Hello everyone! Sara of The Sara Project here, and back with another fun post for you!
Let’s start off with a question: what is fall without corduroy? I’ve been seeing a lot of great corduroy garments popping up in the ready to wear world lately. I fell in love with a pair of gold cord overalls I came across at Madewell recently, and headed over to fabric.com to find a similar fabric to copy the look. Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous selection of corduroy options they have! I quickly found the color Cider and knew that this project had to happen. Also, how yummy does the color Cider sound? I think I would wear anything with the name Cider.
I looked through a few different overall pattern options for this project, and decided to go with the Closet Case Patterns Jenny Overalls. I love the high waist, and construction details of this pattern. Even better, fabric.com is now carrying some indie sewing patterns, including this one. So exciting!
I’m here today to share my Jenny Overalls plus 8 tips for sewing with corduroy fabrics!
8 Tips for Sewing with Corduroy
These 8 tips will help you know how to choose your fabric, how to treat corduroy fabric and the best ways to use it while sewing. Let’s begin!
1) When purchasing corduroy fabric online, pay attention to the wale count. This will inform you of how many wale stripes can be counted in one square inch and will help you determine if the fabric you are considering has a wider wale stripe or a more narrow wale stripe. This is important to pay attention to when planning out your project, depending on what look you are going for. A wider wale cord is very in style for fall this year, and gives the garment a more vintage vibe. I’m loving this trend!
2) Make sure to pre-wash your fabric. Also make sure to pay attention to the contents of your fabric. This particular fabric I used from is 100% cotton, so it can be washed on a gentle cycle and tumbled dry on low heat.
3) Pay attention to the nap and direction of the wales. Either way is totally acceptable, it really just depends on what look you personally desire for your project. For my Jenny Overalls, the nap runs down along the grainline line. If I brush down with my hands the fabric feels smooth. If you brush your hands against the nap, the fabric will feel slightly rough.
4) Remember to keep the ribs straight when you are cutting out your pattern pieces. If you have a wider wale, you can cut one piece out at a time to ensure the ribs are straight. For my overalls, I cut multiple pieces out at a time and it worked great.
5) Don’t use an iron! This will likely leave a mark on corduroy fabrics. Instead you can lightly steam or finger press your seams open. Try testing these methods on a piece of scrap fabric first. I used the finger press method (no iron at all!) for this entire project and it worked really well.
6) Don’t use fusible interfacing. Since we don’t want to use an iron, fusible interfacing is not a good option for a corduroy project. Instead use a non-fusible interfacing and attach it to the fabric on the wrong side, and baste the interfacing around the entire edge of the pattern piece within the given seam allowance.
7) Since corduroy is a thicker material to work with, it’s important to pay attention to the bulkiness of your seams. You can eliminate some of the bulk by grading your seams. This is definitely a step you want to incorporate when working with corduroy fabrics!
8) Make sure to finish any raw edges, as corduroy does easily fray and unravel along unfinished edges. Using a serger to finish your edges is a great option, as well as a simple zig-zag finish or binding. I used my serger for my project and it worked great.
Jenny Overalls Project
This pattern is so fun to sew! Don’t be intimidated by all of the overall hardware! I didn’t find this pattern too challenging at all, and as always, I really enjoyed all of the topstitching. My measurements put me at a size 4 for this pattern, and found I needed to size down in the waist and crotch another size or so. It’s always better for the pattern to be a little too big than too small, so it worked out well. I took in the side seams and crotch seam a little and now I have a perfect fit.
I also tapered the legs to have a straight leg fit closer to the Madewell overalls I fell in love with. I felt like a straight leg fit would be a little more practical for winter and snow. To taper the legs, baste the legs together as instructed in the pattern, try on the pants and pin the fabric in around your legs (in the center of the pant leg) to fit how you desire, and then baste. Try them on again and keep tweaking until the fit is just right. Remember that 100% cotton has no stretch, so be careful not to make the legs too fitted, or they will be unwearable. (Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before!). Here’s the original pattern pant leg compared to mine once I had the right fit:
Fabric.com has so many other amazing colors for fall . Here are a few of my favorites- rust, olive, and merlot!
Thanks for reading along, and I wish you all the best on your quest for sewing with corduroy! Happy sewing!