Butterick B6178 culottes

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I challenge anyone to find a more perfect culotte pattern than Butterick's B6178 - but seriously, if you do please let me know, because I'm really getting into culottes now. I'm sewing them up like they're going out of fashion (they probably will soon...but I don't care, which is a good job, as I made 2 pairs of these in as many weeks).

First pair of B6178's
Culottes have always stirred up a little interest in me. I made a sort-of pair last year by hacking the GBSB Casual Trousers pattern, and sometimes wear them with a detachable pinafore bib, but they are what they say on the tin - casual. The Named Mimosa Culottes have been on my radar for a while, but they're just a little too voluminous to tempt me. When I came across a pair of B6178s on the Sew Tesutti blog, I was sold, these were the ones.
I made view D - the simplest version, without any additional pleats or tucks - and I think they are spot on, both in volume and fit. The have handy pockets, and fasten with a zip up the back - another opportunity to avoid trying a fly fastening! I thought I would be cutting it quite fine size wise, as my measurements aligned with the size 14... no room for manouever if I needed the next size up as I'd only bought the version of the pattern that went up to size 14. Luckily there's plenty of ease in the culottes, and I although I didn't need to, you could probably attach the waistband with a bit more ease and get an extra inch out of them.

Pair two, worn on holiday in Barcelona
I made pair 1 in a khaki, mid-weight, poly/crepe-feel fabric from the grab bins in Abakhan. I wasn't so sure if I'd definitely like the style and fit, so I didn't want to commit to anything fancy fabric-wise. Anyway, I thought they were great and was wearing them straight away. The fabric was a really good match too as it has a great drape, and hangs really nicely. The culottes are Ease-Stitched into the waistband, basted and then sewn. I managed to catch a few little tucks by accident when sewing, so they're not quite the neatest, but the bits I caught are pretty symmetrical, so I didn't feel the need to unpick the whole thing and sew it again - it's a design feature darling.

Close up of fabric used for my 2nd pair
I took a little bit more care over my second pair. In fact, quite a lot of care over making sure the pinstripes in this lovely Fabworks crepe/viscose were straight. I had such a clear vision of the finished version in this fabric - I was thinking Cos/Comme des Garçons style with a little Vivienne Westwood pirate era thrown in - and I'm so pleased that they match up to it in reality! There's actually a pair just like them in Topshop for around £30 at the minute - mine cost around £12 to make.

Why buy Topshop when you can make your own?
I was sewing pretty fast as I wanted to wear them for a night out, and they only took me about 4-5 hours, including hand-finishing the waistband - I've never slip stitched so fast! It's a great, no-fuss pattern to make up. The only thing I'd do differently next time - yes there's definitely going to be a next time - is to apply heavier interfacing on the waistband. I never really pay attention to the weight of interfacing required, so I have that bunchy waistband problem fairly regularly. 

Pictures taken in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
Back view!
I'm currently trying to work out the fit of the By Hand London Flora bodice so I can make a B6178/Flora mash-up to wear to a summer wedding or two - fingers crossed it works!

FBA and fitting adjustments to the Flora bodice
I also have some of the pinstripe fabric left and fancy making a matchy-matchy top - I'm channeling Cos-style again here. It's a decent chunk, but probably less than a metre... Does anyone have any simple top recommendations for woven fabric? Maybe something sleeveless or cropped would work, or perhaps one of the Seamwork patterns..?

Stay in touch!

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  1. Cool culottes! I've made this pattern, too! Check it out here: http://seecarmensew.com/2016/04/10/crop-top-fever/

    If you make another pair, make a matching top to go with ;)

    1. Hey Carmen! I love your culottes and top set! Definitely aiming to make a matching top for the pinstripe ones - just needs to find the right pattern first! X

  2. gorgeous, I have just made a pair in linen and in same dilema re tops as i think it needs to be fitted to balance the linen..... your two choices are lovely...... I am going to try subversive femme 1002 rockabilly wrap, I love that grey top.... inspiring!

    1. Thanks Eimear - yeah I think it's quite difficult to get the balance just right with all the volume on the bottom! I hadn't heard of Subversive Femme before but the rockabilly wrap looks lovely - hope it works out well :) x

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah I think the cropped version might be a good shout! :)

  4. New Look 6483 looks like a nice and simple top for a woven fabric and I imagine it would work cropped too. I can't wait to see your Flora culotte mash up! I think they'll make a great pairing.

    1. That's a great suggestion Jo! I think I might actually have it hanging around in my stash somewhere (definite evidence that my stash is too big)! x

  5. These are brilliant. I've had culottes at the back of my head because I like Megan Nielsen's Tania culottes pattern. The legs are very wide on those thought - more like a half circle skirt, but culottes. I have the pattern, but just haven't made it yet.

    My local sewing pal Ruth made some lovely culottes using Vogue 2807. Here's a link to her post:


    1. Thanks Lynne! You should definitely make the Tania culottes - I bet they'll look fab :)
      And thanks for the link to Ruth's post - her culottes look great. I think the style suits just about everyone! x


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