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You’ve gato make your own clothes when you run a half meowathon


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.

The patterns

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

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.

The Race

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!


Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



July 7, 2014 #

Adorable running gear! Congrats on completing the race too!

Lisa G.

July 7, 2014 #

You ladies look purr-fectly delightful!

Andie L

July 7, 2014 #

I love these so much! The Fehr Trade patterns are so awesome. How is the durability of the Spoonflower performance knits? Do they wash up well?


July 7, 2014 #

It looks pretty good so far! I washed both my shorts and tank yesterday and inspected everything when it came out of the dryer, but haven’t worn them again.


July 7, 2014 #

I’ve washed mine twice now, and it looks fine. Don’t know how it will hold up over long periods of time yet.


July 7, 2014 #

I love the outfits! In the future, you should fund-raise for that cat shelter you posted about. It would be a purrfect match. I run half marathons too. My next one is in Texas on Saturday!


July 7, 2014 #

You two look amazing!! I love the cats. I’m interested in the durability and quality of the Spoonflower knits too, that’s the only worry holding me back from sinking farther into cat-lady territory than I already am.

Haywood Titchener

July 7, 2014 #

Super cute outfits ladies!! Purrfectly made!

Adri H.

July 7, 2014 #

These are fantastic! I can’t come up with any cat-related puns that haven’t already been posted, but I’m so glad you shared these! Too cute!!

Monica Quijada

July 7, 2014 #

Thank you for the description on the various Spoonflower performance knits. I have been reluctant to try making my own athletic wear because I just can’t find anything fun. Spoonflower definitely opens up a world of ideas.


July 7, 2014 #

Do you think Spoonflower’s performance pique would work for leggings?


July 7, 2014 #

I think so! It’s got the optimal amount of stretch, and when I pull it and hold it up to my skin even the lighter colors remain opaque.


July 7, 2014 #

I love your outfits. Congrats on a half marathon! That’s quite an accomplishment.

Would you take a close up picture of the FOE and/or a quick description of ho wyou did it? I made the VNA top and I love it, but I am really bad at binding knits, I’d love to try the FOE technique.


July 7, 2014 #

I just folded it over the raw edge, and used a 3-step zigzag to sew both sides at once. It’s really easy. There are also some tips on how to use FOE (and other binding) in The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits. Working on that book taught me some good techniques for finishing knits with the least fuss.


July 7, 2014 #

I was thinking about you this weekend and wondering what fantastic me-made you wore to the race. You must have killed it in those outfits. Way to go!


July 27, 2014 #

Once I originally coemmnted I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!


July 7, 2014 #

Love! I can never find activewear that I’m 100% happy with so I might give it a go! Congrats on the half marathon! :)

Kathy Sews

July 7, 2014 #

Oh my goodness! Love the feline theme!!!!


July 7, 2014 #

These are soooooo great!!! Congrats on your helf marathon


July 7, 2014 #

Are you “kitten” me? Those are adorable! (Sorry, my teenaged daughter has a shirt that says that!) Anyway, I think I’d work out a lot more if my workout clothes were that adorable! Great job…I’m feeling a bit inspired!


July 7, 2014 #

Sarai thanks for the big bust details…I didn’t even know there are now different types of sports bras. I just assumed 10 years ago they would never make them in my cup size!


July 7, 2014 #

I’ve done a fair bit of research on this! Compression bras flatten you, and encapsulation bras support each breast individually, like a normal bra. Compression on its own isn’t supposed to be great for busty women, because it just creates uniboob, which can still move and stress the tissue. In fact, it’s a bigger lump of tissue moving, which means more stress with each movement.

I really like my moving comfort sports bras, which use both compression and encapsulation together. It’s very comfy!

Nikki H

July 7, 2014 #

You have simultaneously motivated me to pick up my running again AND make my own workout gear! You two look great.
What is the black fabric that the rest of the leggings are made of and where did you get it, if you don’t mind my asking?


July 7, 2014 #

hi ladies….we looked for you two on the way to the beach at sauvies around 11am! the run looked really fun, but no kitty sightings. one idea: i had various sports gear that didn’t fit me…a navy blue shirt that was much much too big and boxy….a pair of pants that just didn’t do it for me. so i picked the seams apart and used an appropriate pattern to resew to my measurements and shape. it was a GREAT project to learn how to work with sport fabrics and reuse my discards. just a thought if anyone is intimidated by the high cost of buying performance fabrics…cheers!


July 8, 2014 #

Great idea. I like the idea of fixing up some of my not-quite-right workout stuff instead of throwing it away.


July 8, 2014 #

LOVE these! And congrats for running your halfs, too! I totally agree on the Spoonflower performance fabrics, too – I think the Performance Knit was the BOMB until I got a swatch of their new Performance Pique and I swear it’s even better (except the name – Pique isn’t really close to what it is, if Supplex wasn’t trademarked I’d call it that).

Thanks for trying out my patterns, too! (And yeah, I’d suggest an FBA on the bra lining if you want the compression bra again, or just leave it off and wear your own favourite sports bra underneath)


July 8, 2014 #

Miiiiiiaaoooo! Prrrretty:)


July 8, 2014 #

Oh, you guys are killing me! This is the first Flat Half I’ve miss in several years (owing to this pesky relocation to Arkansas) yet the moment I saw the first photo I knew you had done the Flat Half. Hope you enjoyed it in you super-stylish clothes. Who says running clothes have to be JUST functional?


July 8, 2014 #

I think they’re the perfect opportunity to get a little silly! I’m not a novelty prints person for the most part, but when it’s workout gear, who cares?

Wait, I just remembred the silk cami I made recently with black cats on it. So maybe I’m just not a novelty prints person… unless there are cats.


July 8, 2014 #

Très joli!!


July 8, 2014 #

What was Kristen’s fabric called? It’s great!


July 9, 2014 #

The name of the print is “Cat Stack”.

Here’s a link:


July 8, 2014 #

Love your outfits & am sure there’s good motivation in knowing you get to put on a cute outfit for your run! I miss many things about living in Oregon, the weather, which was so often perfect for running, is high on the list.

Miss Crayola Creepy

July 8, 2014 #

You guys are rad! I love that you ran a half marathon in cat gear. I think you guys need matching cat tattoos next! :)


July 9, 2014 #

Ha! Kenn’s been hounding me for years about getting one.


July 23, 2014 #

Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your conetnt seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Many thanks|

sj kurtz

July 8, 2014 #

I AM novelty prints, and am about to go into the cool sewing cave to tape up and cut out Ms Fehr’s XYT top using Spoonflower performance pique (made myself a nifty print from bodybuilding ads from comic books!). It doesn’t recover as well as the p. knit, but it stretches farther and gotta love that opacity. Takes color very nicely as well (you get an almost real black). A very fat quarter goes a long way. Free shipping today (lord, I’ve turned into an ad….)(no, I don’t work for them)


July 8, 2014 #

Can anyone recommend a good pattern for a DDD size? The ones I’ve seen (here included) are for very small women. I’ve been buying cotton ones that are 2-3 sizes too small that are comfortable but HOT in FL. I’d like to make some in a better fabric and better size.


July 9, 2014 #

Love the workout gear, how inspiring!


July 9, 2014 #

I love you guys even more knowing that you’re runners. Thank you for sharing the difference between the Spoonflower fabrics. I also run and want to try out the Fehr Trade patterns for sure. You guys looked so cute. Come visit Boise! We have a great sewing school


July 9, 2014 #

Wonderful to see support of good events. I love the sports wear with the kitty theme. You both look smashing!


July 12, 2014 #

Aw, c’mon sewing runners or running sewists… WRITE ABOUT YOUR RUNNING ADVENTURES! We *want* to read about fabric choices and 5K times, your hemlines and half marathon training. It’s the third time I’ve clicked through on a post promising to be about sewing *and* running that the running was given short shrift or ignored completely. Great info about Fehr Trade and Spoonflower. Hey … Lady Grey in fleece as a winter warmup jacket for the track?


July 12, 2014 #

I have made the fehr trade top and tights. The top had the excess fabric at the armholes that I observe in the photo here too. I am going to try again cutting a larger size in the power mesh and armholes to avoid boob spillage. The tights need adjustment too. I found helpful comments about sizing and adjustment for both on I like the patterns and love the chance to make great performance wear to run in. My favorite to date are Jalie ‘s running skirt (2796) which is hands down my go to running bottom for all runs- even marathon distance. Any stretch Lycra works with them– I don’t spring for wicking. But I am looking for a half zip long sleeve running top ( not bra) pattern. Wicking is worth it for tops.


July 13, 2014 #

This is due to the inner lining being cut much smaller than the shell, so all the fabric is being pulled to the inside. You can see it mostly in the armpits, but all the bound edges wanted to roll in. Perhaps if my powermesh had not been so strong? So much depends on fabric.

I just got my first running skirt as a gift and love it!


July 27, 2014 #

Stellar work there evnoyree. I’ll keep on reading.


July 15, 2014 #

I absolutely love this pattern, looking forward to making it in both knit and woven and maybe a maxi! One thing that bothered me with the Moneta pattern was all the wasted paper. Is it possible to provide a list of page numbers that need to be printed for specific sizes? For example there are two bodice front pieces, depending on your size you only need one of those. Either way, great pattern, thank you!

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