Monday, January 15, 2018

Corduroy Pants with a Lively Top

The idea for this particular top and pant combo has been simmering in my head for quite some time, since November 2016 to be exact!

The fabric for the top is a cotton jersey purchased at NY Elegant a couple of years ago.  It was the last on the bolt so I am happy to have snapped it up.  I love the colors.  I used my self-drafted knit top pattern.  For the neckband finish, I used the neckband technique I wrote about in a previous post.

For the pants, I used a very soft fine wale corduroy purchased at Mood Fabrics in NYC also purchased in 2016.   It feels so soft - I love the fabric.  I used the Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans pattern for the pants (View B).  I have used this pattern previously in a denim muslin (click here) and was overall happy with the fit.  However, each fabric has its own unique properties which cause it to behave and fit differently and thus was the case here.

While I know that slim fitting pants tend to have more wrinkles in the back, and you need some ease in order to walk, I think I have a little too much fabric in the back, particularly below the derrierre.      The corduroy fabric was softer and lighter in weight than the denim.  It also had slightly less stretch.  I also did not want the pants to be too snug.  I believe all of these characterics caused it to fit differently.

Also, I deliberately made the pants a little longer than I needed (which contributes to the wrinkling around the ankles) because I have discovered that even though I pre-shrink fabric, there sometimes occurs "residual shrinkage" once the garment is laundered again.  This is especially the case with cotton fabrics like this one.  Once I wash these a couple of times, I will determine whether I need to shorten the hem.

Despite the fit issues in the back (which is normal for me), I like the pants overall and will wear them.

I used a fun animal print cotton I had in my stash for the waistband facing and fly shield.

The zipper was longer than what I needed so I cut off the excess.

I usually just sew across the zipper tape (very carefully) but this time I wanted to try something different.  I did not want to have those metal zipper teeth inside the waistband so I decided to remove them and add stops at the end.  I purchased the tools at a sewing expo some years ago but you can find these supplies at or  Below on the left are the nippers and the zipper teeth I removed as well as the pliers I used to attach the zipper stops.

Based on my denim muslin, I discovered that I needed a full calf adjustment.  I also found that a curved waistband hugged my waist better and with no gaping.  I created the curved waistband by pinning a tuck on my muslin where I needed it to determine how much I needed to take in.   The tuck went from the top of the waistband to nothing at the seam where you sew the waistband to the pant.  I transferred this alteration to the waistband pattern.  These adjustments resulted with the waistband taking a curved shape which worked well for me.

Sewing tips:
When sewing with a napped fabric such as corduroy:

1.  Make sure you place the pattern pieces all in one direction so that the pieces all look the same.  If you do not, it will seem like the pieces on the finished garment are different colors because the light will hit the nap differently.

2.  Cut the pieces on a single layer of the fabric, particularly if the nap is prominent.  Don't forget to turn the pattern pieces over so you don't end up with 2 right sides for example.

3.  For pressing, I used a leftover piece of the same fabric so that I wouldn't flatten the nap.

4.  I used a walking foot to prevent the fabric from shifting.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!