Are you excited to get started with the actual sewing part of the sewalong? There is a surprising amount of prep involved with sewing, but I always love when everything is ready to go. Make sure you have your machine threaded, tension checked, iron on, and serger prepped (if using one). If you do not have a serger, do not fear! You can use alternative techniques such as zig-zag stitch, pinking shears, bias binding, or french seams.
I am using a slubby tencel denim, which has a clear right and wrong side. Use these photos along with your pattern instruction booklet for full details on each step.
With the right side of your fabric facing up, fold the outer notches in to meet the middle notch along the top edge of each pant piece.
Here is how it looks from the other angle, so you can see the folds.
Pin the pleat in place.
Repeat for all 4 pant pieces, I like to get them all prepped before sewing.
Sew a line of staystitching along the top (3/8” or 1cm from the top edge) to secure the pleats and prevent the pant top from stretching. Sew a line of basting stitches further down (3/4” or 2cm from the top edge) to help keep the pleats in place while sewing. Do not backstitch on your basting stitches, you will remove these later.
Finish the curved edge of all 4 of your pocket pieces using your preferred method. For example, you can serge the edge, trim it with pinking shears, or sew a line of zig-zag stitching to prevent it from fraying. If you plan to finish your inseam pockets using french seams, you do not need to finish your pocket edges.
If you are not using french seams, follow along below. Here is a great tutorial for french seams on inseam pockets if you would like to try that method. With right sides together, place a pocket piece on one of your pant pieces, matching up the side notches. Pin it in place. Repeat this for all 4 pocket pieces and pant pieces.
Check your machine to make sure you are not still set to basting stitch. Sew the pocket to the outer edge of the pant piece using a ½” (1.3cm) seam allowance. Repeat for all 4 pant pieces.
Serge or finish the outer edge of each pant piece and pocket together.
Fold the pocket and to the outside and press.
Understitch the pocket to the seam allowance 1/8″ (3mm) from the folded edge. I have highlighted the stitching in green because it is hard to see my stitching on this fabric. Repeat for the remaining three pant pieces. This helps keep the pockets inside your culottes, not flipping out to the outside.
With right sides together, place one pant FRONT on top of a pant BACK. Make sure you are not sewing both backs together (I speak from experience).
Pin the pants together, along the outer edge and pivoting around the pocket.
Sew using a 5/8” (1.6cm) seam allowance, pivoting at the dot to sew around the pocket. To pivot, lower your needle down and lift your presser foot. Turn the fabric and lower you presser foot before continuing on. Repeat for the other pant leg.
I like to sew an extra line of stitching around my pocket bag, so that if the first one ever gives out there is a backup in place.
Press pocket and side seam towards the pant front, taking care not to leave press lines on your pleats.
You’re finished! Congrats on sewing your Winslow Culottes pleats and pockets! Thursday we will sew the crotch seam and attach the waistband, and you will be able to check the fit at the end of that stage. Thanks for following along! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get updates about new blog posts and patterns from Helen's Closet!