Monday, September 13, 2010

Turn Your Capris into Cycling Knickers

If you own a pair of capri pants that are comfortable to cycle in, but you don't like the way the bottoms flutter in the breeze or get caught in the drivetrain, then here is a quick and dirty way to turn them into cycling knickers:

You will need a long elastic band, which can be purchased at a shop that sells sewing supplies. Alternatively, you can use narrow hairbands, as shown above (these come in a pack of 10 that costs around $2).

Check the hemming at the bottoms of the pant legs. Sometimes the manufacturer will leave an opening in the hemming, at the outer seam. If not, carefully create an opening. Don't cut into the actual fabric; just undo a small portion of the outer seam through which to thread the elastic. This was a quick and whimsical project, and I do not have a step-by-step photo documentation. But I hope these after-the-fact pictures adequately demonstrate what is involved.

Once you have threaded the elastic through the hemming, simply tie it on the side so that it is snug, but not constricting. You can then choose to either hide the knot inside the seam and sew it back up, or leave the knot exposed. The benefit of the latter is that you can keep converting the pants back and forth between normal  capris and cycling knickers.

Aside from staying clear of the drivetrain, an additional benefit to these knickers is that you can continue to wear them in colder weather. Simply add long socks, and the elasticised bottoms will protect your legs from the wind. Cape Cod has greeted us with temperatures in the 50° F range, and it looks like I will be living in these for the next 2 weeks!

17 comments:

  1. Great idea, Velouria! Now that I'm getting away from lycra, I'm looking for clothes that will be comfortable on long rides. The "knickers" look like a nice fall item.

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  2. Great idea, indeed! What a quick and simply DIY project, now I'm going to see if I have any in my closet that can make my the change. Thanks!

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  3. Great idea! I'll have to try it.

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  4. awesome DIY! makes me wish i wore capris :-)

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  5. Somervillain,

    No capris for you but I think you could do well with some classic Plus Fours...

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  6. somervillain - Just take an old pair of pants and crop them!

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  7. Ooh...I do love combining sewing with biking! I might have to come up with some cycling knickers of my own. Very clever, Velouria!

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  8. Coo-elle idea! And I love your socks too!

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  9. Kara - I have a feeling your version of cycling knickers would be far, far more impressive! Can't get enough of your skirts on flickr!

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  10. Love it--there's a Chariots of Fire vibe about this look that's right up my alley.

    Hope you get a chance to cycle down to Wellfleet and hit P & B Boulangerie...

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  11. We did cycle to Wellfleet yesterday, but did not come across the Boulangerie - or any place to have coffee for that matter!

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  12. oh no--a coffee dead end! I haven't actually been to PB but it was opened this summer by two Frenchmen and apparently it is staggeringly authentic and delicious--the baguettes, the croissants...and they must have good coffee! Lecount Hollow Road, off of Rt.6.

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  13. Very clever! I'm thinking that this may also be a good idea for work slacks. That way I don't have to strap them down when I ride.

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  14. Sarah - Thanks for the address, we will check it out!

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  15. I love the shoes you're wearing, they look so comfortable. What kind are they?

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  16. On your advice, I modified (to your specs) a pair of (men's) wool trousers that had been comfortable to bike in to. I may never use them except on a Tweed Ride, but I'd ripped the cuff by getting it caught in my chain. Now, I need tall socks.

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