Scratch the skinny jeans and sweatpants, I’ve discovered a garment that beats them both in style and comfort. Culottes (also known as split skirt and not to be confused with British undergarments) are long trousers created from enough fabric to make a full skirt, thus endowing them with the look of a skirt, but maintaining the freedom of trousers. After purchasing my first pair from J. Peterman earlier this year and falling head over heels for the cut and feel, I set about finding a vintage sewing pattern so I could make my own.
Enter: Simplicity 3637
After acquiring a textured pink linen from the Red Tag rack in Joann’s, I whipped up a pair of these in 4 days – just in time for more dancing.I figured the pattern illustration was exaggerating the hip-line fullness of the drape. I don’t think you could achieve that huge poofie look without a culotte crinoline (which I’m not even certain exists!). The only adjustments I made to the pattern were sewing down the waist gathers about 3 1/2 inches from the waistband and lengthening the waistband a bit. For some reason, when I cut the waistband piece, it was 2 inches too short for the culottes. I just cut a small length of fabric, sewed it to one end and cut it where it needed to be. I sewed the gathers down because I wanted the culottes to have a flatter appearance through the waist and hips, like my J. Peterman pair. It’s possible that leaving out this top-stitching would garner a fuller look, if this is what you’re after. Believe me though, these are plenty full – it’s just like wearing a skirt.
The pretty button is only there to cover up my sloppy quick handsewing from the clasp. This pattern has a neat way of sewing the zipper in this lapped fashion. It’s super easy to understand and make work. I must admit, creating and wearing these made me insanely happy. My mom even teases me about my culotte obsession now, I’ve gone on about it so much. So, you won’t be surprised to learn that I bought this:Oh, yes.