A blog about my adventures in sewing & crafting

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

24 Pair of Navy Culottes!

The Church we belong to also has a Christian school.  School will be starting up soon and I have been asked to make culottes for five girls.  The girls range from 5 to 10 years old. The culottes are a Navy blue knit, mid calf length with an elastic waist.  They should be pretty easy...............

The only thing that worries me is that I don't have a pattern.  I started out laying a pair of the culottes I was asked to mend and tracing around the front piece then the back piece.  I didn't like the way the pattern looked.  I needed help with the crotch area.  It has been many years since I sewed for a little girl. 

I found a free download pattern for a pair of shorts.  I started there, increased the waist measurement for each girl and added about 5" for the elastic to gather.  I then drew a perpendicular line down the center and flared out the leg equally from each seam.  The girls liked about a 26" leg hem circumference.

Shorts to culottes pattern

Each girls' length written on pattern

I'll be using 3/4" elastic for the waist.   I'll serge the edges of all the pieces, then sew them up with a stretch stitch.  I'm thinking that with 1/2" seam allowances, it will allow for alterations as the girls grow. I'm allowing a 1" bottom hem.  These are some energetic girls so I'm trying to decide if a serged hem turned up and twin needle stitch will be sturdy enough or I may do a double 1/2" turned hem.

Culottes pattern layout on fabric
 I could get two pairs of culottes out of 60" length of fabric. 

Fabric sewed like a dream!

 This fabric from Jo-Ann's sewed like a dream. It's called Sew Classic Suiting.  It's 100% polyester.  It has a little stretch too.

The only bad thing is the lint left on my serger.  I will have to give it a good cleaning or two.

Dirty serger

There are 5 girls and 4 pair of culottes each, that's 20 pair.  Plus two girls want two pair of slinky knit yoga waist culottes extra.  A total of 24 pair!  Wow!

Culottes trial run sample

Can you find 14 pair of culottes?

I don't know what to charge.  One of the Moms' said she would get the fabric for her girls.... I was thinking that $5 per pair if you buy the fabric, and $5 plus price of the fabric if I provide fabric.....

Any suggestions?

Faye at Faye's Sewing Adventure reminded me that Project Runway was returning for it's 14th season.  I usually do a marathon watch whenever I can. (There is a lot of testosterone going on TV in our house).  I was happy to get to watch this season's first episode on Saturday. 

I must say, I am partial to Ashley.  I liked her designs and her in general.  I can't wait for the next episode!  I saw on the preview that they have to incorporate Hallmark greeting cards into their design.........very interesting! 

Update on Dear Hubby:  He's doing very well, no complications and he's feeling very good.  He was already bored being stuck at the house the day after his surgery.  He needs a hobby....I've tried to talk him into sewing with me.....No way!

Wish me  A LOT of luck!

Until next time.........................



  1. I'm partial to Ashley myself. She had a little breakdown but came out on top. I've got culottes on the brain too. I'm thinking of at least 2 pair for fall/winter, one pair will definitely be denim. Sounds like you've got a big project going on there. Wishing you the best with it. If I were there I'd help you make them.

    1. Faye,
      I would sure take you up on your offer to help! I can't wait to see your culottes. I'm sure they will be more fun to sew up than these 24 pair! They get boring after pair number 4 or 5! Denim culottes sound very wearable!
      Come on Thursday, for more Project Runway!!!!!

  2. $5.00 per pair sounds unreasonably low. Basic hourly wage is more than that. You are providing time, skill and you developed the pattern. Even if you sew the 20 pairs as an assembly line, the laying out and cutting alone will be time consuming, especially if there are different sizes. Value your time and skill. Even at double, you are giving good value.

    1. Thank you for your advice. I am considering charging more than the $5.00. Valuing myself is one of the hardest things about sewing. Maybe because I love to sew, or it's just society thinking sewing is a "hobby" and not a "real" job...... Anyway, I'm glad I am done with all of these culottes!

  3. I agree with Donna. If you can, you should research what a tailor/dry cleaner in your area would charge just for hemming pants and that would give you a reference point. Good luck with the sewing and glad DH is doing well.

    1. Karen,
      So glad to be done with all of the culottes! I am considering charging more than the $5.00. Thank you for the pep talk & advice!

  4. I hope you charged more than $5.00.When I'm asked to alter something, I base the rate on the current minimum wage, the difficulty of the task and the current market price. Your time and talent are worth more than that (unless of course it's for a charitable cause).

  5. Wow... impressive. I agree that $5.00 is low, maybe $20. I enjoyed PR and surprisingly like Ashley too. Glad your hubby is doing better, sending continued getting better wishes.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment and well wishes. Going to catch up on PR this morning with Dear Daughter & a big cup of coffee!

  6. Your talent, skill and time are valuable. How long did each pair take and what is the price per hour you charge? Let's say they take an hour and you are $15 an hour....charge $15. You can be confident that you're being fair to your client and yourself! And then people know for next time and you don't have this uncomfortable price thing. I don't watch PR....it makes me too nervous!

    1. The pattern was very easy to sew up & I was able to sew 4 pair of culottes in an hour complete from cutting out to hemming. I don't like to sew for others as much as I like to sew for myself. I always say I am a greedy sewer!
      I like Project Runway for the designs, not the drama or negative comments. I like to see what's up and coming in the fashion world. I usually can't watch any type of reality TV because it makes me nervous too. Too much drama stresses me!
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Find a comparable pair of culottes in rtw and charge accordingly. I, too, have a problem establishing prices when sewing for others. Some of my clients want custom clothing at Walmart prices, so I had to become more business like in my approach.