After conquering a lined jacket (well nearly..) I was ready to take on pants. How hard could it be?
Basic grey cotton drill from Lincraft. Pocket bags with left over poplin from a pleated top clone (not blogged).
Emily Culottes from Itch to Stitch. I had a powerful desire to make the box pleat version, despite Mum’s doubtful tone.
Naturally, I didn’t use the pattern as is:
- There were some inconsistencies with the stated sizes and the actual pattern measured size.
According to the pattern notes, I would just fit into the largest size, and possibly have to create more room around the hips with an “athletic” butt adjustment. However when measuring the pattern pieces, I actually took in the waist by a good 2 inches, and there was ample room around the hips.
- The crotch curve was a U shape – the front was the same height and depth as the back. I was alert to this, having read Cation’s series on trouser fitting. I have a sway back and an “athletic” butt – so I need much more length in the back curve than the front.
After comparing the crotch curve to a RTW pair of trousers that fit comfortably, I took more than 6cm (about 2.5″) off the width of the front crotch curve, and about 1″ off the height at the front.
- I added about 1″ in height to the centre back.
- I added about 1″ to the “short” length of the culottes so they would hit me just below the knee.
Sorry – can’t be bothered with in progress photos!
- Flat felled seams – I couldn’t get this working with the 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance as per the pattern, so increased the seam width to 1.5cm (5/8″). Still no issues with the overall width of the culottes, even though this took another 2cm (6/8″) off the overall circumference.
- Invisible zip – turned out to be a disaster and I converted to a lapped zip (yes, that’s how bad it was at being invisible)
- Single Welt pockets – the method described in the pattern instructions was incomprehensible. This was nothing like the method shown on the Great British Sewing Bee!
I ended up ripping up the pieces and following the WorkRoom Social tutorial.
- Curved waistband – hooray no more bagging at the centre back! I used fusible interfacing for both front and back waistband pieces.
Mixed results. Here’s a photo fresh off the sewing machine with the waistband sitting nicely on my waistline and the box pleat nice and crisp.
Unfortunately, the cotton drill relaxes after 30mins of wear – even the carefully fused-on-both-sides waistband. So instead of sitting on my waist, the culottes sag downwards, the inseam hangs a good 3″ below my actual crotch, and the box pleat looks baggy.
I was always using this as my first attempt to get my personal crotch curve fitting requirements sorted, so it has still been a useful exercise.
The culottes are not quite a wadder, but are definitely only used around the house.
Planned adaptations for next time:
- keep tinkering with the crotch curve
- Replace the side zip with a front fly
- Get rid of the box pleats!