The Red Jennys – making the Closet Core Jenny Trousers

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy

Today, for the first time, I’m wearing my red corduroy Closet Core Jenny trousers – yay! This really is a fresh off the sewing table project, considering I hemmed them yesterday. Ideally I’d like to have worn something a few more times before blogging so I can give an honest assessment of what they’re like to wear. However, as this is the second time I’ve made this pattern (first time as dungarees, blogged here) I reckon I’ve got a pretty good idea.

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy
I’m going to have to apologise for the out of focus nature of some of these pics. One of the dangers of taking last minute photos with a mirror behind you!

These Jenny trousers started life as a toile, which I was really glad I made as it indicated I needed to add an inch in length to the crotch for my dungarees version for the waist to hit me at the right place and fit. However, I was hoping I could make something work with these by grabbing all the extra width from the seam allowance I could and cutting the waistband longer too. This is a necessary adjustment when the waistband isn’t sitting at the narrowest part of me where it should be, but an inch lower where I’m an inch or so wider 🙂

Losing all that seam allowance led me to making the decision to have an exposed zip. The method used in the Jenny pattern needs a wide seam allowance and ends up looking a little bulky, so I thought this would be a good alternative. I cut the zip window into the back piece as there was already too much bulk on the front seam from the pocket bag. I used this really nice quality red metal jeans zip from Minerva (affiliate link) which is a lighter red than the corduroy, but I don’t think that matters. I also found a lovely plastic button in my stash that has a bit of a gold shimmer to it, which I think goes really well with the zip.

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy

I realised after sewing the zip in that there would be a tiny patch of skin visible at the top and bottom, and that it was going to feel incredibly uncomfortable, so I retrofitted a zip shield which was easy to attach to the seam allowance. A few hand stitches at the bottom finished it off nicely.

Interestingly, as I was sewing these I realised that I was making almost the identical trousers to some I drafted early in my sewing career, back when I was taking a year long evening course in dressmaking (NVQ2 I think). Those were in dark brown needlecord, and I drafted them with a side zip (invisible) so there wouldn’t be a bulky fly visible through the close fitting tops I’ve always liked to wear pulled down over trousers. Those were also fitted at the top, wide in the leg and featured a generous faced turn up. They didn’t have a waistband or pockets, though. Probably the most important difference is back then I didn’t realise that corduroy was napped, or that if I cut the back and front in different directions they would appear as dramatically different shades. Err, guess why I never wore those trousers very often?!

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy
I chose to cut the cord so it looked darker from above. And did the same for all pattern pieces!

Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence these trousers ever existed, and I don’t seem to have them anymore. Perhaps I donated them to a charity shop or perhaps they’re buried somewhere in my loft, to be rediscovered some day. These Closet Core Jenny trousers are definitely their soulmate, though. I like to think they’d get along together in my wardrobe, although to be fair there’s probably only room for one pair of wide legged cords in my life.

I should say something about this red corduroy. It’s been in my stash for over a decade, and I think I originally bought it to make a dress for Daisy, as well as some for the doll making business I dabbled with back then. I bought it wholesale from Brisbane Moss and it’s the most wonderful, soft yet hardwearing fabric. I’ve used it to make a Cleo dress and a rainbow skirt before, as well as a pre-blog corduroy skirt so I know how well it lasts over years of wear. Bonus point: it’s woven in the UK. Yay!

Now, let’s talk about fit. Crotch fit, to be precise. I’m still not sure I’ve nailed it with these. There seems to be a lot of fabric at the front, although I’m buggered if I can figure out what adjustment is needed. I tried a flat pubis adjustment but that just seemed to make matters worse. In the end I diagnosed possible full quads (all those weighted squats I’ve been doing!) and made a large quad adjustment. This definitely helped deal with some of the excess fabric. I’m wondering if I’m just overthinking it now and this style of trouser is meant to have more fabric at the front. I’m used to wearing much more close fitting or skintight trousers, where this issue never occurs.

So, if anyone has any thoughts on the matter please do share. You have permission to scrutinise my crotch, and that’s not something I say every day! This photo with more light from the side shows up the “problem” more clearly.

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy

These Closet Core Jenny trousers were a really straightforward sew, and I enjoyed making them. Needlecord is always one of my favourite fabrics to sew, and it was cheering to sew such a bright colour up at this time of year. I’m pleased I decided to go for the deep turn ups, which were simply folded up as a double layer and handstitched through all but the outer layer to hold in place. I had enough fabric to do this as the trousers were incredibly long on me as drafted (which is weird, as I’m 5’7″). After wearing them today I’m now wondering if I should let them down another centimetre or two so they rest on the top of my feet a little more. What do you all reckon?

As to how they fit into my wardrobe… I’m not sure! This isn’t a normal colour for me and neither is it a silhouette I’m used to. But I seem to be drawn to making more “statement” pieces just lately, and these definitely fit the bill. I’m guessing they will go with my black and navy tops and some of my green ones. Possibly the odd purple top too. I’m thinking my Me Made May challenge is definitely going to be something along the lines of working out how to style some of these statement garments I’ve been making.

Closet Core Jennys in red corduroy

One thing I do know is that comfy trousers are definitely something I need more of, and these are certainly lovely to wear. It just makes sense as my daily uniform for chasing small kids and gardening. Hard wearing trousers rule! And these could work as dressy trousers with heels too, when nights out and socialising are no longer illegal.

I’m thinking now that 2021 is going to be the year I sew some jeans. What am I waiting for? I should do it!

The Jenny Trousers deets

Pattern: Closet Core Jenny Trousers (affiliate link for paper pattern)

Size: 12

Fabric: Red Needlecord originally from Brisbane Moss (wholesaler).

Modifications: Exposed zip and deep faced turn ups.


  • Pattern: £9.00 (paid £18 for paper pattern and have now used twice)
  • Fabric: £0.00 (puchased over a decade ago and I can’t remember what for, so I’m not counting the cost. It can’t have been more than around £6 a metre, though)
  • Notions: £1.59 for zip
  • Total: £10.59

That is definitely excellent value for a pair of trousers made in such a quality fabric. I’m also really happy to have finally used some long lingering stash fabric up! I just need to work my way through the rest of it now…

Closet Core Jenny trousers in red corduroy

On the Sewing Table:

I’m pleased to report that my Art Gallery Shirt (using this fabric – affiliate link) is now cut out and being sewn up. I’ve earmarked a few hours this weekend to get stuck in and I’m hoping I can finish it (posssibly not the buttons, though!) by the end of the weekend. I’m really enjoying the precision of this sewing project, and I’m especially excited to try out the new Milward Beechwood Point Presser and Clapper (affiliate link) I bought when pressing the collar. I’ve been meaning to get one of these for years. Not sure why it took me so long. It wasn’t particularly expensive, after all.

I’m also thrilled that my dad has started talking about taking up sewing again. He bought a sewing machine last year with the intention to make shirts. I’m really looking forward to being able to give him a few sewing lessons when lockdown eases. He’s said he’d like to start with an apron which sounds reasonable, but when he does get on the shirts I should hopefully have my shirtmaking skills up to scratch. And I’ll even let him borrow my clapper 🙂

This next week, aside from finishing my shirt I’ll be attempting to find time to cut out the raincoat I need to make next. It’s March in England. I NEED a good raincoat! Also, lots of stuff to do in the garden. I took delivery of a couple of bare root apple trees today which I’ll be planting tomorrow. Exciting!

Back next week with my finished Art Gallery Shirt, I hope…

See you then,

Anna x

Disclaimer: some of the products linked above use affiliate links, meaning if you follow the link and make a purchase I will receive a small referral fee (at no added cost to you). Any extra income to help fund my sewing habit is greatly appreciated, but rest assured I only recommend products I love and think you might find useful too 🙂

4 thoughts on “The Red Jennys – making the Closet Core Jenny Trousers”

  1. My non-expert guess would be that while the length of the front crotch seam is correct, it’s possible the angle or shape is wrong? That said, they look terrific and I wouldn’t have noticed a thing without you saying something!

    1. Thanks! I’ll definitely have a look at that seam again. Although those old brown corduroy trousers are missing, I’m fairly sure I have the pattern somewhere and I remember that fitting really well as I drafted it all from my measurements. I shall have to compare it when I can find it!

      I have definitely been inspired by all of your trouser making, so thank you for that 🙂

    1. Thanks! It’s definitely not a colour in my comfort zone, but I really enjoy seeing the bright cheery red when I wear them 🙂

What do you reckon? I'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.