Last of my Summer Sewing : Tania culottes

Pattern: Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen

Size: size M

Alterations: lengthened about 10cm

Fabric: inexpensive dark blue viscose with mini white flowers, purchased locally and absolutely perfect for the job.

You know how last summer everyone went crazy for Megan Nielsen's Tania culottes?
Well, I didn't.
I was lucky enough to be a tester for this pattern, but when Megan sent it to me, we had spoken of something completely different, so I was a bit set back. I liked the idea of wearable, modern culottes that look like a skirt, but I was somehow perplexed by the actual pattern. Very full at the hips and very short... features I usually stay away from.
When I made my culottes in the fabric I always use for muslins (a lightweight plaid cotton, because I have a bolt of that stuff and "real" muslin doesn't exist here), it looked absolutely horrible on me. It made me look extremely wide and it was much MUCH too short for my own comfort.
So I wrote back my notes to Megan, telling her that everything went great with the construction (because they were very well designed), but this just wasn't the pattern for me. I was a bit heart broken, too, because it was the first time one of her patterns didn't really work for me.

But anyway, the pattern was released and many cute versions started to pop up (like Lauren'sAndrea'sNette's and Sophie's, among others). Everyone adored this pattern and girls and women of all shape and sizes all looked great in these culottes.
Could it be that I was wrong?

Well, yes, I was. Oh, I was wrong BIG TIME.
It turns out I only needed to lengthen the pattern and use a fabric with much more drape!

I'm so happy I gave this pattern a second chance, because this is the garment I wore the most this Summer (together with my Bleuet dresses).
I especially loved it with sleeveless button-ups, but it worked perfectly with tank tops and t-shirts as well.

Of course the best thing about these culottes is that when someone tells you "Ooh! What a cute skirt!" (and someone WILL tell you), you get to to this:

It's so much fun, I think I did it to at least ten people.

A few notes on this pattern that many other people already made:

- These culottes give you more modesty than a skirt in most situations, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to flash A LOT of leg. Beware of wind... I speak from experience.

- Constructing these culottes is extremely quick, but leave them hanging overnight before you hem them, because the bias will cause a lot of distortion. You can see from the side shots that the hem of my culottes is not perfectly even, but I did what I could with this fabric.

- If you have a serger, a rolled hem will save your life. Seriously. I was so grateful I didn't have to hem those giant panels!

And that's (finally) it for my Summer projects!
In the next photos, you'll see cloudy weather, leaves on the ground and, of course, that tan is completely gone and I'm back to my pale old self. Yay, Autumn!

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week 4

Top: Pimkie
Skirt: Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen (kinda), never blogged
Shoes: Pimkie

At the beginning of May, I stored away my winter clothes and replaced them with summery stuff. This is always a great chance for spring cleaning and some clothes don't survive the passage.
This year, it was with a heavy heart that I realized that I hadn't worn my two Darling Ranges dresses (one and two) in a very long time. They both didn't fit me correctly, the first is too low in the front and the buttons are too heavy; the second, I just don't like the fabric, it creases too easily and it doesn't go with anything in my wardrobe.
But I couldn't just throw them away. So I tok the fabric of the first and the buttons of the second and made a Kelly skirt. I had just barely enough fabric, the waistband is pieced and the buttons are too close together, but I made it work and now I have a super cute new skirt. Yay for recycling!

Top: Banksia top by Megan Nielsen (never blogged, worn here, here and here)
Cardigan: Stefanel
Jeans: second hand
Shoes: Converse

This outfit was way cuter in my head, I was a bit disappointed while editing the photos. I don't know exactly what went wrong with it...
Anyway, my lace sleeveless Banksia is still very much loved and I liked the idea of pairing it with a mint cardigan.

Top: Pimkie
Skirt: Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns (never blogged, worn here)
Coat: borrowed stolen from my mother

We had such horrible weather on Saturday, I woke up to pouring rain and a very low temperature. I also had 5 hours of sleep, so I basically grabbed whatever I found scattered in my room. I'm more than satisfied with the result.

And I'm afraid that's it for me and Me-Made-May, this week I'm staying at my boyfriend and I've packed stuff that you've already seen or that I've very recently blogged about.
Between the weather requiring me to choose comfort over style and the fact that I'd have to take photos in a pretty dark apartment, I decided that I prefer no content at all than bad content. Not everybody thinks like that and that's absolutely fine, but I do.

I think I'll do a recap of MMM at the end of the week so that I have to regroup my thoughts on this experience.
Good luck to everybody on your last days of MMM!

Megan Nielsen's Breakwater collection

You probably did, since they've been out for almost three weeks, but I couldn't not feature them on my blog, because not only Megan is one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure to exchange emails with, she's also extremely talented and she did a superb job once again.

I originally meant to have a little tete-à-tete with her and ask her to present the new patterns for us, but since she has recently been interviewed by Maddie and she did a very comprehensive series of post on her new creations, I'll just give you a quick look of the patterns and link back to her posts (click on "Read more" below).
I really recommend the read if you're interested in these patterns: these posts clearly show the amount of work that went into this release and that Megan really knows what she's doing. Also, I always enjoy reading about the inspiration of an artist.

"Full wrap skirt with graduated hem, and attractive cascades along the hemline. Aimed at a beginner level this skirt is perfect for every day wear, but also dramatic enough for a special occasion."
"A stylish wardrobe basic, this woven tank top and dress features relaxed fit, scoop neckline, and curved hem. Full of potential and ideal for casual and more formal occasions."

"Ideal for every day wear, this modern take on culottes combines the practicality of shorts with the cuteness of a circle skirt. Pattern features a fitted waistband, wonderful drape, invisible side seam zipper and hidden centre front and back pleats to create the illusion of a skirt."

"This versatile design works equally well casually, as it does for more formal occasions. Features attractive cut outs over the shoulders, loose fit from below the bust, button closures at the neckline, and a cute collar."

Now, I have good news for you.
For all my fellow Europeans seamstresses, getting these patterns directly from Megan means waiting quite a long time, and if you're considering to purchase more than one, shipping costs from Australia can add up very quickly.
So, I teamed up with Alice of Backstitch, my go-to online store for patterns (based in the UK) and she generously offered to one of my readers one pattern of your choice from Megan's new collection.

In order to win, you just need to follow Backstitch on Twitter and leave a comment below before Saturday, June 1st at 11:00pm GMT. The giveaway is open internationally.
Please leave an email address so I can get in touch with you (you need to write it in the comment, because I cannot access the address you leave in the Disqus form).
For en extra chance to win, follow the Backstitch blog and leave a separate comment.

Good luck, everyone!

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week 2

BlouseDatura blouse by Deer and Doe (originally blogged here)
Cardigan: Zara (old)
Jeans: second hand
Shoes: Converse

I was a bit under the weather the first half of the week, so taking pictures of myself was the last thing I wanted.
I still wasn't 100% on Thursday, so my Datura blouse was the perfect compromise of style and comfort.
I really need to make the bust darts shorter if I make this blouse again, because they look like nipples right now. I wasn't very noticeable on a print, but it bothers me a bit in this chambray version. 

Shirt: Pimkie
Skirt: Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns (first seen here)
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Pimkie

I can't believe this skirt already has almost three years. It's still one of my most worn makes, and I get to wear it all year round. It also appeared in last year's me-made-may.
Everyone raves about this pattern, and it's totally deserved.

T-Shirt: Pimkie
Skirt: Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen (originally blogged here)
Flats: Les Lolitas

This isn't exactly the most exciting outfit ever, but it was one of those days when I spend too much time getting ready on hair and makeup and then I end up having less than 5 minutes to get dressed. I didn't even have the time to put on a necklace.
Anyways, I told you multiple times how much I love the Kelly skirt, so I won't spend any more time on that. Although I'll say that I definitely prefer this skirt in a stiffer material (such as my black version), rather than this denim, that has a bit more drape to it.

Dress: Lily dress by Colette Patterns (originally blogged here)
Cardigan: local market
Shoes: Pimkie

Oh, this dress. I love it so much... in theory. The colors are a bit too bold for my everyday life, and the material wrinkles so terribly (you can see it in the photos) that it gets worn very rarely. I also think the styling of these photos is not the most inspired choice: this dress begs for sandals and a more relaxed hairstyle.
However, I was surprised at how comfortable it actually is: I was afraid that this kind of skirt was going to be a bit too tight for everyday, but it's actually not at all. The kickpleat really makes your life easier. I really hope to make another version of Lily in a better material sooner than later.

So, I didn't make up for last week's fail, but I still kept up with my pledge of 4 me-made outfits. I can't believe we're almost at half!

Me Made May 2013 - Week 1

Woohoo! It started!

Cardigan: Zara (Old)
Jeans: no brand
Shoes: Converse

I never blogged about this Airelle I made last Autumn, but I've been wearing it quite a bit.
The idea is the same as this other blouse: I refashioned a man button-up using the Airelle pattern, this one is just sleeveless.
By the way, the blue refashioned Airelle didn't survive the winter (ie I threw it away), because the material was too stiff and it was just uncomfortable to wear. This yellow one is a lot softer, so it works much better. Lightweight fabrics work much better with this pattern.

T-shirt: Banksia top by Megan Nielsen (originally blogged here)
Jeans: no brand
Bag: Fiorucci for OVS
Shoes: Pimkie

I really need to make more knit Banksia tops. This one was an experiment and although the fabric is not the best quality and print-wise, I really like it. Extremely comfortable for running around all day, with the added cuteness of a Peter Pan collar.

Shirt: Fiorucci for OVS
Skirt: Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen (orginally blogged here)
Bag: vintage
Shoes: no brand

I love this outfit, even more so after my brother made the snide comment that I looked like Minnie Mouse. Like that could EVER be an offence to me (or to other awesome people)!
Anyway, this skirt seriously goes with everything, and looks great with everything. Thank you forever, Megan, for this pattern.

Now, there's no me-made look for today (Sunday). I came back from work late and completely exhausted, and it was raining. I just changed in my pj's and gave up, so to compensate today's fail (my pledge is four times a week) I'll try to go for five me-made days next week!

How did your first me-made week go?