So when the Breakwater collection was released by Megan Nielson & someone (you know who you are, Vicki Kate) alerted my attention to the Tania Culottes it did not take me very long before I had added yet something else to my paypal account.
I mean culottes folks! You know I have an obsession with finding the perfect pattern, & despite a whole range of vintage patterns donated by the awesome commenter LinB last year, I had yet to see culottes that “combines the practicality of shorts with the cuteness of a circle skirt”. Circle skirt! Wowser.
The pattern calls for fabric with drape & I had some cheapo viscose mix in my stash from Birmingham Rag Market last summer. It was intended to be a Darling Ranges dress, so it seems fitting that its diversion kept within Megan Nielson’s pattern range 🙂 It’s unfortunately got a printing flaw, but I don’t think it’s visible.
So, what’s to tell? Culottes are dead easy to make. They have all the simplicity of a skirt but with an added crotch seam that does not need to fit like trousers or shorts do. It is intended to hang low. And you know what that means? Yes, less fitting issues 🙂
These culottes take more fabric than your standard, makes sense since they are like a circle skirt. What’s so clever though is the way that the leggies are almost completely hidden by some canny pleating. This really does not look like a pair of shorts/ culottes or even a divided skirt.
What did I do my way? Well, yet again I did not have an invisible zip, but fared well by inserting a lapped zipper, however since this is drapey fabric cut with some areas that will be on the bias, I used strips of interfacing to stabilise the side seam before I sewed in the zip. Seemed to work OK.
Bear in mind if you are making these that you need to let them hang as all that draping makes for some weird hem stuff going on as the weight of the fabric plays havoc on the bias.
I had to wear them whilst standing in front of the mirror, pinning up bits of hem that seemed to be off. It shows that it is possible to do this single handed though and I don’t think it’s too bad.
I have made them as long as possible using the smallest size but cutting the length as the largest size. With the rolled hem, I did not take a hem allowance apart from what was needed to straighten the weirdness I mentioned. The variations in the back of the instructions give some great inspiration of other lengths (I am visualising long ones myself) or lining them & making them out of lace ….gorgeous!!
Now it’s time to rave though. The drapey fabric makes them soooo cool in the warm weather. They are a dream to wear. Put with a strappy vest & they are perfect beach attire. Or garden in my case. I L-o-v-e them.
On Megan’s website the model demonstrates that they are the perfect clothing for a bike ride – you can imagine, all the float of a circle skirt without showing your knickers as you zoom at 30 miles an hour down the hill. My real bike’s got a puncture by the way…will this do as a demo?