Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Round -a-Cords


DSC01123OK, what I really wanted was to title this post “Cord-a-rounds” but that’s already been taken and I mostly certainly don’t want to get involved in a trade name law suit, especially with Americans! In my defence, I don’t make any money out of my sewing – just save it – and prima facia  I’m doing someone else out of making money from me….

A few weeks ago, Shams posted about some of her collaegues’ clothing... these kids work in IT (that’s information technology to those over 40!): they’re cool dudes, not geeks (although they are kinda geeky too, in a good way): they’re stylish (in their own way): and the best bit for me, is they’re non-conventional! They think outside the box – see, I even know the lingo. My teenage son has deep aspirations to be an IT geek – believe me, he works hard enough at it and he actually reads Shams’ accounts of her time at work. He ignores the clothes bit and skips directly to the IT/computer/Google stuff; whereas, I read all about the clothes and ignore the other stuff. So Shams, if you’re reading – between the two of us, your posts are read inside out!

Right – getting back to the clothes. I hate to admit it, but I was inspired by the geeks that Shams highlighted! Not muses, not Vogue models, nor fashion gods, or designers but computer nerds. Oh how the world turns…….

Firstly, let’s give credit where credit’s due – go to Betabrand for the starter gun.

Now come back to me and what I did – thank’s for not being too distracted.


Following on from the relative success of the teal jeans I bought some burgundy/aubergine/eggplant/ corduroy to make another pair of Kenneth D King’s Jeanius jeans. This was my chance to improve on the waistband and general bagginess of the moleskin. It is also apparently, this season’s IN colour for A/W and as spring as not yet sprung, I reckoned I had a good few weeks to wear these babies. I’ve taken to sewing my label in plain sight for these jeans rather than relegating it to the inside centre back. Heck, Levi and Diesel do it, so, so am I.


How many times have you put your pattern pieces straight to the grain like you’re on auto-pilot and without a second thought just cut them out?

These cords go round!!! This is what I simply adore in youth – the questioning of the conventional. And so I thought, let’s give it a go – what am I gonna lose? 1.5m of fabric (not the end of the world) and a few hours effort ( lesson learned not time wasted).

DSC01114 DSC01118

There is a subtle shading involved in the horizontal: it does not reduce the apparent length of legs but rather enhances it.

Shall I make cords in the vertical ever again? No, and here’s the reasons why according to Betabrand –

Through sheer scientific marvel, Betabrand has fabricated corduroy that goes sideways instead of up-and-down, lowering drag coefficient by an amazing 16.24%!

Cordarounds’ horizontal wales mesh evenly, lowering the average wearer’s crotch heat index (CHI) reading by up to 22%.


Between the reduced crotch temperature and a lower drag coefficient, how could I go wrong?

BTW – the jersey top that is paired with the cords in these pics is a SWAP reject. I bought the fabric on the internet for the violet end of the spectrum and it turned out not to be violet enough. However, it was put to good use and made into an elongagted tunic using Katherine Tilton Vogue 8817.

For these jeans’ pics it was stuffed into the waitband, usually I wear it with aubergine (eggplant) opaque tights and boots, and topped with my Jungle January furry gilet.


See geeks! I’m taking selfies!

30 thoughts on “Round -a-Cords

  1. Jeans very much suit you (surely you needed more than 1.5m with such long legs!) and again you’ve picked a great colour. And it’s great to be educated in the novel ways of yoof…

    Actually I’m a bit miffed that I procrastinated: I was about to write about cord too (but from a different angle) and you beat me to it!

    • But it’s not a competition Marianna – I’d like to read what you’ve got to say about cord. I wasn’t such a fan of the fabric myself -always pairing it with geography teachers on field trip.

      • It’s just that my tutor told me sewing sideways cord is a no – no and my post explains why. However, your post and the link to Cordarounds has just added another interesting angle to the debate.

  2. Very stylish from the color to the fit to the label! But I am most impressed that you could tuck the length of that tunic in and still look great:)

  3. What a great pair of jeans! I love the idea of the cord being cut horizontally. These are totally flattering. Great outfit!

  4. Fit on the jeans is fabulous! I’m amazed you were able to stuff all that fabric of the top in the jeans. I’m afraid I’d look like a stuffed sausage even if the jeans zipped. You look great!

  5. Wow – they look great and such a fabulous fit!

  6. Those jeans are amazing and you look amazing in them. I loved that post of Shams and fell in love with this idea. You are just too cool now. Please let us know how the general (uncool) public respond to your round a cords.

    • I need the flare at the bottom to balance out my hips at the top.
      No one has actually noticed that the cord goes round. I did point it out to some students the other day and then they all went “Oh yeah!” like they were so unimpressed. I was worried that people would think I’d made them wrong but maybe they don’t look as closely at clothes as you and me. Thanks Elle.

  7. 🙂 lovely jeans! And good to know the solution if i ever need to lower my crotch heat index 🙂 but seriously, i am liking those lining fabric details on the Betabrand cordarounds. Filed away in my brain for when i finally dare to sew a pair of jeans.

    • I have to point out that my waistband facing and pockets are red cherries on a turquoise background – just didn’t have any pics Lucia. thank you.

  8. Cool jeans but does the fly front lay flat? In the photo it looks like it is stressed a little and I wondered what happens when you sit down since the stretch is top to bottom instead of around the body. Does the fabric now act like a girdle and hold in the jiggly bits and do you think they might grow in length and get baggy knees and butt after a while?

    • Ah yes, the fly… well here’s the story: one day I lost my mind and bought a pair of burgundy trousers in a shop. The fit was terrible and as I don’t have your endless patience nor excellent alteration skills I decided to not wear them and use them for notions instead. So the zip was ripped out (eventually) and inserted into the much better fitting jeans you see above. However, the zip was way too short. So I added an extra button at the top of the fly that buttons to the inside to reduce the gap. What I think you’re seeing here is the top of the zip about half way up the fly. I’m not worrying too much Mrs Mole, I hardly ever wear anything tucked in and this pair are soooo much better than what I bought – short zip or not! If they do go baggy, they’ll be washed at 60 degrees to shrink them back down. But I haven’t noticed it yet.
      What I like best about the round cut is the shading down along the legs – darker on the outside and lighter on the inside – a real make-up artist’s trick for slimming.

  9. You crack me up! Much needed laughter in my living room tonight. And I think I might need some cords in the round. By the way, I really like your V8817 – not nearly so dramatic as the pics I’ve seen, which put me off! Great fabrics.

  10. Loving the top! I’m honestly having trouble wrapping my mind around the nap beinghorizontal! You’ve silenced me!

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  12. Wow! Great fit and colour, definitely suits you.. The shading effect sounds really cool.. But “lowering the crotch heat index” is definitely the most important feature :))

  13. Your pants looks awesome! The fit is great and the color is terrific.

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