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The Pietra Pants

Hi my name is Faye, I blog at thefairstitch.com and I share the behind the seams ( ;-) ) of my projects on my Instagram @thefairstitch. I’m so happy to be here with the Minerva Maker Team and I’m here with my very first project; the Pietra Pants. So let’s talk about this make, shall we?

The Fabric

This Beautiful Fabric is 100% cotton medium weight shirting fabric from Lady McElroy. As the name suggests, it is ideal for making shirts. However, because it is medium weight with little drape and it actually feels quite sturdy, I think it is substantial enough for a pair of trousers or skirt. Although I must say, it can be just a tad transparent, but not overly so that you’d need to completely line your garment. If I put it against colourful fabric, it’d show a little.

The stripes on the fabric are dark green colour, it’s so beautiful against the camel colour. It is also easy to wash, iron (hot with generous steam), cut, and sew. The stripes are exactly 1 inch apart and they run on the grain line. The good news is, the stripes (green thread) are woven into the fabric – not printed. It means that to find your grain line when cutting, just choose a stripe. In fact that’s what I did.

The thread I used for this fabric is Gütermann Sew All in colour 169, perfect match.

The Pattern

The pattern is relatively new, Closet Case Patterns launched this as a part of their Rome collection in June this year. I love the whole collection, but the Pietra is the one that stole my heart and messed up my sewing plans haha.

The kind people at Minerva sent me this amazing fabric right around the time CCP launched the Rome collection. To be honest, my original plan was to make another Kalle shirtdress by CCP – yes, there’s a theme here, I love Closet Case Patterns :-D But sometimes plans change, right? And so, my Kalle turned into this amazing (if I may say so myself) pair of Pietra Pants (or trousers for those us living here in the UK).

The Pietra came in three views; wide legged, tapered, and shorts. For the tapered and wide legged options you can choose to have them cropped or full hem. I went with cropped tapered option. I drew my inspiration from Audrey Hepburn’s signature style (cropped trousers and flats), also from one of Mrs. Maisel’s looks where she was doing her routine (stand-up) with similar outfit.

As the chillier autumn days getting nearer, I think these trousers paired with cropped jumper/cardi would be lovely, don’t you think?

The Sewing Experience

I made mine in straight size 10, I am 30” on the waist, 39” on the hips and 5’2.5” tall. On the pattern, size 10 is for those with 29.5” waist, but because these trousers have more give in the back thanks to the elastic, I just went with it. Although if I particularly wanted to, I could’ve sewn my side seams at ½” SA instead of the 5/8” called by the pattern, that would make up for the difference.

There are a few changes to the pattern that I did:

  1. I shortened the rise by 2cm. These trousers have very high rise, and on my toile the crotch was too low and if I were to pull the trousers up they’d go way too high over my natural waist.

  2. I moved up the knee notches by 4cm. One of the things I love about CCP patterns is that you get knee notches on the pattern.

  3. I shortened the legs by 2.5cm.

  4. I cut the back waistband across the grain to have more interesting horizontal lines there. I think it looks better that way, especially because I think it’d be next to impossible to make the lines of the waistband and legs to meet and line perfectly as there are gathers. It’d look a bit messier than I’d have liked. I wasn’t worried about doing this as the fabric doesn’t have any stretch at all on both directions.

I love the details in this make – very chic. The elastic back makes this trousers very comfortable, but the fabric choice and the flat front make them more of smart trousers. There’s no zipper or buttons involved here, very beginner friendly I think. It took me a day to sew the trousers, even with my fussing over the stripes.

The pattern itself is amazing. It is well drafted, the instructions are clear, and there are handy tips, trick, and techniques in there too to help us sewists along the process. As with sewing any garment, making a toile or wearable toile first is highly recommended. Also, I must say, the construction of the back waistband is so clever!

I can say I am happy with how this garment turned out, though I am sure there’s still a tweak or two I can do regarding the fit for the next version.

A little note on cutting the fabric

As you can see, I put a little extra effort to match the stripes, especially around the crotch and pockets. I didn’t do the front princess seams and side seams though, not sure if they’re even possible? As this was my first stripe project, I decided to go easy on myself and just go with the easier bits.

As I said, I used the stripe as my grain line. To help the process, I elongated the grain line on the pattern to the edges of each pattern pieces as pictured. And I just made sure they’re following the stripe on the fabric – fortunately my paper isn’t too opaque (I just printed on regular 80gsm copy paper) so I could just about see the stripes through the paper. Also, I cut the fabric one layer at a time to make sure that when I had to cut multiple pieces they were all identical. The fabric itself doesn’t have a right or wrong side, but I still treated it as if it did, for consistency and just in case… you know? When cutting (as I was dealing with the elongated grain line on the pattern paper), to avoid flipping the paper I flipped the fabric instead. So one set I cut with right side facing up, and the other set I cut with wrong side facing up.

So, I hope this post is helpful to you if you’re thinking about making the Pietra and using this fabric. Thank you so much for reading, and thank you again Minerva for letting me play with this amazing fabric.

Faye @thefairstitch

Comments (2)

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Lia Marcoux said:

Super sharp! Who would have guessed you could get such a chic cigarette pants silhouette from an elastic-waist pattern? · 9th Oct 2019 04:52pm

Georgina Filby said:

I love these trousers, Faye- you've done a fab job! I would never have thought of using that fabric, but you have inspired me! Great pics, too; I really enjoy seeing the details of someone's make. Very impressed with your pattern matching. I think I'll be adding this pattern to my 'must have' list ;~) · 19th Sep 2019 10:03pm