Closet Case Pietra Pants

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This is a very different style for me!

I was after a light weight trouser for work but also to feel half dressed up but comfy when working from home. I’m usually a peg leg/skinny leg type gal so I wasn’t sure if these were going to be a complete waste of time or just what I was looking for.

I saw so many of these worn all across Me Made May on a daily basis, all in linen of various blends, so it is obviously a well loved pattern. These are the Closet Case Pietra Pant, with tapered leg.

I think it was the elastic waist band (although only at the back) that was putting me off, but that is exactly what I was drawn towards!

I have a couple of pairs of super comfy elastic waist band RTW trousers but you can’t actually tell it is elastic when they are on. I’ve stopped buying RTW clothes so am consciously looking out for replacement me made trousers for the future that I know I can reproduce at a faction of the cost with vastly improved fit!!

So what can I say. After wearing them for a day, I’m so pleased to say that I love them!!

However to get here I made a few changes.

I’m really not a fan of the paper bag rear bum look on me. So I took out as much width as possible at the waist (rear pattern piece) so I could just about pull them on, over my bum, without resorting to a side zip.

Looking at this photo I think I could take out another 5mm from the back seam.

Someone on instagram of my shape (and age!!!!), and I can’t remember who, I’m sorry, said they found them extremely high waisted so advised taking an inch or more out of the rise. This was extremely good advice! I took out an inch, on my next pair I will take 2!

I cut a size 10, according to my hip measurement and graded in to a size 8. I usually have to grade out for my waist. After nearly finishing them, I took a further size out of the side seam, and a further 5mm out of the crotch and right up the rear back seam. I also took 5mm out of the inner thigh area. Next time I will make a straight size 6 and then open up the seam allowances if necessary.

I used an inexpensive (£5.99/m) linen look suiting fabric from Minerva. I really wasn’t convinced when it arrived as a flat piece of fabric, but now made up, the fabric has texture and the right amount of drape. And as a huge bonus, doesn’t crease!!!!!!!!!!

Closet Case Patterns are know for their excellent instructions, and these pants were no different. I love the unusual pocket incorporated into a front leg panel. The front seam gives them interest and structure.

It still feels a bit weird, getting used to a baggy style. My husband really wasn’t sure about them! Are they ageing or elegant? Does that matter? Do they look like something out of those Sunday supplements that you would pair with velcro slippers?

I don’t think I would ever intentionally show the back elastic, although there are plenty of elastic waist/draw string trousers in the shops(internet/endless ads). But maybe that is just a consequence of many of us working from home on our kitchen tables too near the fridge!

I’m off to dig out my Velcro slippers.

Love, Lucie xx


  1. I love them! Very elegant and definitely not ageing. I too may have been cautious about making an elastic waisted trouser – is it the rocky road to being able to indulge food and drinkwise? Not if you ever wear leggings or leisure wear – some days (every day?) you need to wear something comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I can’t tell you how comfy they are. Is this the way forward? Mind you having made my cargos and skinny jeans recently I think that just the fact that they are made to measure, makes them infinitely more comfy (and flattering!)


  2. They look good on you, definitely not “old lady” pants!! I’m making them at the moment but having to do loads of adjustments. I’ve taken 2.5 inches out of the rise plus 3/4 inch out of the front and back waist seam. I’ll make a smaller size next time.


    1. I shall take more out of the rise in my next pair. I think the most successful ones I’ve seen are where they have been adjusted but it’s definitely down to personal taste!!!!!


  3. I have been looking at this pattern today but was in 2 minds because of the elastic at the back but they look amazing on you would you recommend the pattern I am a size 14 rtw and thought the elastic would make them look baggy what would be your thoughts tia sue p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi sue. I have seen some really lovely ones but I think they are most successful where people have adjusted them. They are very high waisted. So definitely take 2’’ out of the rise at the cut line. Baste inner leg and crotch seams before stitching and overlocking. Make according to your hip, not waist. If they are too paper bag like narrow the rear pattern pieces to reduce the volume of fabric at the waist. But you still need to pull them on over your bum or add in a zip. There is a zip tutorial on the closet case website.
      I think they look great on a size 14 figure. But you need to try on lots of different tops to get the look you are happy with and just stick with them. X


  4. I’m with you on the Velcro slippers! Your trousers look oh-so-comfy, but I can still hear a motherly co-worker from the 80’s advising me to “never wear elastic waists with ‘room to grow’ – because you will”. Forty years later and I can still hear her voice, although I can’t remember her name!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Trousers look great on you. We must all be different shapes. I find trousers tend have waists that are too low to actually fit round my waist and if they fit my bottom (and I don’t have a big bottom – it’s even smaller than it was!) they are too loose round the waist, so I like elastic as there is a chance they will fit without needing a belt. Maybe I should investigate your pattern. When I made trousers with my current pattern, after the first go, I had to raise the waist.


  6. Beautiful trousers and you look great in them! Very modern and fashion forward. Thank you for all the fitting tips and advice. I’ve had the pattern for a while and fabric but sometimes a new pant pattern can be daunting. You have given me the courage! Heather Lou does a superb job with her patterns. I’m just so confused by all the “old lady” talk..,,,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I would say this is the least daunting trouser pattern ever, so stop putting it off😉. Just make sure your using a medium weight fabric so it doesn’t bunch too much on the bum.


  7. Many thanks for the Pietra adjustment tutorial. I also found some great tips from Karina @Lifting Pins and Needles. She found the pants too high waisted and adjusted the pattern. I am leaning towards elastic waist pants because as I age the difference between my waist and hip measurements is diminishing though I am not ready to give up some pizzaz in my clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You look amazing in them Lucie. Am going to take the plunge and give them a go! In fact I love your whole look, can I ask where your stripey top is from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. They are perfect WFH pants! The top is from Jigsaw, bought in the sale on NYE. I’ve checked and they don’t have any unfortunately. I’ll definitely be taking a pattern off it. It is the very last item of RTW clothing I bought.


  9. Wow – these pants look fantastic on you! I am brand new to sewing and this pattern is the very first pattern I am hoping to make (I have just completed a week-long sewing course where I made a dress but with a lot of help!) as I am a trouser girl! I was also a tad concerned about the elastic but love the flat-front of the trousers and the pockets. They look amazing in navy and so chic with your breton-inspired top – I think I will have to buy that fabric! I am planning on making the wide ones first and although I am 6ft, I still think I will reduce the rise to have it fit a little lower. I would normally buy a UK12 in pants, would you suggest sizing down a size? TIA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Margo! Lovely to hear from you.
      Well done for considering trousers for your first make! I’m not sure I would have been that brave😉
      I think you should make the size that matches with your hip size, you can always take them in afterwards. I wouldn’t consider making any changes to them if this is your first pattern after your sewing course. I would make them up in their entirety in some cheap fabric for practice and then see where you would make changes for your next pair. Hope that helps. I hope they will be a success, the instructions are very clear. Good luck!!


      1. Thanks so much for the tips, Lucie! I will definitely make a calico first – I’ve bought some light and medium weight calico so will use one of those. I’ll make the size 8 (12) and then take it from there! I spent 3 hours yesterday marking out the size in red on the main pattern and then tracing all the pieces so I can keep the pattern intact! That was a job and a half!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve looked at many Pietras on the web and yours fit the best of them all! (the shorts too!) They look very stylish. Well done!

    I shortened the rise by 2 inches, but I’m mystified by how to shorten the pocket! How did you handle that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was mind boggling because you have to take the 2 inches twice! It was a bit of trial and error but I took 2 inches out of both side leg pieces, then arranged and basted them to make sure they met up with the front leg. I think my pocket end up an inch deeper than designed as perhaps I should have taken 2 inches off the upper side leg piece twice. Does that make sense?


      1. I was thinking the pockets were going to be far shallower than designed. I just can’t wrap my brain around it! Full disclosure…on my first muslin I made the pockets upside down! 🤦‍♀️
        We’re getting a blizzard here today, so as long as the power doesn’t go out, I have all day to work on them. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the quick reply!

        Liked by 1 person

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