If you’re a member of my family, summer means bike rides. Well, to be perfectly honest, summer means not having to ride your bike in the rain, because riding happens year-round. So summer means even more bike rides and we are all gearing up for the start of summer and the (continuation) of bike rides! My stepdad recently asked me to help convert some of his old soccer (or football since he’s a Brit) jerseys into bike jerseys so that he could get more wear out of them since you’d be hard pressed to find him on a soccer field and hard pressed to find a day that he’s not on his bicycle.
You need: – a soccer jersey (or any other type of sport shirt that breathes. Shirts from ultimate frisbee, marathon running or American football will work just as well). The shirt should be fairly fitted.
– a rectangle of sport fabric that is the width of the back of the shirt and about 8″ tall. The fabric doesn’t need to be stretchy but it should breathe.
– a length of 3/8″ elastic that is twice as wide as the back of the shirt
Sew a casing in the top of the rectangle. Do this by folding the top edge down 1/4″ and then folding it over another 1/2″ and sewing. Then thread your elastic through the casing.
Fold the left side of the rectangle under 1/2″ and sew the rectangle to the back along the left edge. You want to sew the rectangle ~2″ in from the side of the shirt. Fold the bottom of the rectangle up 1/2″ at the bottom when you sew the left edge down to the shirt. You should catch one end of the elastic in the seam that you sew. Scrunch the fabric on the elastic so that the elastic is ~2″ shorter than the width of the fabric.
Fold the bottom of the rectangle up 1/2″ and sew it to the bottom of the back of the jersey, just above the hem (we don’t want to sew through the hem since we will use it as a casing later). The rectangle should start and stop ~2″ in from each side of the jersey so you will need to gather the bottom of the rectangle slightly to make it fit.
Sew the right side of the rectangle down and, if you want, sew a couple of seams vertically through the pocket and back so there are subdivisions in the back pocket.
Finally, rip a little bit of the overlocking holding in the hem in place on the back near each side seam. Thread a length of elastic through the channel and sew it down so that it cinches the bottom of the jersey snug against your body.
My Stepdad likes his bike jersey to be very snug at the bottom. Depending on how much ease was in the jersey you started with and how snug you like to wear your bike jerseys, you may have different amounts of gathering.