I have a boy. My first born. And I have a business where I sew. Many of the things. But rarely do I get to sew for my boy. Because let’s face it, what are my options? Some variation of shirts or pants. Knit or wovens, it’s still just some sort of shirt or pant.
On top of that my amazing boyo is also on the spectrum. With many a sensory issue. SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) is often a co-morbid condition with Autism, and that is certainly the case in this house. Now, he’s not too picky about his clothes, but I can tell when he’s comfy and when they annoy him. He still struggles with stiffer fabrics like denim jeans (although you can find soft ones if you know where to look) and he dislikes jean buttons and hard-to-snap snaps.
Honestly–he’s happiest in soft cotton jammie pants–but then who isn’t?
So, as he began to shoot up in height yet AGAIN–quit growin wouldja?–I knew we would have to get some new pants for the school year. Since it’s hot a lot longer anymore, we’ve been surviving in shorts. Hell, we’re over a week into fall and I’ve got the air conditioner on and wearing a tank top, if that tells you anything. Shorts are certainly the mainstay of his wardrobe, but it will eventually turn cooler, perhaps even dipping into the California bone crushing 50s. brr! And he’ll need a few pairs of long pants to keep his knees warm.
Now, I’ve made him pants before. I’ve been using the EZ fit pants pattern FOR EVAH, but mostly for those comfy jammie pants I was discussing, and simple summer shorts. But he’s older now–a third grader amongst some pretty fashion savvy kids. So it was time to up my homemade pants game.
(let it be known–I do buy him pants as well. He owns many a pair of Target cargo pants, and whatever else was on sale)
I saw someone mention the Castaway Cargos in one of the myriad Facebook sewing groups I belong to, and gave the pattern a looky-loo. And I must say they were a smart looking pair of pants, with the nice soft waistband I knew my boy would like. So, like any responsible seamstress, I tried to wait until I could get them on sale, missed the sale, and then bought them because I needed to make this boy some pants!
The Castaway Cargos are a PDF pattern, which means you purchase and print and then tape the pattern together. I trace off my patterns, and was a tad disappointed that I had to print the entire pattern and not just the size I needed. This trend of being able to print just the size you need has been happening a lot more with patterns, lately, and I find that I really like it since it saves me a step. But I get that not all patterns have that, so I traced off the size I needed based on the measurements. I used a size larger to make sure the waist was big enough. And I don’t mind if the legs were too long. Boys, by their very nature and elastic and changing, and while his hips don’t get much bigger, those legs, y’all. so I don’t mind making a pair of pants that might last him more than one season.
The first pair I made, I didn’t make all the pockets, because I wanted to check the fit. So I only made the front slanty pockets, and I modified the side cargo pocket into a flat pocket. Since it was a plaid, I cut them on the bias for some visual interest. I also cut out the fake fly portion of the pant and stitcked that down. I’m not convinced it was needed, but I know many boys’ pants have them, even if it’s not functional.
When he put them on, he told me they felt like pajamas.
That’s a win, y’all.
So I went ahead and cut out two more–a short and a pant. Actually, I was gonna make the red into some pants, but then thought better of it. While I might sport a pair of red cargo pants for fun, it’s not my job to push my own artistic flair onto the boy. Besides, I’d already made him a plaid pair of jams (that’s capris for boys, ya know) so I thought I’d tone it down a tad. The pants would be camouflage. Because, of course.
I made the front slant pockets with ease. And then it was on to the back welt pockets. news flash–in ALL my years of sewing, I have never, not once, EVER made a welt pocket. Wouldja believe it? So, I made these , and they weren’t half bad. I was using black thread–which when contrasting, can and will show every flub. But it was a decision I made for efficiency. For a client or show, I would certainly match threads, etc. But here, I let my flub flag fly.
The welts, it turned out were pretty easy.
Then it was on to the side cargo. I opted out of the extension piece–as I don’t care for the look of those bulgey pockets. of course this lead me to the one thing I don’t like doing with curved pockets: folding under. Every time I try to fold under a curved pocket, it looks like I just started sewing. It was ok on the plaid–because it was pretty much invisible, and that fabric had a bit more “give”. But this red twill was NOT going to cooperate. So I cut a lil facing, turned it and pressed it real pretty. Worked like a charm.
The rest of the pant came together with ease. The waistband is pretty simple (esp if you have a serger.) You just pin at the 4 equal points, and then stretch as you sew. I pressed the facing down and top stitched just to get it to lay flat and to give it a more finished look. Then you insert the elastic with safety-pin or bodkin! I love my bodkin. I got it years ago and can’t imagine going back to a safety-pin. Although sometimes it does slip out (it did on the camo pants!) but after some well phrased cursing, it all comes together.
All in all it’s a great pattern. Easy to read and follow. I actually download it to my kindle (this one wouldn’t keep a charge, so I keep it in my studio, plugged in for just this purpose) and read the instructions there–less paper and ink! If there are any cons to this patterns is that you spend a majority of your time making pockets. I sent 80% of my time on pockets and the rest putting the pants together. So it’s a good thing I made them assembly line style, or else I would have gotten a bit bored with this pattern and may not have made a second pair. That’s not a critique of the pattern–but rather my attention span. He will have to have some more new pants in a few months, but for now, I’m glad I’m done with the ones I made.