Monday, March 2, 2020

Pietra gray Pietra pants from Closet Case Patterns, with modifications

Finally complete-- my Pietra Pants! As y'all probably know, I'm a huge fan of Closet Case Patterns, but these were a bit of a struggle for me. 

I have yet to meet an elastic waist pant that I like the look of, I've sewn up several that have ended up in the pajama drawer. But after seeing so many happy bloggers and instagrammers showing off elastic waist bums that looked just fine, I thought that perhaps Closet Case had perhaps worked some magic...

The pattern, as usual, was a pleasure to sew. Since I know Closet Case patterns tend to fit me right out of the envelope, I sewed these up without a muslin, to my measurements. My fabric was a stone gray (pietra!) medium-heavy weight linen from They came together quickly, with the neat construction typical of Closet Case, facilitated by their fantastic instructions.

The fit was perfect, as usual. The front view was gorgeous, love those pockets!

However, when I spun in front of the mirror, I was instantly horrified by the back view. The baggy butt was there, in all its fabric glory. Most likely the effect was intensified by my fabric choice... light gray moderately heavy linen (7 oz) certainly does not have a flattering gather. The thought of elephant skin jumped into my head, and would not leave. The pants got wadded up and buried in the bottom of my project bin.

I thought about taking a photo for before and after purposes, but could not muster the energy to wrangle a rear end selfie. And dear audience, no matter how much you might say that the rear view was really not that bad, the image of a pachyderm was not going to be easily dislodged.

After working my way through several other projects, glimpses of gray started taunting me, and this weekend I finally hauled the dreaded baggy butt pant out of the bin and went to work. Closet Case actually does have a tutorial addressing both the addition of a zipper and the removal of excess ease (on the side of the pant) for certain fabrics that don't play well with gathering, and I took these to heart and went even further in my hack-job modifications.

I unpicked the entire back of the pant, and took (very approximately) 1 inch out of each back side seam, 2 inches out of the center back, and made 1 inch darts over each buttock. I shortened the back waistband to fit the new dimensions of the rear of the pant. I added a side seam invisible zip. It was still was a little loose... so I added the elastic back into the rear waistband.

And the result...

I love the result, for me it is a good compromise between a bit of comfort ease in the back and a tidy rear end that I'm not going to be constantly hiding under untucked shirts and tunics. 

Now that my difficulties are behind me 😉, I love the taper of the leg and the huge front pockets. I might need more of these, especially with spring rolling around. I think if I try to sew these again, I might lay out the rear panel of the Pietra over the Jenny trouser pattern to see a hybrid of some sort might work. 

So happy to finally get my Pietra fix. These are on their way to become a favorite in my wardrobe (with modifications!)

Readers, how do you feel about elastic waist pants? I love the look of some of the RTW elastic waist pants out there, ES Florence pants come to mind, but I have no idea if I'd like wearing them. Do you like the look, or do you tolerate them for the comfort factor? 

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