I didn’t really *need* this pattern, but have been admiring the Winslow Culottes from afar when I've seen them crop up on the blogosphere. I’ve become an avid fan of the Love to Sew Podcast, and so when Helen announced a Black Friday pattern sale I decided that this was the impetus I needed to support an indie designer who comes across as so nice, so I took the plunge and bought it. Plus I could justify it in that I had a friend’s birthday coming up and knew that she would love this design, which I thought would be easy to make in her size without any need for in-person fitting sessions as the crotch is dropped and there is an easy flowy fit over the hips.
While waiting for my friend’s measurements to be sent over, I decided to crack on and make a test pair for myself. I put on the latest episode of Love to Sew and proceeded to get into the zone. I don’t usually enjoy the cutting stage - I just want to get it over with - but when I have something lovely to listen to it definitely encourages me to get more absorbed in the process and take my time.
The Winslows are an easy make, my only slight hiccups were that I decided to interface the pocket openings as per a tip from another pattern, which I think was a mistake in this crepe as it’s added a bit of structure over the hips, exaggerating the proportions a bit more (I should have learnt my lesson after doing the same thing with my Clemence skirt, but oh well, I’ve thoroughly learned it now!).
I also inserted the centre back zip slightly too high so that the top would have been a fraction of an inch above the notch for the fold. I was tempted to leave it and fudge the waistband fold, but knew this would make the waistband all skewed so ripped it out and started again with more attention to making sure the top of the zip wouldn’t interfere with the turn of cloth - definitely worth taking your time over! I’m also totally rubbish at stitching in the ditch, so gave up and just edgestitched the bottom of the waistband down. It doesn’t look as clean, but I am terrible at catching the inside of the waistband when stitching in the ditch. I also experimented with machine blindstitching the hem, but this bouncy crepe was having none of it so I reverted to the original instructions, but wish I’d pressed a little better!
Anyway, there’s always something to improve in my construction, but I have to say that this is a lovely pattern that is fun to make and fun to wear! It looks great with my cropped vintage sweaters, and makes really easy workwear too as this fabric looks professional but doesn’t need much ironing. I do need to watch out for the static cling though, as this fabric (a “luxury French crepe” from Minerva crafts) loves to crackle, especially when I’m wearing tights for warmth underneath (my friend told me to avoid this I should moisturise under my tights - my dry shins are obviously causing an electricity build up!).
I made a straight size 12 and these have worked out great. The waistband is nice and nipped in, but I have just enough room to tuck tops in for a more streamlined look, and the flare gives some nice drama. These are also a decent contender in their full length for the dramatic Alice from Godless trousers I’m keen to make up for myself too...
I might be a bit late to the trend (as with my tipsy Roberts overalls purchase) but I’ve already got a lot of wear out of these (including a mad dash to and from Belfast in a day, which saw them last admirably through two flights) and love the fact that they provide an easy and elegant option for my everyday wardrobe, and in this fabric don’t need ironing. I'm very happy I bought these, they're a lovely pattern and I really like the styling ideas that are included in the instructions as an extra thoughtful touch. FYI if anyone's interested in the jumper I'm wearing, this is made up from a 1940s vintage knitting pattern by my mum. I'm afraid I can't remember the name offhand, but she always types up a detailed report on Ravelry - check out Knichet if you're on there!
Have you ever been swayed to buy a pattern based on the designer's personality? This isn't the first time it's happened to me actually, I've also been wooed by Heather of Closet Case patterns, Kelli of True Bias and Megan of Megan Nielsen, Gertie and all her lovely vintage pattern books - and not to neglect my first real sewing hero Tilly, of Tilly and the Buttons!
Until next time,