Gradually, as Spring awakens, I am holding back on the layers of clothing I pile on before heading out to triathlon training. When on my Turbo Trainer in the kitchen I am melting but realise I have plenty of enormous sentimental t-shirts but few vest tops suited to training. I had a rare rest day during the weekend before a race so I put the free time to good use and distracted myself from race nerves by getting creative.
As I mentioned, my wardrobe is home to a plentiful supply of too big to wear t-shirts from races (I had not cast them out on account of the memory of the accomplishment and effort each event entails) or cast-offs from my brother or concert t-shirts which are rarely suitable for petite figures. Thanks to YouTube, I was plied with ideas for repurposing them.
First up for a revamp was a t-shirt from my brother’s primary school Summer fete – 20 years ago. Taking inspiration from the printed figures I wanted a Caribbean tassel design, like a t-shirt I used to have as a kid. Before hacking at it with the scissors, I took guidance from AndreasChoice. Admittedly, this refashioned garment is not particularly practical for training, except maybe for post swimming lounging, if you train somewhere hot that is.
Up next for a redesign was a secondhand Tintin number passed down from my brother. I love the retro image on the front but not the shapeless silhouette. My upper arms get cold easily so I did not want to completely do away with the sleeves but snipped a couple of inches off for a slightly more feminine touch. Again, AndreasChoice was where I got the idea for the slashed back. For me, flashing a vest top or at most a sports bra beneath the slashes, exposing a strappy bra would be too trashy for me, is all the more sexy by contrasting with the childish cartoon on the front.
Finally, for design three, I accomplished my goal to create something suited for training. The method I used to customise this t-shit came from Cassie Ho at Blogilates, an intense YouTube Pilates instructor I used to build muscles when I first took up running. This t-shirt was a favourite as a pre-teen but it got utterly mud-stained after wearing it for all three races in the Mudrunner Mud Master challenge.
My creativity did not stop at t-shirts. There was an old uniform jumper from a previous job crying out for upcycling. It was not made of good quality wool so had gradually shrunk in the wash. When out cycling, the wind chill really cuts my exposed skin or through clothes. Above I explained how my upper arms get cold, but usually my core stays warm so there is no special need for adding more riding jumpers on. The obvious answer therefore was to cut off the sleeves at the shoulders, hem the freshly cut ends to prevent fraying and use these as arm warmers to slip under cycle jerseys.
With the material on the body of the jumper still in tacked, I got to work cutting 1-2 inch strips which I then plaited and knotted together at the end to make a headband suited for both training and any time.
So now I have some fun new t-shirt designs and training accessories for free. I have plenty more t-shirts ready for refashioning and ideas of what to do with them but the latter are rather more long winded. Watch out for these (hopefully) in the future.