Pattern Roundup: Culottes
Culottes are shorter than palazzo pants but longer and looser than Bermuda shorts. They look great year-round, in a range of pant-weight fabrics. Their cropped length highlights your favorite footwear, too, from tall boots to cute sandals. They are particularly fitting for spring—and might be just the transitional piece you need to get from sweatpants to shorts. With winter approaching the halfway mark, now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming season’s wardrobe. Culottes can be made in a variety of lengths and cuts, and fabric colors ranging from plain black to multi-hued statement prints. Your pattern and fabric choices will make them uniquely yours.
Take a look at our picks for the best culotte sewing patterns here.
The Winslow Culottes are the ideal pattern to bring together comfort and style. They are wide-legged and can be made at any length. This pattern features side-seam pockets, an invisible back zipper, an interfaced waistband, and inverted box pleats in front and back. It is available in women’s sizes 0 to 34 (waist 24 inches to 52 inches, hips 33 inches to 62 inches).
Perfect for beginner sewers, the Ultimate Culottes are an easy-to-sew pair of cropped trousers. They are designed to sit at the natural waist and can be finished with either a waistband that includes wide belt loops or with a waistline facing. Both versions are fitted with a single dart in the front and double darts in the back, plus an invisible side-seam zipper. They can be adjusted for shorts length or palazzo pant length. All you need is a light- to medium-weight woven fabric in your favorite print. This design is available in women’s U.S. sizes 8 to 20 (waist 26 inches to 38 inches, hips 36 inches to 48 inches).
Another pattern well-suited to beginning sewers, the Ninni culottes are an elastic-waist pant with side pockets. Grab a lightweight to medium-weight drapey knit fabric to give these comfortable pull-on pants a try. Though the pattern is designed for knit fabrics, there are instructions for using wovens as well. Check out some of the examples of this pattern for inspiration. Available in women’s U.S. sizes 0 to 24 (waist 23 5/8 inches to 46 1/2 inches, hips 33 1/8 inches to 55 7/8 inches).
The Gobi Culottes pattern is meant for intermediate-level sewers. These unique pants feature a contour waistband that sits at the natural waist and a buttoned fly-front opening. The silhouette is reminiscent of an above-the-knee, A-line skirt. This design includes front pleats with topstitching, front pockets, and back seams for shaping. Just add length for a pair suitable for fall. Medium-weight, nonstretch woven fabrics work best for this pattern. The design is available in women’s U.S. sizes 00 to 20 (waist 25 3/8 inches to 40 1/2 inches, hips 33 1/4 inches to 48 inches).
CamiMade Mirage Wrap Culottes tie at the front and back, creating two different relaxed but trendy looks, depending on which side you tie first. The overlapping panels on these pants offer full-length coverage while allowing for breezy comfort on hot days. This pattern also includes two darts at the front and back, an inseam, and a double waistband. Read our full review of the CamiMade Mirage Wrap Culottes pattern. The wrap culottes are available in women’s U.S. sizes A to H (waist 24 1/2 inches to 37 3/4 inches, hips 34 1/4 inches to 47 3/4 inches).
The Mood Fabrics Maple Culottes are perfect for a business-casual office or a daytime outing. They have a fly-front zipper closure and are fitted snugly through the hips with darts. This versatile pattern can be made in a variety of fabrics; they are shown in wool suiting. Sewing this design in medium-weight fabrics make the culottes a go-to garment for fall. Available in women’s U.S. sizes 2 to 30 (waist 24 1/2 inches to 49 1/2 inches, hips 34 1/2 inches to 63 inches). This free pattern is downloadable from the Mood Designer Fabrics website. (Note: Measurements given on the site don’t specify whether they are body or finished garment measurements. Before cutting, compare your body measurements with the pattern dimensions to be sure you’ve got enough ease.)
Connie Crawford’s culottes pattern features an elasticized waistband, pleats, tucks and side pockets. A relatively easy make, this pattern is available in sizes XS to 6X (waist 25 inches to 58 inches, hip 35 inches to 76 inches).
As winter progresses, you may have the urge to start sewing for the transition to spring. Any one of these culottes patterns can make a comfortable, cool-to-warm-weather pant. Just add tights under your culottes on chillier days to extend the seasons you wear them in. Best of all, there is a pattern for any occasion, and many can be styled in more than one way.
Have you made any of these patterns? If so, be sure to share pictures in our Readers Closet gallery, or tag us on Instagram with #memadethreads.