Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Culottes and Tops and etc


I have not been idle – I’ve been sewing.

To make up for a week or two lack of blogging here’s a basement bargain post with not one, not two, not even three, but many things! Everything piled on top of one another, so get ready for a strip-tease. I would have put that in this post’s title but just knew I would garner unwelcome visitors – and on that subject but not quite – many welcomes to all new followers and supporters’ club members – hopefully you might get an idea or two that you can use in your own sewing…. and that obviously extends also to my long-term readers and dedicated followers: without whom this entry in my sewing diary would not have been possible.

Let’s start at the top: StyleaArc Mason coat in navy 2X2 acrylic rib; edged with sparkly denim cording and closed with a homemade contraption using two buttons and a bit of string. Scarf made with leftovers [see below].



The buttons look brown but they’re not – they’re blue/black. Just sew a bit of coordinating string onto one side and make a loop for the other button to “loop” through.




Underneath, same fabric as cardigan made using Vogue 7876 (OOP) but not as a wrap shirt but as a jumper with sides sewn closed and asymmetrical front hem.



Underneath the jumper, Namedclothing Fran shirt, cut without front button closure, so front piece all-in-one cut on the fold; scooped neckline with three cowl necks. Fabric is a printed panel from myfabrics – fine cotton voile in navy and white print with yellow border.


The pattern pieces were placed carefully to position the border print on the hem and sleeves.



Cut rectangles of fabric to fit neckline, fold and sew together. Treat as one piece.

Underneath that, Merchant and Mills Bantam vest; made in same fabric from a second panel but longer than Fran and so creates a double border hem look. Hemline was squared off and side splits added. Hand rolled hems.


Below waist, the actual star of the show – the Vogue 2807 Montana culottes – without your help would probably never have been made.


My original problem was the vintage pattern was a size 10 and I wear a size 14. Kim and Natasha came to the rescue big time including providing me with actual measurements from the original size 14 pattern and detailed instructions about re-sizing patterns. In the end, it wasn’t as difficult or as laboursome as I’d thought it would be – add a cm or so to the pattern edges and reduce the pleats by a bit. I know this is not precise or scientific but hey, look! I got a pair of culottes that are sort of in my size range.

Fabric is from The Cloth House, London [see previous post]. With legs together, ladylike, the culottes look like a skirt from the front. The pleats on centre front and back act as distractors from the crotch.


However, in these I can ride a bike, straddle a horse and sit in the most unlady-like fashion should I so desire.


These are very low slung…they sit way below the natural waist, although my resizing attempt may have had an undue influence in that. But they do have fab side pockets with a single welt and no side seams! The pockets are created between two darts…..bit scary all that sewing and slashin and reinforcing corners etc.


These culottes aren’t full or cumbersome around the legs and I’m pleasantly surprised with the pleats both front and back in that they don’t add that much extra width to the widest part of my body. Of course, you may see things from a different perspective and I appreciate that. The pleats are sewn down about 5″ which keeps them in place; the remainder pressed with a damp press cloth to retain the creases.


The culottes aren’t lined, so underneath them is this little trouser petticoat – Vogue 8888 –  French knickers cut long and whipped up onimgres the overlocker with elasticated waist until it threw a tantrum and I threw it out the window!

I kept them narrow so that I can wear them under other unlined winter wool trousers.


To identify front from back – add a little bit of ribbon or tape when you sew.

















And underneath the trousers’ petticoat….


nah! only joking!



25 thoughts on “Culottes and Tops and etc

  1. I’m not the only one who wears a “slip” under my pants!! Of course it depends on the pants. But a number of years ago I made a pant slip that works beautifully insider wider legs pants.
    LOVE the culottes. I see these bearing worn in so many ways. Koodos on making it work 😉

  2. Clever girl with all these sections all working together. The black wrap top/blouse is a nice addition too. Love the border print and great use at the hem! You certainly look ready for Fall! I see belt loops on the culottes…are you planning on wearing one or are they too low in the waist?

  3. A wonderful grouping of clothes, well done. I am really fond of the coat.

  4. Great outfit. I love the idea of the slip you made. I remember in the distance past when I wore culottes I had a divided slip. I like t idea of being able to wear under trousers. Mine was too wide for that.

  5. You’ve been busy. the culottes look fab. Stitched down pleats are great- get slin sleek waist and hips with the comfort and ease below when they open up below.

  6. You were so right to move forward with the culottes! I was wrong to worry. These handsomely pleated culottes aren’t the slightest bit bulky. They look sensational on you, and very on trend. Voile print pieces, ahh. Cardigan will adapt to many uses. You are a talented and intrepid sewist. Hats off. Congratulations on another success.

  7. Great clothes throughout, if you had only sewed one item of clothing in that period I would have thought it productive. Nice idea to have a separate pants slip, I have a pair of itchy woolen trousers that could benefit from one of those. ‘Course I’d have to put down the needles for a time to produce it.

  8. You have been really busy Ruth and I am really glad that the culottes have come out so successfully. I also love the way your two tops layer over each other, and with the asymmetric jumper. And your hair is great a bit longer and darker – it goes with your sophisticated autumn wardrobe.

  9. Your blog may have been quiet, but you have been sewing up a storm. Love your creativity Ruth. Love the layered look of the shirt over the vest with the border print, and your trouser slip is pure genius. Beautiful garments that all work so well together.

  10. Another great wardrobe combo Ruth. Love the double layer top, great for unpredictable weather/ central heating.
    Just glad as you were doing the striptease you had made a scarf as an accessory instead of the usual knickers with the scraps cause I was getting worried where it was going as I was reading on. Lol.

  11. I love the culottes and your post is most entertaining.

  12. Great looking pieces there. I especially like the culottes which I’m in love with (again like I was in the 70’s ). I enjoyed seeing your changes made to the blouse patterns . Very ingenious.

  13. I love the culottes with the asymmetric top; although it’s an all-dark outfit, you make it look fun and sophisticated, not sombre. There’s something very youthfull about culottes for those who can get away with them (not me, too stumpy!).

    A great post Ruth; it made me chuckled twice!! And well done on your productivity. Looks like I have to go to Berwick Street 😉

  14. Love you in the culottes…your output is amazing, great collection.

  15. Those culottes are brilliant. Well worked out!

  16. SO glad these culottes worked out! They look fab and very comfortable…moved closer to the top of the pile again 🙂

  17. You certainly haven’t been idle!! Everything looks fab, and I absolutely love your culottes.

  18. Busy girl Ruth! Glad to see the culottes worked well, and looking lovely 😃

  19. I absolutely adore these and think you did a brilliant job. Your choice of fabric is excellent, and with a bit more tweaking, I’m sure the fit will be impeccable. Pity the pattern is OOP – I really like the idea of no side seams, with greater detailing in front and back instead. Thank you for an wonderful review.

  20. Wow! I think you covered it all! Nice job! I love love border print but it is not always easy to find. Then when I do I can’t find a suitable pattern. You’ve got both!

  21. Yeah, I like this a lot!

  22. Pingback: SWAP A1 (again) & B2 | corecouture

  23. Pingback: Patternless Skirt | corecouture

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