Megan Nielsen | Mini Virginia Leggings and Briar Tee

When Megan Nielsen announced her line of “Mini” patterns for kids, I was super excited! I immediately signed up for testing, and tested the Mini Virginia Leggings. One thing I particularly love about the new patterns is the size range. Now that my oldest daughter is a, um, “tween”, she’s outsized of most kids patterns. These patterns make it up to a size 12, so they’ll cover all three of my girls for now. For testing, I made the larger size for my oldest daughter. I prefer to make a straight size (unaltered) for testing purposes, and really I made them a size too big and ended up taking them in significantly. In retrospect, my fabric was also a bit too stretchy, so unfortunately my test wasn’t the most accurate representation of the pattern. Regardless, she wears them all the time even if the fit is a little off.

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I still wanted to give the pattern another shot, so the other day I made up a pair for my youngest daughter, Isabella, who is 8. She’s itty bitty for her age, so I always run into the problem of her clothes being way too wide, or way too short. Also, being the third girl in line, her clothes are practically in rags by the time they make it to her closet! Basically, the leggings situation for her was dire. Her waist puts her in a size 4/5, but her height is in the 6/7 range. To accommodate, I traced off a 4/5, but added length to the rise and legs to correspond to the 6/7.

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This sizing alteration worked out perfectly, and she is so very happy with them! The fabric I used is a nice thick cotton spandex that was leftover from an older project. Since my machines were all out and threaded, I quickly made her a second pair in grey, also from leftover fabric. I suspect more requests for leggings will be rolling in, as daughter no. 2 was giving me serious side eye for making Izzie not just one, but two new pairs of leggings.

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Oh, and let’s not forget this tee… more scrap busting here! I found a large-ish scrap of this fabric in one of my bins, and I was able to just squeeze out a Briar Tee. Bonus points that it matches both pairs of leggings! I was on limited fabric yardage here, so I went with the longer variation, but cut it shorter by a size (6/7, cut to a 4/5 in length). I think this worked out really well, and she is absolutely in love with it. My girls really love the longer back hemline, so… more requests have been made. Isabella wore this outfit to school the very next day and bragged on it to her friends who were totes impressed that I made a tee shirt and two pairs of leggings in one afternoon.

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So far, these patterns are huge winners in this household. I love them, my kids love them… there will be many repeats!

Mini Tania Culottes | Mini Briar Sweater and Tee | Mini Virginia Leggings | Mini Wardrobe Pack

lisa g.

Disclosure: I was a tester for the Mini Virginia Leggings, and received the whole trio of finished patterns gratis. No blogging required, but hello! They’re adorable and I would have shared anyway.

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oh my darlin’… ranges!

guys, i’ve been dying to share this dress with you! i have for ages drooled over the darling range dresses you all have made, but i’m cheap and it’s hard for me to buy an expensive pattern and then still have to go buy fabric. i start adding up the costs in my head: pattern… fabric… lining… thread… buttons… then i go buy a simplicity pattern on the cheap and complain about how sucky it is. i really need to be convinced that a $20 pattern will get substantial use before i buy it. since i have so many different versions of this dress floating around in my head, i think it’s worth the expense.

that said, a while back julie over at fabric mart contacted me about doing a guest post on their blog—fabric mart fabricistas—if they sent me some fabric. sign me up! she pointed me toward some new rayon fabrics and the darling ranges instantly came to mind. it was a match made in heaven if i do say so myself.


so here she is… new favorite dress! head on over to the fabric mart blog to see my write up there, then come back and see how i made the bodice adjustments!


much discussed over here is how wonky i am proportioned. i’m 5’8″ which is certainly taller than average. in fact i have four sisters who are all 2-5″ shorter than me. however, most of my height is in my legs making it so that i’m rather petite on top. i have a high bust, spindly arms, and have always had trouble finding necklines that aren’t indecent and armholes that don’t gape wide open. side boob is just not a classy look for me. i’ve finally come to the conclusion that, more often than not, i need to do a petite adjustment above the bust, then re-add the length under the bust. if you happen to need a similar adjustment, it’s very easy to do. here’s how…

pick a point above the bust (about 1/3 the way up the armscye) and fold out the amount you need to shorten by all the way around (i took out 3/4″).

obviously this is a not-to-scale drawing


then, smooth out the armscye curve and you’re good to go!


once i pinned out the room and tried the bodice back on it just fit and felt right; the neckline hit in a good place, the darts were in the right place, the arm hole wasn’t gaping. success! a few tweaks here and there, okay a lot of tweaks… and i had a bodice i was happy with. i decided to leave this fitted but still everyday comfortable. i left off the back ties and added darts, and i lengthened the bodice to hit my high waist. mostly i’ll wear the dress belted so i left about 2″ of ease at the waist. i did add lining to the skirt portion; since the fabric has a white background i didn’t think i could get away without it on a sunny day.


i am loving how this dress came out and i have ideas for a few more… sleeveless, short sleeved, scoop-necked… i really need to get more megan nielson patterns!

—lisa g.