Jalie Isabelle Leggings

I seem to make my workout gear in multiples. Last fall I made three pairs of Cora tights and this year I’m back with four of the Isabelle leggings (capris) from Jalie. I actually really like making work out pants. The cost of materials is low and the rate of return on the amount of wear I get from them can’t be beat! It’s part of the reason I stopped sewing my formal dresses. I’d spend weeks sewing up something that gets worn once or twice a year. But, with gym clothes — you just wear them over and over and over.


I love my Coras (Jalie 3462). But, I definitely prefer a capri length for summer. For the Isabelle’s (Jalie 3674) I cut the same size for the Cora – a X at the waist and Y through the thighs. I do cut the elastic at the waistband for one size smaller — otherwise I find it slides down.  A little on picking my sizing:  I measure at the the lower thigh into a BB ( 46 inches).  My actual hips are at 43 inches though. For my Jalie jeans I do cut a BB for my jeans because I like my denim fabric with a lot less stretch than the recommended.

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I’ve always really like a red, white and blue color combo. I bought this gold lycra from a local warehouse sale a few years ago with the idea I’d make a gold lame bikini. Well, my gold lame bikini days are behind me. But, I thought I could incorporate them into a Wonder Woman style swim suit or gym outfit.

I love this pair the most because it touches all my geeked out dreams of being Wonder Woman’s black twin sister, Nubia.

I made the Wonder Woman pair from swimwear fabric. I am not really a fan :-/ I don’t love the way the fabric feels and the stretch seems more restrictive than the athletic wicking material I’m used to. That said, it doesn’t show crotch sweat. And, as you’ll see below that can’t be said for all my athletic fabric.

The ones below are made up from my stash from Suzie’s Supplex in Montreal. They have long stopped stocking this material as the warehouse burned down. But, it’s my absolute favorite fabric. Because this fabric were ends of the best stuff I’ve personally found for making activewear the colors are a bit odd. In retrospect, they all kind of work together because they were likely from the same collection.

I skipped the pockets on all my Isabelle’s as I don’t need them. I’m not running so I don’t need keys or a phone at the gym. Minus the pocket they sew up SO FAST! I can easily make one pair in under two hours. Maybe even one if I focused.

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The rise in these are excellent. The back comes up well over my butt and the front is above my belly button. There is no peep show doing squats and the pants stay put during  lunges and sprints. Also, the pattern has a gusset so the pants fit nice and flush in the crotch. The seams have a clever design at the inside so no chaffing from seams either.

And, if I’m being honest. I love how my butt looks in this cut. The material helps too. I noticed on the swimwear fabric leggings my butt’s more squishy looking and I have some cottage cheese show through. This material has NO show through of skin texture.

Okay, I’m asked all the time how Isabelle and Coras compare. I don’t know that they do. They both fit the same IMHO, have good rise and require no tweaking from me. It’s the style lines that really set them apart. I think I prefer the Isabelle’s ONLY because they make up faster. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with either.

For a while I was working out five days a week. But, the repetitive motion from weight lifting wreaked havoc on my tendonitis afflicted right hand. Now after a few months of physical therapy, turmeric, acupuncture and daily hand exercises my grip is generally back and I’m no longer in daily pain. That said, I have to be extremely careful with my hand — particularly my thumb :-/ So, I do still work out at the gym. But, down to a few times a week and I always wear my thumb isolating wrist brace to work out and type and ice my hand on the drive home.


    • Hi Janet! I only use my overstitch for hemming. The pants are constructed with my serger and sewing machine.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 6:46 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Thank you for your response. They look like great fun to make.

  1. You are inspiring! The Wonder Woman leggings are the BEST! Of course, to sew leggings one must actually go to the gym right? And I’d need to go to Spandex World to buy fabric first. OK. Not this week. Maybe I’ll buy the pattern.

  2. Thanks for info on both of these. I don’t need as many workout clothes as you do (love your workout pics) but the design lines on their patterns are so appealing. You are Wonder Woman….and Super Sewing Girl.

    • Oddly, I used to have an obscene amount of RTW gym clothes and I wasn’t working out. I had worked in retail and they were closing out their activewear and I bought EVERYTHING that fit. Then, I would get Under Armour sales from friends, etc. Now, except for my jackets my workout clothes are mostly me made. Outside of working out though, I would totally consider the Coras for a pair of wool jersey and leather leggings. If I were a wool jersey and leather leggings kind of girl, lol!

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 7:51 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • Cora is great. I actually wore it yesterday because to significantly cooled down around here. I wish they’d come in a capri option. And, one day I will just figure out how to shorten them myself.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 8:29 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. All look great — I’ve been debating whether to invest in the Isabelle pattern, so thank you for sharing!

    • Sometimes I think the color blocking is lost on me since I tend to prefer a pretty solid looking bottom. That said, I have all these scraps and it works well for using them up.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. Those Wonder Woman ones are splendiferous. It’s a shame they’re not more comfortable–I feel like you could put those on and instantly feel power running through your veins!

    • I *do* feel pretty cool in them! Especially since all my bottoms (rtw or handmade) are all solids. I think if I size up next time with the fabric they’ll be a bit better fit for me.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 12:48 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. I just came back from the gym trip/self-care physical therapy (that’s really all the gym is now) to this, and APPLAUD your WW leggings (looking better than they feel means don’t wear them). I watch the movie trailer just to watch the leg sweep move Ms Gadot does. My sword fighting days are behind me, sadly. Now I work out and ice down.
    My real reason for reply is this: at 58, I have hit the ‘heal one part, injure another’ stage. LIft weights, aggravate CTS. Work in yard, tear rotator cuff. I go to the gym more often and do less each time, but I’m probably doing more altogether. I can’t run, but I can walk more. Slow and steady.

    • YES! This *exactly*. I don’t want to slow down at all. But, everything seems to take more time and care than it did in the past. I am definitely stronger than I was last year. But, it all takes more time. I was borderline manic when my hand was bothering me. All I could think about was my sewing, knitting and how I might not be able to do it anymore. And, I was finally starting to work out again and thought, ‘great. I’m back in the gym and it’s destroying me.’ Thanks for your comment!

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 2:22 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. Hi Celie, Have always loved your site. It is well written, informative, easy to understand and follow. Thank you very much. Love it, Love it………….

    • Thank you! I know I’m an errant blogger these days. But, when I manage to scrap together some photos I like to write it down so I remember later. Plus, for the longest time this was the only substantive writing I did.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 3:04 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. I love these! Those WW ones are so fun, but it’s also nice to see examples in more everyday fabrics. Also, frequency of use is exactly why I sew my own active wear – I appreciate it all the time because I wear it all the time. Oh, and because I can make it fit me right. 😁

    • yes! I usually had to buy the largest bottoms to accommodate my thighs and hips then take then in at the waist.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 6:35 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. I LOVE the Wonder Woman look! Truthfully, you look pretty awesome, period. I’m a big admirer of anyone who manages faithful workouts at a gym. I’m recovering from spinal surgery and am in physical therapy and returning to walking, so I may give making some Capri length pants a try. My little 7 year old boy is trying gymnastics this summer and if he gets involved in that, I can see me making him some gym wear, too. Your garments look great!

  9. The Wonder Woman leggings are beyond amazing! Great pattern and great results. I agree with you that it really is worth making your own gym wear as it’s so expensive for what it is (though thankfully the athleisure trend is making it easier and Gap here now sell decent stuff – no Wonder Woman though!). I need to find a good local source of fabric so I can make more of my own.

  10. All of your leggings are absolutely adorable! I love your fabric selections too! I agree with you, I don’t think I’ll ever purchase workout gear again! Isn’t it great to be able to sew your own?

  11. Wonder Woman you are!!! Love these! You are right, making workout clothes is fast, easy, & cost effective!

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