Free sewing pattern: Rachel elastic waist culottes

Free PDF sewing pattern: Rachel culottes

As promised with you in the last post, I am presenting the easier version of the Laurel palazzo pants – the Rachel elastic waist culottes!

I guess you are as excited as I was when I first making my own pair of pants. I opted for a simple design with elastic waist and a loose fit to ensure there will be no failure to discourage me in my sewing journey. The pants turned out so well that I got carried away and sewed myself and my sister a bunch of those – in various length – short, midi and long. They are so easy to make and can be mixed easily with most types of top garments – camisole for a cozy day at home, T shirt for a walk outside, or a button down shirt when you go to work.

One thing I love more about these culottes is that it flatters most body types – whether you are skinny or chubby, you can always find yourself a good pair of culottes!

Now let’s dig in to the Rachel elastic waist culottes!

These super cute culottes feature a below the knee length, elastic waist and inseam pockets. It is a fool proof beginner project – which means you are guaranteed to succeed even with very little sewing skill!

And what’s more, the Rachel elastic waist culottes are created in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL, so just look for one that fits you best!

Free PDF sewing pattern: Rachel culottes

The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the instruction here.

You can print this using your home printer and A4/Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!

Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit.


You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Some interfacing
  • Elastic (the length of elastic is your waist measurement minus 4 inches/10 centimeters
  • Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

How much fabric do you need for these culottes? You may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.

Cutting instruction:

After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this image:

Fabric will be cut into following pieces:

  • Front: 2
  • Back: 2
  • Inseam pocket: 4
  • Waistband: 1 main fabric + 1 interfacing

Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as pleats etc. from the pattern piece onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.

Sewing instruction:

1. Apply fusible interfacing onto the waistband.

2. Pin one front piece and one back piece right sides together. Sew inner leg seam. Repeat for the other side.

3. Place one pant leg into the other pant leg, right sides together. Sew the center crotch.

4. Sew pocket bags to side edges of front and back correspondingly. Pin Front Pants onto Back Pants and sew from waist to pocket opening, then continue around pocket bag, then continue down to hem.

5. Fold the waistband along the center line, right side together, then sew two ends leaving a small hole to insert elastic.

6. Pin the waist band and the main pants so the notches at the waistband match the seams at the main pants. Sew the waistband and the main pants together.

7. Insert elastic through the hole on the waistband. Close it by hand sewing using ladder stitch.

8. Serge hem, turn under, press and topstitch or slip stitch as desired.

Voila! Now you have it – the Rachel elastic waist culottes! I’m so sure you will be happy wearing it – at home or outside!


Happy sewing!


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13 thoughts on “Free sewing pattern: Rachel elastic waist culottes

  1. I am wanting to make this but with a straight waistband at the front and gathered/elastic waistband at the back. Will the front need darts?

  2. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. I love culottes – so comfortable + easy! 🙂

      1. Hello, thank you so much for sharing this! 😍 I have a question though: does the chart includes the seams also or do I cut it 1cm larger all arround?

    1. Hi there,
      The seam allowance at each point varies, for example, it’s 1/2 inch at the side seams, and 1 inch at the hem. Therefore I have included both sewing lines and cutting lines to the pattern. When you print a single size, you will see 2 sets of lines. The inner lines are sewing line, and the outer ones are cutting lines. You will cut fabric along the cutting lines and sew along the sewing lines.
      Hope this helps!

  3. Hiya,
    I cannot wait to make these!
    Is there a video alongside the instructions? I like to be able to match my doings to someone else’s
    Thank you

  4. I’m in the beginning part of sewing but my front and back are marching up? Are they supposed to? Especially the crotch part?

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