These are my first two garments from the list ~ a pair of pants and a matching tunic/top...
I started with my TNT pants pattern and adapted my TNT dress pattern for the tunic/top. Then it was all about making decisions to make it a special outfit. I was inspired by several tunic/pants outfits on Pinterest and these Vogue patterns ~
So some construction and pattern details...
I bought 7.5 yards of a mid to heavyweight black crepe from Fabric Mart last year. Fabric Mart described it as a black double weave wool/rayon crepe. I bought five yards of it because I wanted to make a dress and jacket combo. When it arrived it was so fantastic that I went online and bought another 2.5 yards, so thankful that it was still there. Of course, the fabric is no longer on the site which I'm really sad about because this is awesome fabric.
My TNT pants pattern and my TNT dress pattern shortened. Although I've included patterns you could use to make this outfit with above, I went with what I know will work for me.
14" gold zipper
gray bemberg lining
black rayon seam tape
black faux leather
Construction & Pattern Alterations ~
The pants are unlined and sewn without any changes to my TNT pattern. I made them first because they were my jumping off point. Also, it's really cold here on the East Coast and I'm feeling pants right now. You will probably see more pants sewn on the blog because my pants wardrobe is seriously lacking. I haven't been replacing them as they wore out and I think this is going to be a colder winter than the last couple of winters so I'm going to need more.
The tunic is my TNT dress shortened. I have no specific measurements for doing this. I just held the pattern up and decided where I wanted it to end then folded up the pattern. Pinned the folded part back, placed it on the fabric and at the last minute added 1" to the hemline. When I was cutting it out I realized that it would be a bland and simple black top without something extra ~ especially since all of the ones I'd seen online had some special embellishment to distinguish them.
My Zipper Confession...
My first choice was to add an exposed gold zipper to the back of the tunic instead of an invisible zipper. But can I tell you something about this zipper? Of course it's from Pacific Trimmings but instead of getting it cut like I normally do...I just picked up a couple of 14" large gold zippers. Silly me, I thought they were regular zippers. I get the zipper installed in the top...go to zip it down...and it separates. WTF? I bought separating jacket zippers and sewed it into the top without realizing it UNTIL I was adding the lining. Now you know, I should have taken the dayum thing out and bought another zipper. AND you also know that I didn't do that!
What did I do instead? I added a thread block to the back side of the zipper. I did it by hand so that the thread wouldn't show on the right side of the zipper. Hopefully this will help just in case...but honestly please don't think I will EVAH forget that I have a separating zipper on the back of that top! So I will need to be careful...but that is my zipper confession...yeah, no one and I mean no one, would confuse me with a couture sewist! *LOL*
To sleeve or not to sleeve?
The next choice was to decide what length I wanted the sleeves to be. I went back and forth but ultimately decided on short sleeves because I want to not only be able to wear this over other pieces, but I also want it to stand alone. Sleeveless would have meant that I would always need another layering piece on top. 3/4 or wrist length sleeves would have meant that I wouldn't be able to wear it with the cardigan (yet to be made) for this collection or any of the others in my wardrobe. So...short sleeves.
The Pinterest influence...
This is one of the outfits I saw on Pinterest...
...that made me crave pockets for the front of the tunic. Normally, I'm not a pocket girl but sometimes they do add something to the outfit's design. I went with faux leather because it's on trend, it was on hand, and it was simple enough to work with my design idea.
- I used the pocket pattern from my Burda 8869 cardigan pattern omitting 5/8" all around the pocket because I didn't want the leather to overwhelm the top.
- To figure out placement of the pockets on the top ~ I placed my hands on the top where I'd like the pockets to be and put a pin in the center.
- Then I laid the pocket pattern piece on top of the pinned area, measured from the hemline and from the side seam so that both pockets would be equally placed on the top...and pinned yes, I pinned the faux leather again...the pockets to the top.
- I used a topstitching stitch to attach the pockets to the top.
More Top Miscellany...
Originally I was going to add a piece of the faux leather to the sleeve hems to carry the design feature throughout the garment. Then I decided that it was overkill. The pockets should be the focal point. I didn't add it to the neckline because I want to wear scarves and/or necklaces and didn't want them competing with the faux leather.
The top is lined. Other than the changes noted above, this is just my TNT dress pattern shortened.
This is a different type of outfit for me sort of along the lines of Vogue 8935 which I wore for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was very comfortable and professional yet different from the suits that the other women were wearing. I liked that. Hopefully this new outfit will work out just as well.
Some more photos ~
The tunic was designed to work with the pants, the future dress and the finished straight skirt to give me more options. Yet, it's a great outfit as just a pantsuit. Wait, wait as I type this I realize that I've made a pantsuit, something that appears every year on my sewing list. It's not a typical pantsuit but it is one just the same! So I'm very thrilled with how it turned out.
...as always more later!
p.s.: All photos were taken by Marce, the bestest friend EVAH!