What is the thing about culottes?
They make no sense, but yet everyone seems to be super keen to wear them. Now that list includes me – the least fashionable gal in the world.
I would have never in a bazillion years imagined I’d be sharing a post like this with you today, but culottes are back and I just couldn’t resist jumping on the fan girl train. I stuck with my foolproof trick of trying new trends (spoiler find the easiest pattern around – you can read more here) and used some pretty lush linen.
And the result?
Well, read on… 😉
These are the Megan Nielsen flint culottes and shorts which I’m sure you’ve seen loads before. They seem to have really hit a mark in the sewing world.
The pattern is a wide legged culottes or shorts with generously portioned hips – great for range of movement (perfect for my active cycle-train-tube-walk commute!). There’s pleats at the front and darts at the back and you can choose from button or tie closure. Or you can do what I did and hide the buttons on the inside of the waistband.
The pattern is actually really ingenious and doesn’t use any zippers. The left pocket is left unsewn so you get in by opening the waistband. Clever right?
This gorgeous striped linen which was a real joy to work with and a perfect choice for emphasising the structural elements of this pattern. And also the linen is a great choice for summer – what with the cool factor and all.
It’s a smidge see-through when lit from the back, but I get that with most linens. I suppose if it really bothered you, you could line the culottes. Or you could just wear nude underwear and save yourself some sewing time 😉
I should say I’ve also seen these made up in more drapey fabric. In fact, Fiona’s black crepe Flints were what convinced me to give this pattern a go in the first place. She looks so amazing in hers!
I really messed up the sizing (word of caution: using old measurements is a guaranteed shortcut to pain and suffering) so I’ve done a lot of retro fitting to get these to fit right. I’d originally started with a size M, but now realise a S is much better for me. Well, you live, you learn right?
The bonus? I learned quite a bit about pattern adjusting – the key being you need to make sure you take off equally from the sides and inseam. And you can take in darts and pleats as well.
Based on this great advice (thanks Instagram!) I did the following:
- took in a total of 2 cm from the side seams
- took in 2 cm from the inseam
- moved each back dart in by an additional 1 cm
- moved the buttons over by 3 cm so the waistband was snugger
Finally. I did a bit of fancy finishing by hand hemming the bottom with pink thread to match the pockets. I really love this touch and am so glad I took the time to add that little detail (even if I’m the only one who knows it’s there).
If I were to do them again, I’d obviously go down a size. I’d also use interfacing on the pockets (a tip Megan gives). The pockets have a habit flopping open which slightly ruins the line. The interfacing just helps the pockets keep their shape a little better.
Floppy pockets aren’t a deal breaker – especially since I used some sweet pink linen crepe for the inside lining. But it just helps keep the line of the culottes.
I’m so glad I dived into the culotte game. They’re effortless, hip and heat friendly (especially in this linen).
The only issue I have is that I’m still learning how to wear these. I get that you should wear them with clunky shoes (hello Swedish hasbeen sandals) but I’m still working out the best tops to wear with these. If anyone out there in website land has any tips – lay ’em on us (I’m sure I can’t be the only one struggling with how to wear these).
Ultimately, I would say if you’re thinking of dipping your toes in the culotte game this pattern is perfect. No zippers means it’s 100% satisfaction without the pain.
Just be sure you measure yourself correctly 😉
I only ever share products and people I think you’ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). The pattern and fabric for this was kindly provided by Harts Fabric (they’re nice like that). All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.