PURRFECT – Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen

AKA the Cheetah/Cheater Shorts (the shorts you wear when you want to be wearing a skirt…)

So if you were going to the zoo… and riding a bike… what would you choose to make?

Tania Culottes - doing what they were designed to do!

Tania Culottes – doing what they were designed to do!

Bingo! The Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen. In animal print no less….

Tania Culottes and the odd giraffe

Tania Culottes and some giraffes – I’m looking a little weary – so NOT a morning person…

These are kinda kooky & crazy but you know… I think I kinda love them.

I admit, like the Cascade Skirt of Mulletdom, the Tania Culottes held little appeal when the Breakwater Collection by Megan Nielsen was released – obviously I am a nincompoop – or I just need the right burst of inspiration. I have vague memories of culottes (not on me, I am clearly not that traumatised) and recall them being daggy and knee-length. You know… the sensible wardrobe skirt choice for women who don’t want to risk showing their knickers.

You see, I don’t recall culottes looking like this…

Tania Culottes back shot

Miss 8 asked for the camera and returned it with this shot of “Mum’s butt” she explained. These culottes are kinda flirty and in a strong wind they don’t blow up completely but you do show LOTS of leg – I’ve spare you any risqué shots today 🙂 Note this is Day 2 at the zoo – we had a quick visit and drove the car around – hence the heeled sandals.

I loved wearing these. So comfortable, cute and cool. I suspect they will get a lot of wear – with or without a zoo visit.

Oopsies - obscuring your view of the amazing Galapagos Tortoise - I thought you were here for the sewing?

Oopsies – obscuring your view of the amazing Galapagos Tortoise – I thought you were here for the sewing? Those tortoises live for 150 years!

These culottes are a bit like wearing two circle skirts around your legs. They swing and swish around your legs as you walk. They are so full it’s hard for the untrained eye to spot the culotte-ness of them! I managed to throw my leg over my unladylike bike all day without sharing my underwear choices with the other zoo visitors (I love those townie bikes but in my life the practicality of a mountain bike with suspension/gears reigns supreme – they are awesome to ride). The zoo circuit is only 5kms long but you are forever jumping on and off your bike (I did pack some ‘backup shorts’ just in case… and they were not required).

Tania Culottes and the inspiration!

Tania Culottes and the inspiration!

Tania Culottes and the less than inspiring real life cheetah - these big cats are seriously lazy.

Tania Culottes and the less-than-inspiring real life cheetah – these big cats are seriously lazy. Note: I wore a loose long-sleeved, collar shirt while riding – otherwise I would have been burnt to a crisp!

Whoopsies Part 1: The waistband… I managed to interface the waistband and the waistband interfacing pieces – yeah I don’t know what I was thinking either. Fortunately it didn’t have any impact on the culottes other than a slightly firmer waistband – which might have actually helped evening up the hems as they sit very nicely indeed.

Whoopsies Part 2: The hemming is hard core. I left them to hang overnight and when I put them on, I swear my drunk monkey had been swinging off the raw edges all night long while swigging his beer.
I cut these shorts as XS with the Large leg length. I am fairly confident they ended up shorter than the ‘large’ leg length due to all the levelling of the hem – lots of fabric was sacrificed! I actually convinced ELH to lend a hand (I know he’s probably the LSH at this point (Long Suffering Husband). I have NO IDEA how I would have managed to even up these hems by myself.
After levelling my hems (I can handle the Cascade skirt but I’m not a mullet hem shorts kinda girl), I overlocked the edges and then hand stitched the hems… yes, it took forever but like my rayon Anna dresses, I think the finish of the garment is much nicer.

The Finishing Touch

Tania Culottes Label

ummmm…. it also makes it easier to tell the front from the back…

This was a truly awesome experience – feeding giraffes… these creatures are just so graceful and beautiful – I fell completely in love with them. It was a little unnerving to stand still while their giant heads swooped down, tongues outstretched searching for a carrot.

Feeding giraffes!

Feeding Giraffes! That’s Miss 10 – who is getting far too tall!!

I had a lovely time at the Dubbo Western Plains Zoo – it is the country cousin of Taronga Zoo in Sydney. It’s not as shiny and glamorous as Taronga, there are not so many animals, the views not as grand BUT it’s a wonderful day out, there are fewer people, shorter queues and you really do get close to the animals. Plus riding a bicycle around was a delight and made for one of the most pleasant days at the zoo (OK, I confess a few wines in the park with lovely old school friends afterwards might have added to the fun…).

Seriously cute, flirty and fun to wear.
Seriously easy to make – it’s just the hems of horror that are a challenge, all I can say is find a friend to help (or a husband!).

Pattern: Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen. It’s very hard to get your hands on a printed copy of this now – I searched high and low for mine and got it from Indie Stitches – it’s now sold out there too, I think it’s now ‘out of print’. Megan does sell it as a PDF.
Fabric: Spun Rayon Challis from Lincraft (available online)
Location: Dubbo Western Plains Zoo

Need more inspiration? Also see: Cirque du bebe | Scruffy Badger | Lladybird | Sown Brooklyn | Four Square Walls | Handmade by Heather B

89 thoughts on “PURRFECT – Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen

  1. I may have literally *squeed* when I saw the title for the blog post!! You made them!! And they are every bit as awesome as I had envisioned when you tweeted that you were going to do it!! So this pattern is OOP already? Didn’t it just come out less than a year ago? *eek* Maybe I should get my PDF copy ordered for when I’m not the size of a smallish whale….before I can’t!

    • The paper pattern does exist but you will have to hunt for it.
      I do prefer paper patterns although I’m becoming very fond of the companies who provide the ‘copy shop’ version – it is sticking all the sheets together that I avoid with a passion!

  2. Lovely culottes – they look fabulous on you! I had to snigger at the fabric as a UK Zoo (Chessington, just outside London) has just banned visitors from wearing animal prints as it confuses the animals. Yep, seriously! I have to say that the giraffes do NOT look confused!

    • Funnily enough we were talking about that on the visit!
      I can see why that could happen – however most of the animals are born in captivity so I wonder if that has any impact on their fear (or not) of certain things?

  3. Wonderful culottes! Much nicer than shorts (IMHO) and the cheetah print is fabulous – even if the cheetah is a lazy cat. I couldn’t have been that close to the giraffes though. Their tongues seriously freak me out – they are long and a very funny colour!

  4. You are such a doll. I love these. Glad the giraffes didn’t think you were a cheetah! I would love to get this close to a giraffe. Looks amazingly humbling that this big creature has its face right near yours

  5. You’re so right – culottes have a bad connotation. I get shivers just thinking about the pair I had to wear in middle school. Yuck! But your version is great, actually, I love it. I think the key to this is the fabric – picking a swingy silk so that it looks like you’re wearing a skirt rather than shorts.

    • Yes, lots of drape is best – when I wear these I feel like I’ve got nothing on!
      My vision of culottes is beige corduroy… ugh. I can’t even imagine what they made you wear at school!!!

  6. Woah lady, they are gorgeous! I’m seriously tempted to consider them for next summer as it is definitely turning into tights and cardigan weather here.
    I love giraffes too, something so elegant about them but they’re also a little ungainly at the same time!

  7. They look great! Love the pattern choice and after seeing these few ‘modern’ pairs, I don’t have such ill feeling towards the whole ‘culottes’ image. 🙂

  8. These are great! I have admit I had just the thoughts you wrote about when I read you had made coulottes, but my prejudices have been thoroughly undone. And your legs are great, if I may offer this sewing unrelated comment 🙂

    • I used to think culottes and immediately have visions of a-line beige corduroy – not a pretty sight…
      I’m genetically blessed to be small & lean – yes one of those females other women curse! 🙂

  9. So immensely cute! Love them in animal print. I meant to make some after I made some for youngest dort but Summer ran out 😦 And wow such a close encounter with such amazing creatures! Great photos Lizzy x

  10. The culottes are perfect! I love that most won’t even know they are culottes and that it looks like a skirt. A definite must for next summer for me, I think I have flashed 90% of the downtown core on my bike this summer.

  11. I loved this pattern when it came out but have never been able to catch the pattern while it is in stock… and honestly if I am spending $$ I want a physical pattern! (This may change as more independent patterns come on the scene..OR if I find I just can’t wait! ) Anyway, I LOVE yours. They are super cute and girly and being able to look cute and flirty AND ride a bike while maintaining youyr modesty seems like a winner! ~Laurie

  12. I love these! The cheetah is great, perfect choice for the zoo. I wanted to make these over the summer, but as we are entering the fall here I think I’ll have to put these off until the next warm season. Thanks for the heads up on the hem!

  13. These are so cute! I’ve seen them on a number of folks and just love how they swish and swing. And, the animal print?? Fabulous. See, even the giraffes are loving them and they, theoretically, should actually run away from leopard print. 😛

    • That’ five perfects – must be a new record! It was a perfect day – I had so much fun. I love bike riding, I’ve been so busy for the last year or so I think I had forgotten that!

  14. I’m starting to get jealous of how great you look in EVERYTHING!!! These are so perfect on you!

    Thanks for the shout out! And for taking us along on your zoo visit!

  15. Gosh I love spring and these are some seriously good culottes. They look fantastic and the hems? Goodness, but those hems are amazing as well :).

    I had completely forgotten about culottes. I must have a looksee.

    • I have worn these quite a bit – so comfortable and so flattering. I’ve never been compared to Rachel Griffiths but given she’s an amazingly talented Aussie actress I’ll take that! xo

  16. Hi Lizzy, I’m planning on going to Dubbo these holidays and was wondering if there was any where specific to go to whilst we’re there – other than the zoo of course 🙂

    Now I know I’m going to have to make myself some culottes for the biking – I’ve had this pattern for a while!

    • They were perfect for cycling – although it wasn’t windy!
      The zoo is a two day visit pass – that took up all our time. They have an early morning tour – make sure you are there when the doors open to get a ticket to feed the giraffes – so worth it & they do sell out quickly!
      There is a Dubbo Goal (old) in the CBD to visit which is apparently great. They have a cultural centre, observatory etc as well.
      Enjoy – we had a ball at the zoo!

      • Thank you for getting back to me! I’m looking forwards to playing mini golf at the observatory! And excited about the zoo, I will make sure to get there early for the giraffes, thank you for the heads up 🙂

  17. Pingback: I’m working on my mating list for when we have to repopulate the world. | Crafternoon Nap

  18. Pingback: ZIGGI Jacket – Style Arc. Couching Tiger, Hidden Cougar… | Sew Busy Lizzy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.