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How to Make Culottes

Updated April 13, 2017

Culottes are a garment design that was first crafted by French tailors towards the end of the 18th century for upper-class noblemen. They have also been called "knee-breeches" and, for women, "skorts." They are a closed garment that was fastened from the leg to the knee by a strap, drawstring, buckle or buttons. Because they are a relatively simple garment, culottes are simple to make as long as you have the proper instructions.

Pick out the fabric that you want to use. This can be anything from denim to cotton to polyester. Anything that you want the culotte to be made out of can be used. The fabric you use just needs to be versatile enough to cut and sew together. Any fabric that is too thick to sew would not be advisable to use.

Cut the fabric into the shape of a pyramid without the top point. The plateau top of the pyramid should be able to easily fit around the waist of the person that the culotte is being designed for. The beginning cut of the fabric will be something akin to cutting a skirt pattern. Because skirts and culottes are similar in many aspects of their design, the making of a culotte is similar to the making of a skirt.

Measure the culotte all the way across the top and cut a gap from 2/3 of its length across from the plateau to the bottom of the pyramid. Make sure you measure your inseam before sewing. Once you know the inseam measurement, take the two split segments of the culotte and sew them up to make two legs. Sew them apart up to the inseam measurement. Sew the two parts of the inseam together to make the completed culotte. With the finished result, there are some aesthetic changes that can be crafted. It just depends on the stylistic preference of the person that is tailoring the culotte.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Button, string, or sash
  • Designer marking tape (optional)
  • Clothing measuring tape
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About the Author

Cameron Burry has been writing professionally since 2006. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland College for English and writing, and holds two degrees from Murray State University: one in creative writing and one in English literature.