HelenHelen's Makes, Pattern Hacks, Winslow Culottes, Winslow Hacks9 Comments

Winslow Culottes Hack: Elastic Waist

This is the first in a series I am going to have on the blog for the next month. We will be exploring hacking the Winslow Culottes pattern to get all sorts of different variations! I am so excited to share what I’ve come up with for hacks, and I hope you will share any ideas for hacks with me, too.

Winslow Culottes

This is a very simple hack, an elastic waist! I have made my version in sandwashed rayon from Blackbird Fabrics, but it would work well in any drapey fabric (challis, tencel). I would avoid structured fabrics because the gathers will add a lot of bulk at the waist.

Can you make this hack with a knit fabric? Yes! Knit fabrics are well suited to this hack and would make extremely comfy secret pajamas.

Let’s get started. Without the box pleats, the Winslows are very wide, so I took about 3” off the straight edge of each pattern piece for my version. You can take more or less off to get the fullness you desire. Just make sure that the end result is going to fit over your hips!

Winslow Culottes Elastic WaistWinslow Culottes Elastic Waist

I eliminated the pockets for my version and also opted for a wider hem. Since the sides and bottom of the Winslow pattern are straight, it is easy to do any depth of hem you desire. Simply add some length to the pattern to ensure you have enough for the hem. I did a two inch hem for this version. 

Once you have adjusted the legs of the pattern, you need to draft the waistband. Find the length of the waistband by measuring the tops of the pants pieces and subtracting ____ (for the seam allowances). This measurement is the length of your waistband. Alternatively, you can construct the pants and then measure the waist before cutting your waistband. 

Winslow Culottes Elastic Waist

To find the width of the waistband, decide on the width of elastic you want to use and add ____ (for seam allowance and wiggle room for elastic insertion). I used 1.5″ wide elastic here. I did not interface my waistband because the elastic gives it lots of structure and the interfacing will only add bulk.

Now that we have our pattern pieces, construction of the pattern is the same, minus the zipper (yay!). Join the waistband along the short edges to create a circle. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and sew it on to the culottes using a ⅝” seam allowance. Leave a 4” gap so we can insert the elastic. If using a serger, I like to finish this seam (except the gap) before inserting the elastic. 

Winslow Culottes Elastic Waist Winslow Culottes Elastic Waist

Decide on the length of your elastic. Insert the elastic using a safety pin and join the two ends before closing the waistband completely. Make sure your elastic isn’t twisted before you join the ends! Topstitching on the elastic is optional. I chose not to topstitch mine.

Winslow Culottes Elastic WaistWinslow Culottes Elastic WaistWinslow Culottes Elastic Waist

There you have it! I took these breezy pants with me to Thailand and wore them almost every day (no joke). They are so comfortable and the soft blush colour goes well with many of my tops.

You may notice that the crotch on the Winslow Culottes is quite low. This is intentional to allow for a skirt illusion with those big box pleats. If you are making an elastic waist version, you may want to shorten the rise to bring the crotch up a bit higher. I will show you how to do this in the next hack post and we can compare these two versions.

Thanks for checking out this hack!

About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

9 Comments on “Winslow Culottes Hack: Elastic Waist”

  1. I love my elastic waisted winslows :-). I didn’t take off any width, but that is a great idea!

    1. What for a nice hack!
      I really like the clear and easy instructions to execute the transformation.
      Thank you also for the patern discount!

  2. Love your detailed graphics! Super helpful! I want to hack these to have slant pockets! Such a hackable pattern, can’t wait to see what you do next!

  3. Pingback: My Favourite PDF only patterns - Clueless Seamstress

  4. Pingback: Winslow Culottes Hack: Elastic Waist #2 – Adjusting the Rise – Helen's Closet

  5. Do you think it might work to leave the box pleats in for the front but turn the back into elasticized back just by ignoring them there?

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