Welcome to Day 1 of the Coastal Cargos Sew Along! Today we’re going to discuss fabric selection and preparing and cutting your pattern. If you haven’t already joined the Blank Slate Patterns Facebook Group, we’d love to have you over there! It’s a smaller group for picture sharing and discussion.
I’m going to speak about making these for boys – because that’s who I’m sewing for with this pair. They’re for Bean, to be more specific. But just because I’m sewing for a boy, doesn’t mean you have to! One of the reason I make my patterns for sizes 18m-8 only is because boys and girls bodies are very similar throughout that age range, so these are perfect for a girl too.
I get questions fairly often about what kind of fabric I use for pants, how it holds up to my boys, and where to find cool fabrics for boys. I’m going to address those questions here.
What kinds of fabric do you use for pants? And where do you find cool fabrics/colors?
My favorite fabric for sewing pants is cotton twill. Though I have also used denim and corduroy, I go back to twill often. I tend to buy several yards of natural or white twill at once – (Alphabet Collection sponsor Organic Cotton Plus has a great selection of twill, including natural and white twill – I dyed the white twill for my collection look).
Which fabrics hold up well to boys?
Well, as I said, I tend to use quite a bit of twill, and it’s held up well to my boys. Which might be just luck, and Tater tends to rip holes in every pair of jeans he owns (which are the only type of pants I buy him instead of make). The lightweight denim and corduroy I’ve used has held up well also. But though I love linen, the boys have definitely torn holes in linen pants and shorts.
You can reinforce the knees by adding knee patches before sewing the pants if your guy is hard on the knees. There’s a good tutorial for how to do that here. Just remember with these pants you’ll want to do this before beginning to sew seams.
One of the reasons I love this pattern is that you can have a lot of fun with the bias tape accent without it going overboard (like some prints can for boys).
For my pair for the sew along I am using a lightweight gray denim and Tula Pink Salt Water Tortoise Shell in aqua for the bias tape. I haven’t done these pants out of denim before, so I’m hoping that isn’t too thick a fabric to use. We’ll see.
Assuming you’ve printed your pattern, the next step is taping and then determining which size to cut out. I’m going to let you in on a secret here – I don’t trim to the gray boxes on my patterns. Shocking, I know. I find it faster to overlap the pages and make sure the gray lines are butted right up against each other, then tape on the size line I’m cutting.
Which brings us to a discussion of size. The pattern includes finished waist/hip/inseam measurements on page 2. But what if your child doesn’t fit into those measurements? Well, there are a few things you can do. If you’ve got a string bean like my Tater, you can cut one size for width and another for length. I’ve made him may pairs of pants that I cut as a size 18m wide and a size 4 long.
Now that he needs the 5 for length, I can’t do that anymore because the sizes aren’t nested that way. So instead I slash the pattern down the middle and overlap it. If your child needs more width, this is also how you’d add width, except you’d spread after slashing instead of overlapping – see this post for some pictures of how I do this.
Here’s the sew along schedule for the rest of the week:
Tuesday: Zip fly & welt pockets
Wednesday: Bias tape making & outseams
Thursday – Cargo pockets and inseams (and maybe a video if I get a chance!)
Friday – Waistband and finishing
See you tomorrow!