Sunday, March 23, 2014

Inspired by Olivia Pope

Of course, I'm totally unable to make a simple garment.  I've made a few subtle changes to my version of the inspiration top which was highlighted in the last post.

After using the last week to think about the top, I decided that my version is too tight. I added side gussets to give myself 2.5 inches of ease and make the top fit more like a tunic. I also added black piping to the neckline. Finally I left the sleeves fitted...some because I was too lazy to take the sleeves out. They are perfectly inserted and I was loath to remove them. After trying the top on, I liked the slimmer sleeves, so they stayed.

A picture of me wearing the top with my little black dress...


Stats:
TNT dress pattern shortened to tunic level

Fabric:
A satin finish silk/wool gazar lace print designed by Milly purchased from Elliot Berman

Notions:
22" invisible zipper shortened to 18"
black piping
white bemberg lining
ivory rayon seam tape
white bias binding
(BTW, all of these items are from my notions stash!)

Construction:
I thought I would share how I added the gussets to the sides of the top. I started by cutting a 17" x 2.5" wide strip. I made sure that the bottom of the strip was the same as the bottom of the top so that the print would match up. Pictures of the insertion are below...

I opened the side seams up to the bust dart

Added the 2.5" rectangle using 1/2" seam 
allowances ending in a triangle in the bust dart area

How it appears from the outside.

I can never leave a good thing alone so I added some black piping at the neckline. I just felt like the top needed an ending point for the lace pattern. The piping isn't on the designer's top. I just didn't like the neckline unadorned.

Black rayon piping from the top's right side

Bias binding used to finish the neckline

Inside of the finished garment

My final finishing touch ~ I covered the hemline seams (sleeves and top hem) with ivory rayon seam binding.

Adding seam binding pressed in half to one of the sleeves

Seam binding on the hem of the top prior to hemming

A few more pics:

Top worn with my little black dress

Side view of top with black pants from 
Crazy 8 Tunic & Pants outfit

Front view

Back view

Conclusion:
Initially I thought this was a quick and easy top to sew. It wasn't. There was a lot of work to make this simple design look easy, so I'm understanding that costly price tag better now. However, it was worth my time and effort because the top works with most of my black bottoms.

I'd like to give a quick shout-out to my youngest daughter who was visiting and volunteered to take these pics. Just so that no one thinks I got these from my tripod/camera set up.

This has been a slow sewing month.  As usual I've had more plans than time to make them. I honestly don't know if I'm going to get to the red wool pieces now. I really want a pastel pink wool crepe dress and I have an idea for one that I'm aching to sew. Also, I downloaded the Deer & Doe Plaintain tee and I want to try that out. By the time I get these finished, it will be well into April and time to start spring sewing.

I know that I've made some great basics for fall/winter but I'm sad that I'm putting away my wools since I love sewing with them so much.

...as always more later!




73 comments:

  1. As always, you have expertly created a beautiful garment. The neckline looks properly finished with the piping.
    Recently added gussets to some pants, using a similar method to yours :-)

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  2. Carolyn, this is stunning! You look every bit the RTW price tag and more. The piping and slimmer sleeves are perfect. Definitely worth all the effort to achieve such an amazing top.

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  3. Join the "sewing for spring" dark side! :)

    I love the top. It is beautiful and all of the extra details really make it special!

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  4. Very beautiful! I love what you did with this top.

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  5. I am in love with this. My favourite look is with the pants, so chic yet effortless. Great job!

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  6. That top is just gorgeous - you did that marvelous fabric justice. And I noticed your smiles are extra cheerful today - your daughter did good!

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  7. Looks fabulous. Especially with the dress pants. You did an amazing job, Carolyn! Very classy!

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  8. Cute top, well worth the extra effort.

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  9. Awesome! So classy and chic!

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  10. You did a fabulous job on this, Caroline, and the gussets are perfect. Very very nice.

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  11. Beautiful! I love the way you find an inspiring image and then make it your own.

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  12. That came out so nice! I love you can see a designer outfit I know 1) it will be an amazing addition to your life and wardrobe and 2) how to recreate that item to totally fit you! You have amazing knowledge of your own personal style and fit that I aspire too.

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  13. I love it! Looks great with either pants or dress!!

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  14. A perfect top; elegant and beautiful. Looks wonderful on you.

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  15. Gorgeous top! I think I need incorporate a lace top into my work wardrobe.

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  16. I'm aware that to make a simple top look wonderful, takes a lot of skill by the maker. And you have those wonderful skills.

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  17. Excellent job with this! I like the black piping at neckline. Thanks for showing how you did the gusset.

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  18. I think that's my second favorite thing you've ever made. It's really pretty!

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  19. I've been looking forward to seeing the outcome of this project, and it definitely does not disappoint. Gorgeous! I completely agree that the piping at the neck was needed. Love it with the pants. As someone else said, it just feels effortlessly elegant.

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  20. Beautiful, as always! You have the loveliest work wardrobe!

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  21. I love this so much -- your sewing is both inspirational and aspirational for me!

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  22. This is one of my top 10 favorite things you've made. Beautiful.

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  23. As always your work is amazing. Thanks for sharing how you made the top work for you, very clever. The top is beautiful.

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  24. Your top looks fabulous on you. Very on trend and so like it's uber expensive inspiration.

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  25. I love this top! It looks wonderful on you and I'm glad you did not change the sleeves. I think they are perfect.

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  26. How perfect are your inserts?! And I love the piping - you are right, it does make it look complete.

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  27. Love the way you took a designer look and made it your own. The top is beautiful. Someday I hope to sew as well as you do.

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  28. I am so impressed! This is so polished and high end looking. You need to get your strut on when wearing this.

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  29. You're so good it makes my brain hurt! Your top is way better than Ms. Pope's top: the insides are gorgeous, and that black piping around the neckline is a total genius detail.

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  30. Oh, Carolyn, this is gorgeous!!! I love love it. As others have said, it looks so polished!

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  31. this top is amazing and you did an amazing job sewing it - I am especially impressed how you were able to sneak some extra ease in there.

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  32. I love this tunic. It's fabulous. Have you tried it with a red skirt? Wonder how that would look. Of course you can't do simple - but the end result is fabulous and you shine. g

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  33. I like your version better than the inspiration! I like where the lace ends, and I looove that you added that piping. Now that I'm looking at the inspiration, the neckline looks almost unfinished without the piping, haha!

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  34. I am catching up on the last Scandal episodes and I completely understand the inspiration! I want one of her big flouncy house cardigans!
    Your top is beautiful! It makes you shine!

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  35. Stunning top the extra time taken to make it uniquely yours was well worth it. You look fabulous

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  36. Stunning work as always , this top is divine.

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  37. Popping over from Bloglovin to comment because this top is just lovely! I want one! :-)

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  38. Fabulously gorgeous! Love how you lined the black lace with white and had the lining longer than the lace. I so want a blouse like this and a skirt too :)

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  39. Gorgeous top, Carolyn, I really like how it looks on you.

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  40. Lovely tunic and it will work well with deep red.

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  41. Stunning! I like your clothes even better than Olivia Pope's--more variety. And you make elegant even more elegant!

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  42. Very pretty, perfect for just about anywhere that you might want to wear the top.

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  43. You said you couldn't make a simple top and you didn't - it is just stunning in its perceived simplicity!! You will receive a lot of admiring looks wearing this one. You have such a good eye. I would never have thought to add the black piping but it kicks this up a notch.

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  44. Wow, you have done such a beautiful job with this top! It looks great on you, and the detailing is perfect. Great job matching up the print, even on your side gussets! Bravo!!

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  45. Carolyn, this is such a beautiful top. It looks wonderful on you, just wonderful. Your construction is top notch as always. The style and design on you is what sets it apart. A lovely item and you do it justice.

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  46. Gorgeous and such great use of that fabric.

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  47. Just Gorgeous. Thanks for the gusset info...I have a similar alteration problem for a top I'm sewing for someone else. I think this might get me through it!

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  48. It's lovely, and looks great on you.

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  49. I think that the top was worth the time and effort. It's GORGEOUS! It looks just like the designer inspiration blouse you posted. Great idea with the side gusset. They're nearly invisible!

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  50. Carolyn, you have totally out done yourself with this top. It is fantastic! And it is so flattering. You ARE Olivia Pope in this outfit! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Thunderous applause!

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  51. This is just gorgeous Carolyn, and worth the effort. I like the finishing on your top and the narrower sleeve. Beautiful. Beautiful.

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  52. Just perfect! And better than the RTW in my opinion because it's made to measure for YOU and probably far better sewn.

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  53. This is fabulous. I love it!

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  54. It's so cute. It looks very good on you.

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  55. A very stylish top and love the way that you made it to suit you!!

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  56. I love the finished garment! You'd never know the gussets weren't part of the original pattern! Yeah!!

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  57. Wow what a perfect addition to the wardrobe, I like that you can also layer it perfectly over the LBD and get added mileage out of the garments! Those gussets are "seamless" bravo.

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  58. You wouldn't know this wasn't straight from the designer's collection! What an amazing and inspired garment you have created. You always awe me with your visions (and the final outcome!) for recreating your favorite designer pieces.

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  59. What a great "inspired by" piece, it really looks a lot like the original and I bet it is just as well made (without the price tag!).

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  60. As Always..You Create Such Awesome Works!! :)

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  61. Brilliant! Love the versatility of your top. You are now the inspiration to encourage all of us to bring designer details into our sewing room.

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  62. you ROCK the Olivia Pope look! I actually prefer your version to the original (and have a folder full of stills on my computer- the style on that show is great). Love from across the pond
    Bettina

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  63. Fantastic top. It looks just like the inspiration garment. Isn't it wonderful that you had the perfect fabric already in your stash when inspiration hit.. Another reason to have a large stash of wonderful fabrics.

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  64. Oh my goodness this is so FABULOUS. You are totally rocking that lace and your applique of it onto the base fabric is exquisite. Work it!

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  65. Wow! This is amazing! I love the way you finished the neckline- great eye! And the gussets are inserted so seamlessly. The lace looks amazing! Fab garment!

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  66. What a fabulous top- I love the inspiration piece and your take on it is just as lovely!!

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  67. I'm one of those Scandal FANatics who can't miss a single episode. Even though I watch religiously, I also DVR Scandal just in case the phone rings or something stupid like that causes me to miss something. After reading your post, I went back to watch that particular episode one more time just to see the top. I like yours better. That black piping at the neckline makes all the difference in the world. Isn't it funny how something so small and seemingly insignificant can have such a huge impact on a garment? Great idea!

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  68. You performed a miracle and this top is downright gorgeous!

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  69. Holy cow! This is absolutely stunning! I want one just like it!!!

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