Sunday, May 19, 2013

Is Five Black Suits Enough?

My latest make is another black suit.  Hey I work in a conservative banking environment and these work.  As I said in my previous post, I have a month of meetings ahead and I wanted a new black suit to wear.  There is nothing new about the patterns or construction.  I went with TNT patterns and some ponte knit fabric to make one more black suit...

Some stats ~

Black ponte knit from Mood Fabrics
Polka dot cotton/silk from the collection

*Butterick 5760 for the cardigan
*TNT pattern for the straight skirt. 
*I would recommend McCalls 3830 if you don't already have a straight skirt pattern.

*Buttons from Sawyer Brook Fabrics
*Loose small gray plastic pearls from Daytona Trimmings
*Black Rayon Seam Binding
*Strips of black ltwt. fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply

All of these items came from the workroom (what I'm now calling my sewing cave) except for the black ponte which was a recent purchase from Mood's NYC store.

Cardigan Jacket details...
  • The Jacket is unlined.
  • The seams are serged finished.  I was going for complete not couture.
  • I topstitched the center back seam and the shoulder seams.  The jacket front and sleeve hems are top stitched using a twin needle.
  • I thought about adding pockets to the jacket front and decided against it.

Buttons ~
I consider buttons to be like jewelry on the front of a garment. I wanted a plain black button for the front with a little pizzazz.  The button needed to not only work with the jacket but to also work with anything I chose to wear under it.

I started with these buttons...

...and added some gray plastic pearls that were in the notion stash.

I love how the finished buttons look.

Skirt details...

The skirt is a lined straight skirt with a back vent instead of a slit.

Silk cotton polka dot lining

Vent flipped back to show lining

Back view with vent closed

I started a Sewing Workshop Mission Top made with the lining fabric to go with the suit. I've used this idea before with another black suit and it worked so well that I thought I would give it another go. The top is not done so I will finish it during my short vacay later this week to wear with the suit at another time.  

However, when I wear this to work tomorrow, I will wear it with the white t-shirt that I used for the pictures...

It was a simple sew.  Hey, it always is when I use TNT patterns...just a little time consuming.  Another black suit that will work for several seasons has been added to my work wardrobe, just what I needed.  

Next up is the prom dress that I'm making for my niece.  It's my Mood project for June and I've already started construction on the dress using Butterick 4343. always more later!


  1. That's a very smart outfit. 5 blacks suits is only too many if you don't wear them all at least once a year. I have two and I'd like another one, but then I don't work in a conservative banking environment.

  2. That is quite a look! The suit, the (secret) of the polka dots, and those shoes. . . Very admirable. Five black suits/coordinates is not too many. Six isn't too many either. . .

  3. Looks great, Carolyn, nice fit! Love the buttons and your shoes, too.

  4. Love the suit especially the buttons. Better to have 5 suits than look in the closet and discover that you need one. Ask me how I know.

  5. Carolyn, you look spectacular in the first photo above. Those necklaces are perfect. As long as you wear them, they are not too many. Definitely not.

  6. You look very smart and the shoes are fun.

  7. What a great suit. I don't own one and often think I should! The shoes are stunning, but you know I always look at the shoes!

  8. What a great suit. I don't own one and often think I should! The shoes are stunning, but you know I always look at the shoes!

  9. Nothing like a classic black suit. Always looks sharp as yours does. And then you break out those shoes that say - hey - I may be classic and sharp - but I am also an individual!

  10. Very clever idea with the buttons - I will have to file that away in my brain for future use! I really like your suit. It looks smart yet comfortable. Your shoes are ace. But the real killer for me is always your smile - knockout!

  11. Love the suit. The shoes are fabulous!

  12. Wonderful suit, classic and so stylish. Also, love the shoes!

  13. Beautiful outfit! Definitely not too many black suits since they are work appropriate for your situation. You look really nice in this outfit.

  14. Another winner Carolyn. I love how you styled with all the pearls. Very Chanel!

  15. Looks so professional! Your sewing is so inspirational.

    I'd like to ask a question - have you ever found yourself discouraged with your sewing? If so - how did you get yourself out of it?

    I very much enjoy reading your blog. I aspire to be able to sew like you.


  16. You look great in your new black suit. The extra touches are just right!

  17. You look amazing in your new black suit. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Sewing Workshop addition! Love your buttons, lining, necklace, smile.....beautiful!

  18. I love black so there can never be too many black outfits. You look lovely, and I think that is pretty cool how you used the plastic "pearl" buttons w/ the regular black buttons.

  19. This looks great! I like it best buttoned up with all the strings of pearls showing up against the black. :)

  20. What a neat suit - the polka dot lining is awesome! I love the pearls - on the buttons and on your neck.

  21. Nice suit. Very nice shoes.

    One suit is too few; five are certainly not too many :) Or six or more....

  22. You look beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  23. In your work environment, 5 black suits is definitely not too many. And one in a knit is a nice option. Love the shoes.

  24. Very nice suit; love your lining for the skirt!

  25. I think you need as many suits as it takes so you always look fresh and stylish.


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