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After two lovely mash up takeovers from Sharadha and Diane while I was away on vacation, I’m super excited to get back to it. This month as I was flipping through the 11/2018 issue I knew I wanted to sew something in plaid, so with that in mind, I just had to go with these culottes. Read on to see my first steps in sewing these plaid culottes…

Culottes Pattern

When I was looking for a pattern, knowing that I was going to sew it in plaid, I needed something with a relatively straight seam to make matching my plaids easier. Having a pair of bottoms in mind, I went back and fourth between these culottes and the track pants from the issue, but as soon as I looked at the shape of the pattern pieces – the culottes were definitely the way to go. I’ve also been obsessed with culottes for fall lately, I can just picture myself wearing them with boots already!

Step 1

Now before I laid out my pattern pieces all willy nilly, I needed to first lay my fabric so my plaids perfectly aligned on each side. What I did was when my fabric was folded matching the selvedges, I pinned the stripes together.

Step 2

I first placed my back pant piece (FYI, I just cut a size 38 – no alterations as this is a loose silhouette pant style) on the fabric and used a ruler to align the straight grainline with one of the plaid stripes.

Step 3

Using my ruler again, I shifted the waistline of my back pant piece so the grainline extended to that exact same plaid stripe. Now here is also where I took note of where in the plaid the waistline side seam point reached the plaid print.

Step 4

Since my fabric wasn’t wide enough, I couldn’t lay my front piece beside my back. So I flipped it and place the waistline point at side seam at the same position on the plaid as the back. There was no nap in my fabric so I was able to do this.

Step 5

There was only one draft-it-yourself piece in the pattern – the waistband. I cut the waistband directly from the fabric and flipped the plaid print for a visual contrast to the body of the pants.

Step 6

Before I started to pin and sew the pieces together, I serge-finished the edges to prevent fraying. I only finished both the front and back side seam edges as well as the inseams.

Step 7

First thing to do was to pin together the side seams. Now pinning the edges took the most time, and I was very patient. Being a speedy sewist, it was hard to spend this much time pinning – but very necessary for plaid fabrics. I started at one edge and peeled back the top layer to make sure that the plaid stripes were exactly on top of one another. I pinned every other stripe.

Step 8

I always pinned together the inseams, right sides together. Here is front leg is on top, and the back in on the bottom. Then I repeated with the other leg in terms of pinning together the side seams as well as the inseams.

Step 9

Now I very rarely leave my pins in while actually sewing, but with plaids I did just to make sure the nothing shifted while stitching.

Step 10

Once my side seams and inseams were sewn on both legs, I pressed all my seam allowances open.

Step 11

In order to stitch the crotch seams together, I flipped one pant leg right side out and inserted into the other right sides together matching up the crotch points. I continued to pin up the front and back crotch seams, again matching up the plaids pinning every other stripe.

Step 12

I started at one waistline and stitched down passing over the crotch points making sure the seam allowances remain pressed open.

Step 13

Once my crotch seam was sewn, I serge-finished the seam allowances together.

Step 14

My culottes are nearly done! The real work of these is really in the prep and pinning of the plaid.

Well that concludes part 1, and next week I finished them up and sew on the waistband with elastic to create a paper bag waist style different from the pattern.

Happy Sewing!

Meg Healy Blog Signature


  • Missing

    Nov 8, 2018, 10.27 PMby Vernetta


    I noticed you serged the crotch seams together. I expected singly and then pressed open. Why did you do that? I love to hear professional or industry opinions and options (especially when they debunk “because it’s always been this way.”)

    1 Reply
    • Meg_healy_burdastyle_90_90_large

      Nov 9, 2018, 05.01 PMby MegH

      Fabulous question :)

      I have found from making many other pants, the crotch gets to complicated and oddly bulky when both the inseams and crotch curve are pressed open – I just find it more comfortable to wear with the crotch seam allowance finished together. That being said, if I wanted to press and finish the crotch seam allowances open, then I will finish my inseams allowances together. Hope that helps!


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