If there is a fabric that perfectly exemplifies autumn sewing I think it would be red corduroy. There is something about the cozy warmth of the napped fabric with its lovely texture and rich sheen. I just love it! I knew as soon as fall hit and I was thinking about making another pair of our Yanta Overalls pattern (a true staple in my all-season wardrobe), I needed to make a pair in corduroy.
I used 9.5oz stretch cotton corduroy for this make. The wales (vertical lines) are pretty pronounced on this cord and it has a pronounced nap. Corduroy comes in lots of different weights and wale-widths and naps. I recommend a weight between 6oz and 9oz. Mine was pushing it a bit. I actually used an alternative method to sew the back of my Yantas here because the fabric was too thick to tuck the straps inside the facing. I have a video outlining what I did on our Instagram profile, saved in our highlights under ‘Yanta Back 2’.
One question we get a lot about sewing Yanta is “Can I make the Yanta Overalls out of a fabric with stretch?” The answer is yes! Woven fabrics with spandex mixed in can work for Yanta. This includes stretch denim, stretch cord, and medium-weight stretch cotton. This does not include knit fabrics like jersey or French terry. You may want to size down when working with a stretch fabric. I did not size down initially, but when It came time to sew up the side seams, I took them in until it was a comfy fit. I did not sew the size zip on these. This is one of my favorite things about the Yanta pattern – it is easy to take it in at the side seams since they are the last major seam to be sewn and you can try them on for fitting at this stage.
You may be wondering if I used the cord for the facing as well as the body of the garment. I did opt to use the cord for the facing because of the stretch. If I used a cotton for the facing to reduce the bulk, the stretch of the cord would be impeded and it might end up looking lumpy and bumpy. If I was working with a non-stretch cord, I would likely cut the facing from some nice matching or contrast cotton.
There are two things you want to be aware of when you are sewing with corduroy:
- The fabric has a directional nap. This means that when you run your hands along the vertical wales, the fabric is smooth one direction and more rough in the other. The colour looks different when the light hits it from different angles. Make sure you keep this in mind when you cut out your project pieces. You may need to get extra fabric in order to have all the main pieces going the same way.
- You can crush the nap with the iron. Do some tests on scrap fabric to get a feel for what you can and can’t do with your iron and your corduroy. You may find that you crush or leave marks on the napped fibers with the iron. Try pressing with the wrong side facing up and the nap resting on a bath towel to help preserve it.
Other than that, you will figure it out as you sew! I find corduroy pretty easy to work with as it is usually made from cotton. It is nice and stable and handles well. I think a beginner can work with corduroy if they want to! Just keep in mind that sewing many layers of cord can be a lot to put through a machine. If your machine tends to struggle with thicker fabrics, this might not be the fabric for you.
I opted for overalls hardware on my Yantas. This change is easy to make and only requires that you get hardware and make some simple adjustments to your straps. I added a bit of length to mine so I would have more strap to work with. I did not change the width, but I really struggled to get the straps in the buckle with this thick cord. You can taper the width of the strap even more to get it to be narrower and fit in the buckle better.
I love love LOVE my new red corduroy Yanta Overalls. They are just perfect for fall and for the Holidays coming up! I love how cozy they are with the brushed texture and the warm hue. I can’t wait to put them into rotation in my wardrobe and watch them wear, too! Corduroy gets this really satisfying vintage look when you wash it regularly. I’ll try to post an update about how that goes. Thanks for checking out my latest make!