Culottes, not shallots!

Hi everyone,

The weather has been super nice recently in the UK, to the point that I actually got quite burnt over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. The hot weather has meant I have evaluated what was in my wardrobe, and was surprised to see that there wasn’t many casual looks for the hot weekends (in fairness a lot of my clothes are in storage, but I can’t remember there being anything overly summery or casual).

So I raided by fabric stash that was in my Mum’s sewing room and found a gorgeous red crepe. I actually can’t remember where I purchased it from (it is a clear indicator that you have a fabric problem if you can’t remember when and where you got the fabric from!!), but Minerva Crafts do have a great selection of triple crepe.

Now I really love culottes, as they are the fun of a skirt but means the top of my legs don’t touch (I absolutely hate when the top of my legs touch… Can’t believe I wrote that online.. Sorry guys).

Gary hates my love for culottes! He mostly hates hemming them for me! Ha. But he also loves to say “you wearing your shallots today?” or “why do you want to make mini onions?”! I guess he know I will quickly respond with “oiiii they are Cuuuulottes”.

However, I only had 1.5m of my fabric, and the Winslow Culottes from Helen’s Closet indicate that 2.5m – 3m is required (depending on the width of the fabric). I was so desperate for the red culottes that I went ahead anyway… hoping for the best.

The lack of fabric quantity meant that the pattern cutting was like a game of Tetris, but luckily plain crepe meant there was no right or wrong way up for the fabric, so I could get creative with how I laid the pieces out.

I cut out a size 14, but from experience from my last pair, I decided to make the length half way between view B and view C – knowing that this would be the desired midi length for my 5″1 stature.

That being said, I definitely did not have enough fabric for the waistband. So, instead of the designed one piece waistband, I had to cut three… a front, and two back pieces. But alas, that worked in my favour later on with some fitting issues 🙂

For the front waistband I simply laid the pattern piece out NOT on the fold (cutting on the fold is as per the instructions), and remembered to add 5/8″ seam allowance to the end of the pattern piece.

Then for the back pieces I simply folded the pattern piece in half, and added 5/8″ for the extra seam allowance. I then cut two pieces, for either side of the zipper.

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For this project I really took my time, overlocked every piece of fabric before I handed it too much (the crepe fabric really does fray and distort so easily so I had to make sure everything was done right!). But I am so pleased with the outcome, and I would definitely say that this is my best work yet! The time spent over 3 weekends was well worth it.

I even stitched in the ditch, which I rarely bother doing (because I am so impatient and just want to wear my new clothes)…

Now after stitching in the ditch and everything, I tried the culottes on. I was quite disappointed to see that they were actually a little too big on the waist for my liking. Now I do admit, I hadn’t read the instructions well enough to realise there was 2cm of ease included into the pattern at the waistband. I had this same issue last time I made these culottes, but I didn’t remember this until I had already finished and was trying them on…

So in hindsight I would have made the size 12. But with the side seam in the waistband, it was pretty easy to just unpick the seams only at the top, take in the required amount, and then stitch everything closed again. (Tapering the seam down to the top of the pockets) Hurray!! My fabric length error earlier on really did help a me out!


The photos don’t really show the difference that well, but the culottes definitely feel so much better now they are reduced in size!

I was so excited for them that I took pictures around the house before even hemming them! They feel like a fantastic addition to my wardrobe and I can’t wait to wear them on constant rotation this summer.

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I did have to wait till the following weekend to hem them as I needed Gary’s assistance, and because of that it did feel like a super slow week! One of the cons of not living together…

But here they are finished…!!

Decided to pose in the garden after my birthday dinner and thought that my wine deserved to be in the pictures too…


It is amazing how one item of clothing can make you feel a lot more summer ready!

Hope everyone has a great week. I will try and do my next project next weekend, now my sewing mojo has sort of returned!!

Love, Abigail x

4 thoughts on “Culottes, not shallots!

  1. These look so great on you, Abigail! I can tell you like them by your huge smile 🙂 I love this colour and the crepe is a perfect fabric choice, I need to try a pair in crepe ASAP. I’m glad you were able to squeeze it out of the fabric, I have definitely used that waistband trick before, too! Thanks for sewing Winslow (again) and happy summer!


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