1940s | Culottes / Pantskirts | Vintage Sewing

1942 Culotte

August 4, 2013


This is my first post here on WeSewRetro. I have read this blog for months and love the projects presented here, now I finally decided to join the party 🙂

The project I want to show to you comes from a 1942 issue of “Frau und Mode” (= Wife and Fashion), a Swiss magazine. It was given as a supplement with another Magazine and contains mainly knitting patterns or pictures of dresses, for which you could order paper patterns, so unfortunately there are only very few sewing patterns in it.

This set consists of a culotte and a cape. I only made the former because I couldn’t think of any occation to wear this cape. The cut parts to enlarge and the instructions (in german) can be found on my blog.

I went for a coarse linen istead of the waterproof fabric the pattern suggested, planning to wear it in the summer and not as a cycling-outfit for rainy days, though that’s what it was designed for (the Headline says “For our female cyclists”).

I love the vertical seam originating at the belt, making a step to form the pocket and going all the way down to the hem. It is better to see in the drawing than in the photos.

The pleats only open in the bottom half, as you can see in the photo. It’s a little weird, because the crotch seam and the seam closing the pleat form kind of a triangle, which is a little difficult to press, but doesn’t show when worn.

From the side it really looks like a skirt:

I hope you like it, you will find more photos on my blog, see you soon, love


  1. Really pretty!! I love these. They look so comfortable. I remember my mom always talking about wearing culottes, and in the early to mid 80’s she still wore them! Newer versions, of course.

  2. This is amazing. I have been trying to find vintage culottes (I’m a cycle-riding female!). The fabric is perfect & the fit is great, too. Thanks for sharing. I will try to find something similar, since I don’t know if there are many Frau & Mode magazines here in the US!

  3. I don’t know why culottes are not all that “fashionable” now. Wore them frequently in the ’70s and enjoyed the feminine look with the freedom of pants!

  4. So I’ve been wanting to sew culottes forever having bought a few patterns that feature them. I’ve always been timid because I wasn’t sure how they would look on me, but seeing how fabulous yours look, I’m inspired to give mine a try! You look great!

  5. This looks amazing. I want the culottes so much! I was thinking of drafting and making this my first project, and then I see your post! You just gave me the best inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.