Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Yellow Culottes and Sunshine

So it's been hot these last few days, time for some proper summer work clothes.  These are hands down, one hundred percent, no contest the most favourite item in my spring wardrobe just now.  Yellow culottes.  Totally indispensable and I can't imagine having ever lived without a pair.  Also, you know when you get something new and it just goes magically with loads of other stuff you already have and revitalises umpteen new outfits?  Well these are that thing. 

Here they are with a long sleeved breton top.  And again with a striped wrap blouse and blazer. Mix, match and mix again.

Here we are with a cropped top and leather jacket. In fact I knew this was going to be the case before I'd even finished them.  As I tried them on with pins still in the waistband and no fastenings or finished hem, I had this 'yes!' moment.  And, because I'm impatient and wanted them to move straight from the sewing machine to being on my actual person instantly, I was in a mad rush to finish hemming and button sewing.  

So much so, that I was still sewing on the back button at the same time as feeding the small persons in the family their breakfast and getting ready to catch a train for meetings.  Small wonder then, that as soon as I sat down on said train, the button popped off!  I spend the rest of the day praying the zip was sturdy enough to keep my lovely culottes from submitting to gravity and heading to the floor.  I also resolved to finish things properly before I skip off to a meeting two hours away from home.  Or take a portable sewing kit with me for on the move repairs.  

The pattern is Butterick B6178 and was free with last months Love Sewing mag and it really is so easy I managed to throw them together in a few hours (throw being the word here, see above reference to them falling apart!) and there are very few pattern pieces to cut.  The shape is flattering being high cut with a wide waistband and no fuss around the front or rear except for a couple of shaping darts (there are other versions on the same pattern pack for a more pleated pair for extra volume).  Here they are on Friday with a  scoop neck powder blue tee shirt and a little vintage jacket.  The jacket is a Louis Feraud picked up in a charity shop a couple of years ago, I love the cornflower blue colour with this butter yellow.

I did make a couple of minor changes to the pattern recommendations, one being replacing the hook and eye closure with a button and loop.  I just didn't happen to have a suitable hook and eye about the place and I don't mind the extra detail of a back button closure here.

The only thing I would consider changing in the future with this particular design is the back zip closure.   I think an invisible zip would look much neater and although I'm happy to wear this version, as the pattern described a basic zip technique, I would always usually do an invisible zip or a completely exposed one.  As it happened these culottes were a quick weekend make using stash fabric and a zip I already had lying around, which is fine as a 'wearable toile, as they owe me nothing. 

But that colour!  Pale sunshine, mustard or maybe butter yellow.  The colour is slightly brighter than the photos here show, my phone camera has washed out the colour as the sunshine was beaming so brightly in the garden last week.  The fabric is actually some mystery viscose type that has been languishing in my stash for about 10 years and was given to me by someone who probably had it for quite a while before that even.  It's practically vintage.  I did wash it first, so hopefully sorted out any potential shrinkage or colour run, and it behaved beautifully when being cut and sewn up.  It does fray madly though, so I did have to be careful how much I handled it before finishing the edges.  

And so off they went around the country for three days in their first week after being made as I practically refused to take them off.   That's why they are looking a bit creased in this photo, which was taken after I returned from a whole day wearing them at work. This weekend they were wheeled out again but dressed down with a black swing vest top and flip flops.  I can see them with khaki, white, even sugar pink would be clashy but totally doable. 

So for a quick make and a fun relaxed spring garment, on duty and off duty, these are the business.  


  1. A great summer look; could see them in a lightweight tweed for spring/autumn, going into winter with thick tights/boots - the possibilities are endless! (Don't bother carrying a portable sewing kit, speaking from experience a safety pin in your purse is all you need to carry for most emergencies!).

  2. They are gorgeous! They go so well with everything too.

  3. Thank you AWR and LGS! AWR, yes a safety pin is an essential item!