At last, scalloped culottes UFO to FO

Howdy peeples,  I am delighted to exit a UFO & finally finish it.  Yep, these scalloped shorts noted aeons ago have sat unloved & ripped up waiting for some alterations.


Whereas previously I’d made a different view (A) with back zip & neat little waistband, this version called for a yoke and side zip (view C) , which I have concluded is a right pain to get the fitting right, particularly if you adorn said yoke with rick rack like piping.

It had been lingering for ages after inordinate amounts of crotch alterations, only to realise that it was the waistband that really needed to be taken in.  Like this much:

Gah!  I just couldn’t face it.  For ages.  It sat in my basket eyeballing me everytime I went looking for self cover buttons or the spare tape measure.  I had to unpick the yoke, the rick rack & the invisible zip.  I had to then do it all over again including lining up the invisible zipper with each side of the yoke- got there in the end though.  You can take my word for getting the zip right as I’m going to show bits that weren’t perfect.  First a successful scalloped edge (inside leg seams, typical)

And the pathetic scallop join on the visible outside edge (looks like a curly bracket)

So, not perfect self drafted scallops, somewhere along the way I got the drawing & probably sewing wrong!  Oh well.

Thankfully I grabbed a few hours on Sunday morning to get this to a stage to make it my Andy Murray sewing – I’d managed to leave myself the last step, attaching the facing by hand whilst watching the first exciting set.

Just being coaxed to show you that they do fit -although culottes are funny – according to Pants for Real People (p12 – I have not progressed very far) crotch ease for culottes is bigger- 1 1/2″- I am not sure I fitted mine out (when you look behind you can see it might be less than that!)

(Like the spotty suit?!?! ;-) only for you!)

This is what you can do when you wear shorts/ culottes/ whatever.  They reminded me that I’d made a wonderful pair in the late 80s, a vogue pattern (a Very Easy Very Vogue one) it came with a skirt, culottes & a top with stand collar & central box pleat & back buttons.  I’d made all of it in different guises & the culottes were THE perfect girly shorts pattern that very much looked like a skirt – with pockets.  I looked on Etsy & Ebay but haven’t tracked it down – anyone know which one I am referring to?  Here’s my sketch

WHY did I get rid of it?  I would love to have it still ….it was also the pattern I used to make my “ball gown” only it was separates made out of dark green shot taffeta (not culottes, silly, that would be too 70s for a teenager in the 80s!).  I still have this green outfit.  I made the skirt a longer length with a split up the back that was reinforced numerous times after many a drunken student fling around various dance floors.  If anyone knows of this pattern please could you leave me some information – even a pattern no. would be good then I could try to track it down …

 These shorts need pockets, side seam pockets, but I don’t think there’s enough room in them.  In my dreams my next pair will try to recreate that Vogue pattern I once had….a moderately (but not too balloon-like) swishy “divided skirt”, small front pleats (I think) back darts, side seam pockets, back zip & fabric with drape….

In the meantime they could well be great lounge wear (worn with the appropriate footwear) …


40 thoughts on “At last, scalloped culottes UFO to FO

  1. Louise

    They are great, I had a pair of culottes in the early 90s and I loved then, look like a skirt but secretly shorts! I’m too scared to try trouser/shorts but if I did it would be something like that!

  2. Roobeedoo

    Winnie – those are SUCH fun! You really must make more!
    And I must get my finger out and make my pleated shorts. The term “divided skirt” makes me shudder though – it is almost as bad as “skort”. “Long shorts” is much better! ;)
    I don’t know the pattern you are seeking but I did have a recent influx of 1980′s / 90′s patterns (I dare not confess how many as you might faint) so I will have a check through in case there is something similar. It can be hard to see beyond the bouffant hairdo illustrations sometimes!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Yes “divided skirts” sound so bleuagh…I am sorely tempted by some of the 80s patterns (afterall I’ m trying to rekindle “the” original Very Easy Very Vogue) & you bet I could fashion my very own bouffant, oh yes!

    1. LinB

      Yes, the poses are wonderful: spots dancing before our eyes! The waist yoke silhouette works so well on your figure — with a big difference between hip and waist measurement, sometimes darts and tucks can’t gracefully handle the extra fabric. They go all poochy or something. You achieved a nice, smooth transition with these shorts.

  3. Kerry

    These are lovely! So sweet and summery. I hope you track down your pattern too – nothing like a bit of pattern detective work!

  4. didyoumakethat

    Another classic Scruffy Badger photoshoot! Though my favourite is still the one of you sat on the stairs in your PJs, gossiping down the phone to your girlfriend. I love these on you – they are just so ‘you’. They also look incredibly comfortable. Perfect for weekend lounging around, I’d say! Please make more. I hope you find your lost pattern.

  5. Sam

    Oh, these are so cute! I love them. I think I need a pair – just a little longer so they don’t show my knees. That’s if it was warm enough to wear them at all!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Actually longer ones that come to just below the knee look good with long boots (& knee socks!!) My denim (shop bought shorts that could actualy fit the culotte mould) look really great with boots …

  6. Vicki Kate

    Love them! I’m planning (if the pattern ever turns up…) shorts with a skirt over the top – scooter skirts they were called I think! Your original culottes pattern sounds amazing though.

  7. Vicki Kate
    Not quite the same as your sketch, but close?
    Or that one?

  8. Tanit-Isis

    You are so adorable! OK, the culottes are, too, but mostly you. The fit looks perfect, imo. Pity about the vestigial scallop, but I don’t notice it in any of the other photos so it can’t be too obtrusive.

  9. liza jane

    I wore the heck out of some culottes in the late 80′s as a child. Remember a few years ago when they came back as “gauchos?” At least that’s what they called them around here. I knew they were just some good old fashioned culottes. I think I actually had a floor length pair. Hope you find that pattern. I kind of feel like I need some culottes of my own now.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Floor length culottes take some beating ! I guess that’s just with our 2012 glasses on…somehow short culottes aremore socially acceptable – I bet some people (you included) can really rock long culottes (or gauchos) however ….

  10. Phil

    I really like these, I think you could wear them outside the house no problem, they would be great holiday wear especially. I don’t know what’s going on at the moment (collective nostalgia?), I’ve been wondering about culottes too. I just picked up McCalls 3410 at my local charity shop (all of 50p!), which has a couple of length options. The fullness of the leg is gathered into a semi- circular yoke so I’m not sure they will be as flattering as your flat yoked version. If I see the pattern you are after I will send it to you as your need is greater lol!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      The mccalls sounds Like it could be interesting Phil, I think a semi circ yoke could be really flattering….and thank you for keeping a look out for “my” pattern ;-)

  11. Melizza

    I LOVE these culottes! And you look so adorable in them. I bet your next pair will be spot on (sorry, I couldn’t resist, I am such a cornball).

  12. Sigrid

    I had a great pair of blue and white striped culottes in the 8Os with sailor styling. Your wonderful spotty pair and great poses reminds me of how comfortable and fun they were to wear. You know, since your Ginger waistband fits so well, do you think could use it in the future as a sort of waistband sloper to test the fit of other patterns?

    I could kick myself for getting rid of a great Calvin Klein dress pattern that I made some fabulous versions of in the 80s. I sincerely hope you find your old love. Don’t you think there should be a “desperately seeking” site for us to reconnect with patterns we once were in a relationship with?

  13. linB

    Have been culling a collection of patterns that someone thrust upon me recently. There are several, from the 60s and 70s, that describe this sort of garment as “scooter shorts,” “culottes,” “divided skirts,” and, most frequently, as “pantskirts.” Shoot me your mailing address and I’ll happily post them to you — for your and/or your friends’ experimentation. (I have no emotional connection to these patterns, and no interest in making them up myself! I vaguely remember my mother using one like these to make up shorts for either me or my sister, in our early teens. We are both well beyond the style and the size of this pattern; neither of our 20-something, unmarried daughters has the least interest in making or wearing them; the word “grandchildren” sends both girls into peals of laughter.)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ha ha it’s “pantskirts” that sends me into peals of laughter Lin! Thank you so much for your generous offer, I would love to take you up on it if it really is not too much trouble. I feel some experimentation in pantskirts coming along!!! And maybe get others to join me – what a great idea!


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