The Long and Short of Things

I try to imagine that nobody actually reads this stuff that. I am sure that 99% of the time that is true. You’re gonna scroll down and look at the pictures right? That’s what I mostly do, that’s what everyone does… or so I thought.

Lately however, people have started commenting on my posts. And a lot of the time these comments  make reference to something that I have written, which would suggest that there are actually people actually reading this stuff?!?

So now I’m thinking “Oh crap!”-people are seriously taking the time to read my long-winded (often nonsensical) drivel. I have been finding this to be quite an intimidating thought, and one that is a little inhibiting. As I type I am overthinking each sentence, and I will definitely endeavour to be more focused and concise from this post forth. Let’s see if I can reign myself in.

In the midst of all the daily demands that 2017 has presented me with, I  have been really battling to find any time to do any “recreational sewing”. I’ve been so focused on making loads of new patterns (and reworking some of my old ones) in the hopes of releasing at least 2 by the middle of the year. And, although I freaking love the creative process of pattern making and garment development, it is proving to be a very drawn out one now that I can only devote about an hour and a half to it each evening (after an exhausting day of work, child care, housework etc), and I often do pine for the instant gratification of mindlessly knocking something up on a whim from an existing pattern.

I had noticed the culotte/ cropped wide leg trend bubbling under the surface for a while now, but I didn’t really pay it much attention. Having been super self conscious of my skinny ankles and calves for as long as I can remember, I did not see myself as a candidate for pulling off this look, certain that such a voluminous hemline would only serve to emphasize these areas of insecurity.

Then I noticed a number of incredibly chic looking ladies sauntering around Cape Town, unperturbed by the summer heat in these Flow Culottes by wonderful South African designer Jane Sews. Something about these pants caused me to reevaluate my thoughts on this silhouette. So much so that I was quickly compelled to make myself a pair of cropped, flowy pants, and I carved a little break in my strict, self-induced schedule to do just that.

These pleated Burda pants  that I blogged about a while ago ended up being one of my most loved garments, so I thought I would see what Burda had on offer in this kind of silhouette. They actually have made a considerable number of culotte patterns over the past few years, but these ones really spoke to me. I didn’t want anything too wide (see above about ankles), nor exaggerated, and these seemed the perfect combination of my style and this style that I had not yet attempted to wear.



I made them in a drapey black viscose twill, and I was instantly obsessed! They are such a comfortable and wearable silhouette, and its so great to be able to cover my bruised legs (toddlers!!) and still remain cool in the heat. I did not change that pattern at all, excepting that I shortened the hem by 3cm’s.

Two weeks after making these pants I was itching for another pair (I’m a serial pattern repeater and they were such a quick and easy sew). So I made use of a khaki viscose blend that I had in my stash. It was given to me so i’m not 100% sure what exactly it is composed of). It also had a good drape, but is a little weightier than the black that I used for my first pair.Khaki Culottes 7




I love this pattern and highly recommend it and I would make more of these if I had the time! If you think you can’t wear this trend then I encourage you to give it a try. There is no shortage of awesome patterns and inspiration on social media, and you may just surprise yourself and fall in love with culottes like I did. I hope I managed to keep this post short and focused like I intended it to be…ah who am I kidding, you stopped reading this ages ago.

23 thoughts on “The Long and Short of Things

  1. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas says:

    LOL…I’m a reader and I enjoyed every word, thanks! {Sorry for the added blog stress.}

    I’ve been watching this trend from the sidelines. At under 5’2″, with a decidedly robust calf and ankle….weeeelll….not sure this is a look I can pull off. You, on the other hand, have done so beautifully!


    • Sarah-May says:

      Thanks so much Sue! For the compliments on the pants and that you enjoy reading my posts. I have actually seen these type of pants looking lovely on shorter women! Often the pants are longer on them, ending just above floor length, and I think it looks awesome and very elegant. Don’t exclude yourself based on height, I think it’s a style suited to more body types than one imagines!


  2. Sarah says:

    Oh I’m a total old school reader! Words! Love them! ;). These look great on you. Sadly with my wide hips and rump such trousers don’t seem to suit me but I love them on others. Hope you keep taking time out to sew for yourself – self sewing=self care!


    • Sarah-May says:

      Im a word lover too Sarah, it’s good to know we still exist! I guess I always think that with the internet being such an overload of images and links and interesting things right at ones fingertips, the people who stumble onto my site wouldn’t take the time to actually stop and digest my thoughts. I don’t agree about this style not suiting you, I think you may surprise yourself if you try something similar. Thank you for your kind words and good advice!


    • Sarah-May says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, do it! You will love them, I will bet money on it 👍🏼. This pattern is a great introduction to this silhouette I think cause it’s quite conservatively culottey- if that makes sense.


  3. Liz Haywood says:

    Sarah, I think the same when I write my blog: I wonder who reads this? Do they skim or digest? I’ve just subscribed to Frenchnavy and I’m enjoying your archive.
    I also have the same skinny calves and ankles as you and have avoided three-quarter pants for the same reason, however yours look very cool and smart. Any thoughts on the correct shoe to wear?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah-May says:

      Thanks so much Liz! Ha ha I know, it’s so weird to imagine that people actually read these things 😳. Thank you for reading (so nice of you to say you’ve enjoyed my sleep deprived musings). In terms of shoe suggestions… I mostly live in sneakers and flats, cause I’m always on my feet, but I’ve seen great culottes outfits on Pinterest with all kinds of shoes!


  4. Sophie says:

    As I am a word lover I read every post and like you I try my best to write beautiful texts, and like you I know that the majority of my readers don’t read them (strange sentence, isn’t it ?:)) but I think it’s still worth for the few people who pay attention to every single words and for them i keep on writing and not only posting pics.
    I love both short pants, they are gorgeous on you ! It’s nice to see your face 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. themateriallady says:

    I read it all too!
    The pants look great – you have inspired me to try a pair this summer. I’m not very tall (5’4″) and your comments have made me think that I could possibly get away with it. Though probably not as prettily as you have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. liamarcoux says:

    Haha, also a reader over here. Sorry. ^^ I also got suddenly and unexpectedly enchanted by culottes! These look freakin’ great and so wearable. Also, may I ask where those sandals came from? Basically the whole look is working for me.


    • Sarah-May says:

      Ha ha thank you so much! Yes I’m crazy for culottes too at the moment. I was surprised at how wearable they are, I would never have expected it until i actually wore them. The sandals worn with the black pair are by local (South African) designer “Jane sews”, they ship internationally if I’m not mistaken. They were a birthday gift 4 years ago and I ❤️ them so much. The other pair are by Australian brand cotton on. They are not leather but have lasted pretty well all the same


  7. Anya says:

    I am also a reader! And I think the same thing of my blog 🙂 I also am very unsure of this whole cropped wide pant trend for myself. But I love it on others! After seeing yours I just may have to give it a good try. I love the tops that you paired with them too!


  8. Christine says:

    Bonjour! I am new to your blog and I just love it. Being French in South Africa, I am a real sucker for anything that reminds of my country and when I hear “Sezane, Balzac”, it transports me to heights of delight. The neat, sober and contained look of your creations really appeal me although I do like ribbons ans frills at time. Thank you for showing us what can be done from adapting tested patterns. With a twist here, a cut there and one or two darts in the right place, one can create a brand new look. A principle that I am keen to apply (it will save me time and money). Looking forward to reading your posts from A to Z!


  9. Sarah says:

    Fellow sleep-deprived, serial pattern repeating Sarah here! I relate 100% to your post — from working full time with little kids (oh the laundry!) to the intense desire to sew/knit/create but only having a little time and even less energy at the end of the day. Even the skinny calves and intrigue over what this type pant would look like on me! I love reading your posts because I enjoy understanding people’s thought processes, so I hope you don’t trim them up. You are so talented and have a great eye; thank you for sharing a little of yourself with all of us!


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