Hot! The “Have I Gone Mad?” Suit

“There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.”

I definitely went mad getting ready for this challenge. I started out wanting to create an outfit inspired by an anime character but I couldn’t find any I liked that were from books that were appropriate for kids. I started to stress so much that I finally had to sit down and say a quick prayer to calm down. As I took some deep breaths I had an image of a jacket with tails and a puff made of tulle. I thought I could wear it with my black skinnies and make a hat out of wire like these from Junya Tashiro-


That sounds awesome but what character is that? Luckily my friend Lee was there to make the connection between my vision and The Mad Hatter. Thanks Lee.


I’ll tell you about the hat later. It’s cool right? Here are the facts for the suit:

Patterns: Vogue 8601 for the blazer and Simplicity 2315 for the pants.

Fabric: 6yds poly print $18 and 2yds blend for lining $4

Notions: 2 buttons $2.50 and 1 7in zipper $ .50

Total Price: $25

First Worn and Wear Again: I wore the pants today with a casual top. I’m not sure when I’ll wear the blazer but I will. I won’t wear them as a suit often.

I do not know where the time to make all of this came from. More help from above I think. I did not want to leave out a singe detail and it took me twice as long because I forgot that I had to make sure I matched the prints for each piece. I texted my best friend mid week to whine about how slow everything was going. I didn’t finish the jacket until Friday night. I could have stopped there. The blazer would have worked fine with my “Road Zombie” skinnies or my “Because of You” shorts. I worked on the hat late Saturday afternoon and at about 10pm decided to try a simple pair of pants.

I’ll start with the blazer. It’s pretty simple really. It’s one of those where you sew the outside to the lining then turn it all out. It’s got princess seams and the lower section has a back slit. I decided not to add shoulder pads and to make all four pieces for the lower half out of the fashion fabric. If I had made a muslin I could have addressed some of the fit issues. I usually have to add about an inch and a half somewhere above the bust line. I usually throw it all into the armscye. Which is what I did here. What I should have done was add a half inch to the armscye and an inch below the armscye just above the bust. I should have measured the back length to the waist as well. I would have seen that I needed to raise the waist line an inch. That’s where I ran into a little problem. The second buttonhole is made right at the seam where the top and bottom of the blazer meet. That seam is supposed to hit right at the waist. Because it was too low I couldn’t button it unless I raised it up causing the blazer to bubble up (most unflattering). I ended up closing the button hole and making another higher up. It’s camouflaged a little by the print and because it’s right at the seam. Whew!

Like I said before-the pants are really plain. No pockets. I moved the zipper to the side and forgot the make the back one piece instead of two. I can live with that. When I put them away for the night I honestly didn’t think I would ever wear them. The next morning I pressed them really well and tried them on again. I love them! They’ve got just the right amount of ease and the fabric is perfect for this pattern. It’s actually quite drapey and the hand is nice and smooth. It’s also got a slight sheen. The fact that the prints match up from blazer to pants is a nice coincidence.

I tried to “look mad” or at least make a crazy sort of smile. It came out looking a lot like I thought maybe I had something stuck to my teeth and I was asking if there was. You know what I mean? You pull your lips back to show your teeth then try to talk without moving your mouth. I won’t show you that picture but I will show you what I looked like after I tried-

The hat is made of wire fencing. I wanted something dramatic. I tried putting the flowers on the inside but it didn’t look right to me. I had yellow flowers mixed in but I thought that brought the focus too high so I went with simple white flowers in front.

This photo shoot was almost sabotaged by mother nature. When we left church it was pouring outside. It wouldn’t have been a problem since I was The Mad Hatter and I thought the messier the better but I had just dyed that wig for this shoot and I was afraid if it got wet enough the color would run all over my suit. I decided to get ready anyway and see if maybe we could squeeze it in between storms. We got lucky-the rain had become a light sprinkle.

One last picture.

Just to show you how much make-up I was wearing. I got a lot of stares on my way to the rose garden! I guess I looked a bit “mad”.





Gina Clark is a girl from Texas living in the Midwest. She has been sewing most of her life but swears every few months that she is giving it up for good.


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  1. WOW!!! This is my favorite outfit & shoot EVER from Sew Weekly! You look AMAZING! I Love everything about it!

    • Thank You! It was worth all of the work. I had lots of encouragement to see it through from my husband and a good friend. I just couldn’t see how it would all get done.

  2. This just BLOWS. ME. AWAY. I saw the tiny photo in the pending posts and couldn’t WAIT to see the whole thing!! Absolutely stunning. I have no other words. STUNNING.

    • Thank you Loran. It’s fun being a part of such a creative community. I think the weekly exercise and the inspiration and encouragement provided by all of you help me come out of my shell more and more a little more each time.

  3. This. Is. Fantastic. I am so impressed.

  4. Great job with the suit! I’m even more impressed that it took so little time to make.

    • Thank you! You know, I didn’t realize until later that I had forgotten to say how long it all took. It took me a very long time especially if you include the wig and hat.

  5. This! Is! Amazing!!!!
    Gwen Stefani eat your heart out.

  6. Awesome. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME.

    And I love the jacket- please wear it!


    • Thank you Rachel! I will wear the jacket for sure. The pants will get a little more wear while it;s still warm out and the jacket will see some action in the fall. It’s such a stand out piece though so I want to make sure it’s not overplayed you know?

  7. I love how Editorial and Couture you look! Gorgeous!

    • Thanks Bethany! I still wish sometimes I could be behind the camera so I could get all the little details right but I am having fun using my styling skills on myself. The make-up is the hardest! I’m used to working with make-up artists.

  8. This is, hands down, the most amazing outfit I have ever seen. Wow times a million.

  9. Excuse my French, but HOLY SHIT! You amaze me.

    (BTW, you said that you took the photos after church. Did you wear this outfit to church?! Where is this coolest church on earth? ;)

    • You are so funny Vicki! No, I did not wear this to church. The hat would have caused too many injuries. I can wear the suit but I think the hair would be a little much. We did have a young woman that used to sing for our church that had pink hair for a while. It is still the coolest church though-

  10. GINA!! You motherf*&#$ing ROCK STAR!! This is so awesome! The fit is great. The print is great. The hat is GREAT! And I love the pink hair with it!

  11. Totally amazing Gina, an absolute gem of a suit, you look so glam and couture like. A brilliant start to the sewing week, well done on every level Yay!

    • Thank you Kazz! I finally got one suit under my belt. I don’t know how you do it with a full time job. I’ll be working a little more this fall so we’ll see how well I can keep up.

  12. I rarely read any of the sew weekly posts this year (too many posts, too little time), but I had to click through to comment on this one – just amazing!!

  13. Omg. Love it. It reminds of the bull matadors of Spain. I would definitely wear it as a suit!

    • That’s funny because as I was contemplating whether or not I should make pants I asked a couple of people whether or not they thought I would look like a toreador. They both thought I was being silly-but you get it. That’s an idea for Halloween…

  14. You hit it out of the park this time! Love the fabric, styling, and the fabulous hat!

    • Thanks Barbara! The hat is now hanging on my wall where it can no longer hurt anyone. I bet if I sewed bias tape to the edges I could wear it again. That’s a thought-

  15. Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome! That print is amazing! Your matching rocks! The patterns marry the fabric so well and of course your styling is genius! Does it sound like I’m gushing? Good, because I am!

  16. Gina, you are some kinda rock star! And you matched the print down the whole front of the suit…holy cow! This is seriously bloody sensational.

    • Thanks Jenn! As I said in my post-the matching down the front was a very cool coincidence. if I’d thought it through it would have taken me much longer and we may not have seen the pants at all!

  17. Stunning! And I definitely vote for wearing the pieces as a suit!

    • I thought I might wear the suit to Fashion’s Night Out but I may not go. I’ll find something to wear it to. Maybe an upcoming girl’s night karaoke-

  18. Wow! Gina you are a star! This is soooooo cool! And yes, wearing it as a suit gets my vote too.

  19. Woot woot! Love the damask print of the blazer and slacks… super cool. And the hat just pushed this project over the edge!

    • Damask-I’ll have to remember that. Thank you! I’d love to style some of the pieces made by all of you. Dressing people up is one of my favorite things to do!

  20. Really, really, really cool.
    Amazing. And it really is wearable. This has to be the most incredible, beautiful thing I’ve seen on SewWeekly in quite a while.

  21. Fantastic! I love all of it!

  22. It fits you so well! And you definitely capture the Mad Hatter vibe with your styling and everything (very cool that you made the hat). I also love your explanation about your “crazy smile” and how it looks more like something’s stuck in your teeth haha, nice touch. :)

    • While I was driving to the rose garden some kids crossed the street in front of my car and they were staring and pointing. I finally turned and waved and smiled but now that I think about it I may have looked so crazy that instead of it being fun it probably freaked them out!

  23. You look fabulous!

  24. That suit is all kinds of awesome and MUST be worn as a suit, the world should be able to see such beauty. I can’t believe you managed such a joy of perfect piece placing in just a week. The dyed wig is beyond perfect too and as soon as I find time I shall be following the directions from your blog (and YouTube as you instruct).

    • I’d love to see you in a wig and with all your sexiness it would just add to the excitement. Just make sure you keep an open mind about the color. I thought my wig would turn out red. I like the pink a lot but it still wasn’t what I was expecting.

  25. No question, mad as a hatter! Fit looks great in the photos. I absolutely love the print and the pieces worn together, though I guess you would really have to be feeling it to pull it off as a suit in normal life.

  26. this is stunning.. i want to steal your outfit (i probably won’t fit in it, but it would force me to do months of taebo, until i can fit in it).. one of the best things on sew weekly ever!

  27. Gina, you look stunning in this. What a wonderful print. It looks absolutely fabulous as a suit! Love love love this. The pics are amazing.