The Lazy Cycling Culottes

I want to spend some time exploring the bike paths when I venture down to Hilton Head next month. Bike shorts are not my style or speed, I plan on leisurely (lazy) rides and wanted a practical, yet cute outfit. Luckily culottes have made a comeback, with the latest incarnation – midi style. I had visions of the longer length catching in the bike and ripping apart as I tumble off the bike, so going with knee length seemed a safer choice. The is-it-a-skirt look was appealing, so I went with Butterick 6178, version A. The top for the outfit is vintage 1964 McCalls 7584, my second time with this pattern.

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The vision in my head had the culottes in blue chambray with a floral print top, but fabric karma was not with me and there was no chambray to be found. Don’t you hate it when you have a project design all worked out and something gets in the way? I’ve been seeing lots of cute chambray skirts on Pinterest and Instagram, so maybe I’ll order some and do a skirt later. This project was on a deadline to be done while my husband was off on a golf weekend. So Plan B, find a different fabric combination.

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At Haberman Fabrics I found my alternatives. A navy and white (looks gray in the photo) mini checked cotton for the culottes and a striped shirting cotton for the top.

Other than yoga pants in yoga class, I don’t wear pants. I don’t like how they look on me and find them to be uncomfortable, especially for sitting. Although the culottes have a loose fit, the lower torso length could still be an issue. I’m short, but oddly long through the area called the lower torso, aka crotch depth.

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Since I haven’t made any garments needing to accommodate this recently, I had to hit the books. Yep, I’m a shorty with a long lower torso. Adjustments needed.

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After making a muslin, cutting out the size 12, with the size 14 crotch depth, I made the adjustment to lower the depth a little more. For my normal short person proportion adjustments, I made the waistband 1/4 inch narrower, so it didn’t go up too high on my short waist.

With my husband out of town, I spread out and moved my sewing to the family room to enjoy some rare sunshine. I may get a little sloppy when my husband is gone, but he’ll never know. The coffee table can make a good cutting table with smaller projects like the top.

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The top pattern was a repeat, fitting previously done, just layout and cut. I made one minor change in the zipper, using a 14 inch zipper and adding a button and loop at the top of the back. The original pattern instructions call for a separating zipper. I don’t think I’m flexible or coordinated enough to use a separating zipper in the back of a top, even with all the yoga.

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A comfortable outfit for lazily exploring the bike trails in Hilton Head Plantation.

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Me Made May Update

Day 18 – Skirt from Burda 121 my third version of this pattern in cotton from Haberman Fabrics

Day 19 – Top Simplicity 1590, skirt from unmarked pattern in silk from Chicago South Loop Vogue Fabrics

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Day 20 – Skirt a hack from dress pattern Vogue 8993 in Amy Butler fabric from Satin Moon in SFO.

Day 21 – Alabama Chanin fitted dress pattern in organic cotton with back stitched reverse applique.

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Day 22 – Dress Vogue Patterns 8996 in Oscar de la Renta fabric from Mood. At Habermans Fabrics, checking the drape of the cotton for my culottes.

Day 23 – Dress  Butterick 6582 Retro 1960 in a poly blend.

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Day 24 – Details blogged above

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One more week of Me Made May.  I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone else’s postings, it’s been fun.

 

 

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The Side Effects of Me Made May

A sharpened eye, finished UFOs , refashioning, wardrobe deficient identification and self photography fatigue – all side effects of participation in the phenomenon of Me Made May. I was warned, Zoe even mentions some of these  in her Me Made May Sign Up posting.

In my first bout of Me Made May, I thought I would be immune. As the month has progressed, I found myself contemplating what was missing from my wardrobe and spending time observing others’ makes on #MMMay15 Instagram, seeking those also afflicted with the love of pretty print dresses. Then I actually found myself pulling out a dreaded UFO. It had hung in the back of my sewing room closet, incubating for nearly a year.

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The top, Butterick 5988, was actually fininshed. What! When did I do that? Have you ever had sewing memory loss?

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Although it looks fine on the dress form, somehow on me it didn’t look quite right. Maybe that’s why it had been cast aside. Was it the neckline or maybe the cap sleeves? Just what could be the diagnosis? Further examination revealed it needed 4 inches amputated from the hem. Short people may need proportion adjustments. Having a top end too low on the hip just makes you look even shorter. It had to be chopped off and was instantly much cuter for it.

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The skirt was a copy of a RTW skirt from Loft, hacked from Vogue 7937. I had changed it to a single back vent and added the partial yoke in the front and back.

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Although the yoke doesn’t show when wearing this top, it helps the fit. The skirt needed to be taken in on the sides, a petersham waistband added and a hem. In all just an afternoon to finish the outfit. Photographing took almost as long. Michigan has an abundance of cloudy, rainy days, our pale faces are seeking the sunlight, along with a location to get some decent photos.

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My affliction continues with another attempt to refashion. A skirt my sister passed along. She said it looked dowdy on her and she is four inches taller, so it really looked dumpy on me. There’s a lot of lace there, once I get it all unpicked. Darn those RTW seam finishes.

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I’m also following a lot more bloggers, Instagramers and Pinterest boards now. Yikes, how contagious is this? What’s Me Made May doing for your sewing?

The weeks MMM update:

Day 11 – Skirt Burda 121 – Waverly Fabric from Satin Moon in SFO

Day 12 – Pattern Mash up dress, bodice Vogue 8766, Butterick 5982, skirt Butterick 5385. Two layers of fabric, fuschia cotton under navy & white open cut work

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Day 13 – Skirt Burda 121 again, polished cotton from Haberman Fabrics

Day 14 – Skirt Simplicity 2315 in broadcloth, made 4 or 5 years ago.

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Day 15 –  Skirt cloned from RTW in giant peony cotton from Haberman Fabrics

Day 16  – The UFO from above

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Day 17 – Skirt Butterick 5041 made 5 or 6 years ago, fabric from JoAnns

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