introducing the lunch box tee + culottes pattern

As I was starting to develop our women’s Girl Friday Culottes pattern last spring it occurred to me that they would also be a great option for girls. Not like that’s any sort of great revelation or anything. In fact, I think that, over the years, quite a few of you have requested culottes or a skort, haven’t you?

Culottes are sort of perfect for girls because they allow freedom of movement while still giving the look and feel of a skirt. Want to hang upside-down on the playground? No problem. Your culottes won’t flip upside-down with you! And since we like our patterns to come as outfits, how about a version of the women’s Bento Tee to go with it? I really like these two styles together, so it seemed perfect to combine them into one style for the kids. So we developed the Lunch Box Tee + Culottes.


The culottes include the same basic shape and details as our women’s culottes except that the Lunch Box Culottes are a pull-on style with elastic at the back waist instead of the fixed waistband and hidden zipper of the Girl Friday Culottes. Otherwise they’re very similar: the inverted box pleats at the front and back camouflage the culottes aspect and help them to look more like a skirt.




Since we included the hidden side pockets on the culottes and the little in-seam pockets on the tee, the Lunch Box pattern is sort of perfect for anyone who love pockets. And who doesn’t? Like the Bento Tee, the Lunch Box Tee gives the same option to choose from: the three-quarter-length sleeves or the short sleeves with cuffs, as well as the basic (un-seamed) tee without pockets or the seamed version with pockets.



The Lunch Box Tee is, of course, extremely easy and quick to sew. As are the culottes, actually. I think both of these styles are great year-round options. Sew the culottes in corduroy or flannel for winter and in sateen, poplin, or voile for summer. And of course they’re darling in all sorts of fun cotton prints! For the tee, look for knits with at least 25% stretch so the neckline can fit over the head easily. Sweatshirt fleece would be great for winter, and jersey is perfect for summer.

Both the culottes and tee styles are super comfortable and easy to wear. S loves hers and is sort of obsessed with the culottes especially.


And it’s sort of fun, every once in a while, to do a matching mother-daughter outfit. But you know me; I never like to veer too close to matchy-matchy outfits, so we restrain ourselves to using the matching sewing patterns without matching the fabrics.


This pattern is now available for purchase in both paper and digital formats. Be sure to check out my Customizing with Oliver + S Pinterest board, where I’ve added a few styling and fabric ideas to inspire you. I hope you have lots and lots of fun with this pattern! You’ll add your photos to the Oliver + S Flickr group when you’re done, right?




  1. dianelyons

    I love all of the photos of this pattern–especially the one with you and S! Are your culottes made from linen? They are stunning!! Great shoes too!

    1. Diane, my culottes are black linen from Gray Lines Linen here in NYC. So glad you like them!

  2. Sarvi

    I am going crazy over this combo. Picking up from the printer the second my current batch of stuff is off the sewing table.

    Off topic, but Liesl can you please do a post about shoes one day? You have the most gorgeous collection of sandals I’ve ever seen.

  3. Glad you’re excited, Sarvi!

    I did a post about summer shoes a while ago:

    I’ll do one for fall shoes soon, since you asked so nicely. 😉

  4. You both look just great!! I really like the new patterns, they have a modern twist and are so stylish.
    Very different and very Liesl 😉

  5. Mary Kay

    I just love your shoes Liesl . . . . and the patterns of course!!!

  6. …I will confess that the culottes did not excite me initially – but oh, that Cotton+Steel lawn pair! With the stripey tee – I NEED this pattern now 🙂

  7. Hey Liesl,
    this t-shirt could work for boys as well, right?
    I want to try it!!

  8. TMM

    I’m wondering how tough it would be to do a full long sleeve rather than the 3/4.

  9. Okay, I am Freaking OUT over this latest lot of patterns. You are so darn clever Liesl.
    The best thing is, my older girls are grumbling that they don’t come in their size so I showed them the Liesl+Co, everyone is happy!

  10. Very cute….and definitely “cutting edge” in Kids’ Fashion {as always :)}!! These look like great wardrobe staples that span a variety of seasons…. AWESOME. Just AWESOME!!

  11. Cath

    Wow this is just what I have been looking for! My active little girl really needed this!

    Thanks for another stunning pattern, i will get started next week and post pictures!

  12. Sarah Helene

    3 different outfits featuring your same culottes pattern for your daughter, Liesl. “Spot on” for a young girl, stylish and practical, too. Certainly many moms will want to buy your LUNCH BOX TEE & CULOTTES pattern. I love your choice of colors for the first outfit, the combination of an ivory T-shirt with gold culottes, so sophisticated. THANKS. Sarah in Minneapolis

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