This has been a month of pants, and I’m not complaining. First I (almost) mastered the Chi-Town Chinos, and now I have the perfect legging pattern in the Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings. They were this month’s Project #SewMyStyle garment, and they are such a winner in my book. As a tall gal, it’s hard to find a great pair of leggings that doesn’t stop three inches above my ankle. side note – if you’re looking for an RTW pair, I’ve had good luck with Aerie’s tall leggings (when they’re in stock…). But the Virginia Leggings are a rare find for someone who makes height adjustments, because I didn’t have to make a single one. That’s right. Nada.
So, without further ado, allow me to sing you the praises of the Virginia Leggings.
Cutting the Virginia Leggings
One thing you gotta love about the Virginia Leggings is that it’s two pattern pieces. Like, come on, guys. This pattern is already a winner. I traced off mine in size small, which is my usual RTW size. Megan notes in the packet that the Tall inseam is 35″, which is almost my ideal inseam. I decided to make a test pair and see if I was going to have to make any changes.
For my muslin, I grabbed two knits out of my stash. The knit you use for these leggings must have at least 40% stretch to account for negative ease (aka, the finished garment is going to measure smaller than your actual measurements because the fabric stretches so much). The fabric for one leg was 50% stretch, but the other was only 30%. If you’re looking at my muslin photo and thinking it looks off center, you’re right! The stretchier leg got pulled over to compensate for the less stretchy.
My muslin showed me something that I rarely ever get to see in a pattern right out of the packet. No. Tall. Modifications. The tall inseam is so perfect on me and I love it, I love it, I love it. Is this what you regular-sized people feel like all the time?!
Sewing the Virginia Leggings
If you caught my Virginia Leggings inspiration post earlier this month, I hinted that I wanted to try and make some moto-style leggings. I was pretty nervous to tackle that, honestly. I couldn’t find a single tutorial on how to hand-draft a piece like that. But I knew I was going to have to buckle down and do it, so one night I sat down and tackled it. Luckily, it was actually a lot easier than I expected! I think the patches make the leggings look more like pants, so maybe I can get away with wearing them to work. I’ll have a post later this week on how to make those patches for yourself if you’re interested.
I used a light gray stretch knit from Fabric.com for my leggings. In my mind, I was expecting something a little heavier, akin to Art Gallery knits or a thin scuba. This is not what I got, but that’s because I’m a dreamer, not because of a poor description on the part of the website. I wanted something heavier because I wasn’t sure how well the moto pleats would show up in a thinner fabric, but I was pleasantly surprised. They feel really comfy and the fabric isn’t sheer at all.
I used a twin needle for the whole project, including the moto patches. I’ve become a real twin needle convert since I learned how to use it properly. My garments look way more professional with that needle, as opposed to a zig zag. Maybe someday I’ll own a serger, but until then, it’s the best way to sew stretch knits.
You guys, I cannot wait to make more of these leggings. They’re a half hour project, first of all. Second of all, they FIT ME. I cannot emphasize this enough. The skin on my legs does not show until it is supposed to! I’m thinking a pair or two in black, maybe another moto pair in olive, some fun mesh inserts for yoga… The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to get started.
Yardage needed: about 1.75 yards of 60″ wide fabric, which includes what I used for the patches.
Time: about an hour
General modifications: designed moto patch inserts
#SewingTall modifications: None!!!!!!!!!!!!