Tanners by Designer Stitch

I think these would have to be my favourite Designer Stitch* make so far. There's so much to love about the Tanner culottes.

First of all, they are totally on trend. I don't really follow fashion that much, so it's rather novel, and fun to have a pair of pants that are so stylish and on trend. Culottes are so cool right now even The Doctor is wearing them.

Second, I think they look amazing! I wasn't sure that the shortened legs would look ok on me (being on the shorter side). But the high waist changes the look. And one of the (many) perks of sewing your own clothes is being able to adjust the hem to just the right length.

Tanners were primarily designed for denim, and the topstitching on them reflects the topstitching found on jeans and denim clothes. I just love the topstitching on these. I originally chose the dark red thread when I was going to be making them out of denim, something a little different to the standard mustard/brown. But when I pulled the denim out of my stash, I remembered it was stretch denim, so there was a last minute hunt for alternate fabric.

I found this wool twill fabric at Lincraft (on special!), and it was perfect. The perfect, weight, and a great combo with the red upholstery thread.

When topstitching, I did the row closest to the edge by shifting my needle over to the left, and lining the edge up with the inner edge of my presser foot (so more of the fabric was under the presser foot).  And for the second row, I used my 1/4" foot to get it lined up just right. The stitch length was lengthened to 3mm.  The bobbin thread was just normal black thread. When sewing though thicker sections, there is a tendency for the top thread to be pulled through to the back, so it was good to take it slower in those areas.  Also, when starting off, I held the top thread in place, so it didn't get pulled to the back and tangled up.  I used bar tacks at the pockets and on the fly to help keep things together in the high stress areas.

I feel very clever having made such a beautiful fly, with proper facings and everything. The process was a little daunting, but taking it one step at a time, and checking out the fly on the jeans I was wearing made it all go pretty smoothly.  For my next pair, I plan to lower the bottom point of the fly by about half an inch, to make them go on a little easier (I need to have a little wriggle to get them over my hips, because the rise is a size smaller than my hip size).

As usual for Designer Stitch patterns, it was pretty simple to mash sizes together to fit the shape of my body. Ann even talked me through a sway back adjustment for my pants. This is why I have a 'bum dart' below the back yoke of my pants. For my next pair, I will make the adjustment the pattern piece, so there won't be a visible seam.  It's pretty amazing to have pants fit me just so.

As always, there are some amazing details in the pattern. Like how the top of the patch pockets lines up with the belt loops (pretty cool huh). The pattern also includes instructions for a soft tie belt that finishes off the pants very nicely.

I am so, so, so glad that I have these pants. They've been given a workout lately. And every time I wear them I have received compliments. The pattern is on sale for release, over at the Designer Stitch shop.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. The opinions, sewing and totally awesome topstitching are all my own.


  1. What a beautiful version of the Tanner Culotte you have made. Love the top stitching and I really enjoyed reading your helpful hints on how to tackle this. You are a very professional and accomplished sew'ist. Well done. 👏👏👏👏👏

  2. I love your Tanner! I was wondering what was the extra seam on the back and thinking it was a design choice of yours to add another seam but didn't think about a swayback adj. It worked great !


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