Sewing with Corduroy // Chi Town Chinos Skirt and Farrow Dress


Hello readers! I am so very excited about this blog post. I made three things that I love and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!! Not too long ago I ordered some navy corduroy and charcoal gray corduroy from Indiesew. I love wearing corduroy but haven’t made too many garments from it. I was excited to make a new skirt and pants from the fabric I ordered.



When I got my package I was thrilled with the quality of the fabrics but also surprised to find that the charcoal corduroy is very lightweight.  Sure enough, that information is right in the product description. Apparently, I glossed over that when I was placing my order! Oops! I was planning to try the Chi-Town Chinos pants with that fabric but knew right away I needed to change my plans. This was right around the time that Allie added the Farrow dress to the Indiesew shop and I started contemplating a corduroy version. I know corduroy, even very lightweight, is not one of the recommended fabrics so I figured there was a chance this could turn out badly. However, I have seen a few flannel versions of this dress that look amazing ( I love this one from Sonja!) and thought that the corduroy might give me a similar result.


I didn’t have enough yardage to make the dress with sleeves. I ordered the Farrow Dress paper pattern from Indiesew and while I was waiting for it to arrive I got the idea of making the sleeveless version to wear over a long-sleeved t-shirt, like a jumper. Of course, I went to my tried and true Lark tee pattern to go under the dress. This is a scoop neck version, which I like because the neckband of the tee is not visible under the dress.


I had to do some really creative cutting to even fit the sleeveless version on the amount of fabric I had. Since the corduroy has a nap I had to have my pieces laying out all in the same direction. I was able to eke it out with no room on spare on my length of fabric.  I made a size 10 graded to a 12 and did a 5/8″ forward shoulder adjustment. I think next time I would cut the adjustment down to 1/4″ or 3/8″. The shoulder seams are a little bit more forward than they need to be, I think.


I am always impressed with the details on Grainline Studio patterns. The pocket construction is cool and something I could never have come up with on my own. I have to admit, though, that when I first tried on the finished dress my reaction was one of, “What have I done?!?” This dress has so much volume, especially in the back. I have learned to reserve judgment on my makes until after they’ve had a trip through the washer and dryer, though. Somehow my opinion always improves after my clothes get washed. I am totally in love with this dress now. It is so comfortable! I think the fullness of the silhouette is balanced by the length. It’s a little shorter than I  prefer in the front but I love the subtle high low hem so much. I can’t wait to try making this dress in something really drapey for the Spring and Summer.



Here are a couple of photos of my Lark tee on its own. I am such a fan of this pattern. This is my 11th one, I think!


I used my navy corduroy for a Chi-Town Chinos skirt. I have been wanting to make this pattern since it was released but I was a little bit scared about fitting. In the pattern, Alina recommends a full seat adjustment instead of grading out at the hips if your hips fall into a larger size than your waist. I wasn’t sure this was going to be the right adjustment for me since my hip fullness is more of the saddlebag variety than the bubble butt variety.



Thankfully I remembered reading a post from Gail of Today’s Agenda about fitting a pencil skirt. She used an adjustment from the book Fit for Real People, called a full thighs adjustment. I made this same adjustment to my Chi-Town skirt pattern and made a muslin to check the fit. (I made a size 10 and did a 1/2″ adjustment in width to the front and back pieces, which added 2″ total ease to the hips.) I was seriously amazed at how well this worked for me! If you are a person with side-hip fullness, definitely give this adjustment a try.


I was so excited to get going with my real fabric and had a lot of fun sewing this skirt. I love doing quick sew projects but I have found that I also really love projects like this that have a lot of details, opportunities for topstitching, professional finishes, etc. The instructions are top-notch and I am so proud of how well my skirt turned out. I sort of want to wear this every day. Even the insides are pretty since I used some Cotton + Steel fabric scraps for the pocket bags and bias tape finish on the waistband facing.


I am about 5’7.5″ and I lengthened this skirt by 2″. When I tried it on before hemming I knew I didn’t want to lose any length so I hemmed using a facing and a 1/4″ seam allowance. The only change I would make to this next time is to add 4″ length total so it would be a smidge longer and  I wouldn’t have to use a facing for the hem.


I had such a great experience with this pattern and I am really excited to make the Chi-Town Chinos pants and shorts soon. Also, I am wearing my skirt with one of my  Panama tees (also available at Indiesew!)  for a full Alina Design Co outfit!


Thank you so much for reading if you managed to make it to the end of this really long post! I hope you’re inspired to try out some new sewing patterns, fabrics, or fitting adjustments!


p.s. The fabrics I used for the Farrow Dress and Chi Town Chinos skirt were provided to me by Indiesew as part of their blogger team. All opinions are my own.









9 thoughts on “Sewing with Corduroy // Chi Town Chinos Skirt and Farrow Dress

  1. Love the skirt (and top)! I’m on my way to check to see if Fit for Real People has a no-butt adjustment… (A very real problem which only gets worse with time.)


  2. Lovely makes!! I really like your Farrow dress. It is so pretty! And the striped Lark goes so nicely with it. I really need more stripes in my life… And your Chi Town skirt is fantastic! I need to make another one now that I’ve seen how lovely yours turned out 🙂


  3. Your dress is fab, I love the volume the cord has given it and it looks great with the stripey Lark. Your skirt is lovely too, I’ve not seen with corduroy yet but will give it a try soon.


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