I have instructions for a culotte pattern that I often use for my daughter. It has a front and back pleat. You can add pockets but I don’t have the instructions posted for doing pockets. I have taken a pocket pattern from another pattern and included that with the pattern when I make the culottes.

****The Formula for making this pattern is at the bottom of the page. The top set of instructions are for sewing it together. This is a box pleat pattern. There are several links also listed where you can purchase culotte patterns or the the actual culotte made to order. ****

Directions for Culotte Skirt: Cut 4 pieces of pattern; 2 for the back and 2 for the font. All seams will be 5/8″.

1. With right sides together, sew the two front pieces together from the waist to crotch. Serge/zigzag or trim seam. Sew down pleat line. Backstitch the last half inch to reinforce. Open pleat by bringing the pleat seam and the waist to crotch seam together. Press pleat open and baste across the top of pleat at the waist and top stitch across the pleat.

2. Repeat step one with the two back pieces.

3. With right sides together, sew front to back at side seams. Serge/zigzag/ or trim seam using pinking shears.

4. With right sides together, sew inner leg seam(from the inside of one leg in a continuous seam to the inside of the other leg: beginning and stopping at the cut edge) Sew again close to first stitching for added strength. Clip curves.

5. Serge top edge at waist or turn under 1/4″ and stitch around waist. Fold over 1 1/2″ from top and press. Stitch around waist 1″ from top leaving an opening to insert elastic. I usually use 3?4″ elastic and 1/2″ for toddler sizes.

6. Insert elastic leaving an extra inch for overlap. Fit culottes to child adjusting elastic as needed. Overlap ends and stitch elastic securely. Stitch opening closed where elastic was inserted. At side seams, stitch through fabric and elastic from the waist down about an inch to prevent the elastic from rolling after washing.

7. At bottom leg, finish cut edge by turning under 1/4″ and stitching or serging. Then turn under desired hem and stitch.

FORMULA: from pleat line to side seam: Take waist measurement. Multiply by 3/2. Divide that number by 4. EXAMPLE: Waist measurement is 20″. 20×3/2=30. 30 divided by 4 is 71/2 so the distance from the pleat line to the side seam is 71/2″; remember to add 5/8″ for the seam allowance.

From pleat line to cut edge of crotch is 2 1/2″ to 4″ depending on the width of the child. Toddlers usually need 2 1/2″ width pleat while elementary aged children usually require 3 1/2″. For children with waists larger than 24″, I usually make a 4″ pleat.

Pleat length is 1/3 of total culotte length.

Length from the waist to crotch and from crotch to hem depends on the height of the child. Measure the child and make accordingly.

To get the crotch length, take a tape measure and bring it up between the legs at a point on the back, where the waist line would be, and in the front where the waist line would be. Pull the tape measure down to an appropriate length between the legs. This will tell you how long the crotch needs to be when you draw this pattern out……Make the gentle curve to get the crotch line.

Another trick: If you have a pair of shorts invert one leg into the other and lay that down on the paper…this will give you a curve to use as a guideline.

The best paper to use is the brown butcher’s block or brown wrapping paper used for heavy paper projects….think of a brown paper grocery bag. This can usually be found at any craft store or even Lowes and Home Depot. When I have a permanent pattern I have then transferred this to a piece of interfacing(heavy weight) or pelon which is also found at any shop that sells material.

If you have difficulty making this pattern and have any questions, you may leave me a message .

I am also posting a couple other sites that carry culotte patterns for purchase……after I hunt them out of my bookmarks file….:)

Keeper’s of the Faith

Quick Stitches

Butter and Honey

Candle On The Hill

Christian Womanhood

My Culottes

Christian Culottes

JDM Robes

Modest Apparel

I hope you will find some of these beneficial……



  1. Thanks so much Ginger.

    Comment by fourhisglory | March 22, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thank you very much! Great ideas

    Comment by Rhonda | November 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. I am looking for a dropped waist culotte pattern and Christian womanhood is out of my size. any ideas? Need this for summer camp.

    Hi Wendy…I sent you an email regarding the pattern.

    Comment by Wendy Jarkowsky | May 15, 2008 | Reply

  4. I am looking for a culotte pattern that has a zipper instead of elastic waist. My daughter is rather shapely and in order to get the elastic waist over her hips it no longer fits nicely at her waist (the waist is too large). Any suggestions as to where I can look for a pattern? I have searched several of the sites you have listed and couldn’t find anything but the elastic waist. Thanks!!!

    Comment by Denise Schueren | August 3, 2008 | Reply

  5. Ginger – how much material do I need for the boxpleat coulottes? Thanks, Shirley

    Depends on who you are making them for…..Adult average size…I think it’s about 2 3/4 yards.

    Comment by Shirley | August 20, 2008 | Reply

  6. I have a culotte pattern from Hook Publications called Modest Playwear-Culotte. It is made with a zipper and has an overskirt with side slits. It is very modest and comfortable.

    Comment by Denise | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. I need a box pleat coulotte pattern for church camp this summer. I can’t find the pattern I need anywhere! Can you help me? It needs an elastic waist, a box pleat in the front and back, and it needs to be not quite so full. I would really appreciate the help!

    Yes I would be glad to help you. If you could leave me a message with your email address so I can email you that would help. It won’t be public and after I save your email address I will delete the comment.

    Comment by willow valley | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  8. I realy like your page. I just wanted to ask you if you had a box pleat culotte pattern that you would want to share with me. My daughter is 14 years old and we are having a hard time fidning clothes that meet our standars. I have never imagined I was going to be sewing clothes, but now I must because my daughter needs me. I am very excited. So please if you could help me I would be so happy. Thank you and have a great day!

    Comment by Jackie | July 7, 2009 | Reply

    • I have a box pleat pattern on the sewing page. It is the one with the formula. It is a little tricky though. Let me see what I can find….

      Comment by gingerporter | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  9. Thank you and God bless!

    Comment by dianewr | September 5, 2011 | Reply

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