When my colleague came into the office a few weeks ago in a pair of navy and white striped culottes with a bow on the side and an elastic waistband in the back, I knew I had a new DIY sewing project to add to my list. For reference, here is a photo of her pants. They are from Zara and are still available at the time of this post. I didn’t want to buy them though, I wanted to make them.
I started out with the latest version of my self-drafted pattern from my search for the perfect work pants. You can see past posts about this long-term project here and here. I had a pattern from my previous try at wide-leg pants but I decided not to use it because my normal pants pattern was closer to the rise and waist fit that I wanted.
To turn my pants pattern into a culotte pattern, I simply extended the legs straight down from the crotch seam on both the front and back pieces and straight down from the widest part of the hip on the outside of each pattern piece. Then I widened the back leg pieces enough so that, when they were sewn up, they would allow me enough room to slide these pants over my hips (crucial because there is no other way to get them on). Next I added 3″ to the side of each front piece to allow for two small pleats on each side.
The front waistband for these pants is in two pieces to allow for the attachment of the bow. When I make these again (because I definitely will – I love them so much), I plan to re-work the waistband so that it doesn’t have this seam in the middle and increase the rise so they are true high-waist pants.
Considering I started these pants from a photo and some fabric I found at Value Village, I’m extremely pleased with how they turned out.
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