Summer is officially here and I am in desperate need of some new summer clothes! With a trip coming up at the end of July, I am motivated to get sewing and hopefully have some new favorites to help beat the heat and humidity of the East Coast. My search for patterns was well timed with the new release from Closet Case Patterns. Their Rome Collection was just what I needed and I couldn’t wait to give the new Cielo Top and Pietra Pants patterns a try!
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect woven pants pattern—something comfortable, loose fitting but still flattering and easy to style. I’m not asking for too much, right? I’ve had Papercut’s Palisade Pants and Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks on my list to try but the release of Closet Case’s Pietra Pants bumped it to the top of the list. I instantly loved the totally flat front (no pleats!), an elastic waist back and a choice between wide and tapered legs. It pretty much ticks all my boxes. I do plan to try both of the other patterns on my list this month, so watch for a comparison to see how they measure up!
Choosing the Cielo Top pattern was also a no-brainer. I always love the look of statement sleeves but never think I can pull them off. Probably the closest I get would be the gathered sleeves on the True Bias Roscoe Blouse. As soon as I saw the pattern photos for the Cielo I knew this was the one to try! There is just something about its asymmetric shape I love and how it tapers in at the wrist rather than being gathered. I wasn’t sure about having a pieced sleeve—How would that affect a print? Why break up a sleeve?— but I actually love it! In a soft, drapey fabric you get all the drama but strangely not too much volume. Really it’s the best of both worlds!
In picking out fabrics for both of these patterns, I went with lighter weight summer favorites I know will travel well and will feel great no matter the temperature. All of the fabrics I have been pulling for my travel wardrobe have been in the blues and aquas so I kept with the theme hoping to easily mix and match. For the Cielo Top I went with this gorgeous Brushwork Floral Rayon Poplin. It is a stunning print that works beautifully for a top like this, or I think it would make a stunning midi or maxi dress!
For the Pietra Pant, I selected our best selling Slub Texture Linen in a slate grey. I went with a more neutral color for the bottoms hoping I could pair just about any color top with them (an added plus for traveling). This fabric finds the perfect balance of softness, texture and body which is probably why we all love it so much! It washes and sews up beautifully and I’m pretty much in love with my finished pants.
Now for the serious stuff, the cutting and sewing! Closet Case’s new Rome Collection is designed with beginning sewers in mind. As with all of their patterns, the instructions are easy to follow and very clearly walk you thru each step. Cutting was straight forward, although I will recommend watching the fabric cutting guides, especially on the Cielo Top if you are doing the statement sleeves. Getting everything to fit could easily go awry with the large pieces!
On both patterns I did make a few slight changes based on the my personal preferences (the reason we sew!). First, I am not a fan of really high waisted pants—I just don’t like them. Give me a mid-rise that hits at my belly button all day, everyday. I ended up taking 2″ out of the rise of the Pietra Pants and I sized up at the waist in efforts to account for the variation from my natural waist to just above my hips. I ended up making the front waist too big and the side seams pull to the back about an inch from where they should be.
My recommendation would be to measure your flat front and see what size matches that best. Since the front is “stationary”, you want that to fit correctly and then your ease can come from the elastic in the back. In pulling my side seams forward where they should be the back also looked a lot better, less bunchy since the elastic is stretched appropriately. In a future version, I think I’ll try a knock knee adjustment as well—standard adjustment I think I need to add to all my pants making.
The second change I made was on the length of the Cielo Top. No high waisted pants means no crop top, LOL. Based on my bust measurements I’m a size 10, but a size 12 at the hips. I ended up adding two inches to the length and grading out to a 12 since the top would be hitting more at the hips. I didn’t want it too tight and ruin the look the pattern was designed to have. After pressing the hem as directed in the pattern (1/2″ + 1″), I tried it on and realized I should have added one more inch. So for this version I just used a smaller hem and I really like how it turned out.
All in all, I really like how both pieces turned out. My Pietra Pants are super comfortable, totally wearable and a great starting point for perfecting future versions. I’m totally in love with my Cielo Top and already have fabric from my stash pulled for another version. I love the location of the darts and subtle fitting they provide and this top is just so comfortable. Such an easy make and an amazing addition to my handmade wardrobe!
Happy Summer Sewing!
P.S. Check out all three patterns from Closet Case’s Rome Collection available in the shop. We’ve included links to lots of great fabric recommendations for each and are offering 20% off each of the patterns when you bundle them together. Just use code ROME2019 at check out!