Pietra in Italia

I’ve just got back from a lovely holiday in southern Italy. It was hot, beachy and full of pasta and aperitivos which is quite ideal. I was also really pleased to find I packed a nearly 100% handmade holiday wardrobe without even trying – a lot of which are old makes stretching back to 2015 or so (including the top I’m also wearing here), but these are the only thing I made specifically for the trip: a pair of Closet Case Patterns’ new Pietra Shorts.

Heather kindly sent me the Rome Collection on its release, and while I like all the garments, it was obviously the trousers that drew me in first. I actually made these shorts after making two pairs of the pants version which I am yet to wear or photograph (as it’s been too warm!) so I could apply some learnings about fit and so forth which made these a very fast pre-hol sew.

I made a size 10 blended to 12 at the hip and additionally did full butt and thigh adjustments as I did when I made the pants. Interestingly though, the shorts have a lot more ease at the hip compared to the slim-leg trouser view: this can be seen in the useful finished garment measurement table but I neglected to check the different measurements between the views, so while my pants fit snugly these are actually a bit loose and I took in the side seams about 3/4″ on each side during construction to compensate.

They are still comfortably loose in fit when worn but I do have to do some serious wriggling to get them on and off! Heather suggests if you need to grade up more than two sizes between waist and hip you would probably want to put in a side seam invisible zip for ease of dressing, and I think I will do this in any future pairs – it will stop causing strain on the waistline too so probably help them hold their shape longer. I think for any fellow pears you’d probably want to consider doing the same.

A lot of people have been curious about the back view of this pattern as the back waistline is elasticated (the front is flat and elegantly finished with a facing). I’m pleasantly surprised that the backside view doesn’t look too bunched or unflattering, even in this fabric I used which is the upper limit of weight you’d probably want to use: it’s leftovers from the lightweight crisp New Craft House denim I used for my Yanta Overalls. Heather said she drafted the back waistline a little lower than is traditional in order to hug the small of the back, and while it felt a bit uncomfortable to me at first and I was tempted to increase the back rise (this is a common big butt adjustment to make, too) I do see the benefit as the topstitched elastic does indeed sit smoothly against the back, especially with a blousy half-tucked top kinda vibe.

These were a delight to wear in their namesake country, though I did obviously get them quite grubby scrabbling around on the rocks! I’ll share my pants versions as soon as it’s cool enough to wear them; I don’t think it’ll be the last time I pick up this pattern.

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