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The Megan Nielson Tania Culottes

When Minerva offered me the opportunity to try some of their Viscose Challis Fabric, I knew exactly which pattern I would make! I chose a navy challis with a little white abstract pattern. When it arrived I was really pleased with it, it has a wonderful drape to it and feels lovely too.

The pattern I chose was the Megan Nielson Tania Culottes, I’ve had it in my pattern stash for at least a couple of years but never quite got round to making it. They are very full culottes which hang like a floaty skirt, there are three lengths, I chose the midi length one.

The only problem I had with the fabric was cutting it out, mainly because it’s so drapey it kept draping off my cutting table! In the end I used several large weights to hold it in place – then it behaved beautifully! The culottes are almost a full circle so the large pieces need cutting out with the fabric opened out. This always makes me a bit nervous but the length indicated on the pattern was about spot on.

I cut out a medium size, my waist at 29” was inbetween sizes but as my weight is fluctuating a bit at the moment I cut for a 30” waist.

The culottes went together like a dream. The viscose was lovely to sew with, it didn’t stretch on the long bias seams and eased in nicely into the waistband. My elderly and temperamental overlocker even decided to work, so I stitched the seams with my regular machine and then finished the insides with my overlocker. 

The only change I made to the pattern was the zipper. It called for an invisible zip but as I happened to have a navy skirt length zip in my stash I hand-stitched that in instead. I always hand stitch zips in, I find it much easier to get a neat finish and it’s pretty much invisible too! With hindsight it would have been better with a 9” zip as per instructions, mine’s a standard 7” skirt zip and it needs a bit of a wiggle to pull the culottes up!

The first proper try on was after the waistband was stitched on and it was too big round the waist – that one inch in the measurements made all the difference! I undid the waistband round the side seam and took it in about ½”, it now fits comfortably. The crotch level is about right for me too. 

The last thing to do was stitching the hems. These hems seemed to go on and on and on! They were stitched round at ¼”, then pressed up on the stitching line. It was simple then to turn it once more and stitch again close to the edge. Each leg has a 2m hem, so that’s 4m to stitch altogether – no wonder it took a while! The viscose behaved beautifully on the curved hemline, not a wrinkle in sight! 

I’m really pleased with these culottes, they’re very comfortable to wear and I love the twirly nature of the ‘skirt’. There are two deep pleats on the centre front and back which drape beautifully to cover the crotch, giving the appearance of a full skirt. 

Thanks for reading,

Margaret @ The Crafty Creek

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