A Quick Renaissance Festival outfit refresh - Culottes

Over the years I’ve accumulated a handful of pieces to wear to the Renaissance Festival. I’ve got my jingly gypsy skirt/wrap, a red peasant top, a mask, a wand full of glitter (thanks to my hubby surprising me one time), a multi-purpose piece that can be worn as a hair accessory or a choker…I’m probably missing a couple, but you get the idea.

A few years ago when I first started sewing, I bought some purple crushed velvet and made a very simple circle skirt. Since I made it, my sewing skill level has improved, and I’ve lost weight. So I decided to redo this skirt entirely - it literally was just one big piece of fabric, turned into a donut shape, so I just ripped out all the seams, took out the elastic waist, and decided to use the Tania Culotte Pattern from Megan Nielsen to breathe life into this giant piece of fabric.

What are culottes? Well, I guess they’re a cross between shorts and a skirt, but the ones I’ve had in the past weren’t nearly as cute or skirt like. Literally no one knew this wasn’t a skirt until I told them, and I didn’t have to worry about major Marilyn Monroe moments. If it’s windy, it could fly up, potentially exposing the lower part of your bum (what do you call that crease below your butt cheek?), but because there’s a crotch, you won’t be completely exposed.

Yeah, people probably didn’t wear these exact things in the Renaissance period, but it is always flippin’ HOT at the festival, and the crushed velvet makes them feel Renaissance-y to me.

I bought the PDF from Megan Nielsen’s website, printed it out and taped it all together. It’s fairly straightforward and the box pleat that hides the fact that they’re shorts is super easy to follow.

Because the fabric was slightly stretchy and I decided to use a black knit jersey for the waistband, I saved myself a little time and didn’t have to insert a zipper. I didn’t use the pattern pieces for the waistband since my fabric was so stretchy. I just made sure that it was big enough to just stretch over my butt.

And I’m so, so happy with how they turned out. I was never worried I was exposed, I could sit down cross-legged on the grass and not worry about people seeing my underwear (though I did wear a matching purple just in case 😉). And I will definitely be making more Tania Culottes (I already made some Minnie Mouse ones for Disney!). They are so cute, and the pattern is super user-friendly.