Monday, January 06, 2014

Crazy 8 Wardrobe: A Tunic and Pants

To recap - the Crazy 8 Wardrobe plan has 8 pieces ~ 1 jacket, 1 cardigan, 2 tops, 1 blouse, 1 pair of pants, 1 skirt and 1 dress.  I detailed my plan in this post.  

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 ~


Vogue 8840

Vogue 8886

So some construction and pattern details...

Fabric ~
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.

Patterns ~
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.

Notions ~
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 ~






Conclusion ~
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!





40 comments:

  1. Super cute! I love it. I know you are a dress girl but this is so cute and feminine (plus greta for cold weather I bet). Love the pockets.

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  2. I think this looks great on you!

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  3. you know i yelled when i saw this IRL, now i wish i had just got the ISO right! i think it was the ISO, anyway.....

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  4. very nice! this is sooo lovely. and I love the accessorizing with the scarf. :D

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  5. Off to a great start. The walk away look is great with that gold center back zip.

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  6. I would have done the same thing to the zipper too!!! Haha. Love the new outfit. Very chic.

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  7. LOVE! Can't wait to see all 8 pieces mixed together!

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  8. This is such a classy classic outfit. I love the details on it. I LOVE the pinterest outfit you pinned with the pockets too. Great inspiration.

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  9. It looks lovely--and just a little bit sassy!--all put together. A very elegant, comfortable and interesting new look for you!

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  10. Great outfit as always!
    Love that outfit from Pinterest too. Now I am going to be searching for it tonight because I have some wool in my sewing room that just might need to find itself being sewn up into something similar to that adorable little suit :) I will find the pin and then have to find a pattern in my stash that will work...

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  11. It's a great outfit for work but this could work for weekend wear as well. I like it a lot. Where are you buying faux leather? On Mood's site everything plain sounds too heavy.

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    1. Nancy - I got it from Sawyer Brook last year in black and brown. It's no longer on their site but there is some that looks like what I bought at EOS: http://www.emmaonesock.com/fabrics/basicblack.asp?lcd=100948

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  12. This looks great on you! I love the gold zipper- if you hadn't confessed, no one would ever know!

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  13. Absolutely awesome inspiration and photos. Thank you for taking us through your thoughts on adding trim to the sleeves and hems. Now, I need to make this for me!

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  14. Looks fabulous on you - very stylish indeed. Makes me want to sew a pant suit.

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  15. You are definitely styling and profiling. Little slip ups like your zipper insertion keep us humble I guess.

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  16. Very Nice. The fit of the pants and tunic are perfect. YOu Look Fabulous!

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  17. You look fabulous, Carolyn! I love this outfit (with pants, no less) on you!

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  18. Great outfit and fantastic commentary detailing the process. Thx.

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  19. Aww, I love these photos! Mostly because you just have the happiest smile on your face. And I take inspiration from your idea of making a set of items that are all interchangeable.

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  20. I love it, I am so copying your outfit. I hope you don't mind :):)

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    1. Towanda - copy away! I have plans to make another one probably with 3/4 sleeves...I just hope that I get to it before the winter is over!

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  21. Cute! Nothing like making it work :)

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  22. Fabulous job, Carolyn, the faux leather pockets are a great addition to the tunic.

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  23. I really love this outfit, Carloyn! I cou keep doing see myself biting your style for classroom wear...

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  24. What a way to turn what could have been a boring pair of trousers and a top into a stunning, modern suit! Great details!

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  25. You have such a talent for designing and making things that suit you and your lifestyle perfectly. A beautiful outfit--and love it with that scarf.

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  26. You look so cute wearing this! Love the hair and the scarf too...you just look happy!

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  27. Very nice, Carolyn! The zipper gives a great vertical line and the pockets just the right amount of zip! Did I get that pun mixed up?LOL!

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  28. Great outfit! I have not used faux leather on garments yet, but it is something on my to-do-list/I-need-tochallenge-myself list for 2014!

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  29. Ahhh! This looks awesome! The pockets are such a great detail and the zip-- fantastic! I love this as an alternative to a suit! You look so hip and comfortable at the same time!

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  30. Looks great on you, just love the pockets! Can't wait to see the rest of the 8...

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  31. I love the Crazy 8 concept; often I buy fabric just because I love it and then whatever I make doesn't really fit in my wardrobe. When I saw your new tunic top, I immediately thought of the navy dress with RED pocket in the February issue of Lucky Magazine in the Editors' Pick column. It's so your style! Check it out..

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  32. Well done, it looks wonderful on you!

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  33. Really nice take on a pantsuit, love the exposed zipper and pocket details, things like that seem to make all the difference.

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  34. What a great alternative to the standard pants suit! I love how put together this look is. Also, have you changed your hair a little? You look great!

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  35. The pockets are such a great touch! I think they really make the outfit. This is a great look for you.

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  36. The pockets were a very, very smart addition. Now I want to make a tunic/pants outfit. I love the combo.

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  37. Catching up on my blog reading. I read the post where top was hanging. This is a very flattering top on you. Love the pants and top with scarf. Should keep you warm and cozy during the continuing cold/freezing weather you guys have been having.

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  38. Catching up on my reading. Saw your top in an earlier post. I like how it looks on you, very flattering. Great top and pant combo and the scarf is a nice extra touch. This should keep you warm and cozy with the continue cold/freezing weather you are having in your area!

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