Are you excited to get started with the actual sewing part of the sewalong? There is a surprising amount of prep involved with sewing, but I always love when everything is ready to go. Make sure you have your machine threaded, tension checked, iron on, and serger prepped (if using one). If you do not have a serger, do not fear! You can use alternative techniques such as zig-zag stitch, pinking shears, bias binding, or french seams.
I am using a slubby tencel denim, which has a clear right and wrong side. Use these photos along with your pattern instruction booklet for full details on each step.
With the right side of your fabric facing up, fold the outer notches in to meet the middle notch along the top edge of each pant piece.
Here is how it looks from the other angle, so you can see the folds.
Pin the pleat in place.
Repeat for all 4 pant pieces, I like to get them all prepped before sewing.
Sew a line of staystitching along the top (3/8” or 1cm from the top edge) to secure the pleats and prevent the pant top from stretching. Sew a line of basting stitches further down (3/4” or 2cm from the top edge) to help keep the pleats in place while sewing. Do not backstitch on your basting stitches, you will remove these later.
Finish the curved edge of all 4 of your pocket pieces using your preferred method. For example, you can serge the edge, trim it with pinking shears, or sew a line of zig-zag stitching to prevent it from fraying. If you plan to finish your inseam pockets using french seams, you do not need to finish your pocket edges.
If you are not using french seams, follow along below. Here is a great tutorial for french seams on inseam pockets if you would like to try that method. With right sides together, place a pocket piece on one of your pant pieces, matching up the side notches. Pin it in place. Repeat this for all 4 pocket pieces and pant pieces.
Check your machine to make sure you are not still set to basting stitch. Sew the pocket to the outer edge of the pant piece using a ½” (1.3cm) seam allowance. Repeat for all 4 pant pieces.
Serge or finish the outer edge of each pant piece and pocket together.
Fold the pocket and to the outside and press.
Understitch the pocket to the seam allowance 1/8″ (3mm) from the folded edge. I have highlighted the stitching in green because it is hard to see my stitching on this fabric. Repeat for the remaining three pant pieces. This helps keep the pockets inside your culottes, not flipping out to the outside.
With right sides together, place one pant FRONT on top of a pant BACK. Make sure you are not sewing both backs together (I speak from experience).
Pin the pants together, along the outer edge and pivoting around the pocket.
Sew using a 5/8” (1.6cm) seam allowance, pivoting at the dot to sew around the pocket. To pivot, lower your needle down and lift your presser foot. Turn the fabric and lower you presser foot before continuing on. Repeat for the other pant leg.
I like to sew an extra line of stitching around my pocket bag, so that if the first one ever gives out there is a backup in place.
Press pocket and side seam towards the pant front, taking care not to leave press lines on your pleats.
You’re finished! Congrats on sewing your Winslow Culottes pleats and pockets! Thursday we will sew the crotch seam and attach the waistband, and you will be able to check the fit at the end of that stage. Thanks for following along! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
Hi Helen, I have a question about the pockets. I used the cutting layout for 60″/150cm wide fabric. I cut piece 2 on the fold. I therefore don’t have 4 edges to pin the 4 pocket parts to. I am wondering if I need to cut piece 2 into two separate pieces?
This is my third time sewing the Winslow but the first time with wider fabric. I really enjoy the pattern. Its great for playing strings in an orchestra.
Ohh no I sewed both backs together and fronts together!! I was half tempted to start fresh but I managed to rip the seams ok, although I did lose a pocket in the process. I.m going to reattempt to sew them with a very small seam allowance and hopefully they don’t end up too small. I feel so silly but its a very good learning experience!
Oh no! don’t fret too much, they should still turn out ok for size.
Hi Helen, just wondering if there is a reason that you finish the pocket edges before sewing them together instead of after? Is it just personal preference? Thanks!
I do it this way so that all the seams of the pocket bag will be finished cleanly without having to pivot around the bag with the serger after. If you prefer to finish the seam after, that works too! Happy sewing 🙂
Thanks for the quick reply! That makes perfect sense.
The link for the French seams is broken. I’ve used this tutorial instead, worked like a charm: http://www.asksarah.com.au/sew-french-seamed-side-seam-pocket-tutorial-super-neat-pockets-with-no-serger/