These are my beautiful new Winslow Culottes. I have been eyeing the pattern for a while especially after seeing this pair. Just like Jasika, I don’t think straight waistbands work for my body type (see this fail) I only use curved waistbands (apart from straight elasticated ones). Since I had already fallen in love with the culottes but never swapped waistbands before I emailed Helen’s Closet asking if I should expect any problems when replacing the straight waistband with a curved one.
Spoiler alert: it works a treat. Excellent pattern hack for people with a big difference in their waist and hip measurments.
I received a very sweet and encouraging message back so I bought the pattern, took some old curtains and worked on my muslin. I cut a size 10 (based on my waist measurement) with size 8 pleats and used the curved waistband from my Rosalie skirt, taking care to match the length of the waistband and the top of the culottes. Because the waistband (due to the fold over design) was longer than the skirt I had plenty of wriggle room to make them fit. My muslin came out rather tight. But since I cut the pattern pieces directly from my printed A0 page and didn’t fancy reprinting I cheated by taking out the back pleats two centimetres each. I also had to lengthen the zip (making it end 2cm lower than marked in the pattern) because otherwise I would not have been able to pull the pants up over my size 16 hips. I guess my finished pair is more a size 12 than 10. My last mod was shortening the legs by going for a 5 cm hem.
The slubbed cupro I used has excellent drape but is a bit heavier than a rayon or viscose which makes it ideal summer pants material. The only thing that makes me a tad anxious is that I don’t think the culottes are heavy duty, so I might need to reconsider wearing them while cycling to work. I read another sewist topstiched the crotch seam to reinforce it, so I might try that. Can anyone talk from experience here?
I want to try the shorts version next which means I can then try my planned modifications. I already slighly altered the crotch curve on the paper back pattern piece, allowing for a bit more room. I am also considering sewing the crotch seam with only 1 cm seam allowance because I feel that could do with a bit more wriggle space there, too. Although I do like the dimensions of the pockets I might alter the pocket piece so that it can be attached to the waistband because the pocket bags flop around quite a bit. Or I might try the pocket hack as suggested for the elasticaed back waist hack.
This was my first Helen’s closet pattern and I am really happy with it. Not just because of the style (which is a question of personal preference) but the instructions are excellent (lots of neat tips). I can totally recommend it.