Tyo’s camo capris are finished. It’s been rainy so I’ve been carless* and hence unable to make it to the fabric store for the finishing touches (buttonhole elastic for the waistband and twill-tape for the leg drawstrings), so I had to improvise. I found the missing black thread under the couch, bought shoelaces at the grocery store for the drawstrings, and liberated the buttonhole elastic from the fishtank, where it has been holding down our improvised fish-tank-cover** for the last several months.
I must say, these were really fun to make. The fabric was cooperative, and just the right weight—heavy enough to feel sturdy, without being so bulky as to give my machine fits.
The pattern, as I mentioned before, is from a 2009 Patrones children’s issue. It features five pocket styling (I made six by putting a change pocket on each side… oops!), funky-shaped rear pockets with nifty-shaped flaps, and a waistband designed for buttonhole elastic.
Now, adding buttonhole elastic to a kids’ waistband is easy as pie, but it’s kinda nice to have it marked on the pieces so I don’t forget, since you have to work the buttonholes and ideally attach the buttons before putting the waistband on.
I used my triple-stitch (aka straight stretch stitch) for the topstitching. This is nice because it doesn’t upset my machine the way topstitching thread often does, but it can be a little feisty and you have to pay attention to where you are in the three-stitch cycle when turning corners. It worked quite well on this fabric, though. If you click through to the full size photo, you will also see that in addition to double-topstitching the inseam, I did a single row of topstitching along the outseam! This is much trickier, as you have to do it once the pantlegs are already tubes, and involves sewing down the inside of the inside-out leg, bunching the fabric up around the needle as you go. Slow and fiddly, but I figured these were short and loose enough that I had better try it here, as I might not ever try it again.
Another touch I tried is a bit of a cheater finish—I used some of the bias left over from my 70s jacket to bind the inside of the waistband. I feel justified in this finish because I recently got a pair of (thrifted) RTW jeans that have the same finish. It makes for a super-easy waistband; you just topstitch from the right side, not worrying about catching the underside at all because there’s plenty to catch. Also this is the same fabric I used for the pocket-lining and the underside of the flaps.
I cut a Patrones size 10, the smallest the pattern came in. According to her measurements Tyo is a Patrones size 8 on the bottom and six on the top, but with the wonders of buttonhole elastic, they fit fine. The pattern is cut very wide and flat on the backside, relying on the elastic for any fitting. I took it in a couple of cm at the CB seam, to give Tyo a bit of extra shaping in this area. My only complaint is that the rise is quite low. Really low, for a kids’ pattern. Especially considering Tyo, ah, needs a bit more coverage in the rear. If I make this again, I’ll add a generous wedge to the CB.
Although I made buttonholes in the rear pocket flaps, I haven’t cut them or attached buttons. We’ll see if I bother or not. I did decorate one rear pocket with an embroidered patch Tyo had purchased at a street fair last summer. It was originally intended for her jean-jacket, but since that’s still sporting its punk/zombie patches from last Hallowe’en, we decided to use it here. I like contrast of camo fabric with hippie/Buddhist patch.
I can’t wait until these have been washed about a dozen times and get that worn-in-faded-camo look. In fact, I like them so much I might have to think about making myself some. I haven’t worn camo regularly since my feminazi/survivalist-lookalike phase back in Uni.
Also you may have noticed one other hand-made item in these photos. The blue tasseled toque Tyo is wearing was knitted by my mother, for me, when I was about kneehigh to a grasshopper. Isn’t it cute? It has a matching sweater somewhere, too, although that was only finished in time for my little brother to wear it.
All righty, I think that’s more than enough sewing for the house apes (thanks, Katie, for that one!). Time for something for me!
*Our second vehicle is a motorcycle. This is not nearly as practical as a second car (especially in our climate) but is definitely WAY more fun. Except when it rains.
** Instituted after the tragic leap of the much lamented One-Eyed Jack. (scroll down)