From The Workroom / News & Updates

The Virginia leggings

Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings

I’m really excited to be releasing a new pattern today – the Virginia leggings! They will be available as a PDF download only for now. A huge thank you to all the wonderful pattern testers who tested the leggings – as always, i couldn’t make sure my patterns were of the highest quality without help from amazingly wonderful ladies like you who test them out before hand!

These leggings have been my personal go to leggings pattern for the last few years (you’ve seen them pop up in my creations from time to time i’m sure). I originally meant to release them as a part of the Breakwater collection – but sometimes you need to know when to cut yourself off :)

Anyway, here they are just in time for my Northern Hemisphere friends going into Autumn (and for us Southern Hemisphere gals, perhaps we can just get a headstart on next years winter wardrobe?).

As with my last few patterns, i thought i’d share a bit with you about the development and ideas behind this pattern. I hope you love them as much as i do!

Virginia leggings inspirationI decided to name these leggings after Virginia – the gorgeous state we left to come home to Perth. Virginia holds such a special place in our hearts. It’s full of such amazing natural beauty, every little drive was breathtaking. It was the place in the US that really stole our hearts and felt like home.

It also seemed fitting since i first started developing this pattern in Virginia. Since then they’ve become such a staple for me – and my go to pattern for leggings.

Virginia leggings developmentI guess you could say that the development time on this pattern was a few years. What can i say, i’m a perfectionist, and i’ve just been slowly tweaking and changing them over the last few years till they were just right.

I wanted this pattern to be as simple as possible, and useful to as many people as possible. So i spent a lot of time making sure i created different rise options as well as different length options. And after hearing the cries of tall ladies everywhere whose pants are always too short – i decided to make this pattern generously long. It’s so easy to cut them shorter if you like, but it removes the drama for those who are taller. And as i mentioned before – i like to simplify. I honestly don’t see the point in overcomplicating anyones life, so a lot of time was spent making these as easy peasy as possible. The result is a pretty “instant gratification” sew if you ask me :)

Virginia leggings variationsI really really wanted this pattern to be a basic wardrobe staple – and that meant trying to make sure that as many variations as possible were built in.

There are two rises – natural waist plus low rise or maternity, and there are two inseam lengths – petite or tall. I don’t normally mix my maternity and fashion patterns – but honestly, who wants to buy 2 different leggings patterns? not me. It’s a simple change in rise- and voila, one pattern takes the same women through all stages of life. I love it.

You’re really not stuck there though – you can shorten these to any length you want to make them useful for different situations. Make them 3/4 length or above the knee for the gym. Make them shorts for wearing under skirts are dresses (just in case you’re worried about those breezy moments). Add lace to the hem, add buttons or a zip for effect. Make each leg a different colour. Whatever, it’s up to you! That’s the great thing about a basic, the sky is the limit!

Virginia leggings fitThese leggings are supposed to be snug. They have negative ease – which means that the pattern pieces themselves will measure smaller than your actual body measurements. So its vital that you follow the fabric requirements. Make sure that the fabric is good and stretchy – i recommend fabrics with at least 40% stretch, and that preferably contain lycra or spandex.

They’re a little closer fitting around the calves to try and avoid baggyness – and their length results in some lovely scrunching at the ankles. Don’t like the scrunching? Easy peasy, just cut your hemline shorter! Can you tell i love this pattern? It’s like freedom.

The standard rise should sit near but under your natural waistline. The low rise should sit closer to your hips – which if being used for maternity wear means that the waistband will sit under the babybump.

virginia leggings alterationsAlterations are meant to be easy. If you need to increase or decrease the rise overall, just slash the pattern horizontally through the crotch seams at around hip level and spread to lengthen or overlap to shorten. If you need to lift or lower the rise of just the front or the back, then you’ll need to alter individually.

To lengthen or shorten the inseam i recommend slashing and spreading or overlapping at the knees. Though if you make your leggings and you don’t like how long they are, feel free to just trim off the bottom – it will be awesome i promise.

Now if you’re using these for maternity wear, and carry your babies super low (like i normally do), then you might need to shorten the rise in the front a little. I created the low/maternity rise based on what the majority of people preferred – but if i was going to wear these as maternity wear myself, i’d probably need to shorten the front rise by at least an inch, maybe two. What can i say, short girls hehehe

Virginia leggings stylingHonestly, is there anything easier to style than a good pair of leggings?

I live in leggings – i love them with long button shirts, with tunics, with dresses that are bordering on a bit short. They obviously work beautifully with the tunic version of the Crescent blouse too. Or if you’re me, make them out of a thicker funky knit and wear them as pants – then wait for everyone to get mad at you hehehe.

But you’re not limited to wearing them in your daily wears – they make great gym gear, and they make great pajamas. My winter pajamas are literally these leggings plus long sleeved Briars – as many different colours and crazy patterns as i can make. I swear by that combo :)

And when i lived in Virginia they got me through winters – i quickly figured out that wearing leggings under skirts and dresses and tucking them into my boots was a great way to get more wear out of those pieces in the colder months. I was incredibly warm, and i barely wore jeans (sometimes i just hated jeans, what can i say).

Virginia leggings thoughtsSo tell me what you think?! Do you love them as much as i do? Virginia leggings are available now in store!

If you have any questions at all about this new pattern let me know in the comments!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 years ago

Leggings!! And they’re inspired by my home, how absolutely wonderful. I’ve just discovered the joy of leggings and I am so looking forward to making these. Yay!!

10 years ago


I have some very loud pink lycra that is dying to be made into leggings – and this pattern will be perfect! I love the detail of no outsie leg seam, this will make it perfect for patterned fabric.

10 years ago

Oh yay! I loved testing these for you and the tester you sent me will definitely get used a lot this winter. How fitting that they’re named after the state that’s right above mine!

10 years ago

Nicely done. I reckon us Southern Hemisphere sewists can still use them for running/gym conditions.

10 years ago

Leggings!!! Hooray!!! These look so gorgeous. xx

10 years ago

genius to make them maternity style as well. i love them – perfect for fall!

10 years ago

Ooh I was just lamenting the state of my shop-bought leggings yesterday (faded, holey, almost transparent…). Looking forward to giving these a whirl! x

Fabric Tragic
10 years ago

They look great – look forward to trying them!

10 years ago

Oh my goodness thanks so much Megan, what perfect timing! I’m 7 months pregnant and can no longer squeeze into my yoga pants without it being truly uncomfortable. Pattern bought already – now to find some fabric, and some time to sew them up!

10 years ago

I was lucky enough to pattern test these and I can’t recommend them enough, its a fantastic pattern! So fast to sew up and great fit and instructions.
I just blogged about the ones I made here;

10 years ago

Thanks for giving useful info… Find great deals on Ansaonline uk for Long Sleeve Lace Top and other women clothes,we have collection of Women Girls Hollow lotus lace White long-sleeved Summer dresses.

10 years ago

Yay so pleased about this pattern. I’ve just made my third Briar and I can totally see myself wearing them with these lovely leggings!

10 years ago

These are really beautiful (or is that just the pictures? ;) Naw, I think all your patterns are super beautiful, no surprise here!). I love the different rise options – like, REALLY love, that is freaking genius! I’m going to go ahead and call it – these will be all over the nets. Everyone is gonna have a pair. Yay!

10 years ago

Ohmygoodness Meg, this is awesome! I’ve been looking around for a basic leggings pattern for fall, so this is perfect. It’s like you read my mind!! Haha. Hooray, can’t wait to sew them up! :-)

10 years ago

Thank you so much Meg. I love my leggings (four pairs so far) and have been bursting to tell everyone how wonderful they are. I have just written about making them on my blog, and added lots of photos here ?

10 years ago

Love them Megan! Such a great basic and so well thought out. I really hope you will be releasing these as a printed pattern for us retailers and people who don’t like printing pdfs!

10 years ago

I’ve been contemplating looking for a leggings pattern online and now I don’t even need to search! Can’t wait to grab this one!


[…] able to post this! A few months ago I got a super exciting email asking if I’d like to test Megan’s Virginia leggings pattern, just released last week. I said yes of course, because if Megan Nielsen asked me if I wanted to […]

10 years ago

Yayy I loved testing these and I’m so excited that the pattern is out! Can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with! I just posted my first pair here:

10 years ago

Awesome! Can’t wait to try it out – and thanks for thinking of us tall girls!!! :)

10 years ago

I live in perth too, and today, despite being spring, the weather sent us to an indoor swimming pool with the kids. My kids wore their new sun smart rashes and boy leg shorts. I had on my new bombshell, but this made me realise I need some boy legs and a rashie come summer. I am stoked that I can use ths leggings pattern, now I need you to draft a rashie for the perth sun!

10 years ago

Do you need a serger to make these?