Easy, breezy, summer pants. That’s the perfect description for this make!
When this fabric first caught my eye, I immediately pictured big, wide leg palazzo pants, flowing in the breeze while I sat poolside with a drink in my hand at an all-inclusive beach resort. I’m not sure the beach resort and poolside cocktail are in my immediate future, but I knew at the very least I could make the pants in that vision come to life!
I’ve pretty much always been a big fan of breezy, flowy, wide leg pants. I’ve been on the search for a great pattern for this style of pants for a little while, and earlier this year had some success with my Portobello Trousers, but they still weren’t exactly what I had in mind. The next pattern on my list to try was the Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes – and I’ve not been disappointed!
I sewed up the longest length version in a size 8, based on my current measurements. I left out the pockets, as I knew they might end up adding more bulk than I wanted with this thin fabric. Although pockets always make me happy, I think leaving them out was the right decision here!
The fit is absolutely spot on – just tight enough around my waist that they settle exactly where I want them, but not so tight that they’re nipping in too far and squeezing me. I find that I almost always have to size down from the suggested size based on my measurements in almost any pattern, so the fact that these fit like a dream made me so happy. I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern, so this is what the size 8 looks like on a person who is 5’8” tall and has a waist measurement of 28”. I would consider adding 0.5” to 1” to the length in the future, because when I move they are just a little higher than I’d prefer… You guys know how I feel about long pants and maxi skirts with my big old feet!
Another piece of instruction perfection was the zipper insertion. I’ve been sewing long enough now that the actual installation of an invisible zipper doesn’t give me any anxiety anymore. Despite this, I always find that the finished garment is always just slightly off… The top of the zipper and the waistband don’t align just right, no matter how many times I double check and mark things. Not an issue with this pattern – I actually think this is the nicest looking invisible zipper I’ve placed to date. Thanks Helen, for your beautiful pattern instructions!!
Let me tell you a little more about the fabric. I’m not a huge fan of chiffon – it is thin and fiddly and it likes to fray. However, sometimes you just can’t get that same light, drapey quality from any other fabric. I worked with a crepe chiffon on my last project with Stylish Fabrics, and things went well enough that I was willing to try my hand at another chiffon garment. This time, I chose this wool dobby chiffon, and it was SO much easier to work with! There is a little more weight to the fabric, and it just seemed a little more steady to sew with. It is still thin and shifty, and requires some attention and precision when cutting, but it just seemed like a much easier substrate to work with. If you are new to working with chiffon, I’d recommend wool dobby as a great starting point!
The suggested double-turned hem wasn’t a great option for me with this fabric, so I decided to break out my brand new Madam Sew presser foot box and try out a new-to-me presser foot – the flat hem foot! This foot functions essentially just like a rolled hem foot, but offers a slightly wider, slightly flatter hem finish. I was so glad I’d tried this out – it was a great way to hem this chiffon, and I am looking forward to using this with more thin fabrics in the future!
These pants paired so perfectly with this cool geometric crop top I have had in my closet for years! I have paired it with skirts a couple of times in the past, but sometimes feel like I’ve never found just the right thing to wear it with. I’m so glad I’d always decided to keep it, despite many closet clean outs – it felt like these pants and this top were meant to go together. The hem of the top meets almost perfectly with the waist of the pants! These sunglasses were the perfect final touch for this resort-ready (in my dreams) outfit… They are 2 pairs for only $16 on Amazon!! I’ve linked them below, if anyone else is in need of some cute sunglasses that won’t make you cry if you lose them at the lake.
Although I don’t have any all-inclusive vacations planned as of today, I’ll be wearing these glorious pants around town until I finally have a chance to wear them in their natural poolside habitat. If you’re interested in sewing up a pair of your own, I’ve listed everything that I used just below!
Pants: handmade by me
Pattern: Helen’s Closet – Winslow Culottes
Fabric: Stylish Fabric – Tan Turquoise Feather Leaf Print Wool Dobby Fabric
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker
Madam Sew 32-piece Presser Foot Set
Schmetz Universal Machine Needles – Size 70/10
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Mosanana Cateye Sunglasses
Though the fabric used in this post was generously provided to me by the awesome team at Stylish Fabric, all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth