Monday, 1 July 2019

FULL GALAXY NIGHTMARE: Jalie Clara leggings

Behold the glory that is me in head to toe galaxy print:

I made my first ever pair of leggings in February, after many months of putting it off, and frankly the experience didn't encourage me. After a bunch of alterations I got them to photograph OK, but the videos I got from both the dance class and weightlifting session I wore them to told a very different story. Wrinkles. So many wrinkles. I've never worn oversized leggings before and I had no idea they looked that bad.

I knew that if my second attempt also failed I probably wouldn't be motivated to try a third time, so I went for the safest bet I could think of, which was Jalie. Well-regarded, specialists in activewear patterns, I've used and liked them before. I saw a few people of similar thigh girth to me recommend the Clara leggings, so that's what I went for. I made my test pair in the same grey fabric as my Simplicity leggings, but I wanted to start off with the ridiculous galaxy extravaganza, so the grey ones are further down the post.

I bought this fabric from Girl Charlee a couple of months ago as a way to try and motivate myself to make more leggings. I did not, at the time, have any intention of making a matching crop top - that was a bolt of what I'll charitably call inspiration when looking at the half-metre of fabric I had left over. It looked quite see-through when I got it but on the body it's fine. I think I would have preferred the print to have more of the dark colours and less of the confusing peach, though.

The leggings are cut as one piece, with no front or outer leg seam, with a wide waistband and a gusset for better fit. There's also a second view with no waistband and a lower rise. My first pair was slightly too low for me at the back, so I cut these an extra inch higher and they sit perfectly. I wish I'd lengthened the legs very slightly - on proper activewear fabric I think this length would be fine, but this stuff isn't as dense and so it springs up a bit higher on my ankles. It's not that big a deal, but it does look extremely dorky with my black ankle socks and weightlifting shoes. Which is why I'm wearing sandals with my workout gear in these photos like a weirdo.

The top is the Kommatia Patterns Coco tank top, which I got for $2 in a sale on Makerist. It's a fairly standard tank top pattern with nothing particularly noteworthy about it, but I didn't have a tank top pattern and you can't really argue with $2. It has both a regular view and a cropped view, and this is a slightly lengthened version of the latter. I also put in a cut-some-bumps-on-the-side FBA. It's a really nice fit and I'll definitely use it again. It's super-basic so I'm not going to recommend anyone rush out and pay full price for it, but I did also buy several more substantial patterns from them in the same sale and I'm excited to review those properly. 

Will I ever wear these out of the house together? I really don't know. True story: our back garden is at the exact same level as our neighbours' balcony doors, and those doors remained resolutely closed and curtained while I took photos of normal clothes. When I came back out dressed like this, the doors were flung wide open and three people were milling around, occasionally glancing at me in mild horror. Which is both quite funny and also not at all encouraging. I'm definitely not ready to go lifting in a crop top yet - fat does funny things when you're jumping and squatting. Both pieces will get worn at dance classes for sure, and maybe the full galaxy nightmare will emerge in public one day.

While we're here, this is the first pair of Claras I made:

(Please excuse the sudden hair change - this picture is a few weeks old.)

This is the remainder of the fabric I used for my Simplicity leggings. I was a bit short on length so I cut the waistband pieces wherever I could fit them instead of on the fold. I added two inches to the legs and as you can see, it was unnecessary in this fabric. When I first tried this pair on I found that the back rise was too low for me, so I unpicked the seam and put a small yoke in the back. I couldn't manage to take a photo where it was visible - these leggings are awesome but they photograph like shit. 

I tested them out by wearing them to a personal training session and they held up WAY better than the Simplicity ones in the same fabric. They fit like leggings are supposed to fit, which means it's much, much easier to do everything. Here's me doing a snatch (snatch, jerk, power snatch, muscle snatch, rack jerk, I love weightlifting):

I will be making a bunch more of these. I have another two pairs of full leggings cut out already, and also the shorts version for anti-chafe purposes. Leggings live and die by the fabric choice so much that it'll probably be a while before I completely replace my RTW workout gear (probably as long as it takes me to find decent black activewear fabric, honestly), but the pattern is completely solid and I can't imagine ever needing another one. You'll be seeing this again.  

Next up: jumpsuit! Power stance! 

Jalie Clara leggings

Fabric: Galaxy spandex from Girl Charlee UK
Cost: £26
Pattern details: Leggings in full, capri and short lengths with no centre front or outer leg seams, gusset for fit, and either high rise with wide waistband or mid-rise with no waistband
Size: AA in the waist blended out to CC in the thighs
Alterations: Back rise increased by an inch
Would make again/would recommend: Yes/Yes


  1. Your galaxy outfit is fabulous! I hope it gets a good outing in the gym someday.

    1. Thank you! I'll be sure to get a picture for posterity when that day arrives!

  2. Love the leggings! I noticed on IG today that @needle_and_ted had got some active wear fabric from @fabworksmillshop which might be suitable for you!

    1. Thank you, I've just seen the tag! Will check them out!

  3. Thanks for the helpful review and inspo before I set off making my first pair of leggings.