Look — I think it is fair to say that I am a “dress” gal through-and-through. So far this year, I have only written about the dresses I have made (and still have a few more pending dresses to photograph and write about), because I have been supremely useless about making separates in 2022. During Me Made May a few months ago, I started to think a little bit more about maybe branching out into more separates: namely making some basic jeans, trousers and shorts in classic colourways. While my #MinervaMake of wide-leg culottes may not be the most, um, practical of trousers by design and colour choice, I really love them and I feel like I am slowly making some baby steps over here 😅 Minerva gifted me 1.7m of this deluxe wool crêpe and I used a Very Easy Vogue pattern that was recently given away with a sewing magazine — head over to Minerva to read up my blog post or scroll down for more details and photos!
This is my first time sewing with wool, so I was a bit daunted and not sure what to expect! This wool crêpe is truly delightful; it is medium-weight and has the classic crêpe feel, which is tightly woven and with a very fine ‘grainy’ texture. It has quite a lot of bounce and excellent drape, which means these trousers just flow when I walk. This wool crêpe was very stable and easy to sew, but I did find it to be quite ‘springy’ when pressing, so I set my iron to the hottest setting and used lots of steam (after testing first on a scrap piece). The fabric is opaque and the scarlet red is so beautiful and vibrant. I am definitely eyeing up the bottle green shade for a future project, as this wool crêpe is excellent quality and so versatile; I can imagine a long-sleeved shift dress for winter in this fabric would be amazing.
Vogue 9302 was free in issue 108 of Love Sewing magazine and I was inspired by how chic the red culottes looked on the pattern envelope — sometimes the fabrication illustration choices for the Big 4 pattern envelopes are questionable at best, but these looked great! V9302 has two lengths to choose from — either cropped culottes or floor-skimming full length trousers — and it features a gently curved waistband that sits just below the natural waistline, plus some fairly substantial pockets. There are darts at the trouser back to give shape and pleats at the front, which can be pressed into a fold along the entire length of the trousers. The fabric recommendations for this fabric are crêpe, gabardine, linen, and denim — I can imagine a floaty pair in striped linen would be lovely for the summer.
I think that V9302 would be a good trouser pattern for beginners, as they are only fitted at the waist and there is lots of ease factored in at the hips and in the crotch curve. They also don’t have a fly-front closure, but rather a zip at the back — much easier to deal with! I took my time trying to get the zip in as nearly as I could, and I am pretty happy with it. I particularly like the curved waistband, as I find these look better on me than straight waistbands.
I made these in a straight 14, which is the size I usually take for commercial patterns — the finished waistband measurement for this pattern size is 30″ and my waist measurement is 28½”, so I have quite a lot breathing space! I didn’t make any fitting modifications, but next time I may take the waist in a smidgen. I didn’t slip-stitch the waistband in place, but rather stitched in the ditch to speed things along; however, I did hand stitch my trouser hems for an invisible finish.
All in all, I can say I am enamoured with wool crêpe now! Next time, I will certainly take these in a little bit more at the waist, but these culottes feel so floaty and it is so nice to try something new!
Size 6 – 22
Full Bust: 30½″-44″