George Corduroy, Third Earl of Pants


A cold and rather soggy Spring has sprung here in Portland, and what better way to celebrate (while still remaining warm) than with a nice new pair of robin's egg corduroys?


Regular Family Trunk Project readers may be getting tired of revisiting this pattern by now; it's my old pants standby, Vogue V2907, altered to fit me the way I like. But if you are tiring of them, I don't know what to tell you: I'll undoubtedly be making more versions of it, because I wear my two previous attempts on these pants ALL. THE. TIME. So often, in fact, that my olive-green cords are nicely worn in at this point, and it feels great to have a fresh new pair with which to ring in the new season.


The details on this version: I made them with the little ornamental tabs, as you can see.


These are adorable, and a great use for a set of four cute buttons (these are vintage, a gift from David's aunt Marcy), but I haven't yet made a set with which I'm entirely satisfied. Every tiny difference in size and shape is somehow magnified, and they never seem to match perfectly—a little wider, a little narrower, a little pointier, a little get the idea. Ah, well. They're still cute, and I love how they're lined on the back sides with the same fabric used for the yoke facing and the pockets:


This particular fabric was also a gift: part of a super-thoughtful Partnership Celebration present from Anne's friends Etsuko and Yoshiko: they picked out a whole series of gorgeous cotton Japanese prints, in quantities perfect for lining pants, dress bodices, shirts, and so on. I'm so excited to put them all to use! They'd also be great for a wide stripe around the bottom of a skirt, or for an appliquéd pattern on a larger project. I love this crisp, tessellated kimono pattern: I have some left over, and am thinking of making some largish self-covered buttons with a kimono at the center of each. How cute would that be?

In other news, this iteration of the pants is slightly longer than previous ones:


I'm learning that when it comes to pants, I actually like them slightly longer than I think I'm going to when hemming. The thing is that when I'm actually wearing them, they're usually in action (walking, running, sitting), all of which makes them ride up slightly. My only complaint about my olive-green cords is that they're ever-so-slightly shorter than I'd like. The length of the blue ones, I think, is pretty perfect. Nice and cozy.

One of my favorite changes from Version 1 to Version 2 was the substitution of jeans-style patch pockets for the original welt ones on the back of the pants, and I repeated that change on these. I actually like these even better: the smaller wale on this corduroy means that they look smoother, and I lined up the grain so that it coincides better with the lines of the pockets. I don't know if I'm imagining it, but the patch pockets feel so much sturdier and lower-maintenance than the welts.


All in all, a great little project. I've been living in these since I finished them a week ago, and since they're made from mill-end corduroy from a pattern I've used three times before, this is probably about a $14 pair of pants. Score!


  • I am so jealous of your sewing abilities. These pants are gorgeous and fit you perfectly!

    How many yards of fabric do these usually take? Do you think a relative (ambitious) beginner can make these?

  • Maria: Thanks! I am always of the "jump right in" school of knitting/sewing, so I would say go for it! That said, I did make some changes before I cut into the fabric - I did a tissue fitting & ended up cutting about an inch and a half out of each side seam on both the legs and the yoke, and I improvised the patch pockets by cutting a pocket off an old pair of jeans & tracing it. The only really annoying things about the pattern are getting the tabs to match, and easing the lower portion into the yoke. Oh, and the whole fly/zipper assembly is a little bit fussy, but not very hard if you just blindly follow the directions. :-)

    Re: yardage, it calls for 2 3/8 yards of 45" fabric or 1 5/8 yards of 60" fabric in my size.

  • I love the pants. Love, love, oh how I love the pants. The pockets are maybe my favourite part.

    Nowhere in my town sells Vogue patterns (moment of shocked silence) but surely I can find a copy somewhere!

    Wonderful job.

  • You can make these pants five hundred times and I'll still be interested. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your handmade wardrobe this month—it's so inspiring to a newbie like me!

  • Oh Camille I concur completely!!! Keep them coming in their deviations and detail, Emily. It's all so interesting. Have never attempted sewing pants and it may just take your 480th pair for me to think, 'Right, I think I've got it now....' and give it a go myself.

    They look so tailored and fit perfectly - for $14? That's ridiculous.

  • Shannon: Hey, thanks! If you're up for spending full-price this pattern is still available online. I always hesitate to spend full-price, though, since so many places have them half-off.

    Camille: Oh good, I'm glad you're not sick of them yet! Me-made-May post number one coming up shortly. :-)

  • Margaret: Oh, I'm glad people aren't yet sick of them. :-) I'm particularly pleased with the fit this time around, but not totally sure why they turned out better than my last pair of cords, since I didn't make any further mods to the pattern...but hey, I'm not complaining! :-)

  • Thanks for the advice and details, Emily! :)

    I usually jump right into doing things, too, but for some reason I'm more afraid of sewing. Actually, to be precise, I'm afraid of the cutting. It's so final. Maybe I should make a pair out of some cheap muslin, first. Hmm...

  • Maria: Cheap muslin is a great idea! I made one for these pants that I thought would be a "wearable muslin," which it would have been except for the fact that the fabric was kind of janky and a big tear appeared in the butt the same afternoon I finished it. Oh well.

  • F-ing awesome. I love those tabs and buttons, they are the absolute best. Man, if you ever have a daughter and she's your size and you keep your clothes, she will have so much fun going through your old wardrobe. I love the thoughtful details that can go into a hand-made garment, like the awesome fabric for your front pockets.

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