Patterned Culottes and a Stripey Tee

Mood Fabrics

Hey friends! Hope everyone’s April is winding down nicely.  I have a question for all you fabric enthusiasts out there – do you buy fabric with a project in mind, or do you buy fabric, because ooh pretty?? I’d say more often than not I try to buy fabric with a project in mind, or I’ll go browsing online and see if a fabric sparks my interest and becomes the catalyst for some sewing inspiration.  But either way, once I hit the ‘buy’ button, I generally have an inkling about what I want the fabric to be used for.  Every once in a blue moon I buy something just because.  Sometimes those buys never amount to much and just sit in my fabric stash looking glum, but sometimes the stars align.  This was the case with both fabrics for this months Mood Sewing Network make.

Mood Fabrics

I bought this Ralph Lauren Dazzling Blue/White Striped Viscose Jersey  and this Famous Designer Navy Geometric Cotton Woven (sadly sold out, but this corduroy has a similar look) from Mood Fabrics online with absolutely zero plans for either of them.  I bought the striped jersey because it seemed classic and, well, you can never have too many nautical stripes hanging about, and the cotton woven caught my eye because it looked like a fun print with an interesting texture.  I bought a few other fabrics in the same order that, to be quite honest, I was more excited about than either of these two.  But once they arrived, something magical happened! After admiring each I folded them and set them on my fabric shelf, one on top of the other.  Seeing them together like that was like a thunderclap! They looked so good paired with each other.  Almost immediately I envisioned this outfit: a slouchy striped tee and full, pleated culottes.

Mood Fabrics

Mood Fabrics

I knew I had to make these two garments, if only to get the outfit out of my head and into reality!  The shirt was first.  I used Grainline’s Hemlock pattern – a free, one-size, 3/4 length sleeve, slouchy tee pattern.  This came together in no time at all.  The blue and white viscose jersey was super easy to work with.  I sewed this all together on my serger, using my twin needle for the hem and cuffs.  This jersey has a super smooth, almost silky hand with a slight sheen.  It’s surprisingly weighty for viscose, falling in deep fluid folds, making it perfect for an oversized tee like this one (although I can also think of a myriad of other uses for it that would be just as lovely).  To match the stripes I just put a pin in every blue stripe.  It makes for a lot of pins to remove while I’m sewing, but it also ensures that everything is lined up perfectly.

Mood Fabrics

Culottes seem to be very trendy at the moment, and I’m clearly guilty of being bit by the bug! For these I used Style Arc’s Erin Culotte pattern.  I love the deep pleats on the front and the way the pockets mirror the pleats.  I also love the jewel bright tones of this cotton woven and how they give these culottes a very bohemian feel.  This fabric has a very loose weave and a slubby, almost jute-like look, though with a much softer hand and drape.  It’s a bit more substantial than what the pattern called for, but I like the body it gives these culottes, while still keeping them airy for our sticky southern spring.

Mood Fabrics

Mood Fabrics

Because of the loose weave, this fabric frayed like it was it’s job.  To combat this I serged all the raw edges as soon as I could, basically right after cutting, and I used fusible interfacing to reinforce the areas that I thought might loose some of it’s shape with wear – like the center back seat seam and the pocket openings.  I also bound the seam allowances at the waist and hems.  This was mostly for looks, since these culottes are unlined, but also to ensure I don’t start to unravel after a few wears.

While the fraying may have been a bit of a headache, this cotton took heat and steam like a champ.  I just love how crisp those pleats are! And the stitches literally sank into the weave.  Honestly. Like, I was crossing my fingers I didn’t make any mistakes, because I don’t think I could have found my stitches to unpick if I tried!

Mood Fabrics

As is so often the case with things that exist in my mind, the reality of these two garments together wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, however I think with a bit of help from some accessories and the right shoes the look pulled together.  But the best thing of all is that both of these garments go with quite a lot of other items in my closet.  In fact, I finished this tee a few weeks ago and have been wearing it multiple times a week since then! And if I want a less blousy silhouette these culottes look equally as cute with a bodysuit or a crop top. Yay for separates!!

Do you guys ever get outfit inspiration from looking at your fabric stash?

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Comments


  • Serenity
    April 29, 2015

    I have a piece of fabric that I have had for nearly 20 years. I have yet t figure out what to do with it. I buy with a project in mind….

    • Sallieoh
      April 29, 2015

      Hi Serenity! I have a few pieces of fabric that have been sitting there for years too. Some of them are fabrics that I really REALLY love too, I just have no clue what to do with them! That’s why these fabrics were such a happy surprise when I actually felt inspired!

  • justine
    April 29, 2015

    Loving your chic outfit and gorgeous greenery!

    • Sallieoh
      April 29, 2015

      Thanks Justine! I’m not going to divulge how many mosquitos attacked me while shooting these pics…

  • Paulinakoss Bruce
    April 29, 2015

    Oh my goodness!! Last night I went to bed envisioning my next makes: a slouchy striped top and floral culottes!! This is better than a confirmation!! Love your outfit!!!

    • sallie
      April 29, 2015

      Yay!! Awesome! So glad we’re on the same wavelength!!

  • Katie
    April 29, 2015

    What a fun look! the pattern on the culottes is wonderful and I agree about never having enough stripey T’s… that one has the perfect drape, easy to dress up or down. I’d want to live in it. xo

    • sallie
      April 29, 2015

      Thanks Katie!! I totally agree about stripey tees – this one has gotten lots of casual wear too.

  • Sarah Gunn
    April 30, 2015

    Love your top and culottes, Sallie! I too, ordered to blue/white RL fabric just because I wanted it, but have yet to sew it. The Hemlock pattern was a great choice 🙂

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Thanks Sarah!

  • Peter
    April 30, 2015

    This is such a chic-looking outfit and you wear it splendidly. As always, your photography is luscious!

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Oh thanks Peter!

  • oonaballoona
    April 30, 2015

    i sigh so much over your ensembles, it’s like i’m in a harlequin romance over here.

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Now THAT is a compliment indeed!! Thank you!

  • Lori
    April 30, 2015

    That is such a cute and fun outfit. I love the stripes in the Hemlock and your cullotes are fabulous. The two together are just plain fun. I bought the stripe, too and it is wonderful. Sadly I made a bad pattern choice and it was a fail. I might have to buy some more it is so nice

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Oh no! Definitely snag some more! I’m actually pretty shocked that stuff is still in stock!

  • Ginger
    April 30, 2015

    What a fun outfit! You can totally pull off these cool bohemian styles! Confession: I’m totally anti culottes. Like, I hate them. But you’re working them (like EVERYTHING… is there ANYTHING you can’t wear??).

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Thanks dude! I had some serious second thoughts about these culottes, not gonna lie!

  • Lauren
    April 30, 2015

    Well now I wish I’d turned my striped viscose into a shirt! Dangit! I should just wait and see what you make with the fabrics we dupe and just straight up twin your shit 🙂 Love this!

    • sallie
      April 30, 2015

      Hahaha!! No way, that little dress you made was perfection!

  • Cennetta
    April 30, 2015

    Ms. Sallie, You look like an Anthrophologie model on location for a photo shoot. The pairing of the two textiles was an excellent idea. Looking good lady. 😉

    • sallie
      May 1, 2015

      Well thank YOU Cennetta!! Didn’t you just make my day!!?

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    May 3, 2015

    After nearly buying the polka dot silk of your last post, I was on the verge of buying this stripe and then your posts popped up. That’s so funny.
    I’m like GingerMakes – can’t see myself ever wearing culottes. However you look fabulous!

  • Linda L
    May 4, 2015

    Nice combination!

  • Fiona
    May 5, 2015

    I love it when the fabric just tells you what it should be! And these two sure knew what they would be best as! I love this whole look