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Trying New Trends

One of my favorite things about sewing is the confidence it gives me to try new trends. If I go into the store to buy something, I have to feel 100% confident in it to buy it and wear it. When I sew something, the fact that I sewed it gives me confidence to wear it. If it isn’t the best style for me, at the very least I can impress them with saying “I made it”.

Culottes have been all over the sewing world. I have never tried them.. well, before now. This was another make I put on my #makenine2018, but I had no idea if it would work for me. Spoiler alert: I love them. There are some amazing indie patterns in culottes, Helen’s Closet’s Winslows, Sew Over It ultimate culottes, Named Ninni’s, just to name a few. I ended up going with another big four pattern this time, Simplicity 8092. My logic on this is simply less money invested on something that may not work. The pattern reminds me a lot of Helen’s Closet’s version though.

Shall we talk about the Fabric? It’s a lightweight cotton poplin. I cannot express how perfect this fabric is for summer. It’s definitely cotton, reminds me of a bedsheet. It’s slightly drapey, with enough structure for the pleating detail. I’m normally a shorts girl all summer long. Even though the style is much longer than shorts, this fabric pairing makes it so breezy for summer. Since this is a dark red, I really don’t have any underwear showing through. If you had a lighter color, you might have a little issue, as I can see through it a bit when I hold it up to the light. It was super easy to sew with, I had no issues.

A little more about this make. I sewed up a straight size 14. I rarely ever sew up something without any adjustments, but since I knew little about the culotte style on me, I didn’t have much to go on. A smarter person would make a muslin. I didn’t want to. It worked out for me though. I think it’s because Simplicity patterns seem to work well on me. When I make a McCall’s pattern, I need all kinds of adjustments to make them fit. Knowing what brands fit you better from the get go can be very helpful. For reference, I have a 29” waist and 39” hips. This puts me between 14 and 16 on the size chart, but I only bought the small sizes, so I went with the 14 and hoped for the best. I got lucky and it fits perfectly.
Although I didn’t change anything regarding the pattern, I did change my method of construction. The pattern has you sew up one side of the leg, then the crotch, then the pockets and other side of the pants. I started off sewing according to the direction, but I prefer to sew the entire legs, then put one leg turned right side out inside the other leg that is inside out to sew the crotch. I also want to mention for the beginners out there that the pattern doesn’t really tell you to finish your seams. I serged most of the edges before sewing them together.

The last construction change I made was some hand  sewing. The pattern wants you to sew everything by machine. Which I normally love… but I’ve had some trouble with invisible zippers working properly when the waistband is sewed into it. It has you stitch in the ditch on the waistband. As much as I want to be a master at stitching in the ditch, it normally doesn’t work out of me. So I slipped stitched those parts and then the hems for good measure. I’ve never done hems by hand before, but I wanted to see what I thought of the finish. I serged the bottoms, them pressed them up. I then did an invisible stitch. In the next two pics, you can see how those finishings looked.

Overall, I am super excited about these. Even though I didn’t make pattern adjustments, if I made them again I’d sew them the same way. I’m so excited to have lightweight bottoms that are comfortable, not hot, that I can wear to work.

Thanks for reading,

Shelby @ Handmade Shelby

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