Join The Club

Earlier this Summer I had an opportunity to participate in the test group for a new pattern released by Helen’s Closet, the Winslow Culotte. I am a little behind the release date in posting about my experience but shall we say that is just my way of prolonging the magic?

The Winslow Culotte is an advanced-beginner level sewing pattern that can be made in 5 different lengths from swishy shorts to floor length palazzo pants. When I heard “palazzo” I was like, “Where do I sign up??” Maybe it’s my never ending quest to wear clothes that the Fashion Police say thick girls are forbidden to go near, or maybe it’s that I spent too many years working for Ralph Lauren. No matter the reason, I have a thing for their wardobe potential, but it’s been many years since I’ve had them in my closet. Combining that with my enthusiasm to see every seamstress I meet fulfilling their goals, I was waiting with fingers and ankles crossed in hope that I would be selected.

In return for my advice, questions, experiences, photos and feedback I received a finished copy of the pattern and some incidental exposure of this little blog I have been keeping.

Helen hosted a private Facebook group where the participants were able to interact with her and each other to talk about fabric, fitting, inspiration and make suggestions for editing the pattern and the instructions before publication. During this process one of my favorite blogs posted a feature on photos by Jacques-Henri Lartigue. These were taken on the French Riviera in the 30’s. They are a sort of ode to his mistress at the time, and they are kind of iconic in fashion photography from the period. I remembered seeing these images of her around the concept studios at RL and they were definitely jiving with my ideas of what I hoped my pattern test would turn out to be like.

After making these I am bound to be more tan, more fabulous, and more likely to snag a famous photographer boyfriend, right???

Some “action” shots to show how nice and flowy they are in this printed linen/rayon gauze…

I’ve got the pants so it’s just a spray tan and a chance encounter with a handsome stranger away… at least a girl can dream. The easy part is definitely the sewing!
Helen’s pattern is very well drafted,  versatile, and suitable for many fabrics and the digital materials have been presented in a very clear and well thought way for any skill level to follow. Plus there is a whole sewing community out there sharing what, where and how they made this pattern which is pretty awesome.
Thank you Helen!


7 thoughts on “Join The Club

  1. Thank you for sharing, Ashlee! I think you would look right at home in the French Riviera with your version 😀 Great post and thanks again for testing, it was a pleasure to have you in the group and receive your feedback!


  2. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly #46 | Helen's Closet

  3. Love them. I am hopelessly uncool and have not been able to get on board with the culottes trend EXCEPT for the full on palazzo pants version. I think they are really chic and flattering and yours are no exception. (Also, if you really want to channel the mistress I think you’ll need to ditch your supportive bra; seems like that is what she is doing in that window shot!).


    • Haha! Yes, this is true – I don’t think there is a single image I’ve seen of her where she’s well supported! I’m certainly not exotic enough to take to that look. Thank you for your compliments and for taking a look at my blog. 🙂


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