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Handmade Wardrobe / Inspiration

Deja vu // a culotte story

Sometimes when i’m sewing everything goes perfectly, it’s like magic, and everything falls into place and i wonder how anything could ever be hard. Sometimes, its a fight. For reasons i can’t explain i will have the opposite of the Midas touch. Have you been there?

Megan Nielsen tania culottes
Megan Nielsen Tania culottes sewing pattern // version 3

The first time i made these culottes it was a fight. Like this dress, i used fabric i had been “saving” for many years – and it was just a disaster. Like a bone head i didn’t bother pattern matching the pleat seams. I’m not nutty about pattern matching or anything, sometimes i think it’s really worth it (like here and here) and sometimes i just really couldn’t care less (like here or here). This time, it just ended up looking like a hot mess. Those perfect little rows of flowers looked ridiculous when they were off kilter. Then hemming became this big thing, and no matter what i did the fabric just kept slipping, and as soon as i’d think i had it straight i’d leave it another day, and bam! wonky again. I cut off so much it ended up knee length. And as the final straw, i hadn’t secured the zipper enough and it started coming loose at the end.

So. Deep breath. I decided to call it quits. I started again.

This isn’t something i will do very often, but this time, it was really worth it. I carefully and painstakingly matched those silly little flowers on that silly slippery fabric. When it came time to hem, i left it for weeks on my dress form before evening it out.

Megan Nielsen tania culottes // V3

And here is the final centre front pleat. (Here’s a close up). As much as it was frustrating to completely throw away a garment and start all over, i’m really happy that i did. These have quickly become my favourite pair of culottes. I think the lesson here is that it pays to be careful from the very beginning of a project. Taking the time to lay out and cut your pattern pieces properly sets you up to win for the rest of the project. Now here is hoping i have that much wisdom next time Birdie goes down for a nap and i think OOOOOH time to make some culottes! hehee

Megan Nielsen tania culottes version 3
Megan Nielsen Tania culottes sewing pattern

[photography by Sabatomic]

[Make this look]

Culottes: Megan Nielsen Tania // get the pattern
Blouse: Banana Republic // similar pattern + similar fabric
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens // T strap sky high in natural
Sunnies: Rayban // RB3025 in red

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago

Ahh, a lesson for us all!
I love the words you use – ‘bone head’. So funny and a bit retro!

Dara
Dara
7 years ago

Persistence paid off! Very pretty Megan

sallie
7 years ago

Absolutely gorgeous!! And I think we’ve all been there! Good on you for stepping back, taking a deep breath, and going in again clear headed!

Kat @ House of Lane
7 years ago

Oh I’ve been there! It is so frustrating at the time but so worth it afterwards. I love these culottes. I need to hurry up and make myself some culottes.

Sophie
7 years ago

Oh geeze louise these are gorgeous Megs! I can so relate to the ‘situation’ too, so painstaking but ultimately satisfying to go back and slow it down. Something I’m trying to do more of in my sewing too x

Brigid
7 years ago

Those culottes look so light and airy and perfect!
When I was first making myself a pair of Palazzo pants from a self-drafted pattern, the fabric was so drapey that they fit a bit too well. I kept on fiddling and fiddling, but I ended up making them so small that I had to give them to my younger sister in the end. At least they fit her nicely and she can enjoy them!

Heather
7 years ago

Well it looks like your persistance paid off! These look perfect! I love your top too!

Preethi
7 years ago

Wow! You seem to have even matched the half and half flower at the center seam. Perfection I say!
Beautiful fabric.