City Gym Shorts Hack and Pattern Review

I took the free pattern for cotton bias bound ‘City Gym Shorts’ by Purl Soho & hacked it back to its roots to make some classic lycra gym shorts.

Of course this pattern is FREE and is available here:

The construction is super simple and I love the overlapped side details which are highlighted by the bias binding.

Why make in lycra?

Well I’d just ordered 2m of black spandex to make some sports clothes and then found that it was 2 way stretch – ie stretches in one direction, I do not get the logic of this description – not 4 way which stretches both sideways and up and down, which slightly limited my options. I’d also been waiting a couple of weeks for my rainbow selection of fold over elastic to arrive and here it was. Soo… why not?!

Adjustments to pattern

None. Just follow exactly the same except sub in fold over elastic (known as FOE, but don’t worry it can be your friend) for the bias binding. Quick photo guide below.

Cheapo tip – save some FOE by not edging the shorts the whole way around. Where the front piece overlaps with the back you don’t need FOE on the back piece as knits should be stable enough to keep themselves together. With that saved elastic you could make a hair tie or part of a sports bra strap – every lil helps!

I LOVE the colours of FOE.

With spandex RIGHT side up place elastic under

Line up raw edge of elastic with centre fold of FOE

Fold elastic again over raw edge so it is encased. You can pin in place then sew for best results.

The good

  • shorts fit well
  • can swim in, jog in, wear as PJs
    • so super flexible, comfy & wearable (my wardrobe goals)
  • only use less than 0.5m! – purse is happeee

The bad

Attaching the FOE is a bit fiddly for my liking as is matching thread to those fluoro elastics

& the ugly

I tried to iron the waistband and well… we don’t talk about that or ever have tops tucked into the shorts… (hint: hot iron + polyester = shiney rough surface)

But let’s not end on a donwer, all in all I’m a massive fan of these shorts and the negative points are no fault of the pattern. Give them a go, maybe add some pockets, lengthen a bit and maybe they’ll become a staple in your summer wardrobe too!

Stay tuned for my review and tips for making a matching fluro edged sports bra using the free Ultimate Sports Bra pattern by Sew So Easy… Plus a full tutorial on choosing and using FOE!


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