I am a bit of stranger to the old crotch seam. Trousers are never high up on my list to sew or wear – I enjoy a breeze around my britches and love the ease of throwing on a dress in the morning. Neither do I particularly follow high street trends, but this month’s Simple Sew make sees me break both habits in one quick sweep! My new commute to work takes me past the crisply dressed window of Oliver Bonas. At 08:50 AM I can often be found nose pressed against the glass like an excited child as they dress the window for the day ahead (an easy mistake to make with my stature, enthusiasm and love of rucksacks). For the last couple of weeks, the garment of the moment has been a particularly lustful pair of high-waisted culottes and they have certainly stirred up some crotch seam desire (…if Nigella did sewing). When Gabby got in touch to tell us it was time to chose a Simple Sew pattern for this month’s make my cursor fell instantly on the Classic Culottes. They looked like a satisfying sew but with a couple of cute details to keep it interesting. I love the pleat details at the waist and the side slant pockets are my favourite.
I was one of the lucky sewists able to pick a length of fabric from the beautiful selection at Sew Essential too. After some deliberation, I picked out this John Kaldor linen look fabric in Fuschia. It looks like linen without any of the creasing – a sweet deal if you ask me. These photos were actually taken after a long and muggy day at work, so the proof is in the pudding – barely a crease in sight!
I had every intention of sewing a solid colour for once. The trims on my shelf thought otherwise and tormented me with their beauty … until I gave in. It seems I have no self-control for prints and pretty sparkly things. Absolutely none.
The trim was from The Brighton Sewing Centre, a souvenir from my trip to Brighton a couple of months – I think I nabbed the last of it but they have lots of other beautiful trims. Well worth a look online or a visit in person.
I decided the culottes would be more flattering with fewer pleats at the front. I’m not particularly graced with long pins (legs my sewing pins are great thanks) so I was a little worried about looking frumpy in a pair of culottes.
I did this by tracing off the pattern from the right side (crotch seam) until I hit the first (unwanted pleat), I lifted the tracing paper and lined this point up with the second (desired) pleat and continued to trace. This also had the benefit of removing some volume from the trouser leg – again all excellent things for frumpiness reduction!
I was ready to cut! The fabric was a little prone to fraying so I overlocked all the pieces in contrast yellow thread before sewing. I omitted the pocket facing and instead used a small strip of fusible interfacing to stabilise the pocket seam:
Apparently, the fabric is impossible to photograph consistently!
I opted for an exposed zip (mainly as I didn’t have a matching zip and my local haberdashery only sells regular zips). Sometime laziness and impatience pays off as I really like the way it complements the trim.
I sewed the smallest size as the sizing was pretty close to my measurements and sewed the side seams with a larger seam allowance to account for the difference. However, they have still come out a little too big but I couldn’t face unpicking my beautifully inserted exposed zip! Still, I’m happy as it means they are super comfy. Just a heads up if you choose to sew your own.
The very last thing I did was to finish the hems with this beautiful trim. I spent 2 happy hours hand stitching in the sun over the bank holiday in my knickers! After a complete lack of regard for sun safety, I almost matched my new culottes in colour – wear sunscreen kids!
After a good smothering of Aftersun, I (carefully) pulled on my new culottes and headed for a BBQ!
Thank you to the lovely lot at Simple Sew for the pattern and the wonderful Lucy and the team from Sew Essential for the beautiful fabric.
Lots of love, as always
Vicki blogs at https://sewvee.blogspot.co.uk/