I thought I’d hop on a few of the recent trends with my Wardrobe Sudoku contest makes, and culottes is one of the popular trends I’ve been eyeing. The February Burda came out, and I couldn’t quite get the high waisted culottes out of my mind. Happily, I also had some stash fabric that I thought would work out great, so I added it to my sudoku planning board. The result… well, I’m not entirely sold on. I sort of feel like a hobbit when I’m in these pants. Don’t get me wrong – I love hobbits! – but I’m not sure that’s exactly the inspiration I should be going for in terms of wardrobe planning. I’m pretty sure the only way to avoid the hobbitness is with some pretty stellar heels. In fact, I’m halfway to hunting down shoes like the Burda model wore, because that style really is ideal for these pants.
Anyway, here is my version of the culotte:
Definitely needs tucked in shirts… otherwise the waist just looks frumpilicious.
Ok, the back looks pretty good, amirite? Seriously, super smooth seam-lines over the booty.
A close up of the fake pocket flaps on the rear. As for the front, well, I know Tim Gunn told me never to wear pleated pants in several of his books, but for some reason I am determined to try “interesting” trouser patterns and ignore him. Yes Uncle Tim, you are wise and know all. Pleat-less pants are definitely more flattering. Alas.
Ok, so I have included a giant photo of the interior of the fly closure because the drafting on the button flap piece is a thing of beauty and I am obsessed with it. Why don’t we have this in every patter? It’s great.
Here is my official Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: Women’s high waisted culotte with back faux pocket flap, slanted pockets, and tie belt details.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44. I made a straight size 44.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy, though I followed the YouTube video once again for the fly front tutorial. Also, finishing the right inside facing was a bit confusing/not described, so I did some hand stitching there that wasn’t explicitly called for. Otherwise the instructions were very clear and straightforward.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it? Yes, very much so. I used a poly twill, and not a linen, but otherwise it was quite comparable. Though I must say the model looks much taller and leggier in these trousers than I do.
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Likes: This is going to sound weird, but the fly front button flap. The shaping is great – long enough to cover the zipper and give great support at the button, but shaped enough to prevent excess bulk. I also love the super high waist with the belt loops. The fit of the back is awesome, and the little faux pocket flaps are a nice detail. Dislikes: The pockets gape open. I know, what else should I expect with slant pockets, and since my last pattern had wonderful non-gaping pockets I shouldn’t have expected lightening to hit twice. Also, I’m not totally sold on wearing culottes. I mean, I love them in the magazines and on the models, but I sort of feel like I don’t quite achieve the same statuesque look. I’ve taken to calling these my secret hobbit pants actually.
Fabric used: Poly twill suiting from the stash. I am 95% sure this is from the Michael Levine Loft because I have a lot of it, though it may have been from the Hancock just before they closed. (*tear*) Though I think I’m still leaning towards it coming from the Loft. Hmmmm. I really need to organize my stash.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None. I used YouTube for the fly front, but it is basically a different set of instructions for essentially the same technique, so I don’t consider that a change. Everything else was as drafted.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I might sew this again, at least, with modifications. I might stitch down the pleat in the trouser front a but more to flatten out the shape before the thighs. I might add length to make these a full length, high waisted trouser. I also might modify the pockets a bit. I think I would recommend this to others. I mean, it certainly isn’t my favorite pair of pants, but the fit is great, it has some nice details, and it was sort of fun to sew a really trendy pattern for once.
Conclusion: I’m on the fence. On one hand, I’m very pleased with the pattern itself, and with my construction. On the other hand, I’m not 100% sold on the style. Or, rather, I’m not completely sure how to style them? I love the look Burda had in the magazine; perhaps I simply need to find pieces not in my Wardrobe Sudoku plans to wear with this piece before I’m fully happy with it. As an individual item, I like them. I’m just not sure how active an item they will be in my overall wardrobe plan.