The Jalie Cora leggings

May 24, 2016 10 Comments

The Jalie Cora leggings

May 24, 2016 10 Comments
Cora leggings by Jalie PatternsCora leggings by Jalie PatternsPheew! The Cora leggings from Jalie turned out to be a handful. Not because they were complicated to make (they are not!). But I have never encountered such a tight waist in any pattern before and my bad that I didn’t do my research beforehand. Instead I just plugged along until it was time to attach the elastic and then I saw that the elastic should be 54 cm (22 1/4”) for my size. For reference the waistband sits around the belly button where my measurements are 87 cm ( 34 1/4”). My high waist is 71 cm (28 inches), which equals to a Jalie size S which I had picked.

So I took out my RTW leggings to compare and they all had waistbands that were 10-12 cm wider than the Coras, while still being about the same size around the legs. In the end it took three tries to get a well fitting pair and I ended up having to grade up several sizes at the upper hip to get the waistband to fit.

A couple of people chimed in on Instagram saying that they had the same waist issue. So I emailed Jalie and got a very thorough and helpful reply. Yes the waist is supposed to be this small, and they said that they hadn’t done a pattern test run on someone with my body type (smaller waist/fuller upper hip) which could explain why this issue never came up. So their (and my) suggestion is to check the measurements and do the appropriate alteration if you have a round stomach. Jalie recommends this tutorial for changing the pattern. They also suggest testing omitting the elastic since that hugs the body harder than just fabric.

[ETA: I got a great comment pointing out that Jalie’s original target customers are athletes, which tends to have muscular legs and smaller waists. That explains why their drafts might not always fit a more mature customer like me, hence the need for alterations]

Cora leggings by Jalie Patterns

Apart from the waist issue, the leggings are excellent. They feel very on trend, similar to, say Lululemon and Stella McCartney for Adidas. And the creative use of the pattern pieces makes them perfect for color blocking. The pattern pieces go together beautifully and the fit is great (apart from the waist that is!).

Cora leggings by Jalie Patterns

Since I’m crazy about mesh I changed the pattern and added a mesh piece just above the calf piece.

Cora leggings by Jalie Patterns

The pocket have room for the newer, bigger cellphones like Iphone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy, but just about, so making the pocket a bit wider might be a good idea. I also made waist band longer (around 2.5 cm/1 inch) since I don’t like narrow waistbands on leggings.

Cora leggings by Jalie Patterns

I also love how the Coras hug the bum, the fit is similar to compression type leggings. So despite my gripes with the waist, I can still recommend this pattern. Just make sure you check the elastic measurements before you cut the fabric!

My review of the Cora leggings
A little video on Instagram of the leggings in action

Johanna Lundström

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  • Jen L May 24, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the timely info! I just managed to sew my waistband wrong sides together and will be remaking it today. I had thought of making an elastic drawcord like my RTWs, so maybe I will go ahead and do that instead of the standard elastic waist.

    • Johanna May 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Yeah I think a draw cord would be a better idea. The tight elastic was what really pushed me over the edge so to speak, because it less forgiving than fabric. Jalie said some do the band without elastic and I ended up just using power mesh and no elastic as an experiment that I will do a separate blog post about Good luck with your leggings!

  • E McAfee May 24, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Just wanted to say that Jalie patterns are a great fit for their 'original' target market: dancers, gymnasts, and other athletes. If you're a tiny girl with muscular legs, Jalie is a godsend.

    Their patterns have become more popular with us 'more mature' ladies, but they'd be crazy to shift too far away from their bread and butter clients.

    • Johanna May 25, 2016 at 4:13 am

      Thank you for clarifing this! I will edit my post to add the point you make about Jalie's target audience. I guess the gap in expectations comes when someone more mature like me comes in and want to be part of the action so to speak 🙂

  • Randi May 26, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Interesting discussion, especially since the trend in both RTW and home-sewing fashions seems to be realizing that most women now are bigger than they were in previous generations. For example, I recently bought some Old Navy size 12 pants and they were plenty loose on my waist, even though I'm definitely mature and am an "apple -shaped" figure, with a waist not much smaller than my hips, but with relatively slender legs. It makes sense, given your experience and the fact that your measurements are so close to a standard size, that E McAffee's comment is correct, that Jalie sizes for the athletic figure. Good to know, and thanks for doing the legwork (so to speak!) on this. Your leggings turned out very stylish and obviously functional, too.

    • Johanna May 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Your observation is spot on, the trend overall is more room at the waist and I think that's also what we the consumers have come to expect. But a lot of people rave about the Cora, and just a few mentioned the waist issue in their reviews from what I could see, so maybe they got their sizing right for a good portion of the customer base? Or perhaps people doesn't want to go on record about how much they had to add to the waist 😉

  • Lynn June 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you for this review. I made these for my daughter. They do fit without yet putting the waistband on, they are tight and a bit short in the rise for her. I would go a size up next time overall, and I am adding length and – based on reviews – extra width to the waistband and longer elastic.

    • Johanna June 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Yes, the fit is snug for sure! And depending on the fabric and the elastic they can easily feel too tight even though we picked the proper size. Hope they work out okay! I was happy with the end result, but it took three attempts!

  • Mel November 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

    I have sewed this pattern 5 times with poor results. I am an athlete! I ran in college. But I am hispanic and have large (bone structure) hips. The elastic measurement for this pattern is bs. No way! Also the rise is too short for me. I am long waisted.

    I adjusted the pattern to be size S graded to V at the hip. I omitted the elastic. Its not really needed in my opinion. This sorta worked but it doesn’t really feel good like some RTW running tights i own.

    I really want to make this pattern work but haven’t been able to yet. Next i may try adding length in the rise.

    • Johanna November 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      What a bummer! You have surely done a lot of work to make them right! That is a lot of struggles. And I agree about the elastic, those measurements don’t correspond to what we find in RTW. What solved it for me was to take a pair of well-fitting RTW leggings, and use the crotch length and waist measurements from those and then apply them to a base leggings pattern and do some additional tweaks for an even better fit. I have currently given up on commercial leggings pattern and only use my own draft. But next time I make a pair from a company I will use my base leggings pattern as a guide. Perhaps you could do something similar?

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