Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cargo Skirt

Yesterday I finally finished my new cargo skirt! My orginal plan was to take this pattern, angel it out a little to make it more A-line, then add cargo pockets.

Well, when I got the pattern out I discovered that there was a little problem, inside the envelope there was the directions and the pocket pattern... and that's it. No drawstring or skirt pattern pieces! We're leaving on vacation next week so I didn't really have time to ask my mom to go through her sewing room to look for them and send me, so I thought maybe it was about time I drafted my own pattern! Well, sort of. I measured the largest section of my hips then added 2 inches for the top of the skirt then used a yard stick and pencil to draw all my straight lines.

I still used the pattern instructions for putting it together although not having the pattern pieces I decided to just stick with the cargo pockets and not even attempt the inside pockets. I also wanted to keep the little slits on the bottom of the skirt, though they do begin lower then the original indicated. When planning out how I wanted it to look, I knew I wanted to use heavy duty thread for top-stitching, and that I wanted there to be a row of top-stitching on either side of the side seams. But it wasn't until I started working on it that I realized that if I turned under the entire length of the side seams from the slit on up, I could completely enclose my selvages!!

I forgot to take another close up of the outside after it was sown. But it can be seen in the finished pictures of the skirt.

The draw-sting ended up not working out quite as I had planned. In trying to guesstimate how wide to make it, I guessed too wide. Plus I didn't have enough fabric left over after the second try. Thankfully it's still usable, but inside the casing it's all folded up. :(

Now on to something more fun. The pockets! I wanted to make them look like the majority of cargo pockets seen on store bought clothes. And I wanted them to be big enough to place my hands in. So the first thing I did was measure the length of one of my hands and the width with fingers out stretched. The I added an inch to the width of the pockets plus the selvage extra. When it came to actually putting them together, I still wasn't exactly sure what I wanted. So the first thing I tried was sewing straight down the middle at a half inch.

That didn't work very well. In fact, it looked rather stupid pressed out! So I took it out. But, having two stitching lines 1 inch apart exactly in the middle of the pocket turned out to be just what I needed for my next try! Using that line as a guide I folded under a crease at a quarter of an inch and sewed right down that line!

For the pocket flaps I had another problem. My machine won't stitch heavy duty thread in the bobbin, so I'm limited to only using it for my top thread. But that's not going to work when sewing Velcro. The only way I could figure out to make it work, was to stitch the edges of the Velcro on the inside then, flip it over and use that line for a guide and do the top stitching on the top.

I really like how the finished pocket came out.

For finishing touches I double stitched the hem and bar tacked just above each slit. I'm really pleased with the finished product! I hope this has given you some inspiration to draft your own pattern too! It's really not as hard as you would think. :-)


  1. That is adorable! I am a sucker for topstitching and you did a beautiful job on yours. Well done, hon!

  2. Great job, Natalie! I am so happy to see your project came out so well. I love the pockets!
    Love, Mom

  3. Just stumbled across this. Nice job!