Shorts on The Line // Tania Culottes

Today I’m reviewing Megan Nielsen’s new Tania Culottes pattern as part of Shorts on The Line…a rockin sewing series and short-love-fest, in it’s second season and hosted by Carla of Small and Friendly and Rachael of Imagine Gnats.
Pattern: Tania Culottes. So, what is a culotte when it’s at home? Picture a sort of wide-legged pair of shorts that looks like a skirt. More commonly known as a ‘skort’. I’m not selling it am I? Okay, so I did some ‘research’ (googled) and here’s a tidbit for ya: Did you know that during the Victorian era women wore these long split skirts so they could actually ride horses facing the way they were going instead of side saddle? What we can take from this is that culottes are meant to look cute and fabulous like a skirt but with the practicality of shorts. And they probably saved lives!
Tania_culottes_josephine_TeeFeatures: Megan’s design here is super clever. When the pieces are laid out it resembles a full circle skirt and when they’re on, the short part is completely disguised beneath the folds of fabric in the front and back. Other features to love are the wide waistband and invisible side zipper, which I think make for a flattering and not obviously ‘hand-made’ finish. I found the instructions clear and Megan Nielsen patterns are always generous with pictures for us visual learners. All in all, a great separate and a fun piece to experiment with prints or solids. I’d like to make another winter version, in a solid.
Fabric: A fav, small country town thrift store find that I can only describe as some wild 80’s botanical print, in polyester. I couldn’t figure out if it was ugly or lovely which had me intrigued. But at $4, I took a chance on lovely.
Wearability: These pics were taken two months back when it was still warm enough for bare legs and a tee. And now that it’s suddenly turned all winter, they’ve been on even higher rotation. Now I’m enjoying them with leggings and boots and with less fear of flashing at school pick-up. I think my favourite part of this skort idea is you’ve got everyone guessing ‘are they?’ or ‘aren’t they?’. And then you give them one of these…
Ada Spragg // Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes
Now hiss at the same time…you are a beautiful cobra!
Sizing:  Sometimes I like to play the game called ‘outsmarting sizing charts’. It usually starts with ignoring my measurements and choosing a size based on, um, ‘sewers intuition’. And it generally ends well with patterns from the big four, which seem to come with lots of ease, but the risks are higher with independent pattern companies where the sizing is unique to each. So, even though I measured a medium I cut a small in good faith. Which would have been fine if I actually did cut the small. Instead of a small at the front and a LARGE at the back. Don’t ask. One of those days when you know you shouldn’t be anywhere near a sewing machine. Anyway, I didn’t take heed and also melted a huge section of the waistband with a too-hot iron and broke the zip the first time I put it in. The weirdest thing with all that hybrid sizing is they fit like a dream (though the side seams are noticeably towards the front). Which leads me to believe I should have cut the medium in the first place! Ho hum.
The verdict: The Tania culottes are sassy and fabulous and very wearable! But don’t think that just because they go by the name ‘short’s’ that you’re going to be offered any sort of protection against knicker flashing. Maybe there was a disclaimer somewhere I didn’t read: Wear on windy days at your own risk. Megan Nielsen Patterns assumes no responsibility for grievances caused by Marilyn moments…
Get all the shorty action here and here!

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  • eat. sleep. MAKE.wrote:

    Gorgeous! I love your pattern choice too, it’s fun finding those “questionable” fabrics and turning them into something great, isn’t it? I’ve been eyeing this pattern. I need it now! -Jen

  • Lemlinawrote:

    Oh my gosh – love these so much. I have been uhming and ahhing about this pattern and I wasn’t that keen at first sight, but I think you’ve convinced me. And I totally know what you mean about not being sure whether a fabric is good or bad but these are definitely LOVELY.

  • Nettiewrote:

    So gorgeous!! I place that fabric firmly in the “PRETTY” aisle!!

  • rachael {imagine gnats}wrote:

    love them, Sophie! and ugly pretty fabrics are a personal favorite 🙂

  • Carolynwrote:

    These look fantastic on you (although there’s no surprise there…what doesn’t look good on you?). And the fabric looks great with that pattern! I love when an awesome or ugly fabric ends up looking awesome!

  • Heather Louwrote:

    Lovely love love love. Love. You just got me to pull the trigger and buy the pattern. Kudos. xoxoxo

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    Sigh. You just keep knocking em outta the park!! I LOVE this look! And I LOVE that fabric! (The ‘pretty or ugly’ dance is always a sign of a winner in my book!!) Guess I’ll have to add the Tania culottes to my wish list after all!!

  • Monica Swiftwrote:

    Wow!! Okay, well first, the cobra comment had me laughing…hard. The kids ran over to see what was so funny. They were disappointed, I can’t lie, but they are young with questionable senses of humor. I was skeptical, with memories of my mother trying to convince me to wear ‘skorts’ in junior high, but I really love this one! That Megan is clever… I’ll put this pattern on my maybe list, although if my legs looked like yours I’d wear them every day, ha!

  • Stephaniewrote:

    All right, these are pretty amazing. That fabric is rad and your styling is perfect. I’m going to be making culottes…

  • KellyLeaSewswrote:

    If I make these, I’m going to walk around all day thinking “I am a beautiful cobra!” When this post came up the first thing I thought was “oooh, pretty fabric!” Another great make!!

    • kristinwrote:

      Haha me too! I love these, Soph! You rock them as usually.

  • small + friendlywrote:

    I always end up cutting a size too large, in fact according to measurements I an a large in the pattern runway shorts but the pattern pieces look huge! It might be time to break down and sew a muslin! I adore how these culottes came out. I hope you rock the cobra hiss regularly, hilarious! Thank you so much for being a part on the series.

  • Kellywrote:

    I just can’t totally decide about this pattern! Your version is really fantastic, though! I think the fabric looks great in this swishy pattern.

  • sanae (sanaeishida.com)wrote:

    Gorgeous!! I have a remarkably similar fabric in cotton (thrifted), but I love your silky version way more!

  • Mela R.wrote:

    The more and more I see this pattern the more I am convinced I need them. They look amazing on you.

  • sarahdudikwrote:

    Love the shorts and the fabric. Your version is making me consider this pattern though I probably wouldn’t have before. I vote for lovely on the fabric. Gotta love those thrift store finds!

  • Ericawrote:

    These are adorable! I just love the 80s fabric you used too! It makes these so flirty and fun!

    I’m always worried when I pick out which size to cut when sewing. I’m new to sewing and am still working to develop my ‘sewing intuition’.

  • Sarahwrote:

    These are lovely I’m even more convinced now that I should buy this pattern. I do like your fabric choice too!

  • emily.mariewrote:

    Hahah, I’ve had many days I shouldn’t be anywhere near a sewing machine- definitely identify! Even with a few mishaps, they turned out amazingly!

  • Tarawrote:

    oooh, I like these!

  • Deliawrote:

    You are stunning! Beautiful culottes!

  • KajOzwrote:

    I just can’t wait to finally lay my hands on this pattern.
    It seems to take forever to arrive, and you made my longing even worse by showing of such a pretty version. and the fabric is lovely!

  • Katwrote:

    I need this pattern now! I love skirts but sometimes just call for shorts. This would be perfect! I have been seeing some amazing versions around the blog world.i think I need a polka dot pair.

  • becstitcheswrote:

    That fabric is hot!!! They look great on you!

  • Rosiwrote:

    I still have a culotte aversion from childhood, but each time I see this pattern made up, I change my mind a little bit because they always look so rad. As do this pair!

  • zosews.comwrote:

    A beautiful cobra – LOL! These look great, only wish it was warm enough down here for them!

  • Printingtextil Natashawrote:

    Sooo beautiful girl, and your skills of sewing&stuff…lucky you! I follow you alredy via e-mail.

  • Merche Martinezwrote:

    First time I saw these culottes I thought they were so girly and fun. I love your version. You look gorgeous in them!

  • Kelli Wardwrote:

    i hadnt thought much about this pattern until I saw a super cute lady wearing shorts just like these walking in front of me in NYC the other day. She looked adorable and girly and comfy and put together all at the same time – just like you. love them!

  • Paunnetwrote:

    So gorgeous! The print is lovely!

  • anu*mikiwrote:

    love it!

  • julibchickadeewrote:

    I love your version – they look great on you!! I just sewed these up and posted about them over on my blog yesterday too. I absolutely love this pattern and think that the culottes are sassy and super comfy, but also found the same thing to be true: “wear on windy days at your own risk!”. This is the first time that I’ve seen someone else post about this in their review of the pattern, so thanks! I was starting to seriously worry that I did something goofy in the construction, haha. Anyway, I love how you styled them here too – awesome job! 🙂

  • Leah Clarkwrote:

    I love those shorts! Super cute and I loved the way you have styled them!
    Leah Faye
    e plus l

  • Max of Max California ★wrote:

    oh my gosh you just convinced me to make culottes! All I could think of was ankle-skimming navy school-uniform style 90s wear!

  • feelincraftywrote:

    These are just lovely. I agree about the fabric. is it ugly or lovely? As a pillow, it might be ugly. But with these shorts, it turns lovely! As are you! Fun!

  • Cindywrote:

    The skort looks great on you!

  • crystalpleatswrote:

    Love your culottes. I wasn’t initially into this pattern, but Megan’s introduction posts to all her patterns totally converted me. I have two fun prints waiting to be made into these. I think they fall into that same ugly/cute category, but these just call out to be made up in a wild print.

  • gingermakeswrote:

    Reallllllly cute! I love these on you!

  • Amywrote:

    These are so cute and I love the styling! (Great sandals.) I also saw these and wondered hrmmm, is this a style from my early teens best not attempted again? But now after seeing a few versions I’m tempted to try….

  • mrsrobinsonwrote:

    Oh so stylish!

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