Confession time – I have never owned a pair of culottes. Even after everyone was wearing them last summer I never entertained sewing a pair, or even trying a pair on in the shops. I also didn’t actually set out to sew a pair of culottes this time around either, but it just kinda happened.
The GBSB patterns leave a lot to be desired: Overly brief instructions; missing notches; pattern pieces that just don’t work – I could go on. Despite this I keep coming back time and time again to the palazzo pants pattern from book 4, From Stitch to Style. I’ve made 2 pairs of trousers (my original blue pair, and a soon to be blogged summer pair), I’ve adapted the pattern to make shorts, and now I’ve made a pair of culottes.
I’ve used more of the cheap abakhan fabric I bought last summer this time in grey (both my blue palazzo pants and the wine coloured shorts are in the same fabric but different colours – why change something that works). I wanted a pair of just above the knee shorts which I could wear into the office, with the warm spell we had last month I was expecting that I’d be ditching the tights and ready for shorts from now until September, but it hasn’t worked out like that in the UK. I made the pattern in a size 14 again, but used 2cm seam allowances as my original pair are a little big (win – because this time last year I blogged that they were the perfect fit!), I estimated how long I wanted these to be and then added a bit extra so I could play with the length, as I didn’t want these to end up too short for the office.
I then cut my own waistband, as the supplied pattern piece is way too short and must be a printing error. They are also designed with a fairly skinny waistband and I like a deep waistband to turn these into high-waisters. I cut a rectangle the same length as the circumference of the trouser part, and 7inches wide, I then ironed it in half and attached it to the culottes. I then added an invisible zip to the side seam, and made sure that with the additional waistband height I would still be able to get these on and off.
When I tried these on to get an idea of where I wanted to hem the trouser legs, I realised they were way, way longer than I had imagined, but that I actually really liked them, and they were work wear appropriate. So I decided that my work shorts would become work culottes, and I hemmed them with just a small hem to keep the length.
I love it when you make something by accident that turns out to be greater than you ever expected. I now have a new love for culottes, and am so glad that by happy coincidence I found out actually they quite suit me. I’m really happy with how these have turned out, all I need now is for it to warm up and I’ll be wearing these into the office.
P.s. These pictures were taken at the beautiful Portmeirion, check out the brightly coloured buildings in the background.