Monday, June 3, 2013

Culottes, Pattern Drafting Tutorial

I realized I have done a few tutorials as guest posts but I have never brought them home to my own blog which is kind of silly because that makes linking them up on my TUTORIAL page a bit complicated. Soooo here comes one of them from a guest post last summer on the lovely Justine's (which I now after Fabric Weekend consider my friend - we were roomies and boy is she funny!!) blog Sew Country Chick. This is part one that focus on drafting the pattern for the culottes. For part two, which is a sewing tutorial to the culottes that was posted on my own blog, click HERE

I will hurry up and admit that these culottes are a GAP knock off. 
Here you see the 'original' GAP culottes.


1) To make the pattern I started thinking whether I already had a pattern I could use as a base for these shorts and I was in luck. Do you remember THESE shorts? The pattern for those shorts is what you see above. What you need to use this tutorial is any pair of shorts with an elastic waist. So to make the culottes we need to add much more width in the legs - kind of logic, right!

2) It is obviously a big help to have the item you are copying liking so much that you want another one, in your possession. I measured the GAP culottes and compared it to my base pattern. I started by adjusting the side seams, then the curve of the waist and finally elongated the crotch seam.  

3) What we have done up to this point is added width to the crotch area and we obviously want width in the whole shorts leg. And the way to get that is what you see above. I needed to add 8 cm / 3.1 in to the back and 9 cm / 3.5 in to the front pattern piece. If I would have needed to add more width I would have cut up the pattern more but for these numbers I only cut each pattern 3 times. You cut all the way up until there is like 1 mm (in inches? Very little ;-) left and then spread the pattern part till you get the desired gap (you can see the numbers on the photo above). 

4) Then you fill out the gaps by putting paper under and draw your new and now curved lower shorts edge with lots of width and you are now ready to cut and sew your culottes.
I have put on the measurements on the pattern parts for a size 3T* on the photo above and I hope you will be able to make them yourself. 
Please note that the measurements above are WITHOUT seam allowances so please add that in the drafting process.
*You might wonder why I am showing you a pattern for a size 3T and then showing you photos of my 4.5 year old daughter who use size 5T. Weeeell, ideas has been flowing between Justine and I and originally I made a pair for my 2.5 year old who uses size 3. In the end we decided to focus on the (reversible) pair that Wilma is showing below. Don't worry though I will show Evelyn and her pair of culottes next week. (you can see them HERE).
Since I also own the GAP culottes in size 5 (yes, at least I did pay for the product and then copied liked so much I had to make more) I compared the size 3T and 5T and the only difference was the length of the legs that was 1.5 cm / 0.6 in longer than 3T. I decided to extend them further and make them 3 cm / 1.2 in longer than size 3T. Otherwise I kept  them exactly the same.

Click HERE for part two of this post that focuses on the sewing.


  1. these are so adorable! Might be the only way I could get my 5 year old to wear shorts ;)

  2. So simple yet so cute! Thanks for sharing! Thanks for linking up to our Pattern Party!

  3. Oh man I love this tutorial too! There's no shame in sporting adult culottes, right?


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