Culottes de Nîmes


These culottes have been top of the UFO pile for a  l—o—o—n—g time – I must have bought this fabric and pattern in 2003?  So, I bite the bullet and try them on.

Thankfully, my six-year-old seam allowances are generous and so body changes can be accommodated. But small moment of horror – the waistband barely grazes my hipbones and there’s MAJOR belly exposure. What was I thinking? Very long tops? Acres of toned abs? And how exactly was I thinking to work the super-preppy culottes/belly-flashing look?

I can’t make this add up, so re-read of the instructions. This reveals my error, and, possibly, the reason I abandoned this project.  It’s a curved yoke that I’d pinned in place UPSIDE-DOWN – not a waistband. Even my slimmer 2003 self didn’t have the nuts to carry this style off. Those two extra inches coverage haul this garment back into the respectable, wearable and finishable. So I crack on.

It was a pleasant surprise to go back to my previous work and see I’d been carefully finishing edges with a wee fold held in place with a zigzag stitch (obviously well before I got my mitts on an overlocker). So I’m inspired to continue with nice careful finishing and…

bias bind the yoke facing in contrasting red satin and

bias bind the leg hems too (as inspired by darling petunia’s pretty finishing).

The lightweight stretch denim fabric came from the most excellent A1 Fabrics in Goldhawk Road. Very affordable, as I remember (£2-4 per metre), and the bias binding was from the stash.  Pattern, Vogue Couture 2755. 

It’s a lovely pattern – really easy to follow and a nice flattering line.  Just pay attention at the attaching-curved-yoke bit!

PS I used a stiffer fabric that Vogue recommends, so when you sit down, then stand up again, the pleats disappear and the legs balloon out in a comedy/Tintin stylee. So I’ve re-angled the pleats so they make a diagonal line (not straight) from the stitching down to the hemline. I put some tiny stitches on the inside of the hem to make pressing the pleats in place easier in future. Squint and you can see this in the hem-displaying picture.


2 responses to “Culottes de Nîmes

  1. You had me laughing! Especially at the Tintin part- my dad used to read those to me when I was a kid. :)

    They look great!

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About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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