Imagine it’s late Sunday evening. Like Aesop’s grasshopper, you danced and fiddled away your weekend. Now a cold winter Monday approaches and all of your gym clothes yet await their weekly wash. The laundry room beckons. But panic ensues at the thought of battling fellow residents for a machine. You sigh in resignation. It seems inevitable that your trainer will smirk knowingly when you arrive at your session in a cloud of Febreeze.
But soft, what light through yonder cubby breaks? It is the west and your fabric stash is the sun. An idea sprouts! Why wash your leggings when you could make some instead? You self-five to your genius and erupt in a flurry of sewing activity for the rest of the night.
My dears, the laundry struggle is real. But I digress.
Let’s talk about my latest leggings pattern – the Jalie Cora Running Tights! (Funnily enough, I ordered this pattern exactly one year ago today. Should I consider this an anniversary make? Hmm…) These tights come in two views (ankle-length and shorts), featuring a seamless inseam, “wide” waistband, and a back pocket. For those who like their leggings to resemble Skittles and unicorn farts, this pattern offers all the color blocking your heart could desire!
Originally, I planned to make my muslin pair in a safe solid black until my conscience announced that was a one-way ticket to Snoozeville. What’s the point of making something if it doesn’t delight the senses! Too right. I pulled out a few prints from my stash and tried some hand sketches to figure out a good combo. #epicfail.
Thank the sweet baby Jesús for Photoshop!! I quickly created a page of repeating technical drawings, uploaded the fabrics to my brush palettes, and started painting. So much fun and so quick to create – I may have to do this again for other patterns! The six options below were my favorites.
A bit overwhelmed by all the choices, I quickly surveyed my Instagram friends and IRL mates to help me narrow it down. The vote was split fairly evenly between A, B, and C. (No one seemed to like the bottom row – I guess peacock bum probably isn’t the best look. What do you think?) I decided to start with option A, using purple and black supplex I recently snagged at Spandex House.
Oh-So Wearable Muslin
After sewing up the two piece Steeplechase Leggings, tracing out Cora’s nine pieces felt like climbing Everest. My measurements placed me in an AA for the hips (45″) and CC for the waist (38″). A quick search of the blogosphere revealed that this pattern runs a bit snug. Rather than worry about grading, I traced out a straight size CC.
Normally, for a first time pattern, I avoid making too many adjustments beyond adding length. However, the “wide” waistband appeared too wimpy for my tastes. I know low rise pants are all the rage, but plumber’s crack is not a style line I like to feature in my creations. So I widened both the waistband and facing pieces by 1.5″ to create a heftier version. To ensure my ankles stayed warm, I extended the calf and front pieces by 2.5″.
Canadians must be pretty eco-friendly, as the entire pattern including instructions comes printed on a single sheet of paper. It can be a bit frustrating to navigate as the instructions don’t fit neatly on a single folded section. My friend Google told me that Jalie has a YouTube instruction video that takes you through the entire make step-by-step (♫day by day♫). Score! About an hour later, ’twas time for the big reveal!
Yay for royal purple leggings! I liked how they turned out (very similar to the Photoshop version). My one gripe is that they’re perhaps a hair cozier than I’d normally like. Turns out the noted seam allowance is 1/4″. I’d been happily serging off 3/8″. When you add that to the 1/4″ width of the serged seam – I’m surprised I could still breathe – thank goodness I cut out a CC. I blame this mistake for the flatness of my tuchus in these photos. Definitely some major compression going on here.
Despite the SA debacle, the fit feels pretty great! I successfully debuted these at the gym the next day with several compliments on my efforts. I think I shall have to make some more!!
Shocking Purple Peacock Pants
Soo, I hadn’t planned to make another pair so quickly. However, the laundry struggle I mentioned above happened this weekend. And this vision of purple peacock loveliness is the result! (Absolutely zero attempts were made at pattern matching. 9pm on a Sunday night… you do the math #nojudgement).
This time I remembered to sew the correct seam allowance with expectations of a looser fit. Isn’t it amazing how different fabrics yield different outcomes? Turns out the peacock print had slightly less stretch than the purple supplex, so these ended up just as snug as the last pair. *womp womp* Not that snug is a bad thing! The end result still had me practically dancing to the gym on Monday morning to show them off.
For future versions, I need to figure out how to tighten the back pocket opening. My phone came flying out mid-burpee and smacked me on the head. Ouch! Not my best gym moment for sure.
Recommendation – how do I love thee, Cora? let me count the ways!
Both thumbs rise way up for this fantastic pattern! Multiple sizes, tons of color blocking options, clear video instruction, and less than 90 minutes to sew (thank you for no pressing required spandex!)? What’s not to love!
I plan to explore my stash for some new color combinations. Would a citrine leggings with a magenta bum be too much?? Have you tried this pattern? What did you think?3