I wore culottes in the 80’s. I also wore bright yellow full length pencil skirts and goth make up for a short time (not together, I hasten to add), but it doesn’t mean I’m going to do it all again now I’m approaching my mid 40’s.
Or does it!?
Whilst browsing the blogasphere, which I’m currently spending more time doing than actually sewing, I stumbled across Maris’s post (over at Sew Maris) declaring she was going to host a sewalong to make Itch to Stitch’s Emily Culottes.
I can’t recall at what point I decided to join in, but that’s not important. What is important is that I did and I made them and now I’m wearing them!! TWO days in a row! But I’m still not sure.
A few of you might have heard of Itch To Stitch Patterns. There’s quite a few Lindy Petal Skirts floating about on the net – it’s their free pattern and is really lovely and easy and on my to-do list.
The Culottes. That’s why your here isn’t it? The instructions are very thorough, great diagrams and lots of support from Kennis. I was surprised a sewalong was needed. But then Maris comes along and breaks it down into bit size chunks and adds her own twist on the instructions.
I was late starting so read all Maris’s posts and all Kennis’s instructions and used a bit of both.
I used a cheap stretch denim from Fabworks in Dewsbury. It bled like made and had faded lines on it when i pre washed it. I thought it would be ok for a muslin. I had some raspberry red stretch denim from Minerva which I was saving for the real thing!
I didn’t have enough denim so used so scraps of liberty for the yoke. I added interfacing to both inside and outside yoke pieces to make it more substantial so used Maris instructions for the outer and Kennis for the inner!
When I came round to trying them on I was pleasantly surprised with the fit and also that the marks on the denim weren’t that noticeable.
Once I realised it fit and looked okay-ish I rummaged for a suitable zip and found this beauty, but then had to search for a tutorial on how to insert an exposed zipper/zip!
I found this amazing tutorial on Pattern Runway – click HERE!
I struggled a bit with the last bit – it was pinning and sewing the left side above. So I pinned the outside, then pinned the inside, then removed the outside pins and sewed!!
The last bit of text above is for my future benefit really and probably won’t mean anything to you even if you do one yourself! You might not struggle like I did!
Voila!! Hopefully you’ll be so dazzled by the shiny brass teeth you won’t notice the seam line not matching up!
To hem the bottom – which are huge and now I know what it must have felt like to hem bell bottomed trousers in the 70’s!
There is a 2cm seam allowance. I stitched a row of stitches in matching thread 2 cm from the bottom edge.
I then used this as a guide and pressed to the stitching line was just on the inside, then stitched in place from the right side – you don’t get them awkward bits of excess fabric if you do it that way – don’t use a walking foot for this! (I’d already finished all my raw edges with the overlocker before I sewed them up).
I bet you’re wondering when you’re going to see the finished article!? Or have you already scrolled down for a peak before reading this. Or maybe you’re not reading this (so won’t see this) and are just looking at the pictures!
Without further ado, me in culottes – now! Not in the 1980s!
Not the best pics I’m sure, but this show the Liberty Yoke. You can see the lines too where the denim bled and went funny in the wash. Maybe I should have done a slower spin and taken it out of the washing machine sooner (only left it 5 minutes), any suggestions for this not happening again would be welcome.
And here’s what you can do in culottes that you can’t do in a short skirt:
Cross your legs – unless you’re called Sharon Stone.
Sit with you legs open – not very lady like, but often we might want to if we are sat on the floor at a picnic ) imagine I’m at a picnic and not sat in my conservatory!
So what do you think? I’ve only really shown you the more flattering photos. From the side they make my look huge, or at least to me they do. But I suppose one day I’ll loose my baby weight and I won’t have to worry about it (should it have gone by now? H is 13?).
Have I tempted you!?
Or I have put you off culottes forever!?
Should I continue to wear them in public.
Should I make a raspberry denim pair!?
A lot of questions!
Don’t feel obliged to answer them all, one will do!