7.31.2013

Keeping it cool in Culottes

Confession - sometimes I have trouble finishing things. There might not even be anything wrong with the garment, I just get the itch for something new and shiny. Always with the shiny.......Squirrel!   

Such was the lot of these lovey Tania culottes that languished around on my ironing board for 2 months only needing a hem. 
I really need to get a gaggle of sewing elves to do my hems for me.  Do you think they'd do zippers too?  I'd rather spend all that hemming time doing more fun things like cutting out fabric. (No that is not a joke and yes I am available for hire. Hee hee)
To show these culottes that I really do love them they got a coordinating Lady Skater Tee.  I threatened to make this hack after my first Lady Skater dress and finally did it.  It couldn't be easier just trace off the bodice and extended the side seams to about 16.5" long.  If your hippy like me give the side seams a slight curve out over the hips.
Use the coverstitch machine/sewing machine to give it a 1" hem and Bazinga done!

And now for our regularly scheduled pattern review.
Pattern
Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes  I caught culotte fever, or maybe I started it.....let's just blame the internet.
Fabrics used
Milly silk twill from Gorgeous Fabrics last year.   I love you Milly, give me all your silk and no one gets hurt.  Otherwise I'm finding your sample room and stealing some bolts.
I bought this fabric knowing it had a cream background and also knowing I look horrible in cream. Butterfly silk will make you do crazy things people.  (I know Katie is thinking, I would have bought it too.) Anywho when I saw Megan's culottes pattern it seemed like the perfect solution to the whole cream near your face problem.  Just don't put it near your face....Duh.

Pattern changes/alterations
The XL size didn't need too many alterations thanks to the inherent looseness of culottes.
1. Took in the waistband 1/2" at side seams.
2. Scooped back crotch 1".
3. Added 4" of additional length.

Confessions/Advice
1. I would have liked to make these a little longer but 4" extra inches was all I could squeeze out of my 2 yards of silk. 

2. When I made these up the center part of the culotte arc stretched more since it was on the bias.  I'm pretty sure the fabric being a twill was part of the problem. Anyway I had a really wavy hem that looked like this.
I let it hang for a few days to set the bias. Then measured the side seams and CF/CB to see how long they were.  Next  that length was painstakingly marked across each culotte crescent and cut it down with the rotary cutter.  I might have needed a stiff drink and a pep talk before doing this, "Sewing goddess be kind and don't let my rotary cutter do astray." She was kind, bless you sewing goddess.....have my silk scrapes. What, you want yardage?! Over my dead body.

Husband Comment
"A garment for women who don't like wearing skirts but want to look like they're wearing one."  Did he just google "Culottes"?  I mean thanks honey!!!

My Final Thoughts
If you don't let them sit around waiting for a hem for months these go together pretty quick. As others have said the CF/CB pleats are a cool design feature.
If you do have a lot of junk in the trunk, like I do, be prepared to be some what horrified at the volume of fabric cascading off your giant ass. It's like a train wreak you can't look away from. But a longish tee will tamp that down just fine. Then you can wear your short skirt/long shorts with abandon.  Swish them around cause it's fun, swish swish.

20 comments:

  1. More skirts, please!

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    1. I'm not a big skirt wearer so I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

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  2. Oh man, that fabric is gorgeous!! And yes, hemming is my second least favorite thing--right behind cutting out....BTW, your daily rate is...? ;-) Anyway, these turned out SUPER cute, I'll have to contemplate these more seriously...over the course of a few more months, cuz that's how I roll. :-P

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    1. I'm giving you an internet high five about the dislike of hemming. OH YEAH! I'm not really sure what my daily rate is....I do try to sew every day. Sometimes it's only on hour but others I camp out at the machine and just throw my toddler some snacks.

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  3. Ooh very nice! I bet that fabric's rather lovely to wear. I'm wearing mine (boring old cotton) now after cycling to work in them, and cycled 2 hours in my other (knit!) pair yesterday. Swishy skirty shorts rock!

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    1. But boring cotton is easy to wash so you don't have to worry about getting them dirty. :) Knit ones sound pretty awesome. Might have to copy you. :)

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  4. Oh my gosh Heather, I laughed at the "squirrel" comment because in our family we say that all the time, when we get distracted. I get distracted often, hence adding the unfinished projects portion of my stash busting.
    Love the print of your culottes and they look so cute. Gotta love some "swishyness"!

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    1. Squirrel!!! hee hee! My sister got me saying that cause she uses it often. Maybe the distracted thing is just part of being creative? Let's just agree that it is. :)

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  5. I'd find that fabric hard to resist, too. I swore off culottes sometime after elementary school, since these were horrible 80s ones, but those are actually really cute!

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    1. I remember the 80's culotte so I totally understand your swearing off of them. But now culottes got some work done and they're ready to seduce you!

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  6. I love this fabric - I've never sewn silk twill but it sounds lovely! My Tania culottes sat for a long time, but it was due to not wanting to hand sew the waistband. I'm not sure how I got through that double hem, but I would like some hemming elves! The Lady Skater makes a great top (I have the pattern printed out, now I just have to tape it together). I'll have to quiz my husband on culottes.

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    1. Dude, I forgot to double my hem but went, "Screw it". The contrast serging is now a design feature. :) But if I find some hemming elves I'll send them to visit you.

      Ohhhh goodie goodie you've got the Lady Skater all ready to put together. It actually goes pretty fast since all the pieces are cut on the fold.

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  7. That's pretty irresistible fabric. Cute culottes. Sometimes I get so distracted with all my projects I don't know which one to start...

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    1. Hooray for butterfly fabric! Only bird fabric is better. I know what you mean about getting distracted by too many projects. Try to keep mine to 3-4 so that it doesn't stress me out. But sometimes they snowball anyway.

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  8. I love the fabric and they turned out so well! I'm glad you didn't add a band to the bottom for extra length (like you were considering) because they look perfect just like this! A little casual and slightly flirty. =)

    I'm the same way with the last few steps of most projects - I always seem to lose interest and get a little bored near the end. (I'm better at plowing through when I have an actual deadline.) I have one unfinished dress that's been in my sewing room for at least 2 years because I can't find buttons I like (it even has a hem already!). And there's another that needs a neckline reshape before I put in a zipper and hem it. I just need to find some motivation to go back to them...

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    1. Glad to here that you also have problems with the finishing up stuff. It's like your brain has already moved on. :( Maybe a sewing dare could help with the on that needs a zipper and hem?

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  9. OK, confessions of a weird little person. Shorts make me feel naked. These look like the best of both worlds- I love them- you look quite frisky.

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    1. I don't think that's weird cause shorts are one of those garment where you have to have spectacular legs to look good in them. I look dumpy in them myself. Thanks for telling me I look frisky. :)

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