I was pining after a pair of red culottes all last summer. I even bought red fabric and a Burdastyle pattern in preparation for them. For one of the few occassions in my life I decided to make a toile first to check out the fit.
This is what they looked like according to Burda:
This is what they looked like according to me:
So at this point I went off in the huff for about 12 months.
And yet, and yet….I still had a hankering for culottes. I kept seeing them on these lovely funky ladies and they looked so comfy and yet cool.
Late night browsing on the internet can be dangerous – especially on payday. So I accidentally bought this Butterick culottes pattern 6178. Annoyingly it looks like its the pattern that comes with next month’s Love Sewing magazine but it means I’m helping you all by tackling the pattern in advance.
I learnt my lesson last year and made up a toile in my leftover red fabric. I’d rather hoped it would be a wearable toile and happily skipped off to work for the day to test it out. Of course no one told me that the head honcho of a really important new partner company was stopping by that day to see me. Cue me gaily wandering around in my bright red clown pants trying to pretend I’m a serious and professional consultant. Ummmm. Still at least I wasn’t in jogging bottoms….
So to the pattern – turns out its really quite a small pattern. As a UK size 14 (ish) I was never going to fit them. I ended upsizing the pattern quite a bit – 1.5″ on each side. I also shifted round the crotch rise since I had quite a short rise (due to my flat bum).
Weirdly this pattern has a centre front zip that is fully exposed. I was lazy and didn’t have a red zip so stuck a peach coloured one in – BIG mistake. HUGE. Turns out people can’t help but stare at your crotch.
Second of the weird things are the pockets. They are huge in-seam pockets that hang around your hips. This creates a weird pooling of fabric across the crotch. Again – more people looking at my crotch. Hmmmm. Not good.
So I’ve binned the red toile version and went back to the drawing board a bit.
This time I’ve reshaped the centre front and put a zip fly in – this hides the zip and makes them a bit more like a pair of jeans. I’m seriously proud of myself for this pattern hack – it shows I’m gaining confidence.
Then I changed the pockets from in-seam huge monstrosities to hip rounded pockets. These were a bit of a play and aren’t quite perfect. I should have made the pocket inner larger and the lining smaller as currently the elephant fabric on the inside pokes out a little. But again – stupidly proud of myself for reverse hacking a pattern and making it more wearable.
And the result? I bloody love them.
I mean seriously love them.
I appreciate culottes may be divisive but I’m thinking that once you find a style and pattern you like you can be persuaded. It just requires perseverance which is really not my forte!
Having made these ones up I’m coming back round to my idea of red culottes – perhaps red denim??