The Nina Culottes

Hi! Have you jumped to the newest big fashion trend yet? I did! 
As a child I had culottes and I loved them! I was able to run and jump and, well, do all the monkey business that kids do while looking like a girl. :) I still love culottes so I was happy when I saw their return two seasons ago. Most people I know don't seem to be very fond of this style but I love that they look like skirts, making us look really feminine, but yet are super comfortable and practical for moms with busy little kids. I can actually run with these and chase my little monkeys! 

On my daily life I will be wearing these culottes with ballerina shoes, not with high wheels, these were just for the photoshoot of course. :) As much as I love wearing high wheels (I really do) I don't use them as much as I used to before I had kids. Although I manage running in these pretty well and walk on them while carrying a child on my lap I am not getting any younger these days and I don't want to risk damaging an ankle... (Speaking of ankles let's talk about these right now, shall we? Yes, I have puffy ankles. No, there is nothing I can do about them. I am accepting them and showing them to the world as ugly as they are. I hope they don't hurt your eyes. :) Now, we can go on with the post.)

Today I am joining the Nina Skirt & Culottes tour, a new pattern by Compagnie M
All I can say is that this pattern is a must have on your pattern stash!

Fabric: Medium weight pink-ish/purple denim (from my local fabric shop, Feira dos Tecidos) and navy blue piping and buttons.

The instructions are thorough and clear, with lots of photos. I really enjoyed making it! It is not a super quick project but I would say it is an easy one if you choose simple options and follow the instructions by the letter.

This pattern is actually two patterns in one! You can make an A-line skirt or culottes and you have several options for both: fly front zipper or invisible zipper at the side, with or without piping, with or without lining. You also have many options for the pockets (and I mean dozens!) for both front and back: diagonal side pockets, faux flap on a triangle shape or round shape, and for the back you can make a double welt pocket with or without button loop or a faux double welt pocket. Great, isn't it?

This pattern comes in sizes 12Y to XXL, making it suitable for all my 0 and 00 sewing friends (right girls?) and also for teenagers, which is great since it is a bit hard to find patterns suitable for them.

One great thing about Compagnie M.'s patterns is that they come with or without seam allowance! I wish more indie patterns would do this... 
I realize that using patterns without SA is not a common thing in the US (and it is actually quite strange) but there in Europe it is (probably because so many of us use or started to learn sewing by using Burda Style's patterns). It is actually best when you want to make modifications to the pattern or adjustments (to your own curves) to work with a raw block (ie, no SA added).

My version:
I have opted for making culottes, with an invisible zipper at the side, triangle flap pockets at the front, and I used piping, of course. :) 

My hip measurement is in between sizes S and M for this pattern, but my waist was in between sizes M and L and my waistband circumference hit on size L. Does this happen to you? It always happens to me ! All my measurements hit on different sizes all.the.time. I always have to blend between sizes or - when I feel lazy - I just go with the larger size or the most relevant one regarding the pattern. 
First I made a muslin on size M. It was okay but it felt just a bit snug and I prefer feeling free. :) So for my final version I went  for a size L. Which feels definitely better but I think it is maybe a bit too loose... So, next time I will blend sizes M and L.

Regarding construction I have made three things differently, just out of personal preference: 
- I added interfacing to the waistband, as I always do,
- I understitched the waistband facing the its SA to keep it in place (so it wouldn't roll up and show),
- The suggested hem is 3/4'' but I did mine at 1 1/2'' (I tend to prefer bigger hems on bottom pieces). This pattern shows a super cool method of hemming with no pins!

I love that Marte suggests sewing the waistband facing by hand on the inside - it is such a cleaner look then topstitching! - but she also provides instructions for topstitching for those who dread sewing by hand. :) 

(And yes, I need to get some tan.)

I can't wait to make a skirt version! These beautiful versions from Marta, Ana SofiaApril and Maria are perfect in every way!

There are amazing versions of skirts and culottes on this tour so jump to the other participants blogs and be inspired! 

Marte is giving away forteen (!) free patterns so take your chance by entering the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy sewing!


  1. Hi Sara, I adore your culottes! What a great result. I think the 'old pink' fabric matches so well with the black piping details. Thanks a lot for this inspiring version. M

  2. What a beautiful version !

  3. My favorite version of this pattern tour! Love it!

  4. AnonymousJune 07, 2015

    Love it - love these two colors together!
    Although I actually love the culottes, I don't think I'm brave enough to wear them (I did when I was in high school). But they do look sooo great on you ;)

  5. Very nice! Love the pink with the black piping! Looks great on you!

  6. You are gorgeous Sara, so are your new culottes. Of course you had to use piping ;) and how perfect id it??

  7. Wow, these are really great! Love the color combination with that piping!

  8. Love the piping! They fit you so nicely!, very flattering! And would you stop criticizing your body. Puffy ankles... Whatever. They look fine to me! You are beautiful!

  9. AnonymousJune 09, 2015

    You look fantastic Sara! I like the fabric combo also how well made they are.

  10. Ficaram tao giras! Tenho que exprimentar a versao com piping! :)
    Ficam-te mesmo bem! :)

  11. These are beautiful! I love the contrast piping and the little pocket. I used to love wearing heels but my feet just can't handle them anymore so it's flats every day. And I was afraid I would blind people with pictures of my glowing white legs!

  12. Lindos!

    E ficam-te o máximo ;)


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