It is not normal for me to see a new pattern, purchase it, and clear the sewing queue to make it immediately. But this is what I did with Liesl + Co Girl Friday Culottes pattern recently released.
It was with a start that I realised that I last owned a pair of culottes, pretty similar to these, 25 years ago. I loved those culottes. I wore them to the office. I wore them on the weekend. I wore them on the first date with my husband on December 2, 1989. I loved how the fullness looked feminine , but I could also do stuff in them, like run for the bus and sit on the grass in Hyde Park (Sydney) in the sun at lunchtime. Ah, yes, I still have a soft spot for culottes which I didn’t realise I had until I saw this pattern. So, this is a nostalgia make, big time.
This is my second Liesl + Co make and I have to say (not counting a Lisette Traveler dress) I am impressed with their draft and the instructions.
Culottes, gotta love ém, you can do this in them:
Getting on a horse – no problem
And practice your curtsey with confidence
I used a length of soft cotton twill I bought from Tessuti aeons ago. It has good weight and drape for these culottes, but colour… dear oh dear.I had to make these culottes immediately, but with no prospect of a fabric store visit in the near future I settled for this sand/stone/putty colour which does me no favours. That's why it was in the stash for so long. At least it’s away from my face. If I find that I wear these a lot, I will definitely remake them in another colour.
The volume on these culottes comes from box pleats centre front and back, ordinary pleats in front and darts in back. This photo gives an idea of how they look in their entirety, but also serve to remind me (not that I need it) how truly horrendous I look when I tuck in my tops. If I make this again, I might make the stitching on the pleats longer, to give a flatter line around the tummy - these poof out a bit at the waiston me.
One thing my 1989 culottes didn’t have, which these do, is pockets. The side zip is concealed within the pocket, which wasn’t difficult to do (again, the instructions were exemplary) and gives a nice clean look.
Construction was very straight forward, and fit is not a big issue – the only point the requires a bit of attention to fit is the waist, and length, of course. I cut the waist according to my measurements - there is a good amount of ease there, but it's not ridiculous. I added my customary 5cm length to these culottes. I made no other alterations.
Overall, a happy experience to make.
The issue I have now is that making culottes has opened up the whole vexed question of, as they say, styling them. I’m wearing one of my Mandy boat neck tees with these. The shape is ok I think, but this pattern probably has a bit too much ease, and it's too long. Liesl + Co has put out a new t-shirt pattern the Bento, which seems to have teaming with these culottes in mind, so I will probably check these out.