O... M... G... what a horrendous project...
I don't even know where to begin.
This pattern was a freebie with issue 40 of Love Sewing magazine and I really liked the look of the samples on the front so I thought I would give it a go with an old curtain that was hung over the front door when we moved into this house over two years ago! Its a nice ivory jacquard which is actually a bit unstable when sewing and frays terribly because of the loose weave, but I didn't know that at the time, I just thought it would hang nice. I've never been a culotte person but liked the look of version B because it was more skirt-like and thought what the heck!
I started by measuring myself against the measurements on the pack. I have to say right now that from here on in I'm not a fan of Butterick patterns since it thinks I'm a size 22. (Insert grumpy emoji)
I'd like to make it clear that I am not now nor ever have been a size 22. So right from the start I wasn't a happy bunny. I decided to compromise and cut a size 20 (I know, right...), but if I ever wanted to get it done up this was what had to happen.
The fabric was freshly washed and after cutting out the lining and unpicking the curtain tape I started to cut it out. This was easy enough as I only had 3 pattern pieces to do - front leg, back leg and the waist band. I decided to forego the pockets just in case it didn't sit right and since the fabric was on the thin side I thought they might stand out.
The pattern describes this as a 'fast & easy' make and I think it probably would be but the instructions left a lot to be desired. I misunderstood the first instruction and set in all three pleats on both front and back pieces but I was only supposed to do two of them, leaving the big box pleat until I'd joined the left and right at the crotch seam. It didn't really matter at the front but I had to unpick the back so I could fit the zip and then re-pleat. The rest of the instructions were minimal and I had to use my experience to get a decent finish.
On day one I got the pleats in, inner leg and crotch seam done, and the outer leg finished. I was then supposed to do the zip but I hadn't bought it so I hemmed the bottom which was a bit daft since I couldn't really tell what length they'd be when finished because I hadn't done the waistband yet. But I thought I was getting ahead of things!
On day two I had bought my zip so I inserted that and headed on to the waistband thinking this project would be done in no time...
However, the interfaced waistband was too small by a good inch an half for the fabric I had to fit in it, not to mention seam allowances and the little extra at the end for hook and eye overlap. The pattern instructions says to ease the fabric into the length of the waistband but I figured there was no way I'd get it all in without some puckering so I decided to remake the waistband including seams at either side and make it long enough to play around with at the back. This actually worked out fine the only thing was that when I tried it on after finishing off the waistband stitching (which I 'stitched in the ditch' -
photo below - rather than hand stitching as per the instructions) was that it was too big!!! Not massively but I think it would have looked better if it cinched me in a little. The looseness meant it sits too low and the whole thing looks like a sack. There's a reason I've never been a culotte person...
It was also waaaaaayyy too long so I had to chop 12cm off the length (and that was after I'd hemmed it the first time) to hem again at just below knee level. So here is the final photo - the only one you'll get since they look so awful!
So, in conclusion...
1. it's not a difficult pattern to make up if you have a little experience
2. don't worry about the sizing but do measure yourself first.
3. use a fabric which is a bit more stable
4. don't hem it until you've tried it on
5. only make them if you know you're a culotte person!!!
Will I be wearing these? I think they're destined for the charity shop. Will I be making this pattern again? Not version B, no, but I might try version D with the simple darts... who knows... I certainly won't be getting rid of the pattern!
Onwards and upwards...