Welcome to Round 3 of Battle of the Culottes !
The competition is hotting up in the Culottes Off with one win each to Rachel and Nikki.
Going into Round 3 our next two contenders are arguably some of the most hotly anticipated!! Both big hitters, the Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen are seasoned professionals BUT can the plucky new Ultimate Culottes from Sew Over It put up a good fight and take the crown?? Let’s find out….
Ding Ding! Round 3!
In this battle we decided to look at slightly more structured culottes with a few extra design elements, although both patterns are still pretty simple and suitable for beginners.
What patterns did we choose and why?
Rachel chose to make the Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen as they were featured on her Make Nine list for the year. Released in March 2017 there have been over 1000 posts using #mnflint on Instagram alone and so many beautiful variations made. Rachel was drawn to the simplicity of the original light blue denim version and so wanted to recreate something similar. (We were very kindly gifted the Flint pattern to do this review, but we promise it has in no way biased our opinions and the review is open and honest.)
Nikki bought the Ultimate Culottes pattern by Sew Over It they very day it was released! As a big fan of their Ultimate Trousers, she knew the fit would be good for her and that it would be a quick and simple pattern she could try out in lots of different fabrics.
What type of culottes are they?
The Flints are reminiscent of the cropped wide leg pants that have been seen a lot on the high street this past year, probably more accurately called a “gaucho pant”. However the Ultimates have a fuller hem and are probably a truer example of a traditional “culotte”.
There are a few other patterns available with a similar shape and style. Here are some of our favourites:
And, as we keep saying, keep your eyes peeled for vintage patterns too as a retro flared trouser like these beauties could easily be shortened into a culotte. (Those purple ones are giving us serious heart eyes!!)
So, let’s get into Flint vs Ultimate!
Megan Nielsen Flint Pants
The Flints are described as a “wide leg cropped pant or shorts with unique crossover details at the side seam”. They have a hidden closure in the left pocket with tucks/pleats at the front, darts in the back and you can choose between a waist tie (which Rachel used) or a button closure. To be honest, the pocket closure takes a little getting used to as it means that your pocket is partially open. But don’t worry, you won’t be flashing anyone!! It’s all very well covered and so no-one else knows it’s there. On the first wear though, Rachel kept thinking she’d found a hole every time she put her hand in her pocket – doh!!
The pattern comes in sizes 0-20 although this wider size range is a recent addition. Rachel had an older version where the sizing is XS-XL making the largest size a 16. This was fine for her as she blended between a 14 (L) at the waist and a 16 (XL) at the hips. But if you already have an older version of the pattern and need a larger size, you are entitled to a free download with the new sizing. (You should have been sent an email to that effect, but if you don’t have one, just drop the peeps at MN a message and they can sort it out for you.)
For the fabric, Rachel used a 4oz light blue denim she bought from Doughty’s Online. It is just a little bit heavier than a chambray but still light and airy. It does crease a lot but, to be honest, most fabrics used on a wide leg trouser will crease as there is so much fabric to sit on!
The instructions were simple to follow, very well illustrated and as long as you read them properly will steer you well.
At one stage, Rachel went on auto pilot and nearly constructed both of her pockets before remembering that the hidden closure would have specific instructions. Luckily she’d only pinned it, so no unpickers were needed! In total, they took about 3 hours to sew.
The trousers have a nice wide waistband and a deep hem. They look fab in a plain fabric but would also look amazing in a bold print. The visible details are minimal and so a print would really sing. Rachel opted for the standard length, which is slightly longer than your average culotte, but it could easily be shortened to whatever length you prefer.
Overall, this pattern is bit hit and Rachel was really happy with the finished product – going so far as to say they are her favourites yet!!
Sew Over It Ultimate Culottes
The Ultimate Culottes are described as a “a simple pair of flattering, oh-so-easy-to-sew wide-legged cropped trousers”. Described as an Advanced Beginner pattern they have a two darts in the front, four at the back and a invisible zipper at the side. They are finished with a choice of facing (which Nikki chose) or waistband with belt loops.
The pattern comes in sizes 8-20 and Nikki made a size 14 but they did come up a little roomy and she thinks she might go down a size on the next pair.
For the fabric, Nikki used an upholstery weight cotton ticking that she also bought from Doughty’s Online (she just loves a bit of upholstery fabric for dressmaking!). It handles like a mid-weight denim so it is very stable and easy to sew. Plus it has lots of structure so really emphasises the wide leg!
The instructions were very simple to follow. It comes with a separate booklet with colour photos and a list of Top Tips. They took her just over 2 hours to sew.
The simple design looks amazing in Nikki’s bold print but would work just as well in a plain fabric or something with a smaller print. We’ve seen lots of version in a more drapey fabric too, so you could always opt for that if you want a softer look.
Overall, Nikki loved the pattern and is over the moon with her “deck chair culottes”! Just don’t sit on her!!
And who is the winner of this round?
So, without wanting to be overly critical, Rachel thought that the design of the Ultimate Culottes was just too simple to compete with the arguably more stylish Flint pants. She is already a big fan of the Butterick B6178 which is a very similar design to the Ultimates, but includes more variations, so she does not think she would make the Ultimates herself.
Nikki on the other hand loves the look of the Flints and is sure she wants to make a pair for herself. So by that reckoning, it would appear that the Flints are the clear winner!!
If you want to watch the battle and see lots more pictures, why not head over and check out the YouTube video!
Whats coming in Battle of the Culottes Round 4 ?
In the final battle we will be ramping things up a level with the most tailored culottes we could find. Nikki will be pitting the Tanner Culottes by Designer Stitch against Rachel’s Classix Nouveau Camera Ready Culottes by Hot Patterns.
Who will be the overall winner? Tune in to find out next week when we’ll also be looking at how to style culottes for different body shapes!
Are you enjoying this series? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below and let us know what you think.
Thanks for stopping by!
Nikki & Rachel x