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

Forbidden fruit pot holders – pattern drafting

Hello! As promised today I will show you how to draft a simple pattern for a apple shaped pot holders, so you can make it as part of a matching set with oven gloves from previous post.

Apples are one of my favorite fruits, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate its shape into a decorative , but handy pot holders. However feel free to create a different shape if you prefer.

Pattern drafting

Fold a piece of paper in half and draw a shape that roughly resemble an apple ( or heart, pear, circle etc.) and cut it out. It needs to be bigger then your hand, because you will insert your hand when in use, plus you will need to add some bias binding at the edges, which will in turn decrease the opening size a little.

Fold the pattern in half and make a copy of its shape on a separate piece of paper.

Next, draw a slated line about 1cm from the top edge and 2-3cm at the bottom edge. This will be the pot holder opening to insert your hand, so you can make it bigger if you want to, but i would not recommend it any smaller, as it will be more difficult to put your hand inside.

Mark your pattern pieces, so you know exactly how many times it has to be cut out and from which fabric:

-potholder: cut twice from main fabric and once from heat resistant fabric

– potholder pocket: cut 4 times main fabric ( or 2 times main and 2 times lining fabric if using scraps), if your fabric is lightweight I would recommend interfacing your pocket pieces, so it holds it shape and gives more structure.

Draw a rectangle for a loop/ tap that will be an apples tail. You can angle it on side like I have done if you wish. It will be sewn on hold, so you only need to cut it once.

Last pattern piece will be our apples leaf, so fold the paper in half and draw a curved line. It’s shape and size really depends on you, so have fun with it. You can even make two or more different size leafs if you like it. Cut it twice for each leaf you want to make and use some interfacing again, if your fabric is soft or it drape.

As you can see the pattern pieces for an apple shaped potholder are completed. Now you can look through you leftover fabric to find a color combination that suits your aesthetics or desires. In the next post I will show you how to sew this lovely potholder.

~Have fun drafting you own patterns!~

Monika xxx