How to Trail Run

Trail running is something I’ve been wanting to take up and do more of. For the last several years, I’ve lived a thirty to forty-five minute drive to the good trails in my nook of Colorado. It was a lot of effort that took way too much time; get up super early, dress, eat, drive forever, get at least an hour run in, drive home. That’s half the morning gone! I should have tried harder.

But now that I’m moving to a rural area of the mountains and will be doing all my training runs in my new neighborhood of hilly (understatement) dirt roads and U.S. Forest Service trails, I knew I needed to learn how run safely in the high country. It just so happened that my favorite local running store/brew pub (yes, you read that right), Shoes & Brews, was hosting a trail running clinic with Salomon Running. PERFECT. It was providence for sure!

My new neighbor, Mt. Meeker the Fourteener!

I’m so glad I went. It was helpful and informative, and it took some of the fear out of trail running for me. Here are some of the things I learned. Thanks, Salomon!

  1. Stay Upright Leaning forward constricts your airflow, so keep your torso upright and your head up despite the urge to lean into the hill.
  2. Stay on Your Toes Forget the heel strike. Staying on your toes makes you more agile through the rocks and other trail obstacles.
  3. Run on the Rocks If the trail is dry, go for solid surfaces over loose gravel when possible
  4. Run In The Water Don’t be afraid to run in the rivulets because there’s more loose sediment in wet conditions for your shoes to grip. In wet conditions, rocks can be slippery.
  5. Look Ahead Look 2-4 steps ahead of you to see where to step safely. Your brain can remember up to about 4 steps so stay safe by staying focused of your footfalls.
  6. Hip to Nip Move your arms like you normally would making sure they arc from your hip to your nip.
  7. Power Hike I didn’t know what this was until the clinic. It’s hard to explain, so go check out this great explanation from The Long Run
  8. Flail Like a Fool Flailing arms downhill is totally acceptable. No one will judge you for keeping your balance and not falling!
  9. Slow it Down Walking during trail running is a-okay! Even the pro who was with us, Courtney Dauwalter (who just broke a record for running 155 miles on a track in 24 hours) said so! It’s okay, really!
  10. What Goes Up On the downhill, lean forward a little to let gravity help you, but no so much you fall forward easily.
  11. Baby Steps Take smaller steps if you feel like you’re going too fast

Here’s Ester from Salomon with more tips

 

The trail we did was not for beginners, but it was a fun time and I met another Skirt Sports Ambassador, Becky! Making new friends is always fun, too.

Skirt Sisters!

The group at the top

It’s safe to say that I’m hooked. I’ve been posting gorgeous shots of my recent trail escapades on our Instagram all week. I cannot wait to get out there again this weekend and run where I play!

 

Do you run trails? Where do you run? What’s your biggest piece of advice for beginners? Share it all with me, I’m in desperate need of wisdom!

Scoot Stitches Sewing Tutorial – Race Shirt to Gear Bag

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I’m guessing you have a TON of t-shirts laying around. As runners, we accumulate them like we accumulate safety pins. That’s why I thought a tutorial on how to make a gear bag out of a race shirt would be a great Scoot Stitches first project. When I floated the idea by Meri and our Facebook and Instagram friends, they all agreed! So here is a super simple project that is perfect for the first time sewist, and is even kid friendly (with supervision and help, of course). I’ll let you know when I think up some ingenious use for the safety pins beyond the norm. 😉

This project is easy, it took me an hour, and honestly, I didn’t really measure  or get too exact on this one. And that’s the point, don’t over think it. It’s just a bag, keep it fun and have fun with it. if you mess up, who cares? You’ve got plenty of shirts in the dresser, right?

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Supplies: Race shirt, 1 spool of thread (if it matches in color, great, if not, it’s cool), scissors or rotary cutter, straight edge/ruler, straight pins, fabric marker or chalk, 1 three yard spool of 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon, sewing machine, Stretch Sewing Machine Needles (see step 3).

Step 1 -Read these instructions all the way through before starting.

Step 2 – Cutting the Panels First, you’re going to cut your shirt to make the two panels for the bag. Here are two methods depending on the tools you have:

Scissors and Fabric Marker Method: Lay your shirt out flat making sure there are no wrinkles. Lay the ruler along one side, matching it to the seam and the top of the shoulder (see pics below). Draw a dotted line long the right side of the ruler. Using pins, pin the two layers together just inside the dotted line to keep them in place. Repeat this on the other side seam, the top just below the collar, and the bottom.  Next, cut along the dotted lines. After you have your rectangle shape, take out the pins along the top, but leave the rest in.

step1

Rotary Cutter Method: Line up your ruler as shown above, and cut along outside edge. Once cut, pin.step1aWhen you’re done, it should look like the photo below; all squared up and ready to stitch! **Note if working with a larger sized shirt, you may want to trim the sides and bottom to make a more narrow rectangle. DO NOT trim from the top, you need that extra fabric for a later step.

step1b

Step 3 – Practice Stretch Stitching Make sure you are using a stretch sewing machine needle for this project, and adjust your machine to stretch stitch settings (refer to your manual, or use a zig-zag stitch if you don’t have a stretch feature). Using some scraps that you cut from your shirt, stitch some practice seams to make sure your needle is catching the bobbin thread and sewing properly. With the practice swatch on the left, I used the #75 stretch needles, and my machine was skipping stitches. After I switched to the #90, I got the results I wanted. The right needles make ALL the difference.

stitches

needles

Helpful Info!

Step 4 – French Seam A French seam will keep the fabric from unraveling on the inside of your bag.  With the wrong sides together, start stitching 3 and 1/2 inches from the top and stitch the sides and bottom with a  1/2 inch seam allowance (I use the edge of my foot for a guide).

step2

Trim off the corners and excess fabric. You should now have something that looks like a pillowcase. On the back panel, measure 2 1/2 inches from the bottom and mark that spot with a marker or a straight pin. Next, take your ribbon and cut 2, three-ish foot lengths (this is where I kinda eyeballed it). Match one end of each ribbon at an angle to the marks on each side and pin in place. I looped and pined the extra ribbon to the center just to keep it out of the way. Trim the ribbon so its edge lines up with the bag (I didn’t snap a photo of that, but you get the idea).

strapsNext, turn it inside out so that the shirt graphics are on the inside,and stitch the sides and bottom again just like before, only this time, do a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Stop stitching 3 and 1/2 inches from the top. When you turn it right side out, it should look like the photo below.straps3

You are almost done, can you believe it!?!? It’s starting to look like a bag, so pour some wine to celebrate your accomplishment! YOU ARE EPIC.

Step 5 – Make the “Casings” The casing is that part at the top where your ribbon is going to go through. Turn it right side out so the graphics are on the outside. Fold the raw edges over once, pin and stitch each flap. Repeat on other side.

casing1

Then, using the ribbon as a guide, fold over the flap and pin, making sure it’s wide enough for the ribbon. Stitch as shown (note, you’re NOT sewing the ribbon in, you’re just making a pocket for the ribbon).

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Step 6 – Thread the Ribbon  Starting on the right side, fold the ribbon over once and pin a safety pin through both layers. The larger the safety pin, the larger the better, but even a bib safety pin will work. (Yay, we used them!) Feed the ribbon through the casing from the back to the front. Repeat on the other side feeding the ribbon from front to back.

ribbon

The last thing to do is to trim off the extra ribbon, fold over the cut edge, and stitch the loose ends as shown below.

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And you are finished already!

all-done

Outcomes: You just learned three major sewing techniques!!

Drawstring bag construction: If you skip the step of sewing the ribbon to the bottom of this bag, then you’d have yo’self the basis for a laundry bag, make-up bag, evening bag, a washing bag for unmentionables, or whatever else you can put in a bag.

Casings are used in all kinds of applications from elastic waistbands to roman shades. Chances are excellent you’ll use this again.

Lastly, the advanced couture French seam. LOOK AT YOU GO. They are handy when you don’t have a serger machine, but are working with a fabric that will fray, causng your seams to come apart. That’s why we used it here. It encases the raw edges of the fabric to prevent unraveling at the seams. French seams are also handy if you need to alter the size of a garment. That’s why you usually only see a French seam in wedding gowns.

So that’s it for this lesson. I hope you enjoyed this easy project. Share your finished bags with me on social media, I’d love to see them! Tag your pics with #scootstitches.  If you have questions about the tutorial, you can email me at scootadoot@gmail.com.

Get out there and get crafty!

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Scoot Stitches – Lesson 1, Machine & Tool Basics

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This is it, the first lesson in Scoot Stitches Sewing School. We’re happy you’re here and we hope you enjoy the lesson! YOU CAN DO IT! Let’s get started…

Aside from a few shakes of the tripod and a lovely view of my shoulder (sorry about that, I ran out of time to re-film), I think this went swimmingly! Please let me know if you think so too. Get to practicing and let me know if you have questions. Tweet us, Facebook us, or email me at scootadoot@gmail.com. Thanks again for watching. See you next time! #scootstitches

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Announcing Scoot Stitches Sewing School

We are super-duper qua-triple excited to announce a brand new feature on the blog!

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That’s right! Next month, we’re launching an ongoing series of sewing tutorials with a focus on equipment, basic sewing skills/techniques, and making running costumes.  Some installments will be in video, some will be text posts with photos, some may even end up on Periscope!

The best part is we REALLY want to hear from you! Have you seen costumes on Facebook and wished you could be that crafty? Did you inherit a sewing machine and wish you could use it but don’t know where to start? We can help! Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram your questions and requests with hashtag #ScootStitches and we’ll cover it for you in the series.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sewn a button or if you’ve made your own tent (kidding, only my amazing mom has done that), you’ll learn something from us Chicks. We’ve got over sixty years of combined needle-wielding experience here.

I promise you that you can make anything you’ve seen us make on this blog. We’ll teach you how. You CAN do it!

The first lesson will post 5/11 and cover sewing machine info like what all the knobs and settings do, basic care and feeding, and how to thread the darn thing.

In the meantime, check out our past tutorial on how to make a running skirt with a waistband pocket.

Don’t be shy, send us your questions and requests on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #ScootStitches. We love emails and comments in our posts (below), too!

Show ‘Em Your Rack, A Tutorial

A while back, I posted about my plan to make a medal rack and share it with you, and this weekend, the planets finally aligned to allow me the time to get my craft on. Of course, there are a few things that always make DIY projects better.

Things like a snowy morning.

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And Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

So, now that we’re all in agreement on that, let’s proceed, shall we? Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

supplies

Supplies:                                                                                                                                                                                   

Wood plaque of your choice                                            Chalkboard Paint                                                        Magnetic Clips

Primer                                                                                       2 Coat Hooks                                                                 Aluminum or Tin Strip

Paint Tinted color of your Choice                                Picture Frame Hook and Nails

Tools:________________________________________________________________________

Hammer                                                                                  Ruler                                                                              Level

Pencil                                                                                       Marker                                                                           Sandpaper or Sanding Block

Drill  or Screwdrivers                                                       Painter’s Tape                                                             Bristle Paintbrush

Foam Tip Paint Brush                                                      Fine Tipped Paint Brush for Touching Up

______________________________________________________________________________________

Step 1: Using a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block, lightly sand any rough areas on your wood piece. Pay attention to edges and corner in particular.

Step 2: Using a piece of paper, make a template for your chalkboard area to help you decide where you want it on your plaque. Once you have decided on placement, mark the corners with a pencil.

Step 2

Step 3: Using a ruler and pencil, outline the desired area. Make sure your lines are straight and centered. Tape off the inside of your area with painters tape. Later you will paint the inside of your rectangle with chalkboard paint.

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Step 4: Paint your plaque with primer. Be careful not to get any in the taped off area. Let dry.

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Step 5: Paint over the primer with your tinted paint. Let dry.

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Step 6: Paint a second coat of your colored paint. Once it’s dry, remove the painter’s tape.

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Step 7: Tape off the painted area around your chalkboard area. Paint the bare wood with two coats of primer. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly, and sand lightly between coats. This will help ensure a smoother writing surface once the chalkboard paint is applied.

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Step 8: Apply two coats or chalkboard paint, allowing each coat to dry completely between coats.

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Step 9: After the chalkboard paint is dry, remove the tape. Touch up any areas with a small tipped paint brush if needed.

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Step 10: Affix the tin strip (or pieces, as the case may be). Decide where you want your bibs to hang, and using a pencil, outline the strip. Nail in place. I had some tin tiles laying around my house, and used tin snips to cut them to the desired shape and size.

tin Collage

Step 11: Affix the picture frame hanger on the back. First, find the center of your plaque and mark it with a pencil. Then, find the center of the hanger and mark it with a marker. Next, align the two marks and nail your hanger to your plaque.

hanger collage

Hanger Collage 2

Step 12: Affix your medal hooks. Decide where you want them to go, and mark the screw holes with a pencil. It’s easier to start the holes using a drill and a bit. Using the hardware that came with your hooks, attach them to your plaque.

hooks

hook Collage

Step 13: Celebrate because YOU ARE DONE. And you rock! All that is left to do is hang your new medal rack. Then, attach your bibs to the clips and hang your bling from the hooks. Look how awesome you are!

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

finished Collage

 

I am loving how this project turned out. Now, I just need more medals to hang from it!

How do you display your medals? Have you made your own rack, or anything else, for that matter? Tell me all about it in the comments!