A finished sewing project! A rare occurrence around here lately, aside from Chi-Town Chinos. 😉
I introduce you to the Winslow Culottes. Folks, that is not a skirt I’m wearing–I repeat, this is not a skirt! These are pants!
This pattern is the first (of many greats, I’m sure) from Helen of Helen’s Closet. Helen released this pattern the same week I released the Chi-Town Chinos. Soon after, she asked me if I would be up for swapping patterns–and what’s better than evenly trading a pattern with someone else?!
The pattern features four different length options: shorts, knee-length, midi-length, and full-length palazzo pants. I made the shorts (view A) in a basic black rayon challis ($4.99/yd at Vogue Fabrics).
The one-piece waistband is interfaced and big inverted box pleats fall from there.
There are inseam pockets(!)…
The center back seam houses an invisible zip, but don’t be too scared off by that–Helen’s well-written instructions will walk you through. I also love how long the zipper is–plenty of room to slide over any size of hips.
These have been popping up all over Instagram looking flattering on literally every single body. I tried–and failed–to envision a body type that these wouldn’t look incredible on. While the waistband is structured, nothing else about these culottes is, so I can’t even imagine any kind of fitting one would need to do! There is so much ease/depth from the box pleats that bumps and bulges would be camouflaged very well. I also envision this being perfect for early pregnancy, too–you know when you look like you ate too much at Chipotle? I have carried both of my kids pretty low, and since these sit right at the natural waist, I think I could get a fair amount of life out of these during a pregnancy. (Later on down the road…this is not a pregnancy announcement…)
I will add here that I am not usually a culottes fan. This is not something I would have ever set out to design myself because it’s really not my normal style. But the legs are so wide that, when sewn up in something with a lot of drape (like this rayon challis), they honestly just look like a skirt. I am so glad that Helen reached out to me to offer a swap because I needed to be pulled out of my comfort zone. If you are feeling unsure about culottes, learn from me–this pattern has converted me to a culottes fan (at least made from this pattern!). I really want to sew some up in the other lengths now!
And they translate well to any season–Helen put together a guide on how to wear your Winslows here to get you started. Then she blew my ever-loving mind when she used a simple bodice pattern to turn her Winslows into a jumpsuit here (it SERIOUSLY looks like a dress…except jumpsuit! *adds to to-do list*).
All in all, I highly recommend this pattern. Helen is a graphic designer by day, so her instruction manual is clean and well-illustrated. The pattern itself is well-designed. It comes in sizes 0-20 and four different lengths. I would recommend this even for beginners. If you’re up for learning how to install an invisible zipper, then everything else is very simple and straight-forward. You would also learn how to make inverted box pleats, inseam pockets, and a waistband, so lots of potential for learning here, but not TOO much if you’re just starting out. For those of you who are more comfortable with PDF patterns and sewing in general, expect to have the entire thing made up very quickly. I had printed + assembled the pattern, cut it out, cut my fabric, and sewn everything start to finish in just 3.5 hours.
Special thanks to Helen for swapping patterns with me! Please know that while we did swap patterns, we did not ask each other for positive reviews of any kind–all of these opinions are completely accurate and I wouldn’t have written anything differently had I paid for the pattern. Swapping patterns is simply a nice benefit of having designed a pattern–you can trade with other designers!
I encourage you to give them a try! You may buy them here in Helen’s shop. Have any of you made these up already? I want to see! Leave a link in the comments if you posted photos somewhere!
Have a great weekend, friends!
P.S. Special, special thanks to my cousin, Courtney, who let me use her BEAUTIFUL greenhouse and yard as a backdrop for these photos. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, go check them out!
Courtsyard & Greenhouse
609 W Epler Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46217