Culottes – are we really friends?

I have wanted to make myself some culottes for a while. I love the practicality of them, you can cycle, run, jump and sashay in them without showing your undies, brilliant!

The blushing bride rockin’ her culottes!

I was convinced that I should make myself some after my besties wedding. She wore a pair that were magnificent. They were white (of course) and had tufts of fluff poking out of them. Truly lovely. Here she is looking glorious.


However wonderful I thought she looked, she was convinced they weren’t very flattering. When she asked her groom-to-be, he said that she looked like the closing scene of Billy Elliot. However inaccurate, rude or hilarious that comment is, it still makes me laugh enormously.

But the point is, we ask the question, we aren’t so sure. Are culottes really our friend?

I tried a safe option. I found some navy linen blend fabric (I say blend in the loosest sense of the word, maybe 1% linen and 99% polyester) in the charity shop for a few dollars. The perfect fabric for this experiment as the pattern calls for a good draping fabric with some body.

I used a Burda Pattern from the April issue of Burda Style Magazine. The culottes were the hero of this issue and so there was a step by step guide to making them.


I cut out a size 40, which is around a size 12. I tend to wear a size 10 but the pattern suggested you cut to hip width and I do tend to have wide hips so I did as I was told. They are a little too big, mainly around the waist, but they are fine for now.  Must remember to reduce it a little if  I make them again.




I cut the shortest length, there were a few options, a long version and one with cuffs but I went for the original option. Even the shortest length was way too long and I had to cut off about 15cm! I think this is mainly due to my preference as mid length tend to swamp me as I am only 5’3″. I cut them just below the knee.


It’s an unusual silhouette for me and I am not completely convinced that they work.  I think its the fabric which makes them quite voluminous, a softer fabric would work better I think. Maybe it’s the length that I am unsure about. You see, I still can’t work out if we are friends.  Should we be??




11 thoughts

  1. Yes I think you should! I am wanting to make some too – I think they’re so flattering and feminine. Have you seen Megan Neilson patterns? She has a gorgeous pair in her collection.


  2. I love those and applaud the slicked back hair and simple T co-ords. That’s how to do it! You’re seriously inspiring me, Kate, to dust off my machine and start sewing.


  3. For sure!!!! Very flattering. Teeeeeny waist you have and perfect length. Olive oil would be jealous (Popeye’s gal). You need a little neck scarf. Love love it.


      1. I am 5 foot 3 too and a dressmaker told me once I had only 2 choices when it came to dress length. Either just on/below the knee or floor length…no inbetween!


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