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!


  1. These are great ! I love all your tips . These are in my RTW Fast radar this year . You are especially brave to cut a metal zipper ! I’m not sure I would attempt that 🤣

    1. Thank you MaryEllen! As long as you mark where the stitch line is supposed to be on the zipper, you will be fine.

  2. I was so excited to see this blog post! I love your Ginger Jeans, and think you did a great job with them. All the details are so nice, and really make them pop, especially when you add the shirt! Oh, and I get butt wrinkles too, lol!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! I purchased the corduroy specifically to go with the top so I am happy about the combo.

  3. Love that lining, meow!!! Corduroy is all over the menswear runways for Fall 18. Thanks for the tips on how to work with it.

    1. Thank you Mainelydad! Hope you get to make lots of corduroy garments.

  4. These fabrics go together so well! Your Ginger jeans look wonderful in corduroy and the fit is great. Sometimes the different behavior of similar looking fabrics can drive me crazy, but at the same time I wouldn't want to return to non-stretch jeans!

    1. Thanks so much Marianne! Yes, I agree...I don't want to go back to non-stretch jeans either.

  5. I think the fit is great and these are beautifully made. I think corduryoy is a great fabric choice for jeans - by the way you remind me that I must make those Ginger jeans!!

    1. Thanks so much Virginie. Yes, do make them!

  6. Oh my goodness! I really love the outfit. The top looks comfy and stylish. It goes well with the pants. Thank you for the sewing tips! Your post is very informative as always:)

    1. Thanks so much Eli cat. I am glad you like the outfit!

  7. EEEEK! I love your corduroy pants!!! The top is extremely cute and really pops with the pants.

    1. Thanks so very much KS Sews. I love the combo too.

  8. What a lovely outfit! You really made it work with the corduroy. It can be difficult to sew with but you did such a great job. I don't even see any issues with the pants. The lining is so cute.

    1. Thanks The Sewing CPA. I always struggle with pants fit but my pants always fit better than ready to wear so that's a good thing!

  9. I love your outfit! I am hoping to make the ginger jeans to, probably out of denim although they look great in corduroy too! I especially like the contrast waistband facing.

    1. Thank you Let's Get Sewing! Yes, do make these jeans. I am sure you will like them. The waistband facing is fun, especially since I like animal print.

  10. Your ginger jeans are a perfect fit!!!

    1. Thank you Faye. I think there are still too many wrinkles in the back but they still fit better than ready-to-wear...

  11. How are you Tomasa? I have t seen you on the blog or IG ? Hope you are well & sewing like crazy

    1. Thanks for reaching out MaryEllen. That means a lot to me!

  12. Hi Tomasa, hope you are doing good. By the way, the tutorial was very nice. I will try to make a dress based on your design.

    Thanks Tomasa.

  13. Very nice post, a good piece of work you have share here. thank you.
    Men Kurta Designs

  14. If you need high-quality materials, I recommend you check this online store: I usually buy all fabrics online. Especially when I have an idea to create my own pattern on the fabric

  15. OMG its really beautiful. Nice to see this. I found some excellent fabrics from Spandex Collectionin NYC near me which was a nice weight, not too beefy.
    Stretch Sequins
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    Designers Lace
    Stretch Lace
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  16. Gorgeous Collection of Fabrics. I just love it. I buy some excellent fabrics from Fabrics World USA in NYC near me which was a nice weight, not too beefy.
    Stretch Sequins | Glitter Stone | Designers Lace | Stretch Lace | Printed Spandex

  17. I love your Ginger Jeans and figure you worked superbly with them. Your Ginger pants look awesome in corduroy and the fit is extraordinary. All the subtleties are so decent, and truly make them pop, particularly when you include the shirt! Goodness, and I get butt wrinkles as well. Cocktail Dresses for Older Women

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