And….Culottes!

Let’s get one thing straight: no-one looks streamlined in culottes! These crazy bags have created a mini-fashion moment just about every decade since the 1920s. I can definitely remember the 1980s version, and was dubious about them then! But suddenly they feel cool again, and have been popping up on the blogosphere over the last year or so. When I was working up to this pattern I came across this historical pattern summary on the McCalls blog, commenting on how culottes began as a feminist statement about practicality. It’s quite fascinating to see how little the style has changed.


My first experiences of dressmaking were with Prima magazine sewing patterns. In the early 1990s the patterns came with the magazine, rather than now when you have to order them, or buy them on eBay, as I did this one. I remember looking forward to each issue to see what I could make. The instructions were clear and easy to understand, although now I’m a bit more experienced it would be helpful to have finished measurements so I could have better judged which size to make.


I have been sewing a lot of repeat patterns lately, as I haven’t had a lot of head-space for innovation. I also needed a whole new work wardrobe for this climate. So I’ve been also been limiting myself to my pattern and fabric stash. It’s been a good excersie in appreciating what has worked in the past rather than just forging ahead with the new. To be honest, I’m dying to get on with a BHL Anna, but I haven’t been able to lay my hands on a new printer cartridge, so inspiration and innovation had been on hold.  In news just in, printer ink has arrived from UK!!


As I’ve been on sewing autopilot with my numerous Laurels, Monetas and Bettines (yet to be blogged), it was extremely satisfying to start a new pattern with news skills to master. This was my first ever fly-zipped trousers. The instructions were really easy to follow. I took it slowly and went old-school and used tailors chalk and tailor tacks to mark the fly and pleats. That said, I did have to unpick the zip once and re-do as I’d got my folds the wrong way round and the zip concealing flap wouldn’t have concealed the zip! I blame it on being left-handed and having an oppositely-wired brain.

The fabric is black linen (with probably a smidge of poly) from China World Mall in Bangkok. It was cheap as chips, and was lovely to work with so I will be restocking at the earliest opportunity. I’m very pleased with how they turned out. I’m feeling slightly on the  She Wears The Pants spectrum! It was only a matter of time before the East Asian aesthetic kicked-in.
I’m wearing my culottes with last summer’s Sewaholic Belcarra blouse in Liberty Tana Lawn Mitzi blogged here.

So. Culottes. Could you? Should you?  How do you wear yours?!

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33 thoughts on “And….Culottes!

  1. I love these on you! They look really classic and stylish. These are the sort of things I wish I could wear but can’t as my bottom is much bigger than yours! Looks like they’ll be really practical for the warm weather too, you should definitely make some more!

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  2. Yup you’re right, no stream lining going on here, but then if there was they’d be trousers! They really are a silhouette all on their own are culottes. I think you’re pulling them off really well and I can’t imagine being warm enough to need to wear airy clothes (Autumn’s definitely here!) but I bet they’re just the job over your way 🙂

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  3. They look great on you! After many years of thinking culottes were totally hideous and unwearable (remembering earlier times they were popular as well) I am feeling tempted – I think the only way it would work for me is with very drapey fabric.

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  4. Very stylish! And loving the top with them too. I think I had my once only culottes moment back in ‘jump into June’, and that was in a much shorter version. Not convinced it’s a good look for shorties like me 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Top 5 of 2015: The Hits | Sew South London

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