Last summer, I fell in love with the Winslow Culottes pattern from Helen’s Closet and ended up making a couple of pairs, including a gingham seersucker jumpsuit hack that went on to become my favorite me-made of the year.
I knew I wanted to make another, so I picked up a soft, drapey navy rayon and dove back into the pattern this summer, this time switching from a darted bodice to princess seams. The bodice is my ongoing sloper pattern; it’s still not quite perfect, mostly because I’m impatient (and thus don’t make enough muslins or properly scrutinize the fit along the way), partially because I’ve gained a little more weight since last year. I did also mess up the width of the waistband, resulting in this version being snugger overall than I would like.
That being said, it’s still a lovely basic color, light and airy, and looks fab. I’ll definitely be getting wear out of it, and I look forward to pairing it with lots of bold accessories!
I went ahead and did a visible zip in the back for a little bit of punch, and I love the heavy pewter look to it.
While I was working on it seemed as good a time as any to adjust the pattern and make a second! I’d had this Rifle Paper Company Cotton & Steel rayon in my stash since last year, and had cycled through ideas with it, mostly of different dresses. But I couldn’t decide on one, until I started thinking again about jumpsuits, and then the solution was obvious.
This time, I did a shaped v-neck with a slightly scooped out back neckline, and skipped the waistband in favor of adding an extra 1.5″ to the rise of the culottes (On top of the extra 1/2″ I add as a matter of course, because I’m long-torsoed and high-waisted). I’m IN LOVE.
I used an invisible zip and lined the bodice in some lightweight chambray I had left over, including a pretty beautifully done job of sandwiching the zip between the layers, if I do say so myself.
The florals on this make it such a bold look, and the rayon means it moves beautifully as I walk (though it also wrinkles something fierce). This sucker it going to get a lot of wear.
If you’re thinking of doing your own culotte jumpsuit hack, here are my tips:
- Make sure to add extra to the rise of the culottes if a) they don’t hit right at your waist or b) you aren’t going to add a waistband. Basically, you’ll need enough room to bend over!
- Consider scooping out the butt rise a little extra, again to help with bending-over room. The floral ones in particular are a little wedgie-tastic right now; I plan to take them back to the machine and scoop out an extra 1/2″ at the fullest part of my butt.
- A standard 22″ dress zip works on these for me, but your mileage may vary. Make sure to either baste in your zip and try on, or pin the back butt rise up to just above where the zip will end and try on. Since you can’t pull it over your head like a dress, it needs to open enough to shimmy over your hips!
- Plan out your order of operations for stitching the bodice and write them down! I’ve done each of these a different way: with an all-in-one facing and a faced waistband for the gingham one, with a bodice lining and faced waistband for the navy one (treating the center back seams as one; I finished and serged them all and just folded them under the zip), and with a full bodice lining for the floral one (sandwiched zip and stitch-in-the-ditch to catch the waistband seam at the very end).
- Because you’re adding trousers to a bodice rather than a skirt, you’ll finish the crotch seams before attaching the pieces together; take that into account when planning the order of operations for your zip insertion.
Happy sewing! I would love to see some culotte jumpsuits from you all!