We nearly broke up. It wasn’t smooth sailing. There was a lot of swearing and at times, I didn’t think we’d make it. But here we are, these trousers are finished and I’m so glad we made it through!

My husband asked me ages ago if I could make him some nice thick hiking/climbing trousers for winter walks and climbs. I said sure, how hard could that be?! We certainly wouldn’t be paying the £100+ for the branded ones that he has been looking at online. The first challenge was finding good fabric, then I came across this softshell. It’s fleece lined so it is warm, and it is waterproof on the outside. I have seen lots of jackets made out of it and realised it would literally be perfect for the trousers he has been looking for!

The fabric is lovely, it’s thick and the marled effect elevates it to looking a bit cooler and gives it an activewear sort of feel. I ordered this particular one as it has 3% spandex and despite the listing describing it as ‘woven, non-stretch’, I thought it might be stretchy. It’s not. That’s fine though, I just thought a bit of give might be useful as my husband can be quite hardwearing on outdoor gear but it’s not needed.

I chose the Thread Theory Jutland Pants as the perfect pattern for these outdoorsy walking trousers. They are quite loose and wide legged and perfect for anyone needing a lot of motion – like when rock climbing! I made some toile shorts for him out of some cotton twill scraps and they fit perfectly so I went ahead and cut these out. It is thick but I had no problems cutting it out using my rotary cutter and cutting mat.

When I started to sew that’s when I had problems, my machine wouldn’t stop skipping stitches! I ploughed ahead and cut some corners such as attaching the pockets flat instread of folding under the seam allowances and adding an elastic waistband instead of a regular one. After I tried literally everything I could think of, I asked Minerva if they had any advice or instructions from the manufacturer. They very kindly put me in touch with some other makers who had also used softshell in their projects. They told me they didn’t find it too tricky to work with and didn’t have any problems with skipped stitches – it must be my machine! Nooo!

By happy coincidence I was due to have a new machine delivered and when it arrived it sewed through this fabric with no problems at all! (I am going to take my other machine in for a service asap). Despite my new success, I still decided not to risk trying to sew a buttonhole through this and instead I used a Hemline Brass Snaps kit to attach a metal snap instead. I LOVE it. It looks so professional and feels really secure. I will be adding these to a lot of makes in the future.

After our ups and downs, I think these trousers look great. The fabric is so fleecy and soft on the inside I am confident they must be warm and snuggly to wear. I hope that hubby will be able to wear them on many a chilly walk in the future!

Until next time, happy sewing!