I never thought I would be one to make culottes nevermind wear them. There was something off about them that I just couldn’t put my finger on. I noticed the culotte trend was going strong in Japan when I visited last March and I shrugged, thinking, “Well, the Japanese can pull off anything weird.”
But then I came across Helen’s blog, Helen’s Closet. She was fairly new at sewing and dove into more complex projects in order to up her learning curve, much like I did in the first couple of years I started sewing seriously. Then she drafted her own culotte pattern and started to slowly post different versions of it. My interest was slightly peaked. Then, she made it a commercial pattern and put a call out for pattern testers, naming them the Winslow Culottes. Now, I’ve never pattern tested before (although I’ve dreamed about it), but I was this close to signing up right away. I decided against it because I was working lots of overtime and wasn’t sure if I had enough free time to make it in the time frame allotted. I thought about it on and off, then a few days later I decided to bite the bullet and sign up to be a tester. Unfortunately, enough testers had signed up, so I was out of luck. *Shrug* no worries. The culotte trend was never really my thing, anyway.
Then I started seeing teases of the tester’s versions along with more culottes from Helen. I was especially intrigued by Chui’s version at Wear the Ducky Tie that looks like a skirt and can camouflage itself into appropriate business casual attire. A cool culotte that could pass at work? I was sold.
I gotta say, Helen, you’re a darn smart saleslady.
Needless to say, I ended up buying the pattern and couldn’t wait to get started. The pattern comes with 4 choices for the length – a shorts/short length, above the knee, cropped capris, or full-on pants. All versions call for drapey fabric, but the instructions said I could get away with a less drapey fabric in the shorter versions. Done.
I had this… what is it? I don’t even know… it’s a kinda stretchy, kinda polyester-y bottom weight fabric I picked up at my local SAS Fabrics for stupid cheap years ago. I think I got about 5 yards of this for $15. It’s black with little pink polka dots, my kinda thang.
But I think it might be a little too stiff. This stuff holds its shape well and I think it would make a great pair of Thurlows, but I’m not sure I’m sold on it as culottes.
But hey! It’s got pockets!
The pattern is super easy and super fast to make up and Helen did an awesome job with the instructions as well as giving you sewing tips and even tips on how to style the Winslows. I think she understands culottes are a little… different… and not everyone can imagine themselves in them.
When DD and I shot these pictures, I was thinking I made a mistake and probably wouldn’t wear these much if at all. But now I have to say after editing the photos and having some time away from the Winslows, I don’t think they look too bad at all… but dang… that volume! Something my generous badunkadunk doesn’t need. Or does it?
All I know is I want to give these another shot. I’m thinking some swishy rayon culotte pants… or maybe I should see where this pair takes me?
So what do you think? Are culottes cool or not? Funky-awesome or geeky-bad? (Well, ain’t nothing wrong with being geeky, right?)