coastal cargos

March 13th, 2013

coastal cargos

I can be kind of a tightwad. I can’t help it–it’s in my midwestern blood to pinch pennies. But maybe you already knew that, seeing as I make my kids’ clothes (and toys and sheets). And I learned to make all those thing from free tutorials on the internet.

coastal cargos

This little red flag pops up in my head when I see a price tag on a pattern or tutorial and my stubborn, Midwestern self thinks, “Well, I could do that.” So I won’t buy the pattern, but instead try to make the garment using what I already know and maybe a poorly lit you tube video or two.

lined pockets

Results vary. Sometimes I’m wildly successful: the garment fits, the details are just right, only a few mistakes are visible. A success like that produces a sewer’s high. I am a genius! I will never buy clothes again! I am completely self sufficient!

zipper fly, closed

Other times, it all goes to hell.  I don’t think I need to elaborate.

zipper fly, open

It has taken me a long time to realize that patterns are there to guide you through the entire process. Maybe I should revise that statement: well written patterns guide you through the entire process.

cargo pocket

Some of the commercial pattern makers out there tend to throw you to the wolves.  But all the indie pattern designers that have been popping up lately genuinely want to teach you how to make the lovely garment they designed.

costal cargos

It’s taken me a year, but when I see an awesome pattern for sale I don’t immediately think, “pshaw, I could do that.” Instead I try to think, “Give the lady a little money, she just wants to show you how to sew better.”

costal cargos

So who taught me to make these awesome pants?  Complete with lined pockets, tuxedo stripe, button tabs, cargo pockets, functioning zipper fly –let me say that a little louder, Functioning Zipper Fly!   Melissa from Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns, that’s who.

costal cargos

She and three other designers have come together to give you a group of spring patterns called The Sun & Surf Collection.  All the patterns are adorable and perfect for spring sewing. The collection is only for sale until March 24!

coastal cargos

So give the nice ladies your money, because they just want to teach you how to make awesome clothes!

Sun & Surf at Sew a Straight Line | Sun & Surf at It’s Always Autumn | Sun & Surf at Elsie Marley | Sun & Surf at A Girl and a Glue Gun | Sun & Surf at Mama Says Sew | Sun & Surf at Girl, Inspired | Sun & Surf at Groovybaby and Mama | Sun & Surf at The Cottage Home | Sun & Surf at Craftiness is Not Optional | Sun & Surf at Skirtastop | Sun & Surf at Straight Grain | Sun & Surf at Me Sew Crazy | Sun & Surf at Delia Creates | Sun & Surf at Max California



51 Responses to coastal cargos

  1. Kelly says:

    Holy smokes. Those came out so freaking cute. I am so with you on the putting off patterns, but this is seriously one I will buy.

  2. anna says:

    those pants seriously rock.

  3. Ana says:

    Love that cargo fabric!

  4. Karin says:

    I made suit jackets (wow, I did that??!!) for my boys using her pattern, which is AWESOME. They fit, look good, and it wasn’t that hard. I went ahead and bought her pants and that awesome shirt pattern because her patterns are so well written and frankly, I’m tired of sizing up my own, they don’t quite fit right, pants patterns each season. Also, time to move onto zippers! Three cheers for Blank Slate!

    • meg says:

      you are making me want to make suit coats for my boys. I don’t know whether I like you or not for that :) If you can make a coat, you can make a zipper fly.
      And yes, argh! sizing up can be such a distaster sometimes! Yay for blank slate!

  5. carolina says:

    Oh my, Where do you work? Are you a saleswoman? I must to buy the pattern after saw your pants. When I saw the offer I said, “I can make that”, like you. But the details are beautiful and I cannot do that without instructions. Love it, I want a pant just like yours. Can you talk us about your selection of fabric, please. Thanks

    • meg says:

      I really wasn’t going for the hard sell–I don’t work on commission or anything! It is genuinely how I feel :)

      The fabric is a linen blend from Joann Fabrics. It is slightly heavier than their other linens and has a burlap look to it. Worked out super well!

      • carolina says:

        Sorry if it sounded like that, I just wanted to tell you that you sold me the pattern.
        I saw it and said “in another time”. But your post and your pictures are amazing and provoked me to buy it and sew it for my boys.
        Sorry for the missunderstanding, i think your pants are awesome.

  6. Cherie says:

    I looooooooove these pants. They came out so fantastic.

  7. Meilssa says:

    LOVE THEM! That fabric – especially the side detail. And your fly looks great. Thanks for joining us on this tour.

  8. Karly Nelson says:

    I just love this post! And yes, I did give those wonderful ladies some money and buy the patterns! I can’t wait to make these for my kids! :D

  9. Marieke says:

    Haha, I can TOTALLY relate to this post! My penny-pinching comes from my Dutch genes, but it boils down to the same. ;-) But yes, I’ve also realized that even with a significant amount of inherited talent, there’s nothing wrong with buying a couple of patterns to learn things the right way! And after making stuff with good patterns/tutorials, things I make all by myself turn out better too, because I have a better sense of what I’m doing!
    I love how your pants turned out, I have a similar color linen blend waiting for them, and seeing yours, I’m even more excited to start making them (need to prewash that stuff!!!).
    You’ve got a new follower!

    • meg says:

      Marieke, yes that’s it exactly: I have a better sense of what I’m doing when I follow a pattern. Can’t wait to see yours! Send me a pic when you finish!

      • Marieke says:

        I will! It might take me a while though. In the middle of a cross-continental/cross-border move and I only have a month left before my sewing machine disappears in a container for shipping. Once we’ve moved I plan to start blogging though, so I might be able to send you a link…! (Oh, excitement…)

  10. cindylou says:

    damn. you are an amazing seamstress. just lovely. and that kid (which you also made), fewfta, he looks stellar in the pants…. i have a feeling you’ll be making the other kiddos some awesome pants, too!

  11. I don’t sew clothes, but I love the whole idea behind the project so I had to pipe in. Indie designers coming together to create a collaborative collection, designing a website for it and a blog tour…it’s just amazing. A well-written pattern like the one for these pants takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. Indie designers use regular language we can all understand so that sewing awesome stuff is open to everyone. And with no middle man the designers can profit for the sales as they should. Hooray!

  12. Emily Kidd says:

    Absolutely LOVE this. Please share the details of this fabric!

  13. kristin says:

    I can’t decide whether I love the pants or your writing more. It’s true. I’ve learned everything I know about sewing from bloggers and indie patterns, and the only time I’ve sewn a commercial pattern it was vintage (and it wasn’t that great). I love the whole women-helping-women community thing, and Melissa is awesome about that! Freakin’ love these pants too – perfect fabric choices and a perfect fit on your little guy.

  14. I honestly think that well-written and beautiful (yet classic) boy’s clothes patterns are so difficult to find that I’m happy to support the indie pattern makers and Melissa is one of the very, very best. I love the basic blazer and I learned how do make a zipper fly and welt pockets following her incredibly clear instructions. These pants! I’m seeing them everywhere and loving them so much! You finished them off with an amazing bias tape choice! Look how schulmpy-comfy they look here!

  15. heather says:

    oh my.. yes where did you find the side stripe of material??

  16. Delia says:

    I love the fabric you used for the side detail!! Beautiful work Elsie. These pants on my to do list too. ;)

  17. Shauna says:

    These Pants are awesome! I love them so hip and cool! Wonderful job and yes Melissa is the coolest!

  18. Inspiring post, lovely pics and I would pay good money for those pants if I was that way inclined. Off to check out those patterns now. And I agree, the smaller pattern companies, do want to teach and have lots of pictures to help us along the way compared to the big ones.

  19. naii says:

    love it! love all the details you did! perfect!

  20. Gwen says:

    They’re awesome! I have some Blank Slate Patterns too and I love them!z I am definitely tempted to buy this collection, the patterns all look so amazing.
    May I ask, what fabric did you use to make yours? I love the look of it.

    • meg says:

      I got it at our local chain fabric store (Joann’s ). It’s a linen blend, but it almost has the look of burlap.

  21. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for reviewing these. I totally agree, this pattern is awesome! All of Melissa’s patterns are perfect! I really love the fabric you chose. Totally perfect. That’s the reason to sew. Those cute little details you can’t buy. Well done.

  22. little love says:

    Ah! I just came across that pattern collection yesterday! I was umming & ahhing about buying it too. now that you tell me its only available for another week I’m going to buy it! My son is only 6 months old but I’m already having nightmares about him wearing those weird straight wide legged homemade pants! These cargos are cool!

  23. Jeifner says:

    Those pants turned out so well! They look great.

  24. sabra says:

    best write up ever.

    Love the fabric you used for the bias down the sides. They look awesome.

  25. Major Moma says:

    I totally relate to this post.