The Rome collection

Last weekend, I attended the first virtual, online Sewing Weekender. If you didn’t come across this in advance, I highly recommend following Charlotte and The Fold Line in case they decide to this again. I decided to be selfish for once and happily spent much of my weekend holed up in my sewing room, with the machines whirring away and one video after another playing on my tablet.

Listening to Heather Lou whilst making one of her patterns

I made two garments over the course of the weekend, and finished my quilt (more on that another time) and found myself inspired to sew this week. However, with a recurring pattern of weekly migraines making life hell and my eldest’s return to school reducing my flexibility, it wasn’t until Friday that I finally got to sit down and sew again.

Today I wanted to share with you two of the three garments I’ve just mentioned, as they were actually part of the same collection. Closet Case Patterns released the Rome Collection last summer: a skirt, top/dress and shorts/trousers designed to be your capsule travel wardrobe. Whilst the skirt has never appealed (I’m realising that I’m just not a skirts kind of person), the top and trousers are just my thing.

I made two pairs of the Pietra shorts last summer and they were wonderful: they have a flat fronted waistband with an elastic back, making them super comfy, and they addition of some really interesting pockets on the front makes the sewing more interesting and gives them a really great look. However, when I made the slim leg trousers for the plane journey in the exact same size, they worked out too big, to the point of falling down! So I wanted to revisit and see if I could resolve that.

Pietra shorts with an Ashton top in Disney last summer

I compared the pattern pieces before cutting and confirmed that they were all the same size around the waist and hips. I chose a beautiful linen viscose mix in a khaki colour which I got from B&M Fabrics in Leeds.

Sewing these up is a joy. The instructions are great, and there’s some satisfying top stitching (LOVE a bit of topstitching) I was totally happy, sewing away and watching videos, until it got to time to put the waistband elastic in.

To try and check the sizing, because I knew it had been too big last time, I cut the elastic a size down and fastened it with a safety pin to allow me to try them on. I realised that yes, they were still too big, so I chopped another inch off and stitched away. I’d finished the trousers before the end of day 1 of the Weekender.

I love the way they look but, having worn them for a couple of days, they grow whilst being worn!! Like, significantly grow and slip down. SO annoying! And I genuinely am not sure why: they fit when they were finished, the whole front facing is interfaced so presumably it hasn’t changed, so I don’t know if it’s just the back section that gives or whether it’s the loose weave of the fabric…. it’s just really annoying. I would be temped to make them again though, but maybe size down.

Anyway, having made the green trousers, I decided it was time to finally make the Cielo top. That top pattern has been sitting on my peg board in front of me every time I’ve sewn for the last year, so it’s high time!

Having had a really tough week, and still suffering the end of a migraine, I decided this was the perfect time to trace the pattern and cut out. (Spoiler for those who don’t get migraines: not a sensible decision) I graded slightly between two sizes, but I probably didn’t need to given the loose fit.

I cut the top from some beautiful cotton lawn which has been in the stash since last summer. I went slightly over 1m of fabric with this which I was pretty happy with. However, it wasn’t until I was attempting to attach the sleeves that I realised there are actually two totally different sleeve pattern pieces to this pattern and I’d cut the wrong one.

Again, sewing and cutting whilst suffering from migraines is not recommended. Even if you’re utterly pissed off with life and need some stress relief.

I had a little strop, but then got the CORRECT pattern piece out and realised I could get away with not actually tracing it out onto paper but could use Burda tracing paper to mark the sleeve onto the fabric directly. I even managed to place them on the the sleeves I’d already cut, so no wasted fabric.

Other than that basic operator error, this was another great pattern. And I LOVE the end result. Yes, the crazy print means those interesting shoulder yokes aren’t that obvious and the topstitching around the neck isn’t obvious, but I love it. I now need to make several more to balance out all the Stevies in my wardrobe!

So, did you “attend” the Weekender? And did it reignite your sew jo?

Becca x


Pattern Pietra pants / Cielo top by Closet Case Patterns

Fabric Linen viscose mix / cotton lawn

My measurements

Bust: 36″

Waist: 32″

Hips: 42″

Size cut 12 grading to 14 on hips for trousers / size 10 top

Adjustments made added 1.5cm to back rise

Future adjustments? Considering going down a size on the trousers

Make again? Highly likely!

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