I recently competed in a triathlon. I did one 8 years ago before I knew anything about training for races. This time my goal was to do well. I spent many hours on the road and in the pool. In fact in the 8 weeks leading up to the race I swam 8.4 miles, biked 178.6 miles and ran 69.7 miles. For a mom of three little kiddos I’m happy with that effort. While I wasn’t training I also spent many hours trying to come up with what to wear for the race. It was not an easy feat as a 6 foot tall woman to come up with technically sound gear to help get me through that swim, bike and run in an nonrestrictive way. I wasn’t set on making something. I initially purchased some tri shorts and a tri top on clearance from Pearl Izumi. The shorts were perfect, but the top was way too short. The fact that it showed midriff wasn’t bothersome, it was the fact that it obviously wasn’t supposed to that made it unacceptable. The curved back hem common in bike gear barely reached the top of my shorts and the front came an inch or two above. I returned the top and proceeded with a long drawn out process of buying and returning 7 different tops. I also spent more time than I care to know looking for a pattern that would work and trying to draft my own. I kept coming up empty handed.
After purchasing the shorts, I happened to Iook at the swim fabric that Blackbird Fabrics had and the Rosebud (on sale right now) jumped out at me because it looked like it was THE EXACT same color as my shorts. I went ahead and bought some along with black to have on hand in case it came down to me needing to make something.
With just over a week before the tri, with barely enough time to sew something up and wear it in all three sports before the race (runners rule is you never wear something new on race day!) I looked for a pattern one more time. And that is when I found it. I had passed over it previously on Jalie’s website because the cover photo shows a flared skirt for tennis, but the Anne Marie Tanks and Dress pattern was exactly what I was looking for. Even the color-blocking was just how I was designing it myself so that it would look like it belongs with the shorts. I was able to do the fitted tank version almost as is and it got me through the race looking and feeling like a pro athlete.
I used the girth measurements to determine I needed to add 3″ in length. In the end that was a little too long, but worked out great because I then turned it into a curved hi-lo hem like a standard bike top.
I was in between sizes 6 and 7 (S&T) based on my measurements, but I actually sewed the size 4 (R) since I needed this to be very fitted, most importantly for the swim but also for the bike.
I omitted the back pocket because I didn’t want to create any drag in the swim. Plus my shorts have an awesome back pocket for my phone for running so whenever I wear this top during regular training I’ll have the shorts pocket to fall back on.
The pattern comes with a built in shelf bra. I was kicking myself for not ordering the black power mesh when Blackbird had it, so I had to use nude. Since this is a lined bra design and I wanted the inside layer to also be black, I used the black tricot interlined with the nude power mesh to make my shelf bra. With the power mesh as a hidden layer I added really thin sew-in bra cups for just the right amount of cover that all athletic swimwear embarrassingly lacks.
I was happy with my finish and even got a spot on the podium for my division! I was super happy with my gear and I am glad it will get me through many more races, because I am not done.
This post was not sponsored. I purchased the fabric and pattern. Like always I share my honest opinions in my reviews.