It started with Debbie, then Kirsty, then all manner of other inspired makers. I swore I would not be swayed from my belief that these babies would look nothing but awful on me.
You see I remember them from last time they were cool - they were so not cool on me, thank you very much 1980s. But Debbie kept chipping away at me and damn it if I didn't start to covet a pair of my very own.
Humble pie, anyone? Mmmmm, tastes yummy!
I just kept seeing more and more covetable versions popping up in blogland and in the coolest of RTW stores. So I thought...only one way to find out... and I headed out to my local Gorman to try some on. Well, I'll be damned... pick the right style and you might just be able to make it work for you! I took some sneaky measurements in the changeroom (don't you all do that?), hem width, leg length. A speedy side trip to Spotlight later and I was set.
But which pattern? Hello stash!
Behold Vintage Vogue 9661, at a guess dated from the 80's. This was part of a massive bag of vintage patterns I was gifted by an old work colleague. I don't need office or corporate wear, so I'd never looked twice at it. But looky there on the left. It might just work.
For the first time EVER I decided to make a muslin. I don't have time for muslins usually but having only made one pair of pants/shorts before and never sewn a Vogue pattern I thought it'd be a good idea. Thank goodness, as apparently Vogue don't believe in any ease at all. They were definitely not quite right, so I posted pics of my muslin on Instagram and the gorgeous sewing community helped me figure out how to grade the pattern up a bit (thank you Rachel, Debbie, and Rosie), which wasn't as easy as adding more to the side seams. These pockets have a pocket extension flappy thing, but with the help of diagrams (diagrams! hand drawn!) from the lovely Rachel things worked out perfectly. I ended up adding about 1.5cm to each side from the waist down.
The fit is ridiculous. Check it out...
And that's just the front. Check out this...
Not a freakin' wrinkle or pull line in sight. In fact the most perfectly fitting pair of bottom halves I have ever owned. Squeeeeee!!!!!! I don't even have to yank them around to sit at just the right angle. I didn't re-adjust these culottes once during the photo session. Huzzah!!!!
And the comfort, oh good god, the comfort. Secret pyjamas? I've never owned pyjamas this comfortable.
I think the key to my happiness with these culottes is knowing my own body. Knowing that an a-line type culotte was going to suit way better than a heavily pleated or gathered version, even if I see those on others and adore them. I'd simply look ridiculous.
Being able to try on a few different fits and lengths in RTW was such a huge help. I was able to work out from the start the volume I could handle in each leg and the ideal length for my shape.
And I managed not to give myself a merkin! Yay for doing my best with pattern placement. It means the print is not smoothly kept around the seams of the culottes. But seriously people... avoiding pattern placement faux pax was my priority here.
I'm going out to swish around in my lovely new culottes. They may never come off again...