I suppose it would be useful to remind you all now:
- I'm no expert at either a) sewing or b) culottes. Follow along at your own risk. I recommend waiting to see how it all goes before using any of the info I opine about at length.
- I'm totally enlisting your feedback. You who are sewing experts, you who have made many vintage patterns - those of you who've made culottes (specifically) - we need your help! I'm going to say a bunch of things based on what I've read, or what I've surmised, but if you know better (or different), do tell.
- I'm showing a lot of photos of the versions of Culottes (M9805 aka vintage and B5681 aka modern) and, at least for the next couple of posts, they're all displayed with the inner leg pleats folded closed. That's the only way I could reasonably compare the crotch curves. You'll see what I mean as I go on.
- My Vogue TNT is a modern Big 4 size 14 pattern. The Butterick modern pattern is a size 16. Hmmm. Wonder why I didn't consider cutting the Butterick in a size 14 given that modern sizing is standardized. Size 14 correlates to waist 28", hip 38". Size 16, as I've mentioned, is a 30" waist and 40" hip. I'm somewhere, size-wise, between the two but by using slimmer seam allowances and in light of pattern and fabric ease, I tend towards 14. Interesting that I forgot this... And to complicate matters, the vintage culottes are a (vintage standard) size 18. That correlates to a 30" waist and 39" hip. But vintage patterns are sometimes said to fit small. No doubt, fabric and pattern ease are really going to factor in. I only wish, at this point, I could predict how.
So, to get started, here are a few intro photos of side-by-side views of my now-traced TNT (V1166), M9805 and B5681. I urge you to notice on the "non-crotch" sides of the pattern pieces, specifically:
- How utterly straight to the waist the TNT is. (Left piece)
- How relatively curvy the vintage pattern is. (Right piece)
- How the Butterick is more like the TNT. (Middle piece)
- How much longer in the crotch both culottes pieces are in comparison with the mid-rise TNT pants pattern.
Back pieces, side-by-side
Front Pieces, side-by-side
Even accounting for my generally necessary, short crotch adjustment (about 1.25 inches on both front and back pieces - which you'll observe has already been done on the TNT), the culottes are way longer in the rise. I think that's partly cuz they're meant to be higher waisted than the pants. And I've read, in Pants for Real People, that culottes are meant to hang away from the body at the crotch by a much further distance than pants. How much farther, alas, they didn't say. We're merging the skirt with pants, peeps. Currently, it's a mystery.
First thing first, I removed some length in the crotch on both culottes pieces - approximately 1.25 inches. I don't know if it's the right course of action, but I have to start somewhere:
Back pieces, adjusted for crotch length
Front pieces, adjusted for crotch length
I think that's enough info for this post. My eyes are starting to cross...
Any thoughts about the experiment at this point? Please weigh in!