"" the girl who makes things: Culottes of flowers

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Culottes of flowers

A while ago I made a resolution not to buy any more flower print fabric. And then I completely broke it. The trouble is, the way I feel about floral fabric is similar to the way I feel about beautifully displayed patisserie cakes. I know I don't need them, but I want one. Plain fabric just doesn't get my heart racing, even though it's far more versatile and I'd probably wear it more. It's the carrot sticks of the fabric world.
Feira dos tecidos in Rossio, Lisbon is one of my usual haunts for interesting patterns at low prices. The off-cuts of slightly spoiled fabrics are thrown into bargain buckets and sold for 2-6 Euros for a metre or two. I found this drapey viscose and fell in love. I had vague plans to turn it into a skirt or pair of trousers.
This summer the trouser shape de jour seemed to be culottes. I wasn't so sure about how this style would suit me so I did a bit of 'virtual shopping' (going into shops, trying on clothes, turning them inside out to see how they're made and then putting them back on the rail). I particularly liked the culottes with an elasticated waistband. So comfy! As I don't have ready access to paper patterns in Portugal I had to make do with a pattern I already had, Simplicity 1520 pyjama trousers. The trousers made a good base for what I had in mind, all I had to do was widen and shorten the legs.
I'm pleased with the outcome of these culottes but I haven't worn them as much as I wanted to. The simple truth is, the large flower design is too loud for my slightly minimal sartorial tastes. I'm quite a shy person and big, bold patterns make me feel too noticeable. And there's the paradox: sometimes I don't like wearing what I really want to sew.

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