Culottes- perfect trousers for hot summer days!

There are few fashion trends that I am drooling over since last year and was hoping that they still will be in fashion this year. Culottes are one of them and I am so happy to finally join the culottes loving family.

I first intended to buy a Winslow culottes pattern by Helen’s Closet after seeing so many beautiful versions on Instagram and Pintrest but decided to stay true to this year’s resolutions of using what I’ve got and expanding my skills and knowledge, but still wanted that wide leg pants with lots of movement. What drew my attention to Winslow culottes was it’s voluminousity , and I was inspired to create something similar, but not to that extend, because I still was not sure if this style will suit my body.

Book by Anastasia Vouyoka “Pattern Making for Perfect Fit and Style” came very handy for this project. I drafted a basic culottes style trouser block and added an inverted box pleats to the front by cutting the pattern piece in the middle parallel to the grain line and expanding it by 8cm. I left the back pattern piece plain with just a little shaping dart. It might be silly considering the style of culotte pants but I was conscious of adding unnecessary bulk to my hips so I decided not to insert pockets (crying now) ! I do regret that, but I’m too afraid I will ruin the fabric if I attempt to fix this now.

I used a straight waist band , but inserted an elastic at the back so it hugs my body better , hence I interfaced only front part of the waist band to add some stability for buttonholes and zip opening. I had to hand stitch the waist band because I wanted a clean finish. Also used a self covered buttons here, because I thought they would look cute….and they do 🙂

I had sewn a small waist ties and inserted them at the side seams. They aren’t that noticeable on this busy fabric but I like it anyway.

I am still trying to figure it out the best lenght on me. This culottes stops in the middle a calf and I think I like it. Hovewer I want to make a full lenght version and just below the knee version just to see which one is best.

It was my last me made item of clothing I took with me to Prague. I wore it with RTW top and it was great and breezy in the heat.

I went to Fabricland in Kingston to search for a suitable fabric for this project, because I had nothing in my stash that would be good for culottes. I purchased 3 meters of this colourful Crepe De Chine material for £3.99 a meter, which is a bargain. It is a light weight fabric, but it is not sheer. It has a lot of movement and drape so it is perfect for making dresses and culottes. It is made out of 100 percent polyester which is the only negative aspect. I used only 2 meters for this make, so have enough to squeeze something small out of the remnant. I love when this happens!

It took me about 2 days to draft the pattern pieces and sew the mock version from some old bed sheets, which is always time well spend if you consider that it might be ill fitting otherwise. Cutting fabric was quick as there are only 4 pattern pieces, back, front, waist band and ties.

I spent a week sewing this garment from start to finish doing a bit each evening and finishing it of at the weekend. In total I managed to make it in a space of 7 hours, which is not that long if you take into consideration making self covered buttons and had stitching waist band.

Final thoughts

I am really pleased with myself for taking that leap and drafting this pattern from the start. Overall the fit is very good, and the only thing I will twick is the back crotch curve. It needs to be longer by 1-2 cm. Other then that I wished there were pockets…next pair will definitely have them and I am planning to make the tie belt more of a statement. I will double or triple the width and gather it at the side seam so it still can be inserted into the waistband. As mentioned above I might play with the lenght a bit to see which one is more flattering on me.

I spend a whole day walking around the Prague in my culottes and they were very comfortable. The fabric does not crease and did not bubble yet after two washes, so it was a money spend well.

~Hope you like it and it inspired you to be braver with choosing outfits that you may otherwise stay away from~

Monika xxx

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