Fashion Sewing

Drop It Like It’s Culotte

June 12, 2013

Oh yes, I went there. Used a bad rap song pun today? Yep, checking that off the list, haha!

This post was dangerously close to just being titled “Artsy Swirly Culottes.” Pretty boring, right? Well, after our definitely-not-boring-sort-of-vacation last week, I’m in the mood to live a little adventurously.

Ok, so about this vacation… Mr Sweet and I are sort of joking that it was more of a “fail-cation”. Over the course of a week we managed to get backed into while parked, have our car break down smack in the middle of nowhere, get towed back to teeny tiny town, discover that aforementioned teeny tiny town does not have parts to fix car, and then get towed four plus hours to large city where they could finally fix said car. Luckily, that large city was our intended destination anyway, so we still got to spend a few days relaxing. Aaaaaah. This was nice because the trip was originally supposed to be… to celebrate our anniversary. Mr Sweet and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary last week!

julidanpic_2(Whew! We finally made it!)

From drinking old coffee and eating beef jerky from our suitcase in the mechanics office (with all of the excitement and limited food options the first few days of our trip, we were starving by that point!) and later finallyΒ eating burgers and drinking Prickly Pear margaritas by the pool at our hotel (yum!), I think that this will definitely be an anniversary that we remember! Yep, exciting stuff peeps. Pretty sure that I’m still winding down from all of that! And we’re definitely glad to be back home.

Anyway, I stitched up these Culottes before we left on vacation last week…


Can I just tell you how EXCITED I was for this pattern release?? The whole Breakwater Collection is gorgeous, but this pattern was the very first one that I couldn’t wait to stitch up.


I used a super floaty semi-sheer silk/cotton from Emma One Sock that I had been hanging on to since I saw the first preview pictures of this pattern in one of Megan’s email announcements.


After going back and forth over if I should line it or not, I eventually decided not to. The sides are a bit sheer in direct sunlight if I’m spinning around or something, but most of it is not. I think that construction-wise, lining it would have made the shorts part too bulky and thick compared to the rest of the skirt and that would have made it kind of awkward looking. It also would have changed the fluid drape of the skirt.


Is this a skirt or shorts? Ah, yes, it is shorts!

I’m not sure that I would have believed that these were really shorts if I didn’t already know! It’s pretty wild. One thing worth mentioning is that although the crotch part of these stays covered and pretty much acts like shorts on a windy day, if a breeze catches them just right, I did find that the sides can tend to blow up rather… errr… fantastically, so to speak. Not fantastic as in “ooooh wow, cool!” but more along the lines of “whoooa! oh no, yikes!” Like a big swoosh of wind and someone could possibly see an entire side of leg from waist to hip. Of course this is much better than the alternative… but I haven’t seen anyone else mention this yet, and I’m starting to wonder if I did something goofy in the construction. Perhaps its just the fabric choice?

Here are a few construction pics:

sweetlittlechickadee_taniaculottes_june2013_3These were really quick to sew and are really comfy to wear. I just stuck with a simple waistband finishing for my first pair and used a slightly longer stitch length for topstitching.


After fighting with my rolled hem foot on my sewing machine, I decided to go with a rolled hem on my serger. I think that it is still really delicate and floaty looking, which works with this delicate and floaty fabric. What do you think?


Here’s a closeup of the rolled hem and fabric. Painted-looking type fabrics are a weakness of mine, and this one looks like beautiful watercolor washes all merging into each other when you look at it closely.

Overall, I really like this pattern and will definitely be sewing it again! There isn’t really anything like it out there and that makes it really fun! I already have some fabric lined up for a few more pairs this summer and I’m really curious about using some thicker drape-y fabrics for some cooler weather pairs when fall comes around.


You can wear these with a long tee or tank tucked out for more of a “drop-waist” look or wear with a top tucked in for a more “retro” style. Which one do you like best?

A quick note about the length of the culottes that you may find helpful: I sewed up the small, but cut them to the length of the extra large. This added about two inches to the length of the culottes. Then, when I used the rolled hem on my serger, I just barely trimmed off the bottom part of the skirt to neaten it up a little.Β  I’m really glad that I added a few extra inches to the culottes, because otherwise I think that by the time I hemmed it definitely would have been to short for me! Next time I think that I might add an additional inch or so to the length, especially if I want to do a more traditional rolled hem on my sewing machine.

Thanks for reading!


Have you sewn up the Tania Culottes yet? Are they on your sewing list for summer? Also, do you have a favorite shorts pattern?




  • Dana @ Water Penny

    I’ve been looking for a skirt or dress pattern and I think this might be the one!

    • Juli

      Thanks Dana! I definitely recommend this one!

  • Sally @ thequirkypeach

    Love these! Can’t wait until this pattern is back in stock πŸ™‚

    • Juli

      Thanks Sally! They are so fun and summery and comfy to wear. The weather has been pretty hot here (in the 90s – that’s pretty hot for CO, whew!), so I’ve worn them a ton already. Unfortunately, the pattern won’t be restocked until July, but I’m planning a special giveaway post in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

  •, Rachel

    So pretty! I’ve never thought about making culottes… But I’m becoming more and more interested!

    • Juli

      Thanks Rachel! You know, as a kid I definitely had an aversion to culottes and I never would have dreamt that one day I would even consider wearing them. They just seemed so… unfashionable to me. Or like something that you would wear for a school uniform. But these are so flowy and pretty – they look just like a skirt, but with a bit more coverage. They’re really fun to sew too… I was fascinated by the construction process the whole time I was sewing them! πŸ™‚

  • Scruffy badger

    Juli, it’s lovely to see your Tanias and to read about your similar experiences!! Love the fabric!! It’s beautifully summery like a grown up rainbow! Love!!
    I’ve been styling mine shirt tucked in and out so it was fun to see you showing it too!!
    And as for the wind! You didn’t do anything wrong the other day ( after I’d written about mine) I was gardening and whoosh, gust of wind caught one leg and you’re right, exposing my outer thigh, all of it!!
    We shared the same learnings re rolled hems and length…..and me too, I want to make more!!

    • Juli

      Oh my goodness, I’m so glad to hear that it’s not just me! Although I am sorry to hear about your windy gardening experience… at least it wasn’t out in the middle of public though! It was really fun to read your post and see that you decided on a serged rolled hem too! You had lots of handy tips, think I’ll be trying out interfacing the zipper on mine next time as well.

  • Jessica Freed

    Interesting… I definitely thought these were a skirt but they’re shorts!!! And not in a skorty way. I love it. What a great pattern, and adorable execution on your part. I like it tucked in the best, but I’m a high waist kind of gal. I need me a pair of these for sure!

    • Juli

      Thanks! I’m not a big fan of skorts either… but these are definitely different! I also like that the pattern is high waisted to give it more of a retro feel. I’m picturing a polka dot pair with a white buttondown shirt or with a tie waisted top like this (one of Gertie’s most recent patterns from Butterick): Anyway, I definitely recommend the pattern, it’s great! πŸ™‚

      • Jessica Freed

        Ooooooo yes I’m addicted to tied tops!! If my shirts don’t tie I’ll knot them usually, it’s an addiction I’m tellin ya. But it’s lookin like I need to go fabric/pattern shopping ASAP.

  • Ginger

    So cute! I love the bright print you’ve chosen! I like it tucked in best so the nice drape of the culottes is uninterrupted, but it’s cute both ways!

    • Juli

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • MaciNic

    They are adorable! I might have to try a winter weight version for all of the northern hemisphere sewists as it’s far too cold to sew up such a delightful silky version here πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your review re.length as well.

    • Juli

      Oooooh, if you try a winter version, you’ll have to let me know how they turn out! I’ve been thinking that a drape-y lighter weight twill or tweed might be nice with tights when the weather gets chillier! I’m happy to hear that the comments on the culottes length were helpful too. πŸ™‚