Family Hiking Trousers

In the last blog post I showed you what I made for my husband and I to wear while we ran a half-marathon last November, 2014. Much more recently we took a vacation to Switzerland, where we went hiking in the Berner Oberland for 8 days. Neither of us had technical trousers for hiking, just running gear, so I set out to make us some!

A bit about fit

HikingPants - 10I chose to adapt this Sandra Betzina pattern I got at a fabric and pattern swap way back when at Mena Trott’s house. I adjusted it per my trouser block and then made a couple of muslins. I am almost done finishing up my wearable muslin in a 10% stretch lightweight denim from Robert Kaufman (if only my machine would make a perfect buttonhole on my garment, not the test fabric!). It’s going to be fun to have high-waisted, wide-legged jeans.HikingPants - 12

 

For my husband, I first created and tweaked a trouser block from Kershaw’s Patternmaking for Menswear. I actually want to go back and work on this some more before making him more trousers, but we ran a bit short on time, and he’s not too fond of the fitting process.

HikingPants - 11Once the block was acceptable, I used it to adjust the Jutland pattern from Thread Theory. I had to skip cargo pockets (I’ll definitely be making this with cargo pockets in the future!), but I did successfully include an articulated knee area more or less in the right zone for his knees. My attempt at articulated knees for my own trousers wound up around mid-thigh when I really bent my knees, but looked about right when standing up.

Though the fit isn’t perfect on these two pair, they were VERY comfortable and worked out super for our hiking adventures. I had a little trouble with this lightweight stretch wicking woven from Fabricline and topstitching thread, so I eventually gave up and did the last bits of topstitching with regular thread, as you can see here.

When the machine just won't topstitch with topstitching thread any more....
When the machine just won’t topstitch with topstitching thread any more….

HikingPants - 6Last, I had two immense brain cramps while making these: first, I couldn’t keep the right side of the fabric straight and created two pair of trousers with some pieces facing right-side-out and some right-side-in. Oh well! Second, and even more hilariously, I got the zipper guard confused when putting together the fly and sewed it to the wrong side of the zip! We did fine with this, but it took a little getting used to when zipping them up.

HikingPants - 8

HikingPants - 2
A bit roomier in the thighs for ease of movement. Good fit on the bum, if I do say so myself!

Here are some gratuitous pictures of our hiking trousers in action in Switzerland:

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3 Replies to “Family Hiking Trousers”

  1. Super cool! I’ve been searching far and wide for people making hiking pants and have finally found it! I’m working on making some right now for hiking and rock climbing in but am curious about articulated knees.. How exactly do you sew them? I can’t seem to find any information online about modifying a pattern for that..

    1. Hi Carla!

      Happy to help, if I can. What I did was to remove a slice of the pattern at the front knees, elongate it by about half an inch, and then put a dart in the center of the panel, one on each side. I added seam allowance to all resulting trouser panels (so, 5/8″ to the bottom of the top piece, 5/8″ to top and bottom of the new knee piece, and 5/8″ to the top of the bottom piece) and then I sewed them all together using flat-felled seams so that it felt smooth against my skin.

      Let me know if that doesn’t make sense to you, and I can put together a little picture story. I need a prompt to get back to this poor blog anyhow!

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