Make With Mandi

Bolt Culottes Pattern Hack

Two versions by @pamalamadingdong

Wide legged pants? Yup, they’re my thing. I was lucky to be chosen to be a pattern tester for
Mandi from Make with Mandi back in the Fall and wanted to share my process. I didn’t document
the step by step of my first pair but decided to make a pair for Valentine’s day and try out a
couple of new techniques..



Make 1: High waisted full length culotte with elasticated back waistband.

I decided to make a pair of high waisted wide legged pants instead of the culottes because it was starting to get cold and wet in Vancouver, Canada.  I bought a heavy weight double knit viscose with a slight stretch to the fabric in a burnt umber colour. 

The Process and Hacks

I followed all of the instructions except for the band and the legs.  I wanted a 34” inseam, so I extended the legs straight down from the original hem edge.  I didn’t change the width of the leg and finished the bottom edge with a 2” hem. 

Things that Make You Go “Hmmmm”

I wanted the culottes to be high waisted rather than sit on my hips.  I was almost finished and tried them on and there was quite a gape in the back.  I had overlocked everything and top stitched too, so you know how painful it is to take even some of it apart.  

My measurements are 22” at my waist and 35.5” at my hips, so I had to take it in at least 1.5 inches from each side and a bit from the back seam.  After adjusting the waist the finished product sat at my belly button and gave me the high waisted look I wanted.

Since the rise is quite long, I didn’t need to adjust the length of this at all.


Make 2: High waisted full length culotte with invisible zip fastening.

When you love a pattern you can’t just settle with making one version.  Valentine’s day was just around the corner so I thought it was a great opportunity to make a fancier pair.  I bought a woven rayon in delightful sage.  These Bolts were a challenge because I hadn’t taken into account that there was no stretch in this fabric

The Process and Hacks

Again, I wanted a full length high waisted version, however I hadn’t taken into account that this rayon fabric had no stretch. 

I adjusted the pattern at the waist, so the back was 20” and the front was 17”. I also made the waistband deeper at 2”

I made the legs 34” again from the inseam.  I’m pretty sure I installed the pockets with the facing on the wrong side but they still look pretty good.  I took a couple of pics so you can see how they look.



I tried them on and….. I COULDN’T GET THEM OVER MY HIPS.  

I was certainly feeling the sting of agony but definitely wasn’t defeated.  So now I had to tackle something I had avoided for a whole year:  INSTALLING A ZIPPER.

I decided to go with an invisible zip and I think I did this over and over again about three or four times.  Sometimes you just have to put something down and wait until the next day when  you have a fresh head.  So I watched this video from Threads Sewing again.  It ain’t pretty but all I can say is “FINALLY – it’s done – REJOICE!!!!

I also bound the inside edge of the waistband rather than turning edge under.

Since these are dressy wide legged pants, I wanted a cleaner finish at the leg hem so opted to try doing a blind hem for the first time.  I have a Brother SC9500 sewing machine so just went to their online manual for the instructions.  I had to do this about three times as well to get it right.  These pants took me about 8 hours to complete due to some of the mistakes I made and testing out new techniques along the way.  My favourite part of the pants is the width of the legs but also the pleats.  I got myself a snazzy new pair of pants to wear for dinner!

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