Inspiration / MN2205 Virginia

Inspiration & Ideas for the Virginia leggings

Virginia Inspiration & Ideas

It may be tempting to think that a leggings pattern is fairly straight up and down (haha, pardon the pun there). I completely understand, how much can there really be to a leggings pattern?! Let me tell you…SO MUCH!! We’ve gathered together a few fabulous ideas on how to make and style your Virginia Leggings to get the most out of this wonderful pattern. Let’s take a look!

Virginia Bike Shorts
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One of the main changes we’ve made to the Virginia pattern is to include two variations specifically for the (admittedly) trendy but (admittedly) comfortable bicycle shorts style. The beauty of this pattern is that the length of your shorts is completely up to you. How you wear them…also up to you! Pair them with a sweater & casual sneakers or a denim jacket for an off duty look; a blazer and graphic tee with boots for a slightly more corporate look. Or, (my favourite) a white button-up shirt with loafers.

Virginia winter leggings
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We’ve had a big focus on Virginia as activewear in this recent update, but don’t forget that Virginia also works great in a variety of fabrics! The right fabric can take Virginia from workout gear to wonderfully warm winter leggings, great for layering and wearing under skirts & dresses. Whether it’s merino wool thermal underwear to go under a pair of pants that aren’t quite warm enough, or a pair of funky leggings to tie an outfit together while still being comfortable, Virginia can keep you warm this winter! Here are some ideas:

  • Jersey, ponte or even fleece backed lycra all work great for Virginia and will give you a wide range of thicknesses and levels of warmth, so you can customise to suit your climate and season exactly!
  • For a full matching pair of thermal underwear, why not make a long sleeve Rowan in the same warm jersey fabric!
  • To keep your ankles warm and your leggings tucked nicely into your shoes, consider turning your Virginias into stirrup leggings or adding a full sock end to the leggings to make them more like tights!
  • Wanting a dressy outfit but wanting to still stay warm? Why not trying some Leather-look leggings that can look cool, but still be warm and comfortable. Just be sure to check on the stretch percentage to make sure they’ll have enough stretch!
Virginia & Cottesloe onesie
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One-piece activewear has had a bit of a moment in the last 12 months and if you’re in the market for a wonderfully fitting onesie, why not have a go at hacking Virginia & the Cottesloe bathers into just that! This project would involve using the top half of the full-piece views and joining them at the waist to the Virginia leggings high waist edge. Be sure to check that your fabric is a 4 way stretch and if you use a bodice pattern other than Cottesloe, that it has a similar amount of negative ease and stretch % requirement to Virginia, to make sure that the two components will fit together nicely!

Virginia Swim Shorts
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Virginia is a wonderful pattern to use when you want a little more coverage at the pool or beach! You can use the pattern to make some swim shorts at whatever length you want. You don’t have to compromise on what you feel comfortable wearing…the length is completely up to you. And yes, that includes full-length leggings!

A quick tip on fabric. If you’re going swimming regularly in a chlorinated pool, make sure that your fabric is chlorine friendly. Keep in mind that your regular activewear fabric may not cut it. Polyester swim fabrics will hold up to chlorine much better than other swim lycra. It will also hold its colour for longer!

If you’re wanting to wear them as standalone bathers instead of ones to go over bather bottoms, for a bit of extra coverage and security you can also line your swim shorts with a swim lining fabric or simply a second layer of your main fabric. Cut and construct your lining just like your outer pair, join them at the leg holes like the sleeves of a lined jacket (check out our lined Hovea tutorial here to see what I mean!) and then attach the waistband to the two layers like you would if it was only one! For extra structure, you could even add elastic to the leg hem seams using the same method as the View B & D narrow waist elastic.

Virginia Yoga Pants
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It might go without saying that you can use Virginia to make an incredible pair of yoga pants. We’ve got a few ideas on how you can make them even more amazing!

  • Add stirrups around your feet so your leggings stay all the way down when you work out!
  • Add in a small drawstring at the top of your waistband so you can tie it a little tighter before you start bending/stretching.
  • Find a moisture wicking fabric that is soft and will keep you cool and comfy throughout your practice.
  • Make a matching Cottesloe top to make them into a cute legging & sports bra set!
Virginia loungewear
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Using the right fabric, a pair of Virginia leggings can be the ideal pair of pants for a relaxing evening at home. Another option? Making the leggings in a knit fabric (think waffle knit, light fleece or ribbed knit), go up a size…and get ready for some comfortable times.

  • Why not add a cuff at the ankle and use the same fabric around the waist?
  • Add a drawstring at the waist to make sure the size up doesn’t cause them to fall down!
  • Make sure the fabric still has the right stretch percentage…we don’t want you to not be able to sit down!
  • Why not make a matching Jarrah sweater? You can never have too many matching loungewear sets!

Looking for even MORE inspiration? The Virginia Sewing Pattern Pinterest Board is full of so many ideas for your Virginia make, be sure to check it out! Here is a sneak peek!


Here’s the full list of Virginia tutorials :

  • Inspiration & Ideas (this post!)
  • Sewalong : Seams
  • Sewalong : Narrow Waistband
  • Sewalong : Wide Waistband
  • Sewalong: Cuffs
  • Sewalong : Hem

Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNvirginia and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet?!

Virginia & Virginia Curve

Order Virginia today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-34

About Author

Anita is the Operations Manager here at Megan Nielsen Patterns, and happily works on multiple areas of the business in any one day! Anita is the first port of call for any of your customer service enquiries, manages daily operations and oversees all pattern production, graphic design, website maintenance, inventory management & drinking all the coffee/eating all the cookies in the cupboard.

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