Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

As soon as I saw Helen start posting samples of the different versions of her Winslow Culottes I knew I wanted them. I even nearly signed up to pattern test them, which isn’t something I normally do as I don’t sew quick enough and I don’t know that I’d be that good at giving useful feedback. It was view D, the maxi version that stole my heart though.

winslow culottes

It was a lovely evening last night so I grabbed the manfriend and my camera and we went for a blog photo taking stroll. I’ve professed my love for maxi skirts and dresses every time I sew one and what appealed to me so much about the Winslow culottes is that you get the look of a skirt (in my case maxi) but the comfort of trousers. Be gone evil Summer inner thigh chub rub!

winslow culottes show legs

The culottes sit on your natural waist with a straight waistband, have two box pleats front and back and side seam pockets. I left the pockets off because I don’t like them so this was a super quick sew, even for a slowcoach like me.

It’s a PDF pattern and a maxi pattern usually takes a lot of paper and assembling but something I really liked about this pattern is that Helen gives you instructions for what pages to print for different views. Because they have a straight leg you can print view B and then just draw straight down on your fabric for how long you want your culottes. I still managed to make mine too long and had to cut 4″ off before hemming.

I think it’s because the crotch hangs slightly too low on me. It’s not noticeable to anyone but me and I don’t think you want the crotch seam all up in your business in a style like this but I will shorten the depth before my next version. I should have thought about it beforehand as I am petite.

winslow culottes back

The fabric I used was a bargain from The Textile Centre at £3.99/metre. It’s viscose but slightly heavier weight than most of the viscose I’ve used before, which I think worked well for this pattern. They’re still nicely swishy but I feel safe from my knickers showing through.

Here’s a close-up of the print, it’s teeny mint green and white hearts. I’m also pretty pleased with my invisible zip insertion.

Close up

I bought 3 metres of it and I think I have enough left for a top. Speaking of tops, the one I’m wearing in these photos is also a Me Made, which was fresh off the sewing machine before we went out. It’s a wearable toile of an off the shoulder Grainline Scout tee hack. I really like it but it’s not quite right and I’ll need to tweak it a bit before using my proper fabric. This fabric might look familiar as it was leftover from my By Hand London Flora.

helen's closet winslow culottes

All I did was cut off the top of the sleeve and bodice pieces just above the notches then added 7/8″ seam allowance to allow for pressing under 1/4″ and then 5/8″ to make a channel for my 1/2″ elastic. Hope that makes sense. I can attempt to make a tutorial as I make my proper version if anyone would like me to?

I don’t think I really have that much more to say but I had a surprising amount of photos I liked from this photo shoot so I’m going to carry on bombarding you with them sorry.


I wore these to work the day I finished them (I sewed the hem that morning) and I got a lot of compliments. One work friend got really enthusiastic thinking up different length and fabric combinations so I told her that she really should start sewing. I definitely want to try the knee length myself but as I have lots of summer sewing already planned they might have to be an autumnal pair in a heavier fabric.


Oh I there was something else I wanted to say. Can anyone recommend some good quality fusible interfacing I can buy online please? The stuff I have is a bit pants and doesn’t adhere very well.

The details

Pattern: Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

Measurements: Bust 37″ – Waist 30.5″ – Hips 40″ (though waist is the only one that matters for this pattern) Height 5’2″

Size made: 12

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 2.25m of 140cm wide viscose from The Textile Centre

Another version?

Oh yes, definitely. I really want to try a shorter version but I’d love more long ones too. So many things to sew, so little time!

Any changes next time?

I’ll shorten the crotch depth by about 2″. I may also contour the waistband slightly as I don’t like the way straight waistbands sit on me. I did think about attempting to put front pockets on them too. Probably using the Sew Over It Carrie trousers as a guide. Not that I ever use pockets for anything other than my hands.

Non-clueless versions:

Helen’s round-up of tester versions has all of the pairs I was going to link to here so you should check that out to see more versions.

Final Thoughts

I love these culottes/palazzo pants. They’re comfortable but I still feel sort of elegant and put together in them.

Winslow culottes

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Yesterday I recklessly agreed to make my mum a dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks. So I’m off to her house in a little bit to take her measurements and look at fabric online. I’m a bit anxious about it as the pattern we’re thinking about is quite fitted. Though I suppose fitting someone else is easier than fitting yourself.

Do you have any tips for me?

16 thoughts on “Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes”

  1. They are beautiful–in my day they would call those palazzo pants. I buy my fusible interfacing from Charles Zarit Sewing Supply (www.charleszarit.com).

  2. Your long culottes/palazzo pants look fab, I really like the fabric you used (off to look at that) the look so swishy and fun but still have a classy vibe. I’ve only brought cheap interfacing and have the same problem

  3. Ooo! I love these trousers, and can see how they would work in other styles and fabrics. I shall have to have a look at the pattern. As for interfacing, I like Vilene interfacing. I can get it locally, but the lightweight stuff is usually out of stock, so I get it on ebay. Just make sure it’s definately Vilene and not the pants stuff!!

    1. I’ve liked every pair of them I’ve seen so far, it’s such a versatile pattern. Thank you for the interfacing recommendation. I think I’d seen Vilene recommended before. I will have to try it.

  4. Thanks so much for sewing the Winslows! I love your pics, you look so fabulous in them 🙂 The palazzo pants length is such fun to wear and surprise people with (as weird as that sounds, haha). I’m glad you are dreaming up more! If you do raise the crotch, be aware that they may loose a bit of their skirt-illusion depending on fabric used (busy prints definitely add to the illusion, while solids show the pants more). The low crotch helps to create the drapey skirt effect. Thanks again for the love and for sharing your beautiful make!

    1. Thanks for your comment and advice Helen. I did wonder if that would be the case, maybe I’ll make a smaller adjustment then.

      I know exactly what you mean about surprising people, I did enjoy excitedly shouting “it’s trousers!” At my friend who said she liked my skirt.

  5. I love your version! Very pretty 🙂 I also really like your fabric.
    Good luck with making a dress for your mom! My only recommendation would be to make a muslin.

  6. Dear Leigh,

    I really love the pants on you! I think we have the same frame and since they look so utterly charming on you, I could not resist buying the pattern rightaway. Oops! (I’m actually new to sewing, so it may take a while to gather the courage. But hey, one learns by doing! :))

    1. You could definitely manage the culottes. The construction is all pretty simple and you don’t need to worry about fit anywhere other than the waist. The only challenging thing is the invisible zip but even that’s not too difficult. You got this! x

      1. Thank you so much! When I finished it (and that could take some time) I will tag you in the probably very proud instagram photo I will undoubtedly make. 🙂

  7. Pingback: New to me: Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes – Stuff I have made

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