A new pattern has been released into the wild and I was one of the lucky ones to test it. It is of course by Sarah from Pattern Union and it’s for the Hannah Culottes, which look like trousers but don’t have all the fit issues.
I made three pairs in total – two winter pairs and a summer pair and the fit is fabulous irrespective of the fabric I used. The culottes come in three lengths, and you choose a body type as well as a size.
They are wide legged, and have a self-faced high waist with an optional button detail on the front tucks and a centre back zip, which allows easy side seam adjustment.
The cut-away pockets are constructed as a single piece which provides an extra layer of fabric across the front to provide extra support there. A firmer fabric could be used for extra control. There are three body types to choose from to ensure a good fit and it’s easy to work out which category you fall into – Low Triangle, High Triangle and Even Triangle. I’m a High Triangle as my bust and shoulders are bigger than my hips. I much prefer being called this as I’ve been described as a “parsnip shape”!
The pattern sizing ranges from 6-26 and the instructions are excellent, but also come with a video link sew-along. One thing I think is unique to this designer is that there are ten True Fit Stories to help you make any adjustments according to your body fit. These stories came from the pattern testers as Sarah helped them fine tune their fit. However, these culottes need far fewer adjustments than a pair of trousers or jeans due to the excellent design.
The first pair I made is from some wool that Sarah bought in an auction and I snaffled a bit.
One of the pattern options is to include buttons down the front tucks and I found some vintage ones in my stash. These tucks are a really useful fitting tool – they can be made shorter or longer depending on your hips and thighs. One of my buttons is sewn on slightly crookedly, so I shall fix that eventually! I’m wearing a vest made from the same fabric. I took the pattern from a vest that belonged to a friend’s mother and it would be from the 1940s. I need to make the body a little longer so that it sits better at the sides, but I really like these together.
I didn’t make any fit alterations to my culottes and I love the way they disguise my flat bottom. I think these have a very thirties vibe!
My second pair is from some stretch corduroy I bought in New York. Of course I should have gone down a size to accommodate the stretch so these are a little loose (and even looser now as I’ve recently lost some weight)
I again added buttons to the tucks, this time triangular rubber ones I bought in Hong Kong. I’ve paired the culottes with a Liberty knit Plantain Tee, a TNT pattern for me.
My third, but certainly not my last, pair are made from some cotton chambray fabric that Sarah bought in the same auction as the fabric from the first pair. We have an identical pair!
I teamed them with my Merchant and Mills Gyo top, which is the perfect length.
I know people always want to see how the back behaves in different fabric so here we are:
I adore the wide-legged look of these and the deep hems that Sarah always includes.
They are so easy to style – cropped top, tucked in, loose top, it’s all easy. Here I’m wearing it with a tucked in Plantain tee and my sister’s belt which is nearly sixty years old. It has a double heart silver buckle, the outside is beautifully embroidered and the inside is the softest leather. It’s so precious to me and I’m so grateful to her for entrusting me with it.
I have it on the loosest notch but she had put extra holes in at around the 19″ mark. Ah, the beauty of youth!
I think these will be my most worn pair of Hannahs, of the ones I’ve made so far, that is. They are light and so comfortable. Easy to dress up and down. Today they’ve taken me from the shops to a meeting and then to an art gallery opening. I just changed my shoes and threw a duster over the top and felt quite well pulled together.
I see more of these in my future, I definitely want a short pair for summer. And maybe a pair for the evening.
The pattern is currently on sale for $15, so get in quick. Don’t take my word for how good they are – check out the online reviews on the website.