Corduroy Kelly

I actually made this skirt quite a while ago, back in the USA, but was too busy to blog about it at the time. The pattern is the Kelly skirt by the ever-talented Megan Nielsen, in a soft black corduroy from Hart’s Fabric. The buttons were sighted in Joann’s, but they didn’t have enough of them, so I took a photo of the packaging and found them online at Pacific Trimming. I had a very definite idea of what kind of buttons I wanted, so I was delighted to be able to get exactly what I wanted!

I whipped up a quick muslin in size XL, which is as large as the pattern goes, and was slightly dismayed to discover it was a bit too small! I ended up adding half an inch to each skirt panel pattern piece, and that worked for me. I also shortened the skirt by a fair bit, although I can’t remember the exact number of inches now.

I ran into a bit of a problem with the waistband, however. It’s quite wide, and just a straight rectangle, which didn’t mesh with my curved back. I’ve spoken about this problem on the blog before, and I should have anticipated needing to make adjustments for this pattern. Basically, I had a huge gap between the waistband and the small of my back, that I could fit my whole hand down. Not good.

What I did to fix it was, instead of one large waistband piece, I cut it into two lengthways. I could have added to the width on each piece to account for seam allowance, but I wasn’t bothered that the width would be decreased a little. Then, using the same method as my Moss skirt, I cut into the waistband in 4 places and overlapped each one by 1/4″, creating a more curved waistband. I then cut it straight down the middle and added an inch, because otherwise I would have lost the extra inch I added to help the skirt fit better earlier. This solution worked really well – the skirt waistband now hugs me all the way around, no gaping anywhere!

The corduroy is quite a bit thinner than most corduroys I’ve seen, but it still has a bit of body, so as you can see in the above photo, it poofs out a bit, especially at the pleats. At first I was worried that it was quite unflattering, but people have said it makes my waist look tiny, so I’m just rolling with it. I really love this skirt, I wear it quite a bit as it’s so versatile.

I decided I was really going to make an effort with the inside of this garment, and I am so proud of the results! I made my own bias binding from a scrap of fabric I got from the East Bay Depot, and it turned out really well. I used the Hong Kong seam finish, and it’s so neat and pretty. I finished the hem with plain old black bias binding from my stash, and pinked the pocket seams. I hand-sewed the waistband on the inside with a slip stitch the whole way around. Definitely worth spending the extra time on the finishing to the inside – I feel so smug when I wear it, and I’ll flash my seams to anyone who’ll look!


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