Beyond Leggings: Double Brushed Poly Inspiration
It seems like just yesterday a certain-legging-company burst onto the scene, tempting us to abandon real pants, and introducing us to the super soft world of double brushed poly.
And while I’m a HUGE fan of cozy fabrics (like this one!!) – I do not subscribe to the “leggings are pants” philosophy. So my challenge for me became “How can I wear head-to-toe-knit without looking like I’m wearing pajamas?”
Here’s what I came up with:
Pretty sweet, right??
“Sure, Becca, but you’re not going to lure me from legging-land to wear a skirt… I’d be a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen!”
Well hey, you and me both. That’s why I didn’t sew a skirt – I made the Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes.
Culottes, for those of you who don’t know, is French for “skort”. (No, no it’s not.)
Which means I can do all my usual mom-ing things (and some unusual ones, too) while staying completely modest.
So let’s talk about these culottes. The Tania culottes come in three hem lengths (Mini, Knee, Midi), and it’s actually designed for woven fabrics… which Double Brushed Poly is NOT. But I made the knit switch for a number of reasons:
First: My initial culottes were sewn in chambray. While darling, they wrinkled easily with wear and were thus difficult to keep looking polished.
Second: I needed drapey fabrics for this style garment. But the drapiest woven fabrics I had were also lightweight.. and left me feeling vulnerable to the slightest breeze.
Double Brushed Poly is very drapey, heavy enough to hang securely over my derriere –French for “where my love of fried food is most evident.” (Also untrue.) But the BEST part? It’s wrinkle resistant. Making it Culotte sewing GOLD. (Or in my case, mustard…)
“But it must have been super complicated to adapt a woven pattern for knit! ..right??”
NOPE. No zipper necessary, no interfacing or other specialty notions either. Cut the same size, stay-stitch the opening, and attach a yoga waistband. (Aka, a knit tube a few inches smaller than your waist measurement. I suggest using the measurements from a pattern with a yoga waistband, like much of the Jocole pattern line.) Pluck your stay-stitch thread, and wear your super fast culottes all day every day! Easy peasy, right??
I did make one alteration for my booty-full self. I blended from one hem length in the front, to a longer hem length in the back to add extra coverage where I know I need it. Considering all it took was a french curve and a highlighter – I’m confident beginners can tackle that alteration, too.
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DBP culottes are underway! And the hard part is already done ✅ The Tania culottes are a smudge short for my preference, so I'm dropping my Hem to the next size (M) and adding coverage for my "sassy booty" by dropping the Hem to the (L) on the back. Also since I'm using knit, I can skip the zipper and use the waistband as a casing for cut-to-length elastic. #premuslin #imakemyownclothes #memade #sewcialist
Only thing I wish I’d done different on these is adding some pockets. The Tania culottes don’t come with any. But Megan Nielsen, the same designer, has a free circle skirt pattern that includes adorable patch pockets I’ve added to culottes-of-projects-past. They’re a great (and functional) extra design detail:
So there you have it! A new option for your Double Brushed Poly collection – perfect for the upcoming heat. Luck for us all, Cali Fabrics has a huge DBP selection – something to fit every style. Go ahead and stock up! You’re going to want to live in this buttery soft faux-skirt all Spring & Summer.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have my SECOND DBP inspiration project to sew! I’m equally excited about that one. You can keep an eye on my sewing activity on instagram, or watch the Cali & Co blog to see more. Here are some more culotte photos to hold you over until then: