Friday, 4 August 2017

Now thats what I call cullottes!

I hate the modern culottes. I have tried several patterns I don't like any of 'em. Sorry people but I just don't. So I started looking about two years ago now for a pattern I made ages ago.  It took me two years to track down this pattern and I could only find it in size 14. This is my first vintage pattern and is for cullottes from 1985-ish. The pattern says 1987 on it but this was when the previous owner must have bought it. 

In the mid 80s I made this pattern:

In the end I bought this pattern for $27 including shipping from an American seller. I made this in 1985. Then it was in pink and white cow-print cotton. But I was young then! Bearing in mind I originally made an 8, I was a bit unsure but remembered it to be easy to alter. I think as it turns out regardless what my RTW clothing says I am no longer a 1980s size 8. However I am also not yet a 1980s size 14 because I needed to take it in several inches. Better bigger than smaller tho! Easy to alter.

Now I did the same this time as in the 1980 because I do not like the plain shorts back of these patterns so I used the front piece in view 3 for both front and back. It worked in the 80s so why not now. You end up with a pleated back as well as pleated front that really does resemble a skirt. In black its kind of school-ish but still ok and very good as part of my new working wardrobe.

So I spent $27 for just one pattern piece in the end. Still I am very happy with the results despite my mistakes.

 Well mistakes! I was obviously a more experienced sewist back then because I remember this being so easy to make. Not so this time. Partly it was down to my choice of fabric which was satin backed black stuff. No idea what fibre. Another ebay bargain! It feels quite luxurious though so is very nice to wear for work. I used the satin side for the waistband which I cut as a size 14 and never bothered to shorten - mistake number 1:

 It is a vintage button which may be bakerlite, Came from a stash I inherited from my Great Aunts. 
Problem number two: never cut excess fabric off waitband so I could not get either of my machines to sew a buttonhole! Sorted by faking it with a snap on the inside! It works.

Then there is the basting! It says to machine baste the pleats so I did both front and back as directed but then realised it marks the fabric - probably permanently. I will find out for sure if the marks come out when I wash them but I suspect the small holes made from the stitches will be there forever. You can just about see in the photo below:

Each pleat is folded, sewn and then topstitched to hold it in place and guess what? I actually steamed the pleats properly. They worked a treat and I am really proud of myself here! They were even intact after sitting at work most of the day setting up a database. Yes I have cracked this. Picture below shows sewn pleat.

So all in all despite the cock-up of marking my fabric badly - which in the office I work in probably no one is going to notice anyway and the lack of proper button hole I like these culottes better than the other versions I have made with modern patterns. I am intending to make a second more fun pair asap. But first some work tops I think since I am struggling with them too and a couple more pairs of trousers.

Thanks for visiting,

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