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DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

DIY culottes with elastic waist band

In this DIY I show you how to make a pair of trendy cropped wide legged pants – more commonly known as CULOTTES in the fashion sphere. I’ve always wanted a pair of these, but I wasn’t sure if it would suit my style, so I decided to make myself a pair. This is such a great way to try out a trend to see if you like it before you actually invest!

What I love most about DIY is that you get to customize your creations however you like. You can play around with different lengths, fabrics and colours! I’m loving this midi length, it has a more casual vibe. I have yet to try out a maxi version which would definitely exude a more classy vibe. I can just imagine a pair of these in white – it would look so fresh and is absolutely perfect for the hot summer months! I added the seam pockets at the last minute, because I love pockets (who doesn’t?), but haven’t included it in this DIY tutorial. If you would like me to do a separate video on how to add simple seam pockets to skirts, dresses or pants, please leave a comment below or on my channel.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

Photo Credit: Ricardo Harvey
Culottes – Made By Me // Top – RipCurl // Pendant – JayJays // Booties – ZARA

On an unrelated note, I’ve really been embracing my natural hair this summer. It’s just way too hot to be blow drying my hair and rocking my natural curls is way more effortless!


If you’d like me to post more DIY tutorials, do hit the like button on the video and subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more if you haven’t already. It gives me motivation to post more DIYs, so I do appreciate your feedback. As you know, I’m a self-taught sewist and DIYer, so the techniques I show you in my video and below are things that worked for me at the time the post was written and the video has been recorded. It may not necessarily be the “industry” way, but it’s certainly an easy way, and I’m happy to share my learnings with you as I embark on this creative journey. Without further ado, scroll further for photos and the DIY reference diagrams in preparation for the video tutorial below. You could use a pair of wide-legged pants (or pajamas) you already have in your closet in order to trace out the pattern, or you could do it from scratch – like I did – below. Feel free to make any adjustments to your pattern as you go along – after all, this is your creation and you get to decide the outcome – have fun with it!

DIY REFERENCE IN PREPARATION FOR THE VIDEO

DIY Culottes Reference | Raylene Harvey

Right-click the above diagram and click Save image as… to download the bigger version. Please note that the diagrams are not to scale and should be used for reference only. Do also note that the seam and hem allowances, as well as the extended widths have already been included in the diagrams.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

All measurements are represented by a shape in the diagram.

1.1 The heart represents your waist circumference measurement.
1.2 The star represents your hips/butts circumference measurement.
1.3 The diamond represents your waist to crotch measurement.
1.4 The triangle represents the length of your culottes from the waist down.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

This box explains the calculations you need to do (i.e. including seam allowance, extended widths, hem allowances, etc) in order to determine the final measurements of the pieces you need to cut.

2.1 Add 1″ seam allowance to your waist circumference measurement.
2.2 Add about a 16″ extended width to your hips/butts circumference measurement. You may extend this width according to your personal preference. I’m a size Medium/32/8, so if you’re about the same, then 16″ would be enough. If you’re petite or fuller, you can simply extend it a few inches smaller or bigger respectively. Finally, add 1″ seam allowance to this measurement.
2.3 Add 1″ seam allowance to your waist to crotch measurement. If you plan to wear your pants lower than your waist, like me, then you can skip this 1″ seam allowance.
2.4 Add 0.5″ seam allowance for the top of the pants and 1″ allowance for the hem.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

3.1 The width of your elastic band should be your waist circumference measurement. Subtract about 2″ from this measurement. Your elastic band needs to be slightly smaller than your waist in order to fit you snugly. I find that 2″ is the perfect balance between being snug enough to fit around waist, and loose enough to pull over your wider hips/butt area.
3.2 This is the width of your elastic band. Mine is about 1,5″ wide. Use this width to help you determine the width of your waist band in 4.2 below.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

4.1 The width of your waist band is your hips/butt circumference measurement plus the extended width (i.e. 16″) and the 1″ seam allowance as calculated in 2.2, represented by the dark star.
4.2 The height of your waist band should be double the width of your elastic band. My elastic width is 1,5″ multiplied by 2 (since I’m folding it in half) which gives me a total of 3″. Then, add 1″ seam allowance to this total as illustrated in the diagram.

DIY Culottes | Raylene Harvey

This diagram illustrates the pieces you need to cut for the pants part. The only real difference between the front and back is that the back crotch area has been extended by one inch in order to ensure that there is enough space for your bottom. Use the below guidelines to help you create your pattern pieces.

5.1 You need two layers of fabric for the front leg pieces.
5.2 You need two layers of fabric for the back leg pieces.
5.3 On the front leg pieces, take the overall width of your hips/butt circumference measurement as calculated in 2.2 and divide this by 4, since we’re working with one of 4 total layers (i.e. 2 front leg pieces and 2 back leg pieces), then subtract 1″ from this since we’re cutting the crotch area at 5.7 “a” inward.
5.4 On the front leg pieces, take the overall width of your hips/butt circumference measurement as calculated in 2.2 and divide this by 4, since we’re working with one of 4 total layers (i.e. 2 front leg pieces and 2 back leg pieces), then subtract 1″ from this since we’re cutting the crotch area at 5.7 “c” inward.
5.5 This is the waist-to-crotch measurement plus the 1″ seam allowance as calculated in 2.3 on the front leg pieces.
5.6 This is the waist-to-crotch measurement plus the 1″ seam allowance as calculated in 2.3 on the back leg pieces.
5.7 On the front leg pieces, this is where you cut the crotch area 1″ inward as represented with the “a”. Use a slight curve as you connect the crotch area to the top of the pants.
5.8 On the back leg pieces, extend the crotch area by 1″, then cut the crotch area 2″ inward as represented with the “b” and the “c”. Use a slight curve as you connect the crotch area to the top of the pants.
5.9 After extending the back crotch area by 1″, connect this line (diagonal) to the bottom of the pants. We need to ensure that the bottom leg pieces are the same width.
5.10 This is the overall length of your pants (including the 0.5″ seam allowance and 1″ hem allowance) as calculated in 2.4 on the front leg pieces.
5.11 This is the overall length of your pants (including the 0.5″ seam allowance and 1″ hem allowance) as calculated in 2.4 on the back leg pieces.
5.12 On the front leg pieces, take the overall width of your hips/butt circumference measurement as calculated in 2.2 and divide this by 4, since we’re working with one of 4 total layers (i.e. 2 front leg pieces and 2 back leg pieces).
5.13 On the back leg pieces, take the overall width of your hips/butt circumference measurement as calculated in 2.2 and divide this by 4, since we’re working with one of 4 total layers (i.e. 2 front leg pieces and 2 back leg pieces).

Once you have created your pattern and cut out all your pieces according to your measurements as explained in the reference diagrams above, you’re now ready to proceed to the best part… putting it all together! Watch the video on my Youtube channel below for the tutorial.

DIY CULOTTES

You can subscribe to my channel here.

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