Japanese corduroy culottes

My last pair of culottes are getting so much wear right now that I knew another pair wouldn’t go astray. This time I played around with the design a little. I kept the length, not just because I quite like the longer hem trend, but also because it keeps my legs warm in Winter.

Once again, I started with my Esther shorts pattern. I made the same modifications as with my green culottes, but simply skipped the pleats. I also widened the waistband a smidgen, moved the zipper to the back and added side seam pockets.


I also tried something new in the construction of these culottes. Have you noticed that RTW pants never have waistbands like we sew at home? I’ve had these suit pants for about seven years now. Have a look at how beautiful their innards are.

The edge of the inside waistband is bound with pretty binding. It’s so simple to do and it means that you don’t have to bother with folding the edge under and painstakingly pin it to ensure you catch it all perfectly as you stitch blindly from the other side. I actually don’t know why it’s taken me this long to try this technique. It looks better and it’s way easier. I bound the inside of my waistband with Liberty of London and stitched in the ditch from the other side. Next time I will bind the pocket edges too.

There is a lot less fabric in these culottes compared to my last version. This is just because I took out the pleats. This cord is also a lot lighter in weight. I could see this style of pant working well for Summer in either linen or cotton, at this length or just below the knee. If it weren’t Fall here, I’d be making myself a slightly shorter version in denim. In fact, I might still do so…


23 thoughts on “Japanese corduroy culottes

  1. Rachel

    They look fantastic Debbie – that corduroy looks so lush. I am scheming a summer pair – I'm thinking linen. A denim pair would be sensational – you could wear them with slim knee high boots under.


  2. Debbie Iles

    Thanks Rachel. I SO need a pair of slim knee high boots, preferably in tan…I may say that you have just enabled me. BTW please do a linen pair for me. I can't justify it with at least another five months till linen weather returns here, so let me live vicariously 😉


  3. sallie oleta barbee

    These are gorgeous! I love how they hang and create a 'faux midi-skirt' look when you're standing still, but when you move – ta da!! Culottes!!! Magic! Also, bound waistbands are pretty awesome, and your liberty fabric is especially pretty here. I love the idea of denim culottes – did you see this Rachel Comey collection: http://www.style.com/fashion-shows/spring-2014-ready-to-wear/rachel-comey/collection
    I loved the crazy, wide legged, pleated AND distressed denim culottes she showed!


  4. Debbie Iles

    Haha, it's the ta da factor that gets me! I hadn't seen the Rachel Comey collection, but just had a look. They are a bit of awesome aren't they! They look like they'd suit the Girl Friday culottes lengthened. I actually saw this long (90's daggy length) pencil skirt that somebody posted on a street style shot on instagram. I bought some cheap heavy denim from JoAnn thinking to do something similar, but now I think I might use the idea of that skirt to make culottes of a similar length. We'll see…


  5. sewsafari

    Ooh I like these ones, definetely prefer them to the last ones. I've never even heard of culottes, turns out though I just didn't know the word (not my first language). But hey you look awesome in these, they really suit you!


  6. lisa g.

    these look great on you—you really know how to pull off the culottes! love the interior finish with the bias edge. i did that on the last pair of pants i made (back in the spring) and it really is so much easier then the guesswork on catching the inside waistband. instead of binding the pocket edge, i like to french seam them, provided my fabric isn't too thin where the extra bulk shows through. i have fabric to make my husband a pair of dress pants, so i'll definitely be doing some waistband research!


  7. Kirsty

    These are fantastic and you’ve inspired me to try myself with the Esther shorts pattern – I’m not a super experienced sewer though, how do you just leave out the pleats? Thanks!


  8. Pingback: Winter mini skirt in thrifted home deco fabric

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