The “Angels” Culottes | Debi Fry
Fabric: 1.5 metres of 100% Cashmere fabric, £8
Pattern: Simplicity 8248 from my Grandma!
Year: c. 1977
Notions: zipper from stash, £.05
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? Yes–though I don't think it will get a heavy rotation!
Total Cost: ~£8
A lot of different things came together for this week's challenge. First, I was able to use a pattern that my Grandma got for me:
This pattern is from the year I was born–1977! (Ok, just out of curiosity, does that make me older or younger than you thought? :)
I really wanted to try out a pattern that included an article of clothing very unique to the 70's and I think I found it!! The knee length culotte!
My second inspiration for this week's challenge is another woman that I adore, Jaclyn Smith:
I absolutely love her hair! I tried my best to replicate it but let's just face it…you can never be as cool as Jaclyn or any of the original angels!
The third thing that came together this week was the fabric for my culottes! Back at the beginning of the summer, I was in Glasgow and just so happened (hehehehe) to be in the neighbourhood of Glasgow's best fabric store, Mandors. I was delighted. I spent ages looking at EVERYTHING (if you've ever done any fabric shopping with me, you know how indecisive I can be–my modus operandi is to do a reconnaissance mission first and then I only buy fabric on my second time around)! Not so on this day. I was thoroughly inspecting the wool section and lo and behold on the very bottom shelf was this amazing 100% cashmere fabric. I looked at the price tag and it said £5 per metre!!!! WHA???? The original price of £35 per metre was crossed out! I kid you not, my breathing actually got shallow!! Ok, I needed to act cool. I looked around a bit more. Then I casually approached the lady for check-out. I asked her if that was the correct price. She was just as surprised as me. Apparently, there were a few bad spots in the fabric–but really, you could hardly notice them and they were few and far between. As she was unfolding the fabric, I first asked for 5 metres….then I started to hear the staff taking dibs on the fabric and increased my request to 7 metres! I figured this was probably my only chance in the near future to get to play around with sewing with 100% cashmere so I should buy enough for a suit plus some other projects! My first experimentation with the cashmere is for these culottes!
The cashmere is so incredibly lightweight and drapey–but also a bit tempermental (needs narrow hems as pins and other pricks show on the right side of the fabric). It's like butter…it's so smooth. I really wanted to get a feel for it–so I thought this was the perfect pattern to test it out on (also because this is my most neutral 70's shade in my stash) :)
Overall, I am quite pleased with these. It's a great pattern to work with–and the instructions were very straightforward. In retrospect, I think I could have cut one size larger as the pocket area has some creases (you can see in the photo). Now, the pockets were a bit difficult to insert–so that just may be my bad sewing but I think I probably could have made it one size bigger (and basted my pockets flat before sewing the seam–cashmere like other drapey fabrics likes to shift a bit).
The pattern has a really great yoked waist in the front and the zipper in the back. The front yoke needs quite a bit of interfacing and twill tape to keep it stable.
David and I had so much fun with these photos. He had all these 70's poses he was instructing me how to do! He even brought up the Virgina Slims ads (cigarette company) from the 70's on the computer and said 'they had the best poses'…hehehehehe. That was loads of fun! But apparently I need strong ab muscles to do some of the poses without looking strained :)