I’ve always straddled the line somewhere between tomboy and girly girl, so it’s little surprise that growing up culottes were my favourite thing ever – a skirt that allows me to climb over railings and won’t expose my granny underpants whenever a gust of wind comes my way? YES, PLEASE. Sadly, culottes went strictly out of fashion in my teen years and eventually were eliminated from my wardrobe… UNTIL NOW.
I’ve been watching the culottes trend with great interest since they first started emerging in high street fashion last Spring, and while I was convinced that wide-legged, midi length trousers were going to be a fashion disaster on my short pear frame, I really wanted one. Needless to say, when Itch to Stitch Patterns put out a call for pattern testers for the Emily Culottes, I jumped at the chance. Thankfully, Kennis decided to allow this rookie (me) into her team of experienced pattern testers and the rest is history. You guys, I love these culottes SO MUCH and I hope you’ll give the pattern a try so you can love it as much as I do!!
This was my first time using an Itch to Stitch pattern, and straight off the bat I found a whole lot of things I like about it. For one, the pdf pattern allows you to print in layers – this means that you can print a single size to piece together; or you can print as many sizes as you like to grade between! Another plus are the great instructions included – I had no problems at all following the instructions (and trust me, I followed them for every step, because I wouldn’t have known what to do without them). I especially like the invisible zipper insertion technique which I had never employed before – it got me my first perfectly aligned waistband across a zipper!
I opted to make the simplest version of the Emily Culottes possible ie. no pockets, waist tabs or waist tie, no lining and shortened by only 1.5cm, as it offered a classic, clean, almost tailored look that I was looking for. If I make this up again (and I’m sure I will) I’d probably attempt the welt pockets – seeing all the beautiful welt pockets by the other pattern testers have really whetted my welt pocket appetite!
I made up 2 versions of the culottes – first the white in shot cotton, then the navy in broadcloth. As you can see from the white version (above), the shot cotton ended up wrinkling really easily and you guys, these wrinkles WILL NOT COME OUT. I have tried to press the life out of this thing, but the wrinkles will not budge… so I suppose this make is destined for the refashioning bin.
As for the navy broadcloth version – is it an exaggeration to say that it has made me a complete culottes convert? (Alliteration, yeah!) It does wrinkle when I sit, but it irons out easily and is a lot less wrinkle-prone (and cheaper) than the shot cotton I used in the earlier make.
For the navy version, I cut and sewed a straight size 2. This resulted in the culottes sitting at the natural waist, but due to my long torso and short legs, I wanted it to sit at my high waist instead. To do this, I took out about 3/4″ from the centre back seam and redrew the curve back into the original crotch curve.
A word of caution: the waistband is cut on the bias, which means it can stretch out a LOT if you’re not careful. This happened to my white pair, which caused it to sit on my hips rather than my waist! Kennis has helpfully written up a couple of posts with some helpful tips on handling the waistband here.
I think this is a really versatile pattern which is easily customisable according to your personal style. I tend towards a more classic silhouette and due to my height, prefer a shorter length (knee-length). Despite this, I can easily imagine this pattern being lengthened to make true midi culottes, or shortened with an added pleat to make a pair of mid-thigh skorts. If you’re worried about whether or how these culottes will / can work for you, then remember to swing by here next Monday for a post on the different ways I’ve styled these culottes for my petite pear-shape!
In the meantime, Kennis is having a sale on this pattern for US$9.60 (U.P. US$12) here! She’s also giving away a copy of the pattern for free so if you’re a giveaway lover (I know I am) then be sure to enter the giveaway here:
And now I leave you with this wannabe-Vogue accidental-mohawk shot for your viewing pleasure. Come on now, any garment that lets you get THAT much movement in whilst still looking somewhat classy is a keeper amirite?
27 thoughts on “Culottes Convert // The Itch to Stitch Emily Culottes Pattern”
Your style is great, lovely pics!!!
Thanks so much!
They look so great on you! I have been on the fence about them for me personally but I think they are perfect for you
You could give them a try if you get the chance, I was really surprised how much I liked them on me! Almost like an A-line skirt but a lot more convenient <:
Hmmm maybe I will!
These are adorable!!! So cute on you. Fortunately the wrinkles in the shot cotton are uniform all over so it looks to me like a crinkle fabric, like it’s on purpose.
I think you must be right! I knew next to nothing about shot cotton (still know nothing, actually) when I bought the fabric, so it was a little disappointing. Oh well, time to repurpose the fabric then!
Very cute culottes and lovely Vogue model poses too!
Thank you, I’m glad you like it! I always feel awkward posing in front of a camera, so sometimes I tend to overcompensate by being a little too ambitious with the poses x)
They look great + fab photos!
Thank you! I had a lot of help from my lovely photographer <:
I’ve never been a fan of culottes. I remember them first time around – in the eighties, yikes!
But these are absolutely gorgeous. And in navy are such a classic garment, I’m converted!
I’ve heard a lot of people mention 80s culottes, but I don’t really get it! I’m a 90s kid myself, so maybe I just haven’t seen the worst of the 80s culottes trend haha
I’m glad you like this pair though! You should definitely give them a try (:
I’m SO happy you found my blog so I get to find your blog too! Culottes ARE amazing and I’m so glad I’m not going to be the only person wandering around Singapore in them! Yours are super cute and they look very comfortable for all this humidity – I wish I could wear shorter length ones like this, but they would never look as great as yours do! Thank you so much for the tips in the following post – I tend to just wear mine with one of my Tate tops, but now I have lots more ideas!
Thanks so much for popping by! Girl, you look awesome in those Tate tops, I’m sure you could pull off shorter culottes with them too! 😉
did you sew these with the pleat or without the pleat? I am trying to decide which way to go and love how yours look. thanks!
Sorry for the tardy reply Kelly! These are without the pleat and sewn slightly higher waisted than the pattern intended (I took in the waist). Hope that helps!
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