Prototype Evolution - Part 3

Prototype Evolution - Part 3

For those of you following me on Instagram, you may have seen some extra fun stories a few weeks ago, in which I showed the step-by-step process of making my latest prototype, from laying out the pattern pieces on fabric to adding a button and sporting them in front of the mirror. And if you haven't seen it yet, good news! I saved the whole story (lovingly named Day of the Pant 😉):

Day of the Pant - @_rockbot_
See Instagram ‘Day of the Pant’ highlights from Raquel Velez (@_rockbot_)

I've made a few modifications since that day, and I've even wear-tested them on several hikes... Y'all - I am so close to perfection with these!

If you haven't yet, check out my post on pockets, in which I hinted at some of the changes 😄

And now, the big reveal:

What I love about these pants

  • Goodbye elastic - I wasn't able to make the elastic work quite right, so I gave up entirely and added a cinch belt. It works really well - the pants stay up, and since I also have a button, I don't have to loosen the belt to remove/put on the pants. (But also, if I eat a big meal or am feeling a little bloated, I can really easily loosen the belt, no problem.)
  • Hello cell phone pocket - I asked the internet what y'all would want in a thigh pocket, and it was pretty evident across the board: a place for a cell phone that isn't the regular front/back pockets! I've put it on my right thigh (you can see it best in the side view), because I'm right-handed. The opening is just a bit bigger than most cell phone widths, but the pocket is bigger than the opening, so that the phone doesn't fall out during regular use.
  • Back pocket options - Note on the back pockets that one is an open welt, and the other has a flap covering the welt (the welt's still there). The flap means that anything I put in won't immediately fall out, but the open welt means I can easily access whatever I might need.
  • Contrast stitching - I've only heard positive reactions to the chevron design, so I decided to really highlight it with some bright orange stitching on the navy-colored fabric.
  • Amazing fabric - Y'all. This stuff is amazing. It's got 2-way stretch, which is enough to enable movement without reinforced knees. It's water resistant AND abrasion resistant, so there's no sign of any of the rocks, snow, or shrubs I ran into during my hikes. (Yes, friends, even thigh rub hasn't made a dent on these yet - and I've worn them at least 15 times!) And it breathes really well but not too much - I've been able to wear them in temperatures ranging from 45-80 degrees Fahrenheit. I've also been able to handle even colder temperatures with an underlayer of leggings.

What could be better about these pants

  • Pattern tweaking is needed - they're almost too roomy on the sides, there's some weird pulling where the zipper is, the waistband could probably be smaller (note how much I had to pull out on the belt), and there's still a little bit of funny business on the crotch.
  • Reinforced areas? - I've seen a lot of hiking pants with extra reinforcement in the back ankle, knees, and inner thighs. I'm not sure I necessarily need that for my personal use case, but it's an interesting thought experiment at least.
  • Shift the top chevron up a bit - when I'm standing still, the tip of the upper chevron sits right on my kneecap. This obviously isn't as much of a problem when my knee is bent, but for that tiny split second, between straight and bent (aka as I'm walking), I can just feel it. Moving it up by even half an inch will likely make a big difference; I'll have to adjust the heights of both the front and cell phone pockets by 1/4" each, but I bet that'll be fairly negligible.

What's next?

I hereby declare these pants Good Enough (with more tweaks coming in the next iteration). So let's go hiking!

Also, I've got a little announcement coming soon... 🙊 🦜 🤫 Stay tuned!

What do you think of this iteration? Post your thoughts below!

This post is part of a series called 2020: The Year of the Pants. Catch all of the posts via the YOTP tag.