Emily Culottes, Take 1

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!



Itch to Stitch

Pattern Review

WorkRoom Social Single Welt Pocket tutorial

Cation Design’s Trouser Fitting Posts: Part 1  Part 2



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