Sometimes a fabric has a really hard time telling you what it wants to become. This blue chambray from Califabrics was one of those. The description said this fabric was a “lighter midweight” and had a spandex content that gave it 10% stretch. It turned out to have no stretch at all and was very sturdy — almost a denim. (I guess that is a lighter midweight.) As described in my most recent module plans, I was going to make a Sew Liberated Aida top with this fabric, but it had too much structure. My module still needed one more bottom and I had a terrible time selecting a woven bottom.
My focus has been on making clothes I can comfortably wear working from home, so I finally landed on a pair of Closet Case Pietra Pants in View B, the narrow leg trousers. I had made the wide leg and the shorts, so this would complete all views.
I’m not thrilled with how they came out. Nothing to do with the pattern. Just after making two pairs of pants recently using stretch denim and twill (which I was thrilled with), I’m not that into woven pants with no stretch. They require a lot of wearing ease just so you can sit down. This translates to bagginess and wrinkles when you’re standing up.
See, the pants fit really great when I’m sitting down!
I had a couple issues with construction. As the pattern suggests, after inserting half of the elastic waistband, you should try the pants on to see if they’re tight enough. They weren’t, so I shortened the elastic by an inch (to 30.5″). The waistband is still kind of loose, and it’s difficult to get the pants over my hips. I’ve seen other sewists have inserted an invisible side zipper in addition to the elastic waist — I probably should have gone this route.
The pants give me a bit of a diaper bum that I’m not in love with…
The length was also an issue. I read the pattern wrong and thought it said the inseam was 31″. So I added 2″ to this to make what I thought would be a 33″ inseam, which is what I typically wear (I’m 5’8″). I got to sewing the front pant leg and held it up to myself. It was super short! I looked at the pattern again and it turns out the 31″ inseam was for View A — wide leg trousers! My view was a 25″ inseam. TWENTY-FIVE! That means my inseam was now 27″ — fully 6″ less than I had intended.
It killed me because I had a full yard leftover and easily could have cut longer legs to start. Also because my wide-leg cropped trousers are now pajama pants because it turns out: I really don’t like short pants. I set out to make long pants and had been seriously aggrieved. [From now on, I’m measuring the inseam on the pieces before cutting, just as a sanity-check.]
My solution was to cut 7″ of fabric and sew it to the bottoms of all the leg pieces. Ever done this before?
I thought it would look horrendous, but at the bottom of the pants, with this busy print, my husband couldn’t see it even when I pointed it out. The pieces don’t match up here because I also discovered that my 2″ original addition wasn’t on all the pattern pieces. Some of them had only had an inch added. Saboteurs!
The last modification was one that could have easily been avoided. I had watched Karina from Lifting Pins and Needle’s awesome video on her Pietra pants. She said they came out too high for her and she ended up cutting the waistband and waistband facing just across the top before she sewed them. I thought about this, but I had shortened the rise by 1″ and so didn’t think I’d need to do this. I hoped against hope that the pants wouldn’t be too high (like the last two times I made them).
Sure enough, they were too high. That’s the style, but I just can’t rock it. I need pants to sit at my natural waist. 2″ above the natural waist is just uncomfortable for me. I was very mad at these pants by the end, so I just turned the waistband over to the inside and sewed it down.
This worked out pretty well because it made a little waistband detail that I like on the front, AND made the waist smaller, which I needed, AND lowered the front, which was great.
For my birthday last week, my husband had some special labels made for me and this is my first make that got one sewn inside! The folded-in waist doesn’t look great from the inside, but I’ll only be looking at the label! I put it in the front so I could always see it.
These pants were the last piece in my spring module, so I’ll model the entire collection in my next post. I can’t wait to share it! -rp