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
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.