Monday, October 24, 2011

Blaze Orange, Part 2

Wow, these are bright! I think they will serve their eye-catching purpose well.

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband wanted hunting gear that actually fit, hence the hunt for blaze orange fabric. And my husband found that even more fun than the fabric shopping was the opportunity to tweak the pattern to fit his specifications.

Now, I often tweak a pattern for fit during the sewing, and maybe add an embellishment, but I rarely try to overhaul it several times during the process (: Well, ours is a marriage of an idea man and a love-a-challenge junkie, and so these pants have ... several "improvements" from the pattern.

The orange fabric is some sort of non-stretchy, lightweight, microfleece(?). It feels like a synthetic flannel. The lining is quilted supplex. We found both fabrics at S.R. Harris and the total cost for the pants was less than $25, including the two zippers. We saw hunting bibs like this at the store for $130, but they didn't feature my husband's major improvement on the idea: a removable lining.

Making the lining removable meant that I couldn't sew the layers together, thus enclosing all the seams neatly. And I had to put in a zipper for each layer, since they wouldn't be connected at the zipper.

They are so huge, Molly is dwarfed by one leg.

Instead of connecting the powder cuff to both layers, I hemmed the shell, and attached the powder cuff to just the lining.

The front zippers are exposed zips. Unless there's a pattern error, my zip openings got a little too wide and I had to scrunch the fabric in a bit to get it to fit on the zipper tape.

Inside view of the bib front lining.

The layers attach by hidden buttons, two in the front and one in the back.

Since the top of the bibs are not attached to each other, I had to finish the edges some other way. I used single fold bias tape, which allowed me to turn under the edge and hide the bias tape. I was glad to avoid the crafty pot holder look visible bias tape would have given me!

Inside lining in the back with button.

Here's the full lining, which has no straps. In the fitting stage, my husband felt he wanted a lot more wiggle room, especially considering he might be kneeling, sitting, whatever you do when you're deer hunting.

I think I made one crucial error in making this pattern: I think it's meant for ski pants, and possibly they have less room in the backside that normal overalls have (you know how overalls are always super baggy?). Also, for the sake of simplicity, I eliminated the stretchy side inserts the pattern calls for. I just incorporated them into the regular fabric.

They definitely weren't tight, but hubby wanted a lot more mobility, so we added "godets" at the waist. Fancy, huh?

Thick fleece instead of the quilted thinsulate, to reduce bulk.

Lining with buttonholes.
The waist inserts are hardly visible in the blaze orange camo. Now the pants are definitely roomy enough! My main regret is not using wide enough elastic for the straps - they turned out really ruffly. I may tighten them up a bit later.

I had planned on adding ankle zippers, but the pants actually fit quite well over clunky boots without the zips.

The pattern I used is Green Pepper #105 which I ordered from The Green Pepper. I was surprised I had to fax my order since their website is archaic. But my order came in the mail very quickly and when I called them, the staff was friendly and seemed to have an organized system going.


  1. Wow!! You definitely win for best wife ever. Those pants are darn awesome.

  2. un-Believable, I'm quite astounded by the level of detail in these. (And, Sounds like you have a marriage made in heaven.) I've been thinking about trousers lately and read that pants made mostly for standing have less fabric in the seat. The example given was traditional train conductor pants that were just made for standing and strolling. Perhaps ski pants are a bit the same?

  3. Wow! too! What wonderful pants! This was truly a labor of love:)

  4. These are incredible! The details are amazing, and they look fantastic. I hope they perform well in the field and your husband gets lots of use out of them; and that you get lots of yummy venison:-)

  5. Pammie took the words right out of my mouth! Such an amazing job and so detailed!

  6. That looks like a huge effort! Great work.

  7. You really did a super job. Pretty sure no one will mistake him for a deer with all that bright coloring :O). They look like they were a lot of work but they turned out super!

  8. Good. Grief.

    I'm pretty sure I could have managed the POT HOLDER that your bias tape might have resembled... that's about it.

    I believe you have now officially travelled on into the territory of Madwoman. But, at least you got some mad skillz out of the deal.

    (you're still crazy, though.)

  9. These pants are so functional and great looking…..for hunting gear. Just goes to show what collaboration between an idea man & a love a challenge gal will produce. This post reminds me that somewhere in my fabric stash I have some blaze orange fabric as well as fur lined camouflage fabric. Too bad the hunter is now my sister's ex.

  10. I agree, best wife ever award. These are totally awesome.

    I am now going to leave the page and clear my browser history because my step-father-in-law is coming next week and if he sees these I will wind up roped into making something similar, and then I would have to shoot myself. Or someone, anyway.

    Good job! And great improvements! :)

  11. These are very impressive, but so much work! I had a horrible thought that the removable liner meant you might have to make more liners (for washing ?) then realised that it is probably for cold hunting or warmer weather hunting? You are a very good wife, and I am so glad I do not have to make these!

  12. Hats off to you! These are definitely met the challenge and then some!


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