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My Perfect Vacation Pants, The Itch-To-Stitch Sequoia Cargos

I'm back at it with the pants again! Itch-To-Stitch has a new pattern this week: Sequoia Cargos & Shorts. It's still winter here, so I'm sharing the long pants option today.
I'm taking a long weekend trip this March, and I need to start sewing a vacation capsule to pack. For the last 15 years or so, my friend has taken a casino bus trip with a few dozen of her teaching colleages. A few years back, her husband decided he no longer wanted to go, and I've volunteered to be her Plus One for the third year in a row. We will be getting on a bus super early on a Saturday and driving 6 hours or so over the Mackinac Bridge to the U.P. The ride up is filled with chatter and drinking and games, and we all have loads of fun. Then the next two days are filled with more food & drink, card games & slots. I'm not much of a gambler; I'd rather spend my dollars on a Pina Colada than a pull of the slot handle, but I find plenty of ways to enjoy myself.

Now that I've gone a couple times, I have a good idea of what sort of wardrobe I need to bring. Michigan's Upper Peninsula is no Monaco, so I can skip all the fancy dress-shiny jewelry-foot bruising high heels stuff. Instead, I need comfortable layers that I don't have to fuss with and which I can launder thoroughly when I return. I need to pack light on the clothes and save the extra room for the rum bottles. 
(Priorities: Me Made Mini Bar...)

What does that have to do with Cargos? EVERYTHING! Can't you see? They are the perfect vacation trouser! Zillions of pockets that snap closed, so I don't have to carry anything besides my double Vodka-Cranberry ... Proper zip closures and nice fabric so I look put together.... Convertible legs to roll up when it gets hot on the bus and an elastic waist for so much comfort!

Pattern Details

Sequoia Cargos & Shorts is the latest pattern from Itch-To-Stitch. It's a relaxed fit trouser, with a shorts option, that incorporates lots of options for that classic "Cargo" look.

Design Features

-Uses woven or stretch woven material
-Combination elastic waist with zipper and snap closure
-Functional zip fly
-Straight leg and medium rise
-Shorts option
-Front slanted patch pockets 
-Back patch pockets with flaps and snap closures
-Side-thigh patch pockets with flaps and snap closures (long pants only)
-Side tabs with snaps to secure rolled up or gathered pant legs (long pants only)

Choose a classic army green canvas, a bright print cotton sateen or a lightweight denim to ensure they fit right in with your existing wardrobe. Make sure you check out all the tester versions in the launch post HERE.

Muslin Work

I have yet to achieve the "perfect fit" on a pair of trousers or jeans but that doesn't stop me from wearing them! I have a couple of specific fit challenges that I'm working on, and I feel like I'm getting closer to cracking the back inner thigh-knee challenge.
Here's my size 10 without any changes. I've been analyzing my body shape quite a bit lately, which, to be clear, is totally different than criticizing my body. The fact is, I've been 10lb lighter, and my fit issues are pretty much THE SAME. That thigh and knee have become my nemesis.

What I've observed about myself is that my legs come out of my hips at an inward angle, pushing the top of my legs closer together. Then, just at the knee, they twist outward and back, giving me a knock-kneed, hyper extended calf look. I also have a low and generously rounded "Awesome Ass".
Failed efforts teach me the most about fitting. And I spent a good 4 or 5 days in a Muslin Bubble failing to fix this thigh issue, BUT I have learned!

What Didn't Work:

  1. Scooping out the back crotch curve just gave me Diaper Butt. These pants are drafted to have plenty of room to fit my body, but my low, round, Awesome Ass is pushing down fabric, and scooping out the crotch curve is not enough. In fact, it only exaggerates the twisting at the inner thigh.
  2. Adding extra fabric to the inner seam gave me folds of extra fabric a the back of the leg. Plus, it totally messed up the balance of my front crotch curve.
  3. Full calf adjustment was ineffective. While I do experience some tightness at the back of my calves (from my hyper-extended, knock knees), it does not have any effect on the binding at my inner thigh, or my inner knee pulls. It may be that I do need an FCA, but I can't really determine that until I get the legs to hang freely from my hips.

What Helped:

  1. I lowered the crotch curve 1 inch. This shortens the back inseam. However, I cannot afford to loose that inch on the front of my thigh, so I eased the shorter seam into the longer seam at the very top, where my thighs kiss, just like you do with jeans. 
  2. I made an X adjustment at the knee level to shorten the outer seam, which buckles from being too long where my leg bends back outward, and provide more inseam length where my knees poke inward. I was very cautious with the amount of change at the knee, doing only 1/2 inch.

Results: 

I realize the difference between my initial muslin and what I decided to finish doesn't look very different from one another. What you can't see is how much better the denim pants feel than the muslin. They don't feel twisted. There is no more tightness in the front thigh/quad. I can walk and do stairs without rubbing and pulling. That's a big improvement in my book!

What I'm Planning For Next Time:

  1. Keeping the 1 inch crotch-lowering adjustment. 
  2. Lengthen the back crotch extension about 3/8 inch. Because the thighs taper inward as you move down toward the knee, I lost necessary length on the crotch extension when I lowered the curve. I need to maintain the original crotch extension length.
  3. Bigger X curve at the knee. At least 3/4 inch. 
I tested out my "plan" on a pair of Tierras Woven Joggers and I'm thrilled with the results. Below shows the comparison of joggers I made in November with the adjusted version from this past weekend.

So Many Details To Love

Sequoia Cargos & Shorts have so many fun details. I took some close up shots so you can see. 
All the pockets have flaps that snap closed to secure your bits and pieces whether you are out hiking in the woods, or hiking through a casino like I will be.
The waistband is a combination of zip fly, snap closure and ribbing covered elastic. It really doesn't take any more time than a jeans waistband, and it is so worth the effort to craft! There's also a full color picture walk-through on how to sew the front squares to the waistband HERE if you are looking for a little extra help.
 There are snapping tabs to secure your pant legs in warmer weather... or if you want to go wading in the water on your hike. I won't be wading in any water I find at the casino, but it might get hot... Sequoia Cargos are going to be a great year-round trouser. Plus, there is a shorts option too!

Final Pictures

There really are endless ways to wear these Sequoia Cargos. I had lots of fun trying to decide on outfits and had to limit myself before I made a combo out of pretty much everything in my closet and summer storage. I'd be hard-pressed to think of something I CAN'T wear with them!
 Super casual with sneakers and my Paulina Top.
 
 A little Soho Chic with my Hepburn Turtleneck (I'm so making more of these this winter).
 
 Going out with friends paired with my Beausoleil Top.
 
Work appropriate with kitten heels and my La Paz Jacket.
Warm weather friendly for boardwalk window shopping or your kid's Saturday soccer game.

 Get Your Copy Of Sequoia Cargos!

Sequoia Cargos & Shorts are available now in the Itch-To-Stitch shop. You can purchase your copy for 20% off (just $9.60) through January 30th, no code needed. After that, they will be available in the shop for $12.00.
I know you're excited... go get your Sequoia Pattern!
  











Comments

  1. It sounds like a blast! I hope you have oodles of fun on your trip. Your cargos look awesome. There's so much to learn about fitting our bodies. Soon enough you will discover all the nuances and making pants will be a breeze!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, construction will be a breeze because I've made so many working through my fit!

      Delete
  2. haha love your post, I didn't associate the Sequoia with such holliday trips but it proves they are fit for every occassion ;-) have fun there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll have to report back in the FB group how well they perform on my trip.

      Delete
  3. These are really cool! Love your styling! Have a great trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm having fun planning the rest of the wardrobe I want to take.

      Delete
  4. Crystal you've done a great job on fitting. You say the revised version doesn't look much different than the muslin - but it does! by miles. I would be very careful about doing any more of that X alteration at the back leg - I think 1/2" is perfect. In the studio of "overfitting" don't think that woven, non-stretch pants are supposed to have no wrinkles at all. These are still closely enough fitted that you need some movement room. The wider the legs get, the smoother you can ask your pant leg to be. If you want to take out just a smidge more of the upper back thigh where it's wrinkling, take a (very small) horizontal fisheye dart out of the upper thigh, a couple of inches below the crotch line. This shouldn't affect the length of either inseam or outer leg seam. Now I'm going upstairs to muslin 2 pants for myself - one very wide leg cropped so that will be easy. The other, not so much. What would you think of the cargos without all the pockets? Good casual pant for when something a bit dressier than jeans is called for, or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the silhouette of the Sequoia. It would certainly look different without all the pockets, but I think it would still be very nice. The fabric you choose can take it from casual wear to something you can dress up. In a pant weight linen, it would be lovely resort pants... in suiting it would be office appropriate... in cotton sateen it could be chic for a night out.

      Delete
  5. PS - as an itch to stitch affiliate, is there a button on your blog to go buy ITS patterns, where you get credited?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the ITS links in my blog are coded with my affiliate info, so if you click one of them to take you to the shop, I will get credit for anything you purchase. Thank you for asking!

      Delete

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