Pietra pants- with zip

So, I succumbed to the siren song of elastic waist pants, again.  The enticement of elastic waist pants is hard to ignore.  Who doesn’t want to live in stretchy waist accommodating comfort?   Yet, if I am looking for a pant that fits well and is complimentary- I find elastic waist pants prove as difficult as fitted pants to fit the bill.  Because, here’s the thing: all that fabric and ease- which provides so much comfort- is not super flattering gathered around my mid-section. I have not yet found an elastic waist pant pattern that I would make again- that is until I made up the Pietra pant which is part of the new Rome Collection by Closet Case.  I already have another pair on the cutting table.

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There were some obvious design elements that suggested the Pietra pant might be more flattering than my past elastic pant makes. I love the front seam and clever straight-cut pocket. Also, there is a flat front with elastic only in the back. Even so- I made several modifications to this pattern because - well it’s typical for me.  First, I took an inch off the top of the front and back. I like my pants to sit at my mid-section- not above.  I also reduced the waistband to accommodate 1 ½ inch elastic instead of 2 inch- partly because it was what I had on hand, and partly because that seemed wide enough.  I shortened the front crotch after checking for fit, because it was necessary.

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The most significant modification was adding an invisible zipper on the side- an idea first used and blogged about by Mia at Sewnorth here- thanks for the inspired idea!  When I tried the pants on for fit, I didn’t like all of the fabric and fullness in the rear.  So, I reduced the fullness by taking in the center back seam.  However, reducing the fullness made the pants a bit too tight to wiggle into them.  An invisible zipper solved the problem and makes the pants pretty perfect. See side zipper glam shot below.

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I used a denim chambray from Lakes Makerie as a wearable toile, and while the fabric color and weight is fabulous, I worry they won’t be super sturdy.  That’s why I feel rushed to make another pair.

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The top is the trusty Colette Laurel without back darts.  The fabric is such a winning Scandi print that I found from Juniper Blue Textiles. The print is so cool- I didn’t want to distract from it with a more complicated pattern.

Fresh in Fiona

Heat wave!  Just because our winters are long and cold here in Minnesota- that doesn’t mean are summer’s aren’t hot …and humid.  This past week- we were under a heat advisory.  Our house is nearly 100 years old and we don’t have air conditioning.  On Friday, it was 92 degrees Fahrenheit in our dining room. Thank heavens, I had just finished the Fiona Sundress by Closet Case patterns- a fetching choice when weather and moods are steamy.

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Even though there are several denim Fionas out there- including the pattern styling shown here- I also chose a substantial denim with stretch from Treadle Yard Goods for my Fiona. My daughter thought that denim would be too hot- but denim is wilt proof and I wanted fabric with substance for a more structured sundress. The cut of this dress is fabulous- flattering and definitely cool- even in this heat.

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This was my first experience with a Closet Case pattern.  And I found the pattern fit true to their sizing chart.  I cut a size 4 and graded to a 6 in the waist and an 8 in the hips. I followed the clear and thorough instructions.  Once the dress was sewn up- I decided to let out the hip side seams a bit for more ease since the fabric was so stiff.  I also fiddled with the strap placement.

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During construction, I was hoping to find some way to distinguish my denim Fiona from all the others, so I am super grateful for the inspiration from SewitCurly to cover buttons with flowers.  I used Liberty Strawberry Thief scraps- Liberty scraps are endlessly useful. I used the simple button covering kits widely available. I covered buttons quite a bit when I was sewing for the kids when they were small- but that was ages ago. It was satisfying and fun to pop out some one of a kind buttons.

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I am super pleased with the results. And a sure sign of a winning project is when daughter asks me to make the same for her.

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