As I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, my mom was very strict about clothes. I was allowed to have two pairs of pants at a time, and although I took ballet classes every day, I only had one leotard and one pair of tights. (In retrospect, ick!) I would never have dreamed of asking for bright, color-blocked leggings; they would be too impractical, too single-use.
So, when we started carrying the color-blocked Jalie 3462 Cora Running Tights & Shorts pattern in the shop, I was immediately attracted to them. But I could hear my mother’s voice advising me not to make them. I already owned two pairs of leggings in practical colors. Why did I need another pair? A pair that wouldn’t match anything else?
After all those years of yearning for a closet full of the newest, brightest, coolest clothes, I could not resist the impractical beauty of the Cora Leggings. They will never be my only pair of workout tights, but they will be my coolest pair? Yes! Yes they will.
It's my JOB to make the Cora Leggings!
Even though I now believe that ‘I want it’ is a good enough excuse to make these awesome leggings, I realized there was also a rational reason to give this pattern a go!
I wanted to make an leggings tutorial for the TCS YouTube channel to help inspire and bolster my customers, and I figured it would be more fun and helpful to make something slightly complex, like the Coras. (It’s my JOB, mom. I NEED to make them!)
To prepare for the video tutorial, I made a practice pair of Cora running tights for Maisie. Then, on-camera, I made myself a pair of Cora shorts! For both the leggings and the shorts I used a combo of three spandex knits from our sale rack that were are low in stock. (See Mom, I’m practical. I’m using things up!) However, we have a ton of gorgeous Mandalay performance & swim knits with cool, interesting patterns that would also work perfectly for this pattern!
Leveling the Playing Field
The Cora Leggings look really difficult with their color blocking and curved seams, but they’re actually pretty easy, thanks to Jalie’s great drafting and instructions. The four parts I found mildly challenging were: the gusset, the pocket, the curved derriere seam, and the waistband. I made two videos showing how to sew them.
You can sew your own pair of Cora Leggings with a serger or a sewing machine. If you use a sewing machine, you can refer to my video on sewing with knits to see my preferred method for sewing knit fabrics. I will add that a walking foot and decreasing the presser-foot pressure also help immensely.
I wore my Cora shorts home on Wednesday, and my husband couldn’t believe I made them. They look so tricky, but if you take them one step at a time, you can make them too.
And if your mother, like mine, is entirely too sensible, remember – making a fun garment you’ll love and wear is never impractical!