Sewing Tips for Sewing Corduroy
"Do you have any tips for sewing corduroy?" was a recent question I received.
Corduroy garments and fabrics are popular once again. Corduroy isn't difficult to sew, but there are a few tips that will help you achieve greater sewing success.
There are some articles online that address sewing corduroy. I will highlight a few of them here for you to check out. You may find some of the suggestions contradictory. My answer to that is always test on fabric scraps before you decide on a technique. Go with the one that gives you the results you want. Sometimes you just need to use your common sense.
See Threads Magazine article called, "Corduroy" by Andrea Moore. I think Andrea did a very good job of explaining how to sew corduroy. Many of the techniques she covered can also be used in other garment sewing as well. This how to sew corduroy article is a good one to keep in your sewing notebook.
The Home Sewing Organization offers Sewing Guidelines for Napped Fabrics and Working With Napped Fabrics
Shannon Gifford shares her knowledge on sewing corduroy and stretch corduroy in her Sewing Guides found at EmmaOneSock
One tip that I would add is about pressing. I have found not only with corduroy, but with many other types of fabrics as well, the absolutely best pressing cloth is a scrap of the fabric itself. It doesn't need to be any larger than the soleplate of your iron as you pick it up and move it to press.
With nap fabrics, be careful to place the "pressing cloth" the same grain and nap direction as the garment with right sides together when you press. Mark the direction of the nap on the back or wrong side of the press cloth. Place a small piece of medical paper tape at the top of piece of fabric and draw an arrow on it to indicate the nap and grain.
You don't want to press the corduroy with the wales on your press cloth going the opposite direction of your garment or you may end up with a waffle effect.
Quality Corduroy Fabrics
There really is a big difference between a good quality corduroy and what is generally available to us. Of course, that is true with all fabrics.
Check out New York Fashion Center Fabrics for some 45 inch wide 100% cotton corduroy at $17.95 per yard. Yes, it costs more, but good fabric is well worth the price for your good clothes. I wouldn't spend this on fabric for a growing child.Fabric Sewing Books
Here are some excellent guide books by Sandra Betzina and Claire Shaeffer to help you achieve sewing success with all types of fabrics:
More Fabric Savvy: A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric Completely Revised and Updated
Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide (Creative Machine Arts)
Sew Any Fabric: A Quick Reference Guide to Fabrics from A to Z
The following basic sewing book from Threads covers layout of napped fabrics and much more:
Sew Basic: 34 Essential Skills for Sewing with Confidence
With all of this information, sewing corduroy and other napped fabrics will no longer be a challenge for you to achieve successful results.
Try it! It just makes sense!
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