Simplicity 5135

You have no idea how happy it makes me to finally write a post that’s about something I actually made! This is a very long overdue one, that I only just managed to photograph now. I’m telling you, sewing is a breeze, is the taking pictures that’s the killer! So really glad they are making an appearance on the blog at last.

As you might have seen here, I do love my culottes this year! I actually made this particular project in spring, but the weather got really warm before I got a chance to document them. They are really warm, so out they come again in this chilly weather we’ve been having in London. But I did get to wear them loads, so happy to report on how they fared in user tests as well.

I really wanted to make a high-waisted pair of culottes and I couldn’t find any contemporary patterns I liked. The pattern was printed in 1981, that’s actually one year before I was born!! Have a look at the picture on the front of the enveloped, I can’t believe all that fashion I have been missing out!!! Oh, those haircuts, oh those shoulder pads!!

Simplicity 3135 Wool Culottes

The waistband detail is a bit Disney, makes me think of princess dresses, but guess that comes with the ’80 territory.

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #04.jpg

So let’s go into the details…

Pattern: Simplicity 3135, size 14, from eBay.


Alterations: Added 10 cm to length

I can’t believe that I had no changes to make, as vintage patterns are notoriously difficult, especially since they do not usually come in multi-sizes. I did a quick toile and luckily it turned out they fit perfectly straight out of the pack. Brucie bonus!! But I do like my culottes at least mid-calf, so I had to add a bit at the hem.

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Fabric: mystery wool (potentially a bit of poly mixed in)

I’ve had this fabric in my stash for ages. It was a gift from someone, but I never fund the right project for it, as it’s quite scratchy. I was convinced for a long time that it’s all synthetic, but as I cut into it, I did the burn test and there is definitely wool there. Plus when I started ironing and put the iron on it, it smelled intensely like wet dog, so that’s another argument for it.

I also used a tiny scrap of black denim, for the waistband facing. I didn’t want to use interfacing to make it a bit more flexible, so I chose to use a heavier weight fabric as facing instead. I’m not sure if that was the right decision in the end, as it does crinkle a bit, in spite of being very comfortable.

Notions: one invisible zipper, one trouser bar

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #07.jpg


This came together really easily. The most time-consuming part was cutting out so that the stripes match at centre back and front, which I did one layer at a time. The waistband has a triangular detail, which was a bit tricky to set in, but it worked fine in the end. I used my edge stitch foot, which is always good value. As to finishings, I overlocked all edges and the hem, which I then finished by hand.

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #06.jpg

I feel they came out a bit wider than the pattern illustration, but the waistband fitted perfectly, so not sure what happened there… Maybe if I make them again, I’ll take a bit of volume out and remove some of the pleating.



Like! They have been worn since I made and I feel they will continue to be a staple item for a while now.

As an added bonus, I haven’t actually promised anything for the Vintage Pledge this year, but  I am really happy to have managed to tick off at least one pattern before the end of 2016! And I have to say, it was not a very complicated experience. Probably still a while to go before tackling 1920s patterns with no instructions, but overall, came together quite well!

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #08.jpg


I have now worn these culottes a few times and I still love them. They are awfully itchy, so I always have to have tights underneath, but that’s ok, they are a winter garment, so I do need all those extra layers. I really like wearing them with high heels, but that rarely happens in real life, when I need to run after the bus on my morning commute. As you might remember, I made an Inari Tee out of the leftover fabric from the culottes, so I do love combining the two, sometimes with a long sleeve shirt underneath. The high waistband is very comfortable, but I do think they look so much nice without tops tucked in.

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #09.jpg

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #10.jpg

Simplicity 5135 Wool Culottes (2016) #11.jpg


Promising many more winter makes to come on the blog, have a really great week, guys!


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  1. 27 November 2016 / 10:50 PM

    The bum is super-cute. The princess front is very 80s … but you carry it off! Congrats on a wardrobe core piece.

    • Alex
      27 November 2016 / 11:00 PM

      Thank you! I am really looking to get loads of wear out of it this winter!

  2. Lynsey
    30 November 2016 / 8:13 AM

    Fab look, I think they have turned out great and I think I could see myself in something similar so will have to look out for a similar pattern

  3. 30 November 2016 / 12:35 PM

    Yep, I remember these from the 1980s and yours are a fabulous rendition!

  4. 26 February 2017 / 12:35 PM

    Super smart and stylish! I need to make a blue pair of culottes to add to my culottes collection.

    • Alex
      26 February 2017 / 6:20 PM

      Thanks Caroline! Looking forward to seeing yours.

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