As we transition into fall, say hello to sipping tea, enjoying pumpkin pies and sewing with our new Jasper Corduroy collection!
Thick, soft and oh-so velvety smooth, this winter cotton will make a gorgeous Grainline Thayer Jacket (size 14-30 here), charming Emerson Pants, a classic Clementine Skirt, and a bold Blanca Flight Suit.
Once you know the basics, sewing with corduroy is simple with endless opportunities to create something beautiful. If you’re a corduroy newbie or just looking to brush up on some tips, keep reading to find out how to wash, cut, pin, sew and iron your corduroy projects.
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of cutting and sewing this dreamy fabric so we’re here to remind you to pre-shrink it first. Be sure to follow the washing instructions suggested for your fabric. It's recommended to hand wash our Jasper Corduroy, and we would suggest washing it with similar colours. Avoid washing the fabric with anything that sheds lint and you’ll be ready for cutting in no time!
Cutting Your Pattern
Let’s put the scissors aside for a moment to talk about fabric nap. Essentially, it means that if you brush the fibers of the corduroy in one direction, the fabric will look slightly different than if you brush them in the other direction. Choose which direction you prefer and make sure you cut all of your pattern pieces in the same direction so you end up with a uniform garment. If you’ve ever worked with a fabric with a directional print, it works similarly.
When it comes to laying out your pattern pieces, line up the grainline arrows with the vertical cords on the fabric. This will ensure a beautiful drape while avoiding visibly slanted cords which are especially noticeable on bags, pillows or garments that hang straight down on the body.
Since thick fabric and bent pins often go hand in hand, we recommend Wonder Clips or Pattern Weights as alternatives to pinning corduroy. Wonder Clips are like tiny clothespins that tightly clamp and hold together thick layers of fabric, while pattern weights hold your patterns in place without struggling with pinched fabric from pinning. Both options will make sewing with corduroy seamless and enjoyable.
Setting up the Sewing Machine
Because of its thickness, corduroy can sometimes pucker while sewing as the top and bottom layers feed unevenly into the machine. To avoid this issue, we recommend lowering the pressure of the presser foot. If your machine doesn’t have this feature, you can use a walking foot which will ensure both layers of your fabric feed evenly.
Along with using the correct sewing foot, you’ll need to switch out your needle too. Using needles that are meant for thick fabrics like denim needles will help prevent the dreaded broken needles that we all like to avoid.
Bulky seams are the norm with corduroy and we have a few solutions to make your project lays smooth and flat. First, grade all your seams by trimming the seam allowances so they’re different widths. Secondly, diagonally clip the corners of the seam allowances, especially where multiple seams intersect. And lastly, if you need to add a lining, choose a lightweight fabric like viscose linen or cotton lawn to avoid adding additional bulk.
When sewing with corduroy, skip the iron! Yep, you heard that right. Ironing squishes the cords and leaves a permanent shiny patch. As an alternative, press with your fingers or use a handy Iron finger. And since ironing is a no-go, that means fusible interfacing is out of the picture too. Instead, a lightweight sew-in interfacing can be basted to your pieces to add some structure.
With all of these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to completing your stunning corduroy creation. Keep us in the loop with your sewing adventures by tagging @spoolofthread on Instagram. We can’t wait to see what you make!