Casual Trousers to Culottes

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I love a midi length skirt, but flowing fabric with added the added practicality of protection from the wind? I'm talking about the culotte craze, which gets a definite yes from me. And look at all the beautiful versions that keep popping up on Pinterest...

Culotte inspiration gathered from Pinterest

One very big encouragement to make a pair was seeing the Mimosa Culottes released as a part of the new Named Clothing collection. Aren't they GREAT?!

Mimosa Culottes - Named Clothing
I'm not quite ready to brave the fly front fastening yet - I'll get there eventually! - so I decided to test the water with a hack of a tried and tested trouser pattern. I've already made a couple of pairs of the Casual Trouser from Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with fabric. They're so comfortable and easy to wear with everything. I even made a detachable bib and braces for one pair to turn them into overalls (I wrote a tutorial here). The fit on the waist/hips/bum is perfect, so it was just a case of altering the shape of the legs.
Culotte reference: McCalls M7131
I looked up a few culotte patterns like the one above as points of reference on altering the leg shape. I found that they generally have a straight inside leg, and it's the outside leg that extends out from the hip - in an almost A-line fashion - to give that voluminous shape.

A rough look at how I hacked the casual trousers
Apologies for the pretty crude drawing (my hacked pattern looked so messy that I didn't take a picture of it) but the dotted line gives a rough idea of how I adjusted the legs. Of course I made matching alterations to both the front and back trouser legs, and took a fair bit off the length too. Et voila, culottes!

Checking out my new culottes
I made them up in a medium weight black crepe, and they feel super luxurious. I love how they move when I walk. Again, like the original casual trousers, they're really comfy thanks to the elasticated waist, but the fabric gives them a bit of a smarter feel. I'd like to get a bit more adventurous with fabric choice and make a second pair.

If you'd like to try out some culottes but are unsure if they'll suit you then I'd definitely recommend altering a TNT trouser pattern. It was really simple and guarantees you the good fit on the waist and hips. I feel comfortable shopping around for a more challenging culotte pattern (I'm talking fly fastening!) now I know I definitely like the style.

Culottes in Amsterdam!
And as a final note, my culottes got some good wear on a weekend in Amsterdam. There was a lot of trawling the fabric shops... more on which to follow soon!

What do you think of the culotte trend? Has anyone else jumped on board and made a pair?

Stay in touch!

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