Coastal Cargoes Sewing Project

6:00 AM

Anytime we go to our Farm for an extended vacation, I like to use the time to work on sewing projects.Or other projects, but since I have a backlog of sewing projects, I really wanted to make headway on those.

One project was the Coastal Cargo pants - a pattern I purchased from Blank Slate Patterns.
You pay slightly less by purchasing a pdf pattern which you then print out, tape the pages together, cut out, pin to your fabric and go from there.

Slightly more labor intensive, with all the trimming of pages, but in this case, I really liked this pattern and it was all I had.The picture above was my inspiration, obviously. 

The pattern designer recommends a twill or light cotton. I went with a cotton twill, and would have loved to use a light blue like in her picture, but I couldn't find one. I went with basic khaki. 

After cutting out the pages, this is what it looks like all taped together. You match up the pages together using the little circles. It was pretty simple stuff.

I bought what I had intended to be enough fabric to make a pair for both August and Dorien. I actually bought a little less fabric than the pattern called for at the recommendation of the saleslady, and once I got all the fabric laid out and started putting the pieces together like a puzzle to make them all fit, I got really nervous. It took some tinkering, but I managed to fit all the pieces on with JUST enough fabric for a pair of pants for both. By the skin of my teeth!

Thankfully, the dining room table at the Farm is enormous and seats about 25. 
It makes a marvelous sewing station!

In my planning process pre-Farm trip, I forgot a few things. Like thread that matched my khaki fabric. 
I was kicking myself because the best I could come up with from my thread stash was an orange color that worked, but also showed any and every mistake I made. 

I wish that was the only thing I forgot, but it wasn't. I had intended to work on a couple of other sewing projects for Brooklyn, but also forgot thread for those. I think, on that particular day, after spending the time with all my four children at the sewing store (Stitching Post) picking out fabric and keeping them all in line and changing poopie diapers, trying to encourage my children not to loudly point out dead bugs they found on the floor in the corners...and generally feeling relieved that we hadn't knocked over every bolt of fabric, it didn't even occur to me I might need matching thread. 

You live and learn, people.
Live and learn.

Being the Type A, challenge-hungry girl I am, of course I jumped into a project that challenged the socks off me. Not in an "un-do-able" way, but in a way that I learned so many new things. I have made several items of clothing, but this was my first full-fledged pair of pants. It involved sewing on a zipper, zipper flaps, pockets, a waist band with elastic plus belt loops, making bias tape, making welt pockets, cargo pockets, a tab for buttoning up the pants, a bias tape was one new thing after another. 

The pattern gave you options. It clearly said, "if you want to, you can eliminate these....steps." 
I do love a good challenge, though. So, of course I opted for every optional feature. Bring it on!
It's a good thing I really love to sew. 
This turned out to be a great learning experience, and yes, a lot of fun.

Here's the finished product - minus a button on the front.
The reason for that is that I was supposed to sew on a buttonhole once the waistband was already complete. I ran into a problem, though. My sewing machine didn't have enough space to do the button hole because of the placement of the first belt tab. I just about drove myself crazy trying to make it work before conceding that it just plain would not. I picked out all the stitch attempts with my handy seam ripper, and ended up buying some tab closures that I sewed on when we got home. They work fine, although a button would have looked really good.

I made them long, so August can wear them for awhile.

The hardest part of the entire project was sewing the binding tape up around the interior seam of the legs. Basically, you sewed the legs together and then folded your bias tape around the jagged edges of the seams. Then pinned them closed. And very very slowly and very very carefully, you stitched the edge of the bias tape down so that it covered the jagged edge. You were supposed to start at the crotch, go down one leg, turn the corner and work back up that leg, across to the other leg, turn the corner and meet back up at the crotch. Because of the pins, it made going one way easy and the other way very challenging. Plus, your fabric gets bunched up all around the needle, so you're looking down into a tiny well of space where you are working and trying not to miss something. I thought I got it, until I finished and realized that there were some sections where the edges of the bias tape had been missed, so it frayed out a little. It definitely doesn't look the way it's supposed to. Fortunately, it's on the inner leg and less likely to be noticed.

Plus, using my orange thread, it looks really obvious when I had to backstitch to secure seams. I figure August will be wearing a shirt over the pants usually, so you won't really see all that.

I was very pleased with the welt pockets, and the way the contrasting fabric peeks through. 

I think it's fun to have the tab option to raise the pants. 

And here's how they look un-tabbed.  I was nervous about how sturdy these would really be, but August wore them to church one day and they held up really well! He likes them, and I'm really proud of them! 
Lots of things I will do better on when I work on Doriens', of course, but overall, I'm very pleased!

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