If there is one thing I never pictured myself sewing, it is definitely culottes. With their 80’s feel, their doubtful lengths and their stiff fabrics, culottes hold a good place in my top ten of unflattering clothing, just after Hammer pants :
But from that first moment I laid my eyes on Megan Nielsen’s Tania pattern last summer, my whole world was turned upside down. Doubtful length turned to mini, stiff fabric became deliciously flowing and the separation between the legs disappeared, hidden by a clever fabric fold, giving the appearance of a circle skirt instead of the dreaded culottes look. What’s not to love?
Especially considering how practical culottes are compared to a circle skirt! I actually don’t wear short skirts, because as soon as I have to, say, walk, or sit down, I instantly feel uncomforable. So after crash-testing my new Tanias today, I have to say that the crotch seam is a welcome addition! I did lenghten the pattern a bit (I traced the XL length on a S size, wich adds something like an inch) but it is still pretty short, and circle skirts to tend to fly a lot in the wind, however I still maintained a minimum level of decency. See me proof-dancing this:
I’m glad I was wearing shorts underneath though…!
Since I wasn’t so sure about the whole concept of culottes at first, I made this first version in the leftover fabric from a dress I made a couple years ago. Also, instead of hemming it, I chose to do a rolled hem with my serger and I’m pretty happy with the result.
Of course, this is the best part of the hem, because I have to confess that in some other places it is a bit messed up. But that’s nothing compared to the zipper… As I’m mostly sewing in a rush and in the evenings, I ended up wanting to finish my skirt at 11pm with nothing else than a white zipper in my stash, and thinking that since it would be invisible it wouldn’t matter. Invisible indeed…
Beuah. I tried to unpick it twice but it is too bulky where the seam is and I can’t sew closer to the zipper teeth or else it won’t zip up. Whatever, I’ll just wear a belt…
Of course I have to end on this obligatory super classy picture proving that they are, indeed, culottes 🙂
Tania by Megan Nielsen
Mystery fabric from Stop Tissus in Paris