Tania Culottes disaster - a waste of pretty fabric

I haven't worn culottes since 8th grade, and that alone should have been a warning.....But they look so cute on the model, and I've read some good reviews online, and I thought they would make a good alternative to a skirt on a warm but windy summer day. I was wrong.
The pattern is a print-at-home pdf pattern from Megan Nielsen patterns:
Looks cute enough.

I didn't realize it until I began sewing it, but there are two large pleats at the front and back center seam - and I hate them. You don't really see them on the line drawing, and I realize my fabric draws attention to them, but it is the effect on the structure of the culottes I really dislike.
Its too bad, because I bought a pretty cotton voile from Mood to use for them:
It has gold threads running thru it!

Its semi-sheer, so there was going to be a lining, until I realized I wasn't ever going to wear them in public.
I got to the step where it was time to insert the side zipper, stepped into them, and realized what a disaster this was. They are super unflattering. They make my ass look like I'm wearing a bustle underneath the culottes. I actually think the following pictures are more flattering than it looked in person. You'll have to trust me.
Front view
What. the. shit.
Nope. nope. nope.
Absolutely not. And I like circle skirts and I have circle skirts, and this my friend did not fit me like a circle skirt. I decided to rip out the pleats, gather it, and sew in an elastic waistband and now they are around-the-house loungewear. And then I threw the pattern in the recycling.

Better. The bustle effect has been removed.
Sans pleats.

I think this needs more fabric.....
The pattern is well-drafted and the instructions are fine - it just looked like shit on my body.  If I had known how the pleats were constructed - especially on the back side - I would have stayed far away, having learned my lesson about pleats on my ass while making the Winter Street dress. Now I've learned a lesson about patterns with the words "culottes" in the name!


  1. I have been "hovering over" this pattern, and was hesitant. I appreciate your review. Pleats in the front?! Absolutely can't see them in line drawing.

  2. I had a similar experience with these. I really really wanted to love them. In my mind these were going to be so cute and so skirt-like but in reality they are a disaster. Super unflattering to say the least. I don't think they are designed for curves. Bummer - your fabric was so pretty!


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