The following notes grew out of a search for a good pattern for sewing a cycling jersey using non-lycra fabric. I'm not a great fan of lycra jerseys for touring, preferring a somewhat looser fit and a fabric that doesn't feel like a wet plastic bag after I sweat in it all day long. Wool is good for cold weather, and polyester for warmer conditions.
It seems so far that all the commercial cycling jersey patterns are designed for use with lycra, but there are alternatives available. Of the following options, I personally opted for no.2, modifying an existing non-lycra shirt pattern to make it work as a jersey. In my case, I started with a raglan shirt pattern I already had, and made several changes:
I should note I'm by no means an expert at sewing, so if I could manage this, I don't think most people should have too much trouble with it ;-)
Since commercial cycling jersey patterns all seem to be designed for lycra fabrics, the options for sewing a non-lycra jersey are:
This takes some trial and error to adjust for the reduced stretch of jersey knits. Readily available patterns for lycra cycling jerseys include:
Of course, if you happen to like lycra jerseys, you can use any of these patterns as-is. One person also reported that Kwik Sew's 2335 Men's Wetskin / UV Suit pattern also works well for sewing a skinsuit.
Suggested patterns to start with included:
If you don't want to do this yourself, professional pattern makers can do it for you. Just pick a jersey that you like, and they can make a pattern, modify it if you want, etc.
Any place that has the jersey patterns listed above should also have shorts patterns from the same publishers. There are a variety of shorts patterns available, from four to eight panels, with or without drawstrings, etc.
Most fabric shops do not have an extensive selection of outdoor fabrics and sports patterns, so you may need to go mail order. Below are a few mail order shops that are known to have a decent selection of patterns, fabrics, etc.
Has lots of fabrics, several patterns, all sorts of good stuff for other do-it-yourself cycling gear, too.
Again, lots of fabrics, at least a couple of lycra jersey patterns, and other do-it-yourself cycling gear.
Haven't seen their catalog yet, but they publish one of the lycra jersey patterns, and lots of other outdoor patterns.
No catalog of patterns or the like, just very good prices on many outdoor fabrics. Their parent company sells fabrics to sporting goods companies, and RCT Fabrics sells them retail. Lots of types of Coolmax jersey fabrics, other wicking fabrics, Malden and other synthetic fleeces, shell fabrics, and nylon-, cotton-, and poly- lycra knits.
This page written by Josh Putnam. Please feel free to email questions, comments, corrections, suggestions, etc.
© Joshua Putnam