In the Running…a tale of two Athletic Skirts!

Hello sewing friends! I hope this post finds you well, and weathering current events with, if not aplomb, at least a sense of humor.

For this, I’m ever grateful to my children, who always seem able to make me laugh at the craziest of moments, which is certainly how I’d describe life right now, as we try to move homes in the middle of this pandemic.

One of the toughest things for me to take down, of course, is my sewing room. I had 95% of it packed up a couple weeks ago, but I kept going into my boxes, scheming on this fabric, or that pattern, tempting myself with one last project before the “big day”, when I had to put everything on hold, and focus on getting our family of 5, and our mountains of stuff, from point A to point B. Someday, when this is allll over, I’m going to spend a week sleeping, alone, on the beach, waking only to take sips from a fruity alcoholic beverage or to dip my toes in the water.

Until then, I’ve got a couple new running skirts to show for my last ditch efforts at packing procrastination. There are handful of fun activewear skirt patterns out there, and I plan to sew them all this summer, but since these two from Jalie have been on the docket for a while, I thought they’d make a good start.

Jalie Louluxe

The Louluxe was one of Jalie’s releases from last year, and it caught my eye with the little flounce (I love a good ruffle, but HATE to gather, so a flounce is totally my jam), the option for the shorts underneath, and the fun style lines.

I traced my usual Jalie bottoms size (a Q), and since my daughter has outgrown all her shorts/skirts from last year, I traced out a size H for her as well (those pieces look soooo tiny!).

I included the compression shorts with the pocket for myself, but made the mistake of leaving off my daughter’s pocket- I’m probably going to have to go back and add hers on, because she almost refused to wear them when she realized they could have had a pocket, and didn’t.

“But mommy…whhhyyy??” I swore to her I would never make this mistake again, and she forgave me…barely.

With or without a place to hide baby snails, the undershorts are a great option for her, since she insists that wearing underwear is worse than being stung by giant hornets- this way she stays cool in the heat, and doesn’t flash anyone when she does her acrobatic flips and jumps around the house (for real- she created an entire indoor obstacle course all on her own last week. She DESPERATELY misses the playground).

The fit was excellent for us both, though I did find the legs a bit loose- which turned out well for her, since she doesn’t really like things tight, and was easy for me to adapt by bringing in the bottom of the shorts by about half an inch  so they wouldn’t ride up when I run.

I also borrowed the high rise waistband from the Greenstyle Stride Tights, since I wanted to add a zippered waistband pocket, and already had that hack pieced out (see the tutorial here). I was happy that one of my 500 purple zippers (only a slight exaggeration) matched this project so well- somehow I ended up with more purple zippers than any other color, despite almost never wearing purple….they must have been on sale or something. #strangesewingpurchases

They’ve been in my stash forever, and every time I use one up, I give myself a mental high five.

After trying the skirt on my daughter, I went back and added in 3/4″ elastic to cinch it up a bit- totally my fault, for not grading in for her tiny waist, but a pretty easy fix.

The only other modification I made to my Luoluxe was to widen the pocket on my shorts, so it would accommodate my iPhone- it looked a little small as is.

You might be wondering why I felt the need for two pockets- one, I like to keep things in a zippered location for security (ie credit card, or a key that I wouldn’t want accidentally falling out), and two, I wasn’t sure if the shorts would be strong enough to hold my phone on a longer run, since I was making them from a lighter weight fabric. (Note: There’s an alternate method for adding a zipper to the waistband that Dawn includes on her blog, here, if you prefer to have it located lower down on the actual skirt back panel, instead of in the waistband.)

Fabric/Construction Details:

My outer fabric was an athletic brushed poly from the Styled Magnolia (the “twilight colorway“), and the under shorts are made from a few scraps lightweight athletic fabric from my scrap bin (yay for using up scraps!). I think the key to getting the flounce to swing nicely is to use a fabric with a little bit of body- a brushed poly would just cling, but an athletic brushed poly, or a sturdier athletic knit (ie 11-14 oz) hangs just right.

I chose to do a double needle cover stitch on the right side of all the skirt seams, which had the effect of securing the surged edges for less chafing, as well as adding a decorative touch. I’ve noticed that ready to wear pretty much cover-stitches everything possible, and while it takes more time to do so, it’s usually worth the effort for the professional look.

I absolutely love the look and feel of this skirt while running- it’s cute, practical, and while it might seem like it would be time consuming because of all the piecing, it actually goes together really smoothly once you get started.

It’s also a really great option for everyday wear- it feels flirty without flashing too much leg, and is one of those rare patterns that I think looks great on both my preschooler, and on an adult (ie…me!)

Jalie Multi-Sport Skirt

The other skirt I’ve had in my Jalie pattern stash for a long time, but never made is the “multisport skirt”- another cute little number, with a unique overlapped side detail that forms the basis for a side pocket. This skirt has options for “hot shorts” or compression shorts underneath- having just made the compression shorts with the Luoluxe, I decided to try out the hot shorts.

Turns out, they’re aptly named, because this is by far the coolest option- I’ve had the opportunity to test it out on a few toasty afternoon runs, and I can say this under-option is a winner for hot summer days.

The hot shorts fit like a pair of boy-short undies- nice, full coverage, though I did find the elastic lengths a bit tight (runner’s quads maybe?). Other than sewing the elastic at nearly a 1:1 ratio, I made no modifications, this time using the included waistband, which is lower rise than I’m used to with my leggings, but still comfortable. Both skirts have clear elastic in the top of the waistband seam, but I can’t remember if that’s included in the instructions, or if I just did it that way because I’ve sewn so many pairs of leggings. Either way, they stay up nicely, without being constricting.

The construction on this one is really clever, and results in a nice clean finish at the hem. The fabric I used is another Styled Magnolia athletic brushed poly (found here), and I enjoyed showing off the different parts of this panel on the front and sides. I would normally use athletic brushed poly for leggings, but really wanted to find a couple projects that would fill a hole in my summer wardrobe, and be something a little less predictable, and I’m happy to say that the ABP performed perfectly in this role.

Since I made the hot shorts, the only option for including a pocket for my phone was in the side of the skirt, and I was happy to find that the pocket was just the right size. The phone does bump a little bit into my leg when I run, but it isn’t overly bothersome. Next time I think I’ll include a waistband zipper pocket, but this one will still get plenty of wear this season.

In terms of length the multi sport skirt feels just slightly shorter than the LuoLuxe– great for summer wear, but probably not work appropriate without some extra length added. Again, I think a fabric with a little “body” is key here- I hate it when skirts cling to me in hot weather, and that won’t be happening with the athletic brushed poly. Yoga knit, heavier cotton lycra, bamboo or cotton french terry and similar fabrics would all be excellent choices.

Bonus Sports Bra: Jalie Pika

Still putting off packing, I found that I had enough leftover to make a Jalie Pika sports bra to match.

I’ve made the Pika before (here, last summer, and as a swimsuit here), but always included the overlay, and this time I went for the bra only, which was such a fun, fast project.

So…which skirt is my favorite? Well, I know this isn’t very exciting to say…but it’s a tie! I actually went onto make another mommy and me Louluxe set from this print from the Fabric Fairy (photos coming….whenever we get over this moving mountain!), but I also love the hot shorts option on the Multi-Sport Skirt, as well as the handy side pocket, so I’m sure both will be making future appearances.

In fact, I’ve been wondering if I could get away with making the main body of either skirt in stretch woven- there’s not much, if any negative ease, and I could stick with a knit for the upper back (Louluxe), waistband and side panel (multi-sport skirt) if needed. I’ve got plenty of stretch woven, so I think it’s worth a try- what do you say?

Now that I’m really into this whole running skirt thing, two other running skirt patterns that I’ve got my eye on include the Pace skirt (Greenstyle) and the Shenanigans skirt (5 out of 4)- maybe I need a whole skirt capsule wardobe?


What do you think? Do you have a favorite? Have you tried any of these skirt/skort patterns?

Random DIY Projects…

In other DIY news….hubby decided to take his hair cutting skills to the next level, and groom the dog. One minute I was hopping on the Peloton for a quick cycling ride after dinner, and the next a lion showed up at my window. I nearly fell off the bike, I tell you.

Here’s the before:



I’m certain she’s cooler now, but I’m not sure how she feels about the whole thing….it might be a bit of a pandemic-identity crisis for her!

Oh, and one last little sneak peek at our DIY home-renovation project….this was hubby and the kids as they PULLED OUT the flooring in the entire house minus 2 rooms. Flooring is hard y’all. We decided to go ahead and install it all ourselves, because how hard could it be? Um, yeah. Hubby is doing an AMAZING job, but no one should ever use the words “floating”, “easy install” or “quick project” around us again.

We are feeling SO BLESSED though, to have this new home, and the kids are spending pretty much every inch of their spare time in the hot tub turned mini swimming pool. I’m so glad I had the forethought to sew up this new Mairin suit during the Fabric Fairy SewAlong a couple weeks back, because it’s been getting daily wear. This little pattern is a total winner, especially with the shoulder ties and the boy short bottoms- no more pool wedgies, and no outgrowing this suit before summer’s over! (see last year’s Mairin suits here)

How’s your summer shaping up?

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Fabric was provided/purchased by me in exchange for sewing and sharing my opinions with you. If you want to keep seeing my posts, please consider subscribing to the blog, and finding me on Instagram.

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  1. Brigitte on May 6, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Love all your sewn pieces! Great post!
    Hope the move went well and that you are adjusting!
    We are on the verge of moving, so much unknown in a weird time!
    Let’s keep our heads up!
    You are doing great! I still don’t know how to move my machines and some of my notions and fabric so I can sew during the move… we are moving with our travel trailer… so we have another thing in common!
    I love your posts ❣️

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:35 pm

      Wow- I feel like you’re my soul sister! Hang in there- we survived the move, and are slowly but surely making progress toward normalcy. Or at least what passes for normalcy during these crazy times!

  2. susi on May 6, 2020 at 7:06 am

    beautiful sews and good luck on landing in your new abode, ill have the drinks waiting at the beach!

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you Susi!

  3. Starla on May 6, 2020 at 7:23 am

    I live running skirts! Both the Pace Skirt and the Shenanigans Skirt are in my “to attempt” pattern pile, so I’d love to see you blog about them I love reading about your family adventures and I’m happy to read that your move is progressing, hopefully mostly as planned!

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      So…Shenanigans was a total fail. The fit was not right on me at all- I’ll mention why in a future post, but it wasn’t a good pattern for me unfortunately.

  4. Barbara Douglas on May 6, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Love the running shorts, I’d like to try the black/white fabric with Jalie pattern. I have the kids 5 out of 4 pattern, thanks for the reminder!

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      You’re welcome-thats what blogs are for!

  5. Leah May on May 7, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I love your skirts! In need to put the Multi-sport on my list. My favorite skort last summer was the Ladies Casual Skirt grin Thread Faction. It has so many options!

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      I will check out hte Sport Skort- I haven’t made a thread faction pattern in a long time and forgot about them!

  6. Leah May on May 7, 2020 at 10:26 am

    No! It was the Sport Skort from Thread Faction. I clearly have too many skirt/skort patterns

  7. Kelli on May 12, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Another great post Sara. I’m not a runner or sport skirt girl but if I ever did become one, this is where I’d look first. I really like the black one. The detail on the bottom side is so cute.

    • Kelli on May 12, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      Sorry just realized I spelled your name wrong. “Great post Sarah” #quarantinegotmelike

      • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:33 pm

        No worries!

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you so much Kelli!

  8. N. MacGregor on May 16, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Sarah:

    Love your latest makes. I also have a few running skirts on my sewing to do list for this summer.

    Regarding your question about using stretch wovens instead of knit fabrics to make running skirts – I have never personally done so, but I recall reading at least 2 posts last summer where people actually did use stretch wovens to sew running skirts. The posts I read were found on the Halo Fabric Addicts (HAF) Facebook page. I don’t recall the name of the first person who posted about the skirts but one lady made a skirt for golfing using (HFA) stretch woven fabric plus I believe Brit who operates the (HFA) also made running skirts out of her stretch woven fabrics.

    Hope this helps you out.

    That’s all for now, Nancy

    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks for the tips! I think I’m going to have to try it!

  9. Esther on May 18, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for these write ups! I’ve been looking for a running skirt pattern with a side pocket on the outside (I always feel a little weird lifting my skirt to access what’s in the short pockets underneath), so I went straight to Fabric Fairy to check out the Multisport Skort! I have made two skirts with the Shenanigans pattern, and I mostly love it, but there’s a weird little bump/wrinkle in the back under the waistband that I have to figure out how to fix before I make another one. It’s super comfy and cute, so at some point, I’ll take the time to remove the waistband and see if I can smooth it out. I’d love to read what you have to say about it. Thanks again for sharing your experiences so we newbies can learn from you!

    • Sarah on May 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      It sounds like maybe you need to grade in a bit at the center back- if there’s some extra fabric there, pinch it out, and then try transferring that to your paper pattern piece. I think the multisport skirt might not have this issue for you, since Jalie drafts pretty differently than 5 out of 4, so it might be worth a try to see what happens there, before you make changes- you might be able to use their pattern pieces to “fix” the shenanigans if it works for you.

  10. Sheila on June 7, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Sarah. I have made two of the Jalie multi-sport skort and was so shocked by how short it was. For the first skort (test skort) I used a 2-way stretch so kind of guessed that it might not turn out right – I did not want to but the fabric website I bought it from was not clear about how much stretch the fabric had (boo!). The second time I used 4-way 75% stretch from fabric fairy, added 1″ to the length, and again the skort was really short. My daughter is 5’3″ and about 115 lbs and we made the size 4 (R), Also, the waistband felt really small for the circumference of the skirt. I’m going to re-do the waistband and add 2″ to see if it loosens the skirt. We did not make the shorts underneath – do you think that makes a difference in keeping the skort down?
    Thanks…I love your site!!!!

    • Sarah Connell on June 7, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      I do think it is a shorter skort- you could add more length, but I don’t think that adding in the shorts will make a big difference on how long it is. The waistband worked out OK for me, but if it was too tight, that might be causing it to ride up more? It sounds like you probably made the right size for her, so maybe its just a matter of getting the length to that sweet spot. I will say that without the shorts underneath, I would feel indecent in the length- but with them I feel flirty, so adding them in could just make a difference psychologically.

  11. Tric on June 28, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I know this is super late, but I just did a running skirt out of the stretch woven from The Styled Magnolia. I used the Shenanigans skort pattern, but instead of using the included shorts, I used color-blocked pegs to have attached capris. I sized up one size in the skirt and it worked perfectly. I have an upcoming work “retreat” that involves a lot of hiking so I wanted something athletic but professional (not a usual combination in my wardrobe). I’m not sure that I needed to size up (like you said there isn’t really negative ease in the patterns), but I’m worried that it would have slowly scooted up my backside as I walked if I hadn’t sized up. I still probably wouldn’t attempt the splits or anything in it, but the skirt stays in place for normal walking.

    • Sarah on July 6, 2020 at 6:15 am

      That’s really great to know, thank you!

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