Saturday, November 16, 2019

Field Trip Cargos.

Hello friends! It is finally starting to feel like autumn in the Bay Area. Although we haven't had much rain yet, the mornings are crisp and cold and the sun goes down at 5:30 PM. Joe has been growing like a weed, so he needs some new warm pants. Since there is no way I can sew my kids' entire wardrobes, I will likely buy him a few pairs, but I also wanted to supplement his mama-mades.

A couple years ago, I picked up a big piece of second-hand corduroy at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. If you are local to the Bay Area and haven't been to this wonderful resource, you are seriously missing out! They accept fabric donations, and I have destashed there a number of times, but I think overall I have gained net yardage because they often have amazing second hand or vintage pieces. This corduroy is soft and worn, and the piece was huge, so I am wondering if it was once used as a bedspread or part of a duvet cover? Joe is still very picky about his comfort, so I thought this would make a nice pair of pants for him.

The Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo Pants and Raglan is a TNT pattern for me. I've made the pants at least three times that I can remember, and the tee too many times to count at this point. Joe still wears a pair of Field Trip shorts I made more than a year ago even though they are getting to be a bit snug and short. So I decided to try the full length pants again, this time in a size 7.

I sewed these up on my 1920s Singer 99, which was really fun. It's such a great powerhouse of a machine, and it makes such a quiet, pleasing "clack clack." You can see of a video of me sewing these here. I decided to use mustard thread for the topstitching - it's not true topstitching thread, so the effect is subtle, but I think it highlights the casual denim work-pant vibe of this pattern.

This pattern is a really fun sew - it has a lot of details, so it feels very satisfying, but I would still say it's a pretty fast/easy make. I first made this pattern in 2013, when Joe was four years old (look at him!!!!!), and I reported that these are a more time consuming, fiddly make than the other Oliver + S pants I had tried at that point. And that's true! But I guess I've come a long way in my sewing in the past 6 years, because now I would definitely classify these as easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (also, I just sewed myself jeans, so obvs!). A relaxing and fun sew!

Hilariously, Joe is wearing a too-small Field Trip Raglan that I made him last winter here! Time for some new long sleeved tees, too! Look at his cute belly peeking out!

I tried these pants on Joe before putting the waist facing on, noted that I needed to shorten the rise a bit, and marked them for length. After I assembled them and tried them on Joe for these photos, I realized that because of the half inch I had taken out of the rise, the hem was now a hair too short. I also saw that the waistband elastic needed to be tightened up and they were too loose. So I unpicked the hems and used bias tape to hem them, as well as making the waist more snug, so they fit better now and have a bit more room to grow than they did in these photos.

As I did with the pair of shorts I made last year, I used a jersey for the waist facing. I chose a fun constellation print that I had leftover from a tee-shirt. I've talked about how Joe prefers knits to wovens many times, but I've learned that he will tolerate woven pants if the waistband is knit.

I am happy to report that Joe likes wearing these pants!! Some things never change, and it's always a bit nail-biting with this kid - will he actually wear the clothes that I make him? Especially when woven fabrics are involved. But this corduroy is so soft and worn (and quite warm), he seems to find them comfortable enough!

A funny note about Joe. He is in fourth grade now and doing fantastically. He's a strong reader and natural mathematician. He has good friends and is doing well socially. He really likes his current teacher, as well. She gave him a "self-evaluation" form to fill out, which kind of cracked me up - it reminds me of the performance evaluations given to top executives! Anyway, he wrote in his form that he is great at reading, really good at math, and when the form asked him if there were any areas he could improve in, he just left that part blank! So apparently, he is very self-confident as well! HA! It is so wonderful to see our once-painfully-shy Joe just blossoming into a confident and happy kid. He's still an introvert and a homebody, and likely always will be, but he is now as relaxed and comfortable in school as he has always been at home.

Over the past couple years, I have organized my sewing projects by serger thread. Changing my serger thread is a pain, so I try to minimize that by grouping projects by color. Right now I have light blue thread in my serger, so I am working on all of my light blue fabrics! I try to sew up at least two or three things before moving on to a new serger thread color. I thought I was the only person who did this, but recently on the Love to Sew Podcast, one of their guests reported doing the same thing, which I thought was delightful! (By the way, if you're not listening to this podcast yet, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It's so fun! I have to drive a lot for work, and it is really fun to spend my commutes thinking about sewing, rather than work.) So apparently I'm not the only one! In fact I have lists in my bullet journal of projects by serger thread color. (I would like to do a blog post about how I brainstorm sewing projects in my bullet journal. Is anyone interested?)

So, looking at my light blue pile: next up is a pair of blue sweatpants for Joe and a Hemlock tee for myself from the updated pattern. And maybe some pj pants for the kids. My kids really love their pjs!

How do you organize your sewing projects? Does anyone else do it by serger thread color? Or do you have your own unique system?


  1. I am so happy you have found trousers to suit Joe and the fact that they are an O+S is a bonus.
    (BTW, these adapt well to a zipper so you can make them well int his teens if his hips do not get too big)
    I thought EVERYONE sewed to their overlocked thread, so there you go!

    1. Yes! This seems to be the pattern of the moment. For some reason my most recent versions of the Sketchbook Shorts have had a super long rise and have been super wide, which is probably his body rather than the pattern, but still frustrating. So I'll take what I can get.

      I also thought everyone sewed by serger thread, but then it never seems to come up when (ahem) certain people (ahem) talk about their "rotas" or their "Make Nine," etc. etc. etc. :D

    2. I should have said some combination of his body and my choice of size!

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  7. I,m thinking , if you have any of that soft blue corduroy left ,you could make a lovely Luna Lapin coat with it ! :)

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