Playing with a new silhouette + Sew Essential £25 Fabric Giveaway

My BV Sewalong post saw me playing with a different silhouette for me. Culottes and a crop top. (We’ll skim over the double denim element for now!) Being a long time lover of skinny jeans and long baggy tops, I never thought I’d say that.  I mentioned in that post that it was a silhouette I was interested in exploring further.  Actually for a while I’ve been pinning images that are different to the style I’ve been used to wearing. And yet up until now, my makes haven’t fully been reflecting this “interest” in evolving my style. Why….when I could pretty much make myself whatever I want, do I still fall back on skinnifying jeans and making oversized drapey tops?? It’s a safe bet for getting worn is why. I mean, who wants to spend time experimenting on something that may or may not get worn, when you could be making yourself another drapey tee that will definitely get worn??

Well I’ve decided I do. I’m feeling the need to bust out of a style rut. I’m not short on Me Made clothes in my usual style, and it’s time to try something new. So this week I’ve been playing a bit. Not over committing my time of course 😉 Two super quick projects to test out a slightly adapted version of that silhouette. I refashioned a sweatshirt into more cropped proportions….culottes in portia fabric by john kaldor

Then using the same pattern I hacked for my denim culottes, I whipped up a super quick stretchy version in this monochrome fabric by John Kaldor. (Scrowl down for deets on the Sew Essential giveaway!) As you can see I made absolutely no attempt at pattern matching. I’m mildly annoyed at myself for this. But these were an experiment first and foremost and only ever intended for mooching and lounging.  A wearable toile. So I can live with that 😉culottes in portia fabric by john kaldor

They are just the right kind of stretch. And to ramp up the speed, ease and comfort factor I gave them a simple elasticated waist..kinda like culotte pyjamas…but the kind of pyjamas you could get away with nipping to the corner shop in….culottes in portia fabric by john kaldor

So….what can I conclude from this little experiment? Don’t be a donut and take 5 minutes to stripe match. This pattern can work in a knit too! But most importantly, I now know this is a silhouette that works on me and I feel comfortable in. So let the culotte and (marginally) cropped top sewing begin! If you follow me on IG you’ll have seen that I’m already playing with ideas for a cropped and semi fitted sweatshirt. I’m also looking to pick up where I left off with these trousers as an alternative to the bottom half. I’ve cropped them to the lower calf and now they’re perfect. So another pair or two of those. Oh, and I’m gonna have a play with my Copycat Crepe Top pattern and try some shorter variations! I can feel some exploration and experimentation coming on 😉culottes in portia fabric by john kaldor

The pattern I used for this and my denim culottes is this New Look 6083. It’s a really simple wide leg trouser pattern which I hacked fairly majorly for the denim ones but kept simple on this version. Most impressively the fit was pretty spot on straight out of the envelope. The fabric is from Sew Essential and is by John Kaldor and get this…’s called Portia!! In fact there’s a whole range of fabric by that name, lol! Well I had to didn’t I 😉


If you want to win  £25 to spend on fabric at Sew Essential:
  • Leave a comment below to let me know which fabric you would choose from their selection
  • For additional entries follow Sew Essential on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  (Make sure you let me know in the comments so I can put your additional entries into the hat!)
  • Giveaway closes midnight GMT on Sunday 10 April 2016 and is open internationally.

Good luck!

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  1. Annie Wells April 4, 2016

    For these culottes I would to use the John Kaldor – Versailles Fabric in Berry. By turning the material by 90 degrees so the pattern run up and down rather than across. I’m only 5ft 2″ so I think I could get away with 1/2 calf length culottes from the fabric. Great Givaway and I love your trousers on you. Looking fab.xx

  2. lilith April 4, 2016

    love this shape! i fancy trying some of the dark denim – i have a bit of a hankering to make the Turia Dungarees 🙂

  3. Jenny April 4, 2016

    I’m really wanting to make some culottes, I’ve seen loads of lovely ones around. I wasn’t sure if they would suit me but think I’m going to give it a go! I would choose the John Kaldor Isabella Wool Mix Jersey Fabric in green to make a cropped t-shirt to wear with them. I’m also following sew essential on Instagram.

  4. Katrine L. Johansen April 4, 2016

    I think it is wise to try different silhouettes now and then, and this is a very nice look!
    “your” fabric line certainly have some lovely patterns!! The Portia red and black is one of my favourites, as well as the woven Olivia in black and white <3

    I follow Sew Essential on Facebook and Instagram 🙂

  5. Alissa April 4, 2016

    Your outfit looks very cute and I think it suits you. I don’t suppose some pattern manufacturer has been approaching you to do a few patterns, have they? I would choose John Kaldor Portia Fabric. Red and Black. 145cm Wide (Product Code: JK_POR_RED). I’ve been really taken with retro patterns lately so I might use the fabric for some capris or perhaps I’d wait until Simplicity 8136 comes available this summer.

    • Portia Lawrie April 4, 2016

      No they haven’t Alissa but I wish they would!! I’d love that!

  6. frances carson April 4, 2016

    I love the Cassandra fabric! These trousers look really comfortable! X

  7. Bridget April 4, 2016

    I’ve been wanting to try making jeans for a while so it has to be the dark blue stretch denim.

  8. Sharon April 4, 2016

    Love the outfit! Looks very comfy and yet stylish. I’ve been looking for some denim to make some ginger jeans. So I would love the Dark Blue Medium Weight Stretch Denim.

  9. Kerry (Kestrel Makes) April 4, 2016

    Thanks for the giveaway – I’m tempted by some medium weight denim in dark blue to tackle making some jeans that fit properly. My shop bought ones are on their last legs!

    I also follow Sew Essential on Twitter and Instagram

  10. Trish April 4, 2016

    Who could resist this! I love (lurve) your Portia culottes. I would not do a thing differently, so the choice would be -Portia (in the black and grey). Mind you, I would be tempted to do a Tilton dress in this also.

  11. Judith April 4, 2016

    I would quite like the Blue Heart cotton, I think it would make quite a nice pair of shorts. The comfy trousers look great and yes, they would be fine to nip out in.

  12. sara valentin-byers April 4, 2016

    I love those culottes – they look super comfy yet very stylish! I would love the John Kaldor Olivia Fabric in purple – perfect for a pussy bow blouse I’m planning. Thanks!

  13. Caroline April 4, 2016

    As a culottes fan, I love these – comfy yet stylish! Such a great idea to shorten this trouser pattern – it works really well.

  14. seamsoddlouise April 4, 2016

    I’d choose there wool-mix Jersey in teal. Looks scrummy. Thanks for the giveaway Portia.

  15. Tamsin W-P April 4, 2016

    I am thinking John Kaldor Castello Fabric. Aqua and Red for a maxi bhl Anna dress

  16. Carlee McTavish April 4, 2016

    I really like the Navy and White 0.5cm stripe print cotton spandex Jersey! Simple and classic but perfect for what I would do with it (I have a wider stripe knit and they would look great paired together!)….also, why is today the first day I have searched “stripes” on Pinterest?! Well, there goes four hours of my life…

    I also liked on FB and am now following on Twitter. Huzzah!

  17. Libby April 4, 2016

    Love this! I’m just setting up a sewing room at my new house, and would love some spotty stretch jersey, if I’m lucky enough to win.

  18. Ann Marshall April 4, 2016

    I would love some of the John Kalder Leone fabric in Berry and Orange. Your culottes look great especially with that top. Super outfit. Thanks for the giveaway Portia. I also liked Sew Essential on facebook.

  19. Amy Mayen April 4, 2016

    I’d try some of the viscose jersey- thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Rebecca M April 4, 2016

    I’m loving wide trousers at the moment but full length, culottes make my legs look gigantic! I’d love some of the red Prestige crepe to make a dress I need for a choir performance. Great giveaway! I’m now following Sew Essential on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too x

  21. Kelly Thomas April 4, 2016

    Ooo I think your culottes are quite snazzy even for a wearable muslin. Don’t think you should worry too much about the stripes not matching as that’s what makes them unique. Your own RTW in the making. In planning my spring/summer wardrobe sewing projects, the culottes and wide-leg trouser pattern supplements from Prima Patterns are a few from my pattern stash up for consideration. I love the John Kaldor Marmaris Stretch Cotton in Red, I think this colour look gorgeous in the sunshine.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

    Happy Sewing!!!!

  22. sewandsnip April 5, 2016

    Your outfit looks fantastic & another great giveaway too! I haven’t tempted making trousers yet so would be tempted with the mid blue stretch denim. I follow Sew Essential on Twitter & Facebook too

  23. Patrizia April 10, 2016

    I’m loving the chic taffeta in royal blue!

  24. Heather Sutherland April 10, 2016

    You really suit this silhouette, I am loving the blue heart chambray x

  25. Claire Ross April 10, 2016

    I follow sew essential on twitter and Instagram x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

  26. Claire Ross April 10, 2016

    I really like this outfit. Lovely selection of fabrics. I really like this one : John Kaldor Ditsy Fabric. Mauve. 145cm Wide x 1m.
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com


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