Sewing – The Pietra Shorts
As soon as I came across Good Fabric on Instagram, I knew we were a match made in heaven. An online fabric shop that only stock sustainable fabrics and patterns from small pattern designers – absolutely perfect. Good fabric has a growing selection of Tencel’s, Organic Cottons, Ecovero and many more. They’ve even recently added some sport and swim fabrics and denim. I reached out to Polina immediately to propose a collaboration, and here we are!
There were so many beautifully curated fabrics to choose from. Then Polina suggested I make a pattern from her selection too. Of course I chose the Pietra shorts from Closet Core Patterns. I then decided to play with colour blocking in the pockets due to the panelling of the pattern pieces. I chose these two beautiful Tencel fabrics in Rust and Golden Tan.
The Pietra Shorts Process
I’ve probably made shorts more than any other item of clothing – I can make a basic shorts pattern with my eyes closed. But looking at the Pietra shorts pattern pieces I truly had no clue. I had a read through the instructions and it all started to become clear.
Working with Tencel is very similar to working with viscose. This particular Tencel has a sheen to it and is quite slippy – so lots of pins are needed.
When researching patterns, I like to turn to Instagram and search the hashtags to see all the different versions people have made. It is often more inspiring than the picture or line drawing on the pattern. The #pietrapants selection is vast, it’s amazing to see what everyone has made. I was particularly inspired by this pair by Sewing for Dais. The beautiful red colour made me realise I needed some red shorts too!
I particularly like the pocket construction; one large pattern piece is folded up to make both the side panel and the pocket bag. Once that was complete and sewn to the top side panel and centre front it started to look more like a shorts pattern I could recognise. The facing on the front is sewn in before the back is sewn to the front. This leaves the back waistband taller ready to fold down and encase the elastic.
The next step I found really fiddly – I’m not sure if there would be a better way to construct the elastic casing and insert it. If there is someone let me know as I had to unpick it at least 3 times. Also, where the elastic is sewn to the side seam is quite bulky. But I eventually managed it. I think they were worth the fiddle.
I then decided to finish by sewing a few lines of stitching over the elastic – because I like the way it looks. The Pietra shorts turned out really well, the sustainable tencel really elevates them.
After inserting the elastic in the back waistband, I used a safety pin to tack it in place to try it on – It was still very loose and so I had to reduce the elastic considerably. I think I may have lost weight from all my lockdown cycling. This meant that they are quite hard to take on and off the elastic only expands to be just wide enough for my hips. It could be my waist to hips ratio, I have a 10-inch difference. So if you have a big difference, I don’t recommend this pattern. – Since writing this I have been informed that Closet Core have made a hack for this. Head over to their blog to find out how to add a side zipper.
I also turned up the hem less than recommended, after making my Anna Allen – Pomona shorts I realised how much I like a longer pair of shorts.
Would I make another Pair?
Although I do like the finished result, like I said above they are hard to get on. So, I think I would add a zip instead. Also, this pattern has a trouser version that I’d be keen to try.
Head over to Good Fabric to see all the lovely sustainable fabrics they stock.
I have also compiled an interview with Polina from Good fabric – Your new favourite fabric store.
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