Tutorial: Cargo Pants Pockets – 4 Different Ways! (Part 2 of 4)

This tutorial is part two in a series of four that shows how to make 4 different kinds of cargo pockets to add to pants. This handy how-to was contributed to Sewing Mamas by Monica (Mnemonics on the forum).

To add these pockets to pants, sew the outer leg seam of the pants pocket and then sew the pocket in place on the side. Sew the inner leg seam after the pocket is attached. For each pocket, the starting fabric size is given, but feel free to adjust the size to your liking for the pants you are making.

Four Different Cargo Pockets – Pocket Two: A Pleat Is Sweet and Neat

I cut the fabric for this pocket at 7 1/2 ” x 10″
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Turn the fabric wrong side up
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Fold it in half
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Measure how deep you want your pleat to be & mark – I measured 2 inches from the folded end of the fabric.
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Stitch about 3/4- 1″ at the top and bottom where you marked. (Stitched in white here.)
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Open out the fabric ends…
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Form the pleat at the center
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Top view of the pleat:
Pleated Cargo Pocket

You can stitch the edges of the pleat if you desire – I have stitched it to make it more visible for the sew-along
Pleated Cargo Pocket

The rest of the steps are similar to Cargo pocket 1 – Fold the top end under & sew. Fold under the other 3 edges. Iron. Place the pocket in the desired place on the pants and sew it in place.
Pleated Cargo Pocket

Your Pleated Cargo Pocket is now done!

Happy Sewing!

<– Go back to Easy Pocket (part one in the series) *** Go on to Pocket Three – Fold left, fold right (part three in the series) –>

Tutorial: Cargo Pants Pockets – 4 Different Ways! (Part 1 of 4)

Today’s tutorial is part one in a series of four that shows how to make 4 different kinds of cargo pockets to add to pants. This handy how-to was contributed to Sewing Mamas by Monica (Mnemonics on the forum).

To add these pockets to pants, sew the outer leg seam of the pants pocket and then sew the pocket in place on the side. Sew the inner leg seam after the pocket is attached. For each pocket, the starting fabric size is given, but feel free to adjust the size to your liking for the pants you are making.

Four Different Cargo Pockets – Pocket One: Quick and Easy Pocket

I cut the fabric for this pocket 7 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
Basic Cargo Pocket

Turn the top edge under and sew
Basic Cargo Pocket

Fold under the other three edges. Iron. Place the pocket on the pant at the desired place and sew the 3 edges in place.
Basic Cargo Pocket

That’s it! Your quick and easy pocket is done! Stay tuned for more pockets in this series.

Happy Sewing!

Continue to Part Two –>

Ottobre Spring 2013 (01/2013) in review

When the previews for the Spring 2013 issue of Ottobre first popped up, I heard some complaints of the lack of patterns in the bigger sizes. Ottobre patterns have a huge range, from 50 to 170 cm, which is approximately equivalent to sizing for a newborn through a 15 year old. Since each issue typically includes 40 patterns, this means attempting to provide a variety of patterns for 21 sizes with 40 patterns. Quite a task!

Due to the way patterns are typically made, it’s common to see the largest number of choices in the middle sizes. This issue is no exception, with the most options being in size 116. However, I was surprised to discover that there were almost as many patterns in sizes 134, 140 and 146. Check the bottom of this post for a quick size summary!

Let’s start at the beginning with cute clothing for wee ones. toddler clothes

In the smaller sizes, there is a cute voile blouse and pants for girls. There’s a bodysuit, romper and cute hooded bunting that will work for boys or girls. The bodysuit pattern includes a ruffle that can be omitted for boys. The tiger sweatshirt and sweatpants is designed for boys, but leaving off the tiger embellishments lets it work for girls as well. There’s also a dinosaur bunting and girl’s jacket.

For toddlers and preschoolers, there’s a long sleeve t-shirt, overalls, and lined jacket that are suitable for boys or girls. There’s a cute dress done in gingham with a jumper made using many of the pattern pieces from the dress.

shirtdress and mock v-neck
For school-aged children, there are several patterns that span from size 92 to 146cm. These include a tank top, boxer briefs, leggings, tunic top and a pair of casual pants. At the lower end of the sizing, from 92cm to 128 cm, there’s a long sleeve t-shirt, leggings, and a Batman style sweatshirt. Sizes 104-146 include a long sleeve t-shirt with a mock v-neck, a girl’s tank top and bloomers and shirt dress. For fun play, there’s a chef’s jacket and hat and apron in sizes 104-146 cm.

baseball jacket and corduroy pantsFor girls in sizes 110-146 cm there’s a girl’s blouse, a button closure trenchcoat and a pair of casual pants. For boys in sizes 134 to 170 cm, there’s a hoodie, long sleeve t-shirt, baseball style jacket and corduroy pants. The hoodie could easily work for girls as well.

The leggings pattern that’s made for sizes 92 through 170 is shown for both boys and girls, though, at least here in the Midwestern US, it’s not something boys would typically wear. There are also patterns for a tunic top, hooded jacket and pants with cargo side pockets, all for girls in sizes 134 – 170cm.

I see some good possibilities for both my first grade son and my third grade daughter in this issue. You can see the whole issue (and buy it if you’re not already a subscriber!) on the Ottobre website.

Ottobre Spring 2013 by the numbers
Patterns in this issue: 40
Patterns for boys: 24
Patterns for girls: 33
Some patterns will work for both boys and girls, either as is or with some modification, usually by leaving out an embellishment.

Most options:
If you are sewing for little girls in size 116, you have 19 options in this issue. There are 18 options for girls in sizes 110, 134, 140, and 146.
You’ll find 13 patterns for little boys in size 116, and twelve patterns for boys in sizes 92, 104, 110, 134, 140 and 146.

Happy Sewing!

A scanner to match fabric to thread?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your fabric swatch to the store and, instead of holding it up to various spools of thread, you could just scan it and the machine would tell you the perfect match? I came across a press release today that makes me think this might not be too far off!

Coats fabric scanner

The new Coats Color CAPSURE device is part of the Coats Color Express system. Industrial manufacturers can scan any material and get a precisely matched color of thread. Coats has 14,000 shades available to commercial customers. Wouldn’t it be great to have that same matching available in a retail store?

Maybe Coats could modify it to match to the closest retail color offered. Then they could collect data on the colors that didn’t have exact matches to help them better know what colors should be offered in the future. It would also reduce the chances that your preschool assistant has time to pull a dozen spools off the display while you get what you need. Sounds like a win-win!

You can read more here.

New fabrics and Ottobre pattern freebies!

There are some fun new fabrics up in the Ottobre shop!

While checking out these cute penguins

Skating Penguins

And this latest colorway of the Happy Elephants print
Happy Elephants - Red Colorway

I came across this space robots print, which I don’t think is new, but has been declared cool by my first grader, who likes to read over my shoulder.
Space Robots fabric

And, you can find the links to the free hat and bib patterns mentioned in the latest Ottobre magazine on the Ottobre blog.


All images used with permission from Ottobre.

Sewing and craft rooms

I love looking at other people’s sewing and crafting spaces. I came across a site full of home decorating ideas and thought I’d share some of the spaces with you.

So many of these spaces use IKEA furnishings, this one is no exception. The drawers near the window are from the Vika Alex line, the table top from Vika Amon and legs from Vika Artur. The same trestle leg is used for what appears to be an ironing board, with a roll of tracing paper handy from below. One of the cool things about the Artur legs is that you can adjust each side separately to put the table top at an angle if you like. I have a set of drawers from the Alex line and a couple of the Vika Amon tables in my sewing space now and they’ve held up well.

This room looks like IKEA Expedit shelves in white with the Vika table top in the center island. I love the huge safety pins on the wall in this one!

Having the laundry machines easily accessible to the sewing space is a plus here. Being able to toss fabrics in for prewashing is great, and if you use your washer for dyeing materials, the proximity is great. In my mind’s eye, there’s a sink in that laundry space as well. The other thing I love is the natural light.

Lots of counter workspace for sewing and embroidery machines with a nice island for cutting fabrics here, but I also love the window seat. I see one of my kids cozied in there with a book or just coming in to talk about their day while I’m working.

Oh, the possibilities!

More wonderful light here, a great place to work! I also love the white cabinets and the darker wood flooring and island. I’m filling that little cabinet of drawers in the corner with various sewing notions…

The shelves in this room go all the way to the ceiling, love those. And in the corner, the cabinets change into open shelving to use the available space under the countertop desk area.

Giving the sewing machine it’s own little garage is a great idea. I’d love to see it with a roll top (like the classic bread boxes) or with doors that open and recess into the cabinet, though. I see my clumsy self hitting my head on the raised cabinet door in this setup. The pull out board for cutting (or ironing?) is a wonderful extension of space.

I like the idea of a large ironing board that pulls out from a drawer, but I’m not sure about this one. What do you think?

Oh, IKEA how I love you…

There are, of course, about a zillion more. 321,889 filed under “craft room” to be exact. Here’s a link – just try not to stay there surfing all day, there’s sewing to do!

Happy daydreaming!

Signup for the Winter Doll Quilt Swap!

Remember this post about the fall doll quilt swap?
Falling Into Leaves - Doll Quilt Swap 2012

It’s time for the 2013 Winter Doll Quilt Swap!

Signup in the forum – here by February 1st. This swap is open to everyone, and a great way to see if you like swapping!

Confused or full of ideas? You can share ideas and get clarity by posting in this thread in the forum.

Mail your package by March 1st.

Wait for your new quilt to arrive!

For inspiration, a couple more from the Fall Swap:
Dina’s quilt:
Fall Colors - Doll Quilt Swap 2012

Ruth Ann’s paper pieced leaves:
Paper Pieced Maple Leaves - Doll Quilt Swap 2012

Lorraine’s doll quilt made with “Bella” by Lotta Jansdotter in the Poppy colorway:
Bella in poppy - Doll Quilt Swap 2012

Happy Sewing and Swapping!

Tutorial: Play food felt cupcakes with interchangeable toppings

This tutorial comes from mama3many, a Sewing Mama in the UK!

Felt Cupcakes with Magnetic Interchangeable Toppings


  • felt – I HIGHLY recommend pure wool felt. It’s pure joy to work with and tends to last much longer than acrylic. Also acrylic felt tends to tear at the seams whereas wool felt does not.
  • needle and thread in matching colours. I use embroidery floss.
  • cardboard – I just cut up the boxes my Amazon orders came in
  • strong magnets – Two opposing ones per cupcake
  • hot glue gun
  • your favorite cupcake pattern – if you don’t have a pattern, you can simply cut apart a cupcake liner and use that as a pattern

Step 1:

Cut your felt and cardboard.
Felt pieces: cupcake side x1, cupcake base x1, cupcake lid x 1, cupcake topping tops x 2 (these are the same piece as cupcake lid).
Cardboard pieces: same piece as felt cupcake top x 2, same as cupcake base x1
In this example my cupcake base, lid and topping tops are light yellow and my cupcake side is beige.

Step 2:

Hotglue the magnets on to the two larger cardboard circles.

Make sure you glue the magnets in such a way that they attract each other!

Step 3:

Whipstitch the short ends of the cupcake side together

Step 4:

Whipstitch the cupcake base the top bottom of cupcake side

Step 5:

Put smaller cardboard circle into the base of the cupcake (you may need to trim the cardboard circle a bit)

Step 6:

Whipstitch the cupcake lid to the top of cupcake side but stop when you reach halfway round,
Fill the cupcake with stuffing.
Place one of the large cardboard circles over the stuffing. Make sure the magnet is facing up!

Whipstitch the cupcake shut.

Now for the topping

Step 7:

Make topping embellishments. Here I made some tangerine segments:
I cut out two large kidney-shaped pieces of orange felt:

I whipstitched them together leaving an opening for stuffing:

Put in a few long stitches to decorate:

Insert stuffing and whipstitch shut:

Step 8:

Take one of the large felt topping circles and stitch the embellishments on.

Step 9:

Take the remaining felt circle and the second cardboard with magnet and sandwich like so (I hadn‘t decorated the top of this one). Make sure the magnet faces the non-embellished felt circle!

Whipstitch all around:

And you’re done!

Make more in different ‘flavours’ and you’ll have interchangeable cupcakes!



About mama3many ~
I’m a home educating mother of four kids aged 7 years to 9 months. We live in Wales, UK where I craft any moment I get. I’m passionate about education, crafts and swapping knowledge and skills with others. As a child I was discouraged from anything crafty as apparently I wasn’t good at it. I’ve since learnt that the skills are there for the learning and it’s all about finding the right teacher, tutorial and materials.

I love the use of magnets rather than velcro to put these together. Velcro always seems to pick up lots of little fuzzies and pet hair, plus the hook side tends to stick to the felt in all the wrong places. This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy Sewing!



Disclaimer: This project produces toys that contain small parts that may present a choking hazard for small children. It is expected that children under 3 be supervised at all times when playing with such toys. Older children may or may not require such supervision, Sewing Mamas LLC assumes no responsibility for end use.

Project in progress

Over the years, I have joined a lot of quilt square swaps. It’s fun to send off my yard of fabric cut into 30 6.5″ squares and get back 30 different squares. Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered I’m not very good at doing anything with them after they come back.

My youngest, Jack, is in first grade this year and about two months ago I realized that if I didn’t use those squares soon, I wouldn’t have anyone here who’d be interested in having such a quilt.

So, I sorted them out and Jack and I picked out 65 pairs to use on his quilt. I sewed them up and then the holidays came. The quilt top was moved out of the way so I could get other things done. But those assembled squares have been taunting me as the quilt top hung in my sewing space. I worried I might have to dust the whole thing if I didn’t do something soon.

I’d bought some marbled green and blue fabrics to use for the border, planning to sew a thin green border and a thicker blue one. I laid them out, trying to decide what the widths of each should be. Then I started procrastinating thinking. Maybe it would be better if it had a thin blue and then green for the outer?

I played with the fabrics in the living room, trying to determine which way would be better.
quilt borders option

That didn’t help. I decided the only possible solution was to mess around in Photoshop to have whole pictures to look at instead of the small corners. Now, if you haven’t already scanned ahead, I’ll warn you – Photoshop is not on my list of skills. What you are about to look at may horrify you. I’m sorry about that. Peek anyway and help me choose please?

Here’s the blue outer –
quilt borders option - blue

Here’s the green outer –
quilt borders option - green

Which one should I go with?


Quick fix for kids’ winter gear!

Here’s a quick and easy way to keep track of your child’s snowpants, because having a name on the label means nothing to a little kid just trying to get on the closest pair of black snowpants as quickly as he can to go outside. You know, the black snowpants that look like every other pair in the school?
Oh, yeah, those.

Snowpants strap covers!

These are super quick and easy if the shoulder strap can come completely off the closure. These can:

These are sewn to keep the strap attached to the closure,
and this is nice for a ton of reasons, but will add extra work for us, see bottom of post at the **.

We’ll talk about the first type first. The pair we’re working with has a strap that’s 1.25″ wide*.

Fun fabrics are great for this -
Tom and Jerry fabric

To make two strap covers you will need:
2 pieces of cotton woven (or quilter’s) fabric, each 3″ wide by 8″. You can make them longer or shorter if you like.

These are sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you want a wider seam allowance, increase the 3″ width by 2 times your additional amount. (If you want to instead sew with 1/2″ seam allowance, you’re adding 1/4″ more to each sewn side, so cut your pieces 3.5″ x 8″.)

* If your snowpants have a wider strap, simply measure the width, add the seam allowance and double the result.
(width+seam allowance)*2=width of cut fabric

Step 1

Hem the short sides. Press wrong sides together 1/4″.
Step One, press

Zigzag the hem so it goes just over the cut edge. (You can do this on the wrong side instead of the right side if you like.)
Step One, zigzag

Step 2

Zigzag opposite end.
Step Two

Step 3

Fold the piece in half the long way, right sides together. I like to press this because then I don’t need to pin it.
Step Three, fold

Step 4

Stitch together with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 4, stitch

How nice!
Step 4, done

Step 5

Zig zag in the seam allowance to keep it from fraying. I find if I line up my straight stitching so it’s just barely visible where the presser foot sticks up on the left, it stitches in just the right place.
Step 5, zigzag

Then you have this:
Step Five, done

Step 6

Trim threads. Turn it right side out.
Right Side Out

Slide your strap into the tube you’ve just made, that’s it!

Bonus Tip!

If your child wears the snowpants without the bib overalls, sew a ribbon loop to the inside at the waist so they can be easily hung on a hook. This keeps things tidy and helps them dry faster than when they are left in a pile.

** If your snowpants have a strap that’s sewn together to keep it from coming off the closure, you have a few options.
Option 1:
Grab your seam ripper and use it to free the strap so you can take it off the closure. When your strap cover is completed and on the snowpants, re-sew the part you seam ripped. (This will make the neatest cover and is also the quickest. Just make sure you’ll be able to sew it back together before you seam rip it! I strongly recommend only removing one strap at a time so you can see how it goes back on.)
Option 2:
Make your strap cover wide enough to go over the closure. To do this, take your measuring tape and measure all the way around the widest part of the closure. Double your seam allowance and add that to your measurement. The result is your fabric width. (This will result in a cover that may be a little slide-y.)
Option 3:
Instead of making a tube, use Velcro-like closures in a manner similar to the way we made our luggage handle covers, skipping the interfacing to avoid its added stiffness. (This will take the longest.)

Happy Sewing!

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