When Heather from Closet Case Patterns released the Rome Collection, I knew there was one design in there that I had to make.
The Pietra Pants! I had a pair of pants like these years ago, complete with the elastic back waist, smooth front and tapered legs. I wore them to death, and they didn’t fit half as well as these!
In saying that, I did have a few fit issues to start with. I originally cut a size 14 at the hip and a 12 at the waist, hoping to avoid the extra step of adding in an invisible zipper. I should have cut a 10 at the waist right from the get-go. My first toile (toiles are not pictured) was baggy around the top, and there were some strange crotch whiskers (for lack of a better word), but the fit through the thigh was quite good.
For my second toile, I took about 3cm from the front waist along the crotch and mid-thigh seams. I also took about 3cm from the back waist. I tried them on, and initially thought I had done a good job. A few hours went by and I looked at the fit much closer. Those crotch whiskers were worse, and the pants looked over-fitted.
I sent some pictures to my pattern-drafting-friend-extraordinaire (aka Monica), asking for some advice. She suggested that I shouldn’t mess with the crotch seam, as taking out any amount here will change the curve, resulting in more whiskers.
So I buckled down for my third toile. With Monica’s recommendations, I put 1/2cm back into the crotch seam at the waist, which straightened up that line. I also changed the angle of the crotch curve based off a pant block that Monica had drawn to fit me perfectly (I raised the front crotch by about 1cm). I also reduced the amount of ease I had taken out of the back waistband by adding in 1/2cm. Finally, I tried them on. They fit perfectly.
To get the perfect fit, I needed an invisible zipper. The original drafted style is a pull-on pant, which is fine if you’re a straight size, but the difference between my waist and thigh is just too great for that to work. As it turns out, the zipper is pretty much invisible, and I’m thrilled with how it looks. Heather recently released a blog post on installing an invisible zipper into the pants, which I followed.
I actually think this waistband is the most defining feature of the pants. It is SO comfortable, I can’t begin to tell you! I absolutely love it!
I had the smallest scrap of bias binding made from leftover cotton chambray from a project long ago. It was exactly the right length to bind the edge of the waist-stay. This is such a clean way of finishing a raw edge, I think I’ll try to do it more often.
- Pattern brand/name/number: Pietra Pants by Closet Case Patterns
- Style, size: View B, 12 at waist, 14 at hip
- Fabric: Textured Lyocell (70%) and Linen (30%) blend from Spotlight in the colour Brick
- Notions: Invisible zipper (20cm), 5cm wide elastic from Spotlight, iron-on fusing, matching thread
- Took 1/2cm from either side of the mid-thigh seam at the waistline, tapered off to nothing just above the pocket (adds up to 2cm across the front waist).
- Adjusted the waist-stay pieces to match the alterations I made to the front.
- Raised the crotch curve by roughly 1cm, and slightly changed the angle of the curve.
- Took 1cm of ease out of the back by cutting down the grainline from the waist to the hem, leaving the pieces joined by a sliver. Pick up one piece and overlap it by 1cm from the cut edge on the other side (adds up to 2cm across the back waist). Tape down evenly.
- Inserted an invisible zipper.
- Shortened the leg length by 3cm using the lowest shorten/lengthen line.
I find fitting pants to be trial and error most of the time. Sometimes you nail the mods the first time around. Other times, you have to make 3 toiles.
Either way, I am so happy with my finished pair of pants! The fabric feels almost slubby, but has great movement and is very light. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing these pants all spring/summer long!