The Culottes sew-along is here!

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May 10, 2016 by Tina Olsson / Gavanna

Sew-along part 1

Hello everyone, It’s been a while since I had the time to blog! Life got in the way..

The good news is that

1; There’s a new pattern in my ETSY shop, Kilås jumpsuit/culottes. FINALLY!

2; I have a mountain of backlog sewing to show, coming soon on a blog near you!

3; I have started to prepare a new blog, it will be a .com (  and more easy to customize, add a shop, and so on. I still haven’t done a lot to it but it will be awesome in the end!


But let’s move over to the fake wrap  Kilås culottes!



By now I have made several pairs of these culottes, some for trying out the pattern, and some more because I really, really like them!! They are part of the jumpsuit pattern, but honestly I find the jumpsuit fun to wear, but not really easy, if you know what I mean?

But the culottes are just right! Soft, breezy, elastic waist, and the wrap makes them look and feel so cool!



But they must be made of a material that drapes well ( hangs down in a heavy, flowy way)!


I made a test pair in ordinary, not very soft cotton, and oh my! The definition of not-cool! Alright, now you are warned, let’s get to the point!

They are pretty easy to make, but I would I like to get into a bit of detail on some parts, and that would not fit into the included sewing instruction. So this is a sew-along, in all the glorious details!

First, the fabric and the notions!

As I said, you must choose a woven, fluid, “drapey” and pliable material. It must fold softly, fall heavily and be quite thin. The overlapping fake wrap means there will be many layers of fabric in front, and you don’t want that to end up too thick. The more flowy the material, the better it will look!gula-culos-nara-fram_zpsv4cd4uxu


I recommend dress weight fabric, look for a sateen, georgette, challis or crepe. Silk, and silk mixes would be wonderful, rayon/viscose, or polyester would be perfect. Thin linen (like this mustard yellow ) can work,  like cotton and cotton mixes. But avoid all stiff plainweave, like quilting cottons!

As the culottes are very wide (and view D also overlaps in front) it uses a bit of material. Here’s what you need:

A narrow fabric, let’s say 90-106 cm wide / 35-42″ wide:

Plain, no overlap, view C: about 2,7 meters  or  3 yards

With the overlap, view D: about 3,4 meters  or  3 3/4 yards.

A wide fabric, like 140 cm or 56″ wide:

View C: 1,8 meter or  2 yards

View D:  2,2 meters or 2 yards

You will also need matching thread, 2 meters or 2 1/4 yard of elastic, 0,8 cm  or 3/4″ wide. A teeny tiny bit of fusible interface for the hem of the overlap.


Starting the whole project.

Obviously, you’ll need the pattern! Download and save all 5 files.

1: First and most important, there’s a test square, to print FIRST.

2:When you get a correct output from the printer, go ahead and print the pattern. It’s quite big ( very sorry, trees!) So taping it together will take a bit of space  🙂

( See a detailed taping instruction here!)

3: (You will also find A printshop version, DON’T  print this one at home!!! Take it to a printshop for printing, if you can’t be bothered with the taping! )

4:Other essentials are the ” Read-me-first”, that can be read on screen ( to save trees, you know..) This includes yardage, cutting plans etc.

5: Finally, the actual sewing instructions. Most sewers like to print this one, but it can be read on screen as well..

Now you need to trace the correct pieces. To actually find the pattern pieces, it helps to have a look at the overview included, and the general shape of the pieces, as seen in the cutting layouts.

For tracing, use Swedish tracing paper, tissue paper, clear builders plastic, or whatever suits you. Make sure to get ALL the markings for folds, darts etc.

Pick your size from the measurement chart. Use the hip measurement as your guide.This style  is quite “figure friendly”. It shouldn’t be necessary to make an actual toile/muslin. Unless of course you are unsure if you like to wear this type of garment at all.

What might need to be changed is the length. There are thin lines marked across all the pattern pieces, perpendicular to the grainline. Fold to shorten, cut and spread to lengthen. Do the same on ALL pieces, view D has three separate front pieces. How tight you like the elastic in the waist determines how high the culottes sit, so measure from your desired place and down.

This pattern has a waistband in three pieces, but as there’s no zipper needed the culottes, you can overlap the two front pieces at the sewing/zipper line and tape/pin them together. This means you cut just one front and one back of the waistband.


Cut the fabric following the diagrams in the enclosed instructions. Seam allowance  and hem are INCLUDED.

It’s very important to make correct markings immediately, as this will be very tricky to do later. So how to make correct and lasting markings? Well, there are many methods, I use small cuts in the seam allowance, and  a pen or classic tailors chalk for all marks not on the edge of the fabric.markera-del-3_zpstgzhtjyl

Here I used an ordinary led pencil, as this fabric is thick enough to hide it. Beware when using any pen, always experiment a bit to see that it will not be visible later! Chalk is safe, but disappears easily.

But first, determine which is the back, or the wrong, side of the fabric. Make all markings on the backside!

The folds in the front are naturally very important to get right. Do this while the pattern  is still attached.

markera-del-2_zps71ngqiosPick a pin with a small head, not a big glass or plastic ball. Push it through pattern and fabric right at the point you want marked. After that you can remove the pattern, if you wish, by gently pulling the head of the pin through the paper. (This creates a hole in the paper, but not a very big one)

Is the piece cut on a single layer, ( as all the three front pieces of view D) make sure which one is the wrong/back side of the fabric. Mark the point with your pen, on the wrong side.

If the fabric is double ( as the back pieces) Lift the top layer of fabric, so you see the pin going through the layers of fabric. Beware, don’t pull the pin out! Mark this point, on both layers.



So what to mark? There is one simple pleat on each side of the front, right in front of the pockets. This can be partially sewn down a short bit, or just pinned in place. Here a small cut in the edge of the seam allowance will be enough.

Then you have the overlap. First there is a pleat almost at center front ( by the way, don’t mix up center front markings with the pleats markings) ( Yes, this can be mind-boggling, I too got confused at times! Always keep the original printed pattern at hand, for backup and reference)


This pleat is partially sewn down, on the diagonal. Mark both beginning and end of this seam.

(Next pleat is just a fold, or the fake wrap, so that takes just cuts in the seam allowance.)

To pin and sew this partial dart, put a pin through both the stopping points, from the backside of the fabric, and  fold the fabric while pushing the pin through, aligning both layers so the points end up on top of each other.

I always think of folded stuff on  skewers when I fold pleats like this…


Pin the fold, and mark the sewing line.

A good advice about darts is to always pin and mark them from the same side, like this:

1, The beginning of the  dart, thats the edge of the fabric, and where you start sewing,   to your left side

2, The folded edge up, the pins going down.


When marked like this, all darts will be positioned in “the right way”, when you sit down by the machine!  It’s SOO annoying when your clear and perfect marking is somehow on the UNDERSIDE when you sit down to sew, don’t you agree?

By the way, to be effective, pin and mark ALL darts, and make a sewing-pile before moving over to the machine!

I advice you to use a ruler and mark the sewing lines all along the darts.

Here they are, all 5. Two in the back, two in the side of the front ( I  sew them down partially) and the big, diagonal, partial one in the front.

Time to move over to machine!


Oh, no, too soon!

Note! The darts in the back  are “angled”, they go straight down past the elastic, and at the middle point takes a turn out to the bottom, or end point. Do you see the one on the bottom of the pile?

( All these markings are the trickiest part of the culottes, this is why I give so many details on them. Once they are done, you have just the easy stuff left. More or less…)

So here they are, ready to be done!


Sewing ordinary darts, how hard can it be? Well, a lot of sewers have difficulties, so there’s a short description:

First, the partially sewn one are easier, start at the edge and backstitch. Sew to the stopping point and backstitch carefully. As this point is in the middle of the fabric, there will be no difficulties in getting a non-wobbly seam and stop.

The ones reaching the edge of the fold, going out into nothing, can be worse.

So, again, start at the edge of the fabric, the fabric on your left side, the markings on top.

Backstitch at the beginning. Sew down, slowly, following the line. When you reach the stopping point, slowly let the machine reach it, and then keep on sewing, out into the air. Keep a straight line all the

Keep on sewing a little, twisting the threads. Lift the presser foot and the needle, take hold of the fabric and turn it upside down, as you will  now sew in the OPPOSITE direction. Put the needle down and backstitch in the seam allowance.



Cut the thread, but leave the twisted thread between the dart’s end and the backstitching. The twist will ensure that the seam never opens, and the backstitching well away from the end of the dart makes sure there’s no ugly lump.

This is my favorite method, but other can be found on Pinterest and Youtube, naturally.

When all darts are sewn, take your pile to the pressing station!

Always press on the backside only, and remember that a dart is there ( mainly on the backside in this pattern) to give shape and room, so don’t press it flat!

See the bubble here? Butt-room.


The darts in back are pressed down away from center back.

The partial pleats in front don’t need to be pressed down very hard, just a light touch is enough. But make 100% sure you fold them the right way, the edge of the seam allowance should always line up. See below.

If not, try the other way…


Pin the front pleats down, to keep them in place.

The pleat that forms the overlapping wrap can wait until after the pockets are done, and the center front seam too.

But all of that can wait, it’s time to relax with a glass of wine here, see you soon.








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