Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Up & Down-a-Cords


My last make was a pair of jeans that used the corduroy on the horizontal, this time it’s a skirt using needle cord with some panels running up the ways and some running down.


The pattern is Paco Peralt apron skirt and is part of SWAP ’14 – for the indigo and violet end of the rainbow. This pattern is an almost perfect fit for me without any alterations whatsoever – so lucky!

The fabric is from Croftmill, bought quite a while ago in anticipation for SWAP and I don’t think it’s available anymore but I believe it’s Paul Smith and was lovely to work with.  The colour is described as plum, but it’s lighter than that, yet not purple and not violet and definitely not pink! Darker than mauve but lighter than grape. Perhaps amethyst or fuchsia, almost lavender or maybe wisteria?  Can anyone think of a colour I haven’t mentioned yet?


Just in case you haven’t thought of any more colours – go here a  comprehensive list. In fact it’s so comprehensive that this is only A-F, follow the links on the page for all other colours.

A few of us are having an interesting conversation about the direction that corduroy nap should lie: Shams, you started all this when you showed us Cord-a-Rounds! Anyway, on this skirt I mixed the nap deliberately. The apron of the skirt is running up, the skirt is running down and the added back pockets are running up to match the front. It is not so obvious in the photos here, but IRL there is subtle shading that almost indicates different tones of the same fabric.

I’m really interested at the moment in the shading that can be created with the nap of cord, and velvet for that matter. However, after a day’s wearing the nap on my clothes is all over the place anyway, so does it really matter which way it starts out? Is there a RIGHT way?

Apologies for the ‘worn-all-day’ wrinkles…….

DSC01136 DSC01138 DSC01141

I reinforced the back split with a little triangle of reverse nap cord and of course the skirt is fully lined.

Well, another item for SWAP ’14 completed! You may have recognised the top worn with the skirt – yes, it’s the tunic now tucked into the skirt!


I bought a cardigan to coordinate with the deep pink in the tunic’s flowers and just had to have a pair of raspberry opaques to match.DSC01165

Isn’t it lovely to say you have a pair of raspberry tights?

24 thoughts on “Up & Down-a-Cords

  1. Outstanding my dear friend! That’s a great color with your golden hair. Well done Ruth.

  2. That’s a delicious colour! It reminds me of Grape Cool Aid or is it Hubba Bubba grape flavour… I had a thing for both once upon a time though I wasn’t in the UK. And Paul Smith, you lucky thing.

    Maybe you can later update us if you notice that the skirt back picks up more fluff than the down nap.

    Can’t wait to see the biker jacket

  3. Love these colors! And I’m taking Styling Lessons from reading your posts!

  4. What a great fabric for Paco’s skirt pattern. Lovely 🙂

  5. It’s a lovely skirt, and I think that the entire colourway is absolutely beautiful. Really suits you! You are doing such a wonderful job with your SWAP.

  6. The way you used corduroy in this skirt pattern is jaw-dropping gorgeous. I have to say one of my favorite techniques is to highlight the nap in similar fashion. I love love love how you,he put this together.

  7. Another great outfit. Loving all your colours.

  8. Great skirt in a fabulous colour!

  9. If the colour is accurate on my computer, I’d call it lilac. I’ve had lilac bushes with blossoms that exact same colour. Beautiful. Love it with raspberry and the colour of your boots. Looking forward to the next pieces.

  10. I’m loving your colors, and the little details you add like the nap variations and that lovely triangle to reinforce the slit at back. You are making this a great SWAP!

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  13. The nap should run down because of the way the fabric will wear. The garment will show age faster if the nap runs up because the nap will compress and wear off faster. The garment will also have a more subtle and varied shading if the nap is running down. And…..spills are more likely to run off; my theory. The way you have used the nap on this apron skirt is wonderful however.

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