March 26, 2010

DIY Knickers

I'm cheap and hate fashion. I just can't justify spending $120 on cycling knickers. I don't care if they're water resistant, stain resistant have a chamois built in, or massage your balls while you ride. I think they're dorky as hell, and make you look like you're trying way too hard to look like an "urban Cyclist" with a capital C.
However come the spring and fall seasons, knickers make a lot of sense, especially when paired with a nice high wool sock or leg warmers; they are often just the ticket to dressing perfectly for the cool 25-45 degree weather.

So the solution here is to simply make your own out of some Dickies. A broken in pair of Dickies are pretty much the best thing ever. They're great as pants, the best cutoff shorts in the world, and they make a great pair of knickers for under $20. Dickies will always be awesome in the same way that a pair of Chuck Taylor's will always be awesome. And nobody can give you shit about your stupid little shortpants.
Ok, that's not true. People will still totally give you shit about your stupid shortpants, and you know what? They'll be right. To the non cycling world your shants are fucking ridiculous and you should grow up and get a real job already. But if looking silly gets you down at least you'll be able to fall back on your morally superior DIY punk rock* ethos.

*punk rock died when the first kid said, punk's not dead... punk's not, dead

So how do you make a set of Dickies knickers? The answer is obviously to just cut them off. However in the years I've been doing this I've gone the extra mile and built in some extra features that I'd like to share with you.

Cutoff Dickies, bottom of each leg hemmed

P: So you cut them off and have extra material, what are you going to do with it?

A: Sew it on the ass
The ass is the first place you're going to wear out your pants while riding, especially if you ride an embroidered saddle. Sew that extra material where you think you'll need it. This was the first attempt at an ass gusset. As you can see my aim was a little low. (I use the word "my" but I've got to come clean, I can't sew for shit. I provided the direction and B.Ridget's mom, M.P.B., did the sewing. She's a real whiz with that kind of thing) Next time the patches will get sewn on higher.

P: You're using these things in the cold weather and you're looking for some extra warmth.

A: Line them with flannel
Keeping the knees warm makes life so much better on the bike. These are lined 360 degrees around the knee up to the mid thigh, if I had to do it over though I wouldn't bother with the rear and would just line the front from seam to seam.

So yeah, if you're looking for knickers I recommend you skip the bike shop and head to a workwear store and get yourself some Dickies. Kid tested, mother approved.

*sorry for the black and white images. At first I thought it would be sweet, but now I realize that they're hard to look at and that color would have been way better. Next time..


Anonymous said...

I prefer the term dude-pris. I like to purchase the reinforced-knee dickies and cut them off at the bottom of the knee seam. The flannel lining is brilliant.

Tom Robinson said...

Agreed. Dickies are pretty much awesome pants, and for cheap. I've seen the homemade ass-gusset before, but never seen DIY flannel lining. Nice.

blair said...

the flannel lining is a kickass touch.

richard said...

nice job, i especially like the lining. i have got to say though, i've put thousands of miles on a pair of chrome shins and they hardly show it in the ass (just a little shiny, poss. from leather polish). i've even fallen & slid across some asphalt with only a few tiny holes where my keys were as consequence, nothing else. i've blown out carhartts between 500-1000 miles, conversely (on which i sewed ass patches, of course). standard canvas-cloth always fuzzes away on me.

Jeff said...

Carhartt's are the worst. The asses in those things just don't last.

K SPARROW said...

P as F

Dan said...

Nice mods.
I just wish I'd stocked up on Dickies when I was over there, in these parts [Aus] they are $100+!

Anonymous said...

Combat trousers make better knickers cuz they have cargo pockets. Especially the thick Vietnam tiger stripe ones.

Anonymous said...

Thanks dude.

Cycling Knickers said...

Cycling Knickers are not that expensive are they.

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bunkerbuster said...

Wool slacks are given away for pennies at the thrift stores. Use what you cut off the leg bottom to reinforce the knee, or seat, or to slap on as a cargo pocket. And tip your seamstress well...

amityskinnyguy said...

If you're a guy, by the straightest cut women's slacks you can find and cut them off. They often have cotton/spandex fabric and a slimmer cut. If you find some that aren't too curvy cut, you'll have some faux Rapha 3/4 pants.