Posted by The Tall Mama
Culottes are very on trend at the moment. I love them because there are so many great vintage patterns out there for them; ah the cyclical nature of fashion! I also love them because you don’t have to buy a dedicated culottes pattern, unless you really want to of course! You can lengthen a favourite shorts pattern to make them your desired culottes length. If you are using a pattern for shorts, I recommend adding some width to each leg pattern piece, as culottes are fuller in the leg. Or you can shorten a favourite trouser pattern to culottes length.  There really isn’t a specific length for culottes. They typically hit anywhere between the knee and the ankle.
I used a favourite vintage trouser pattern to make this pair.  They are made from a beautiful linen rayon blend which has great drape and feels amazing on. This pattern is a trouser pattern from the 1980’s, Ralph Lauren for Vogue Patterns. I’ve made this pattern before and love the fit and the pocket closure.
The pattern has a button closure in the pocket, but I decided to try something a little different. I created a tie closure at the pocket, which I had seen of a few new culotte patterns. To make the tie closure I extended the waistband by 20cm (which was just a guess on my part!) and then made another section which was the same width as the waistband and 20 long to stitch to the waistband where the button would have been attached. I also added a snap inside the waistband for a little extra security!
As with all patterns, if you are unsure about fit or if the style of the garment will suit you make a muslin first. When making your test garment, try to use a fabric which has a similar weight and drape to the fabric you intend to make your final product out of. If I had made a muslin of these culottes in a stiff calico fabric they certainly would have looked very different.  The pleats would have stuck out and not hung in soft folds and they wouldn’t have been as swishy! 
I really love how they turned out. They are really comfortable and the fabric I used works for all seasons.
Happy Sewing!

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