Closet Case Pietra

Closet Case recently released three new patterns, The Rome Collection (in pdf and print).  This new collection includes the Cielo Top/Dress, the Fiore Skirt and the Pietra Pants. I had the opportunity to test the Pietra pants which are described as “flat front, high-waisted silhouette with the comfort of an elastic waist in the back; featuring lengthening panels in the front with slanted hip pockets and a hidden waist stay“. Four views are included shorts, tapered leg and wide leg with cropped or floor length variations.

I always seem to need more pants, but fitting pants can be a chore. The waistband, the crotch, the hem length, a fly zipper and don’t let it be a tapered leg, sigh. On the other hand I don’t typically love elastic waist bottoms (there are exceptions here) despite the fact they are the easiest to sew. Which basically leaves wide leg pants with a side zip (here, here, here). In all honestly none of those skills are particularly difficult they just tend to take me a little more time than say a pullover dress. This certainly isn’t the right approach as we all know you need to challenge yourself to grow. Regardless, I was hoping the wide leg and elastic waist would make this my go to pants as they would be a quick sew.


Sadly I’m not sure how I feel about these pants. I love the deep front pockets, the flat front and panel legs, I just don’t love the back view. I especially don’t care for it with a shirt tucked in and if I pull the shirt out you lose the nice clean front. The gathers just give me a diaper booty look. Maybe I need to make them a size smaller to reduce the amount of back fabric, but then I’m not sure I could pull them over my hips.

I actually tested the shorts view (which I liked less) and made these pants later because I was determined to love these pants. I blamed the fabric, a heavier twill suiting, and my bad size choice for my dislike of the shorts. I sewed an 18 and the front panel wrapped too far to the back and the thicker fabric exaggerated the gathering issue in the back. So for the pants I used a lighter fabric (feels like a tencel chambray) and sized down to a 16.


It honestly may boiled down to the fact that I’ve never loved elastic at the waistline, whether is a pants waist or a shirt hem. One of my middle school teacher is to blame for this, she always wore elastic hemmed shirts and elastic waist pants so to me there’s a frumpy association. It may also be my weight/size/body shape. I’m definitely an apple carrying more weight in my midsection and hips/butt so maybe that’s an issue. I’m not sure, I don’t hate these pants (though my husband does), but I’m not sure I’m going to try another time. I did wear these to work and received some compliments, so maybe I’m being overly critical?


What I would really love if for Closet Case to come out with a side or back zipper hack/add-on! Maybe I can redraft the back to remove some of the ease and do that myself, hmm… I’ll think about it. In the meantime these aren’t bad just check out some of the other version in the Rome Collection Roundup here . Also Elle of Randomly Happy sewed a linen pair (here) as well as Meg of Cookin & Crafin (here)

As a tester I received the entire Rome Collection and I am definitely looking forward to making the Fiore skirt and Cielo Dress. The short sleeve version of the dress in a linen needs to happen as well as the wrap and button version of the skirt. When/if I get to those you’ll see them here and on Insta. Check out my review below:

Pattern: Pietra Pants by Closet Case

Pattern Description: a flat front, high-waisted silhouette with the comfort of an elastic waist in the back featuring lengthening panels in the front with slanted hip pockets and a hidden waist stay.

Sizing: 0-20 I sewed a 16 pants and 18 shorts

Difficulty: 2/easy

Fabric Used: Pants- black tencel denim chambray Shorts: suiting remnants

Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes, mostly

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

Likes:  Flat front, deep pockets, elastic back waist (in theory)

Dislikes: Elastic waist (in reality) and the pants are really long.

Pattern alterations or any design changes made: I added about 1/2″ to the back crotch. and took maybe 2″ at the hem.

Would I sew it again? Probably not.

Would I recommend it to others? Yes, it just isn’t a win for me.


11 responses to “Closet Case Pietra”

  1. Sorry you don’t love these. I have the same problems with elastic-waist pants. They don’t look great on us curvy women, especially if we like to wear tops untucked. One possible way to get around it is to tuck in the top in the front, untuck in the back, either with a hi-lo hem or just as a look – you see women do this with jeans and dress pants sometimes to give a more casual look. Also, sometimes a wide belt or a scarf helps.


    1. Thank you! I do see women rock the half tucked/half untucked look but I’ve never quite mastered it. I always look sloppy. LOL I’ll try that with these.


  2. Great review of these pants. I think you made them exactly as described. You are correct about the elastic waist not being as polished a look. I really think you can hack the front of these with a fitted back you have already mastered. Then I think you would have the best of both worlds. That flat front just looks amazing on you and it’s a shame you can’t wear more of these. You look really well dressed in this style…minus the elastic waist! 😉 Can’t wait to see the rest of the collection! 🙂


  3. That is a lovely design on the front with the pockets!


    1. Thank you. I do love the pockets.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary in Thailand Avatar
    Mary in Thailand

    IMO, these look great on you. The fit is really nice, from what I can see. No camel-toe, no weird under-butt wrinkling, they look like they fit where they should, and skim where they should. Very classy looking!
    I just read your post on the itch to stitch jeans, and you mention a bit of an issue with a full bottom pulling down the back waistband. May I suggest you go have a look at Sandra Betzina’s pants fitting course over on bluprint? She offers great fitting advice, demonstrates how to alter the patterns, and even shows the issues she talks about on live models. Mom tum, tot pot, full thighs, full butt, flat butt, high hip, long torso, etc, she seems to have it all covered. (no affiliation, just gratitude) The lady who runs closet case files wrote a post on pants fitting too.
    All this said, those itch to stitch jeans look very professional, and I wouldn’t stop wearing them over a minor issue.
    The fabric of that split back camisole is just lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I typically just lengthen the back crotch (but didn’t with the Mt view jeans), but if there’s another way to solve that issue I’d love to learn.


  5. What a shame you didn’t like them, because I absolutely love those shorts on you!


  6. I purchased this pattern a few weeks ago and plan to make a pair out of linen. If successful, I will try a lightweight wool for the fall/winter season. I think the longer, wide leg version looks great on you! We have similar body shapes so I am hopeful after reading your review.


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