It’s hot and I need fashion relief.
I bought this long rayon skirt at the thrift store. I love the print, and it was even pretty worn as is (or as was).
The skirt had 3 panels on each side, and a wide, shirred elastic waist.
I wanted to make a fun, weekend look, but instead of hemming the skirt to knee length I decided to try something different.
Enter McCalls 7131. Yes, I have finally become a culottes convert. A cool and loose item of clothing halfway between shorts and a skirt (with pockets) suddenly seemed just what I needed this summer.
By putting the pattern at the bottom of the skirt, and making the short version, I had just enough fabric to cut out my pieces. I used the top third of the skirt to make the pockets.
This pattern isn’t based on a circle skirt like some culottes patterns. Instead it has box pleats in the front, and an elastic waist only in the back. The center inverted box pleat is stitched down partway, and forms the “camouflage” pleat hiding the center front seam so that the culottes look more like a skirt.
I bypassed the waistband instructions as I had unpicked the original elastic waist to sew back onto my culottes. I wanted the back to look like a skirt, too, so I also added pleats to the back, including the center “camouflage” pleat. I think it’s odd that the pattern only had that center box pleat in the front. I didn’t make a mock-up of this pattern or compare the crotch curve to a previous pattern, but luckily it worked out well. I assumed that culottes would have a lowered crotch to look more like a skirt, and would be easy to fit.
I made a size 14, and the waist would have been way too big if the front wasn’t also elasticized. I had to stretch the original waistband mightily to make it fit!
These are being worn! Not just on weekends, but to the office, too.
These culottes catch every breeze, and I don’t have to worry about wearing a slip or chafing.
Every make I’ve seen of culottes on sewing blogs has a reveal shot showing that it’s not a skirt.
Should I do it?
I couldn’t resist.