Men’s cargo pants: Failed!

Cargo pants: failed
Cargo pants: failed

I had been spending several days making a pair of cargo pants for my husband. I cut the fabric and happily went sewing all those pockets and flaps. And when he tried them on, the waist is too small!

Of course there is noone to blame but myself for not making muslin first or even fit them before everything was too late. But I would like to partly blame my husband for this mishap.

The pattern is from Full of Patterns, a Japanese pattern store where I bought the pattern for my husband’s selvedge jeans. I used size L for the jeans and did a careful fitting from early on. I did think that they were indeed a bit tight at the waist, but my husband convinced me that they fit fine and comfortably. So I was sure that size L would be right for him.

It turned out that -of course- he said that because he didn’t want to hurt my feeling! The selvedge denim has fortunately stretched and molded into his waist, although he admitted that his previous jeans are more comfortable than the selvedge jeans. “But they are old jeans, of course they are more comfortable!”

It is somewhat fine for denim fabric to stretch overtime but cotton twill cargo pants are not supposed to behave that way. So this is what happened during fitting. Everything is nice from the legs up but the waist couldn’t close. These pants use waist facing instead of waistband so it is really can’t stretch around that area.
Cargo pants: failed Cargo pants: failed

My husband said that he could do exercise to reduce his stomach but of course that is not how it works. What’s the point of making your own clothes if it is not comfortable? The clothes should follow the body and not the other way around.

I was bummed because the pants have all these wonderful details that I had fun making. Since I had lost my interest in continuing with the pants, here is some (would have been) wonderful details of the pants.

Cargo pants: failed Cargo pants: failed

The pants have four darts on each knee, the back leg is two pieces with shaped seams on the back of the knee.

Cargo pants: failed Cargo pants: failed

Cargo pants: failed

The back has a couple of darts, here you can see my failed attempt to open the darts to give more room. All the pockets are gusseted and double top-stitched. The flaps have underflap with buttonholes, so the buttons are hidden.

Cargo pants: failed Cargo pants: failed

The pants don’t have waistband and instead have waist facing. The buttonholes on the waist facing are for inserting twill tape so the waist can be tightened if necessary. Which is not, because the waist is too small! Boo.

Pattern is Men’s cargo pants FOP-34 by Full of Patterns (Japanese), size L.

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  • Rachel

    That’s a real shame, the stitching is beautiful. I was trying to think if you could add a wedge of material by ripping out the side seam but this looks like you would have to move the pockets. Perhaps you could use the features to make a messenger bag? I did this with some fab jeans I hade made that didn’t fit me anymore.

  • jules

    Too bad about the tight fit. I think your son is going to want to wear those in a couple more years. If I were you I would just tuck them away for a while.

  • Elena Knits

    It’s heartbreaking when this happens. I hope you recover soon from your frustration. In the meantime how about some selfish sewing?

  • Ahhhh man, I’m so sorry! How sad!

  • lisa g

    Aww what a shame! But I get it… my husband would do the same! I have to remind him that with custom sewn clothes, you have the right to be picky about fit! Hope you find a way to save them, I like some of the ideas other commenters have suggested. Good luck!

  • This happens to me too, when I sew something for my partner. I have to ask the same question in various ways, many, many times, to make sure he is not trying to be nice and the garment will fit.

    On the other hand, the pants are beautiful! Maybe you could find someone who wear a size less and would love to wear the cargo pants? I really like the strong, manly pockets 🙂

  • sallieforrer

    Oh man!! That is a bummer indeed! So many cool details… Hopefully you can find a way to make them work (I like Jeannie’s idea of inserting a wedge of fabric – I’ve also seen this done to the Center Back seam) but otherwise, you could just toss this one up as a muslin and try to make a new pair – they certainly seem like an engaging sew! But first, maybe some nice gratifying sewing for yourself to ease the pain? 🙂

  • Sofie M

    It is a shame at they look so well made but at least you know Sidra will fit into them in the future. Ready made pants!

  • that is such a shame because these are beautiful. i really admire your skills! mayb you know someone (who is slightly smaller in the waist) that would be happy to receive these pants?

  • Jeannie in Seattle

    It looks like they are just a bit too tight, could you open the side seams and insert a wedge of fabric widening toward the top of the waist, perhaps even adding some topstitching to make it look intended. They are lovely pants, the work is great.

    • I guess there are lots of ways to widen the waist. Maybe I will do it when I take them out of the unfinished heap, or maybe I will just make another new pair! 😀

  • Angela W

    Could you possibly cut them down for your son?

    • I could but it would take the same amount of work as altering the waist! 😛

      • Angela W