I must admit that my first impression of this trouser / short pattern wasn’t very favourable: I actually plain didn’t like them. It was only when tester versions started to appear that I saw their appeal: there was something about the Closet Case Patterns styling that just wasn’t working for me.
We booked our holiday to Ljubljana last week, and I knew I needed a new pair of shorts. I’ve needed more for years, but after my failure in this department last year I wasn’t rushing into making a new pair. When I started looking I discovered that shorts patterns are few and far between and I think my tastes must be very old-fashioned as there weren’t any alternative patterns that really attracted me, so the Pietra it was!
Again, as per almost always, I shopped my stash. I had two choices of fabric and to help me make the decision I held both against my peely waly* legs and checked out which made them look
least bad most attractive. The pale blue twill won, and I cut out that same night.
*Scottish term for something pale, normally relating to skin tone: “Jings, she’s looking peely waly, do you think she’s alright?”
I graded between the 10 at the waist and 8 on the hips. There’s a lot of ease in the hips, so I decided against making a straight size 10 as I thought I’d lose the streamlined look with too much ease. Also, one of the issues that I’ve noticed from the other versions, is a rather generous crotch curve, which leads to bagginess around the front in a location that a woman generally does not need bagginess.
This is my first time making a CCP item, and I was disappointed by the lack of lengthen lines for the length of the shorts. The only shorten/lengthen line is located above the crotch, but that’s no use for lengthening the legs of the shorts! I pondered what to do, and decided on adding an inch below the crotch notch (catchy title), following the grainline to make sure length was added in the right direction. This was a real experiment and I just crossed my fingers that I would be happy with this.
Then, my worries took hold and I decided to add half an inch at the official lengthen/shorten line. And this is my biggest regret of them all.
The shorts came together really quickly: I cut them out one night, the next night made a small start, and then the next morning had them finished before lunchtime and on my body for my afternoon walk in the hills. I took a tripod and camera in order to get pictures, which was great fun!
I am also very glad that I added that inch to the leg as I like the length I’ve ended up with, but I really regret adding that half inch extra in the rise. Completely unnecessary, and that was just me being ultra-cautious. In future I will try to trust my instincts as to how a pattern is going to fit me. The excess fabric in the crotch becomes more apparent in the action shots:
Despite all of the above, I still don’t love the elastic at the back. In fact, on my way back I had basically made the decision to rip it out, add some darts and draft a new back waistline. However, these are finished beautifully, with bound seam allowances throughout (apart from the side seam) and it will take quite a lot of effort to unpick all of that! Time will tell whether I wear the shorts as they are, or whether I decide to do some modifications to better suit my body.
What I wear on top will have a big impact, I quite like it with the flowery cotton tee (for more details, see here) which I do actually like. I am planning on making a scrappy tee with this pattern, adjusting the armholes so that they fit me better.
With the yellow t-shirt (not yet blogged), it looks incredibly unflattering tucked in, and then the t-shirt is too long and makes me look very shapeless, untucked. It will require a bit of playing around with my tops to see how to wear the Pietra, but I will try and get a style that works.
If I make this again, there will be big changes. I will swap the back elastic for darts and an invisible zip as I do like the front (apart from the baggy crotch!). They might make useful trousers, but I will need to see how much these are worn prior to making more.
What do you think? Should I rip them up and remake the back? Or do you think they’re wearable? Would you wear the Pietra? Let me know, I am really interested in how this pattern is received.