Pattern Review: HotPatterns 1217 Utility Cargos

I have yet to get a good picture of myself wearing these, but I’ve made two pair of HotPatterns Weekender Utility Cargo Pants now, and really like them.  I definitely plan to make more.

Things I like:

  • The cut-on waistband reduces bulk and stiffness around the waist, which is both comfortable and flattering
  • The princess seams made it easy to adjust to get a good fit for my shape, plus they add visually interesting vertical lines
  • All the pockets!  So many pockets!  I particularly like the front hip pockets, which function as both pocket and beltloop.

Things I liked less:

  • The rise is super high on these.  Like, I have a generous badonkadonk and a swayback, and I’m always adding to the back rise of trousers, but these I actually shortened a bit.  (On the other hand, it’s easier to draw a line on your muslin where you want to cut it off, than it is to add fabric and hope it’s enough)
  • The beltloops are a little short, and the waist facing is a little narrow, so I can’t wear as wide a belt as I’d like.  Next time around, I’ll add about a half inch of width to the facing and length to the beltloops.

Things to watch out for in construction:

  • The cut-on waistband changes the method for inserting and finishing the fly.  If you follow the instructions, as I did the second time, it comes out looking super professional. Do follow the instructions!  Do not, as I did the first time, think, “that’s really odd.  why would she want me to do that?  I’m not going to do that,” and go your own way.  Details:
  • Size range
    • 6 – 26 roughly corresponding to ready-to-wear.  A 26 is B52″/W44″/H54″
  • What size did you make?
    • I started with a 26, and customized quite a bit.
  • What are your measurements, height, and body type?
    • I’m a 5’3″ rectangle I guess; my hips and bust aren’t that much bigger than my waist.  50B/47W/54H.
  • What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
    • I lowered the waist a bit in back and significantly in front.
    • Added a couple inches to the front waist by angling out the princess seams; subtracted a couple inches from the back waist by angling them in
    • Replaced the crotch shape with the custom shape I’ve come to prefer
    • This didn’t take me all that long because I’ve adjusted other HotPatterns trousers before and I knew what I was doing.
  • What fabric did you use?
    • The first pair (black) is a cotton/lycra twill; the second (blue) is a cotton/tencel blend.
  • What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
    • I’ve complained about the sparseness of HotPatterns instructions before, but they’ve come a long way and the instructions on this pattern were super straightforward and clear, with helpful illustrations where I most needed them – once I got around to reading them.
    • Construction was straighforward, albeit a bit finicky with all that topstitching and so many pockets to make sure are the same on both sides
  • How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
      • I really like how I got the fit adjusted to my shape, the princess seams really helped match the garment’s contour to my body’s contour.  Because of this easy customizability, I would recommend this design for pretty much any shape.
      • There are some who might say it’s not flattering to put bulky cargo pockets on my big fat butt and thighs, and to them I say, I like pockets and also:

    via GIPHY

  • Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
    • I definitely plan to make it again, and again.  I want to try dressing it up, by using a wool blend suiting and leaving off the pockets.  I want to badass it up by using pleather.  To start with.

Pattern Rating

Size Range (1-5) – 3 – from my perspective as a plus-size sewist, a 26 isn’t very big
Instructions (1-5) – 4.5 – clear and simple, but probably not suitable for the absolute beginner
Construction Process (1-5) – 5 – These went together exactly as expected and described.
Final Fit (1-5) – 5 – The princess seams helped me to get a really nice fit.
Overall Rating (1-5) – 4 – A good trouser, easily adaptable for many figure types, and quite fashionable right now.


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