am more the type to buy off season discounts…

  17. Daisy says:

    I really like your running tops. Great patterns that you couldn’t find in ready-to-wear.
    Have you ever tried on Lululemon yoga pants? They are supposed to make everyone’s butt look great. Not that your butt isn’t fine.

  18. yuan says:

    ok totally unrelated to the post. but i dug those tana french books, and since you did too have you read “the girl with the dragon tattoo”? and the next, “the girl who played with fire”? they were bitchin’
    i bought the second book from amazon uk b/c it wasn’t going to be released in US until 2010 and there was no way i could freakin’ wait that long.
    alrighty..back to work.

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