Everyone has their own personal style, and it’s wonderful to see so many sewists expressing themselves through personalized clothing. Today my thoughts on sewing and style are featured over at SeamstressErin (many thanks, Erin!), and I’ll talk a little more about them here.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been telling people that “I’m not a girly girl.” I used to think this was a personality flaw, but thankfully I’ve grown to embrace my love of practical, streamlined styles. I don’t paint my nails, I barely wear makeup, and a gathered skirt is almost as rare in my wardrobe as a sweetheart neckline. Jeans and t-shirts forever!
As many of you have been posting your fall/winter style inspiration, I’ve been thinking about my own ideal wardrobe and how I might create it using currently available patterns. So, to join in the fun, I’ve compiled a list of patterns that I’ve had my eye on, most of which are suited for colder weather and women with a more masculine or androgynous style. Let’s dive in!
When I started Googling for style inspiration (side note: the whole idea of Pinterest is way too girly for me), I made an interesting observation. All the images I saved were essentially identical: blazers, t-shirts, and jeans. I guess I know what I like. 🙂 I’ve often shown up for dinner with my boyfriend wearing almost the same thing as him, only his jeans are a little less tight than mine. Weird? Nah. I think he digs it!
So how can I create a wardrobe full of these casual, masculine-inspired pieces? Garments that are practical and functional, but still make me feel confident and stylish? I’ve picked out a few patterns that I’ve either previously sewn or that I think would fit well into my wardrobe. There was no way I could include all the patterns that I think would fit, so I chose some representative examples.
(1) Simplicity 2446 – A classic-cut blazer in 2 lengths with 3 different cup sizes. I’ve made two versions (here and here) and learned so much in the process. A good starting point if you’re new to blazers and/or tailoring.
(3) Papercut Bellatrix Blazer – No doubt you’ve seen plenty of gorgeous versions around the sewing blogosphere. With its fitted, edgy style lines, I think this pattern would be perfect with tight jeans and tall boots.
(1) Waffle Patterns Cookie Jacket – How could you not feel cool in this jacket? I love the plaid they used in the model version and could see myself wearing this jacket all the time. Who’s made one of these? I want to see your versions!
(2) Papercut Reigel Bomber – Like the Bellatrix, this pattern has gotten a ton of love from sewing bloggers. I’m not 100% convinced this pattern would suit me (I tend to like just a bit more structure in a jacket), but everyone seems to look amazing in it.
Knit tops & sweaters
(1) Sewaholic Renfrew – I’ve made a zillion of these tops, including 2 maxi dresses. I’m of the opinion that you only need one t-shirt pattern, so choose wisely, make your fit adjustments, and start hacking away for other styles! Everyone needs a TNT t-shirt, no?
(2) Capital Chic White Russian – This sweatshirt has been making the rounds lately. Its fitted silhouette provides warmth without sacrificing style – a win in my book. Grainline Linden is another option, albeit with a less fitted silhouette.
(3) The classic tank top – Please, someone draft a pattern for this! Am I missing it? Should I take my own advice and hack it out of the Renfrew? I’ve seen some simple cami patterns, but none for a true ribbed tank.
(1) Grainline Archer – Is anyone surprised that this pattern made my list? Anyone? 🙂 I’ve made 5 versions so far, with plenty more to come, I’m sure. A classic button-down is a staple for me. I love the menswear inspired style and endless possibilities for added details and fabric choices.
(2) Fitted button-down from my sloper – One day I will draft this baby, and then all my button-down dreams will come true.
Side note: I’m not a fan of woven tops that aren’t button-downs with a collar. There, I said it. I find other styles just too feminine for my taste!
(1) Grainline Moss mini – An above-the-knee, straight-cut skirt with a low-cut waistline and no gathers. In other words, the perfect non-girly skirt. I’m currently making my first version and can see this becoming a staple, as I’ve been wearing RTW minis like this forever.
(2) Named Nascha – I just noticed this skirt thanks to Louise, and it has many of the same design features of the Moss, with an added cutout and wrap-over in the front. If you like a short skirt (totally do-able with opaque tights!), I’d say go for it!
(1) Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans – Can I get an AMEN? I plan to make the lower-rise, straight-leg version of these jeans a staple in my wardrobe. I had been waiting around for the perfect modern-cut jeans pattern to come out, and BOOM Heather Lou delivers.
(2) Sewaholic Thurlows – Where can I find a non-pear version of this style? A modern-cut, lower-rise, straight-leg chino for us slip-hipped women? All the Big 4 pants that fit this general description seem to be frump-city, am I right?
(1) Sewaholic Tofino PJ pants – Cute loungewear with attention to detail? Yes please! I’m assuming the pear-shaped design won’t be as much of an issue in these very loose-fitting bottoms. One can never have enough PJs, really.
(2) Papercut Ooh La Leggings – More cute, detailed loungewear. The style lines on these leggings are interesting and modern, which is a nice twist on such a basic garment. I still say leggings are “not pants” though.
All right, this post is supposed to be about casual patterns with non-girly styles, but the reality is that I *am* a girl and actually enjoy wearing dresses once in a while. 🙂 If I’m going to wear a dress, I prefer a straight, streamlined cut with no gathers and minimal embellishments. Two great examples:
(1) Butterick 5353 – A straight-cut, above-the-knee skirt with an interesting neckline detail and contrast waistband. My 3 versions get regular wear for fancy dinners and holidays. Sadly, this beauty is now out of print.
(2) By Hand London Georgia Dress – I fell in love with this pattern the instant it came out. The short version with thick straps is super edgy and modern. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen this version getting much love in the blogosphere. What gives? I would buy this pattern, but OMG where the heck would I wear it? Someone invite me to a cocktail party.
If you prefer blazers and button-downs over gathered skirts and high waistlines, there are plenty of patterns out there to suit your style. It just takes a bit of patience wading through the sea of dresses. Sewing all these patterns will probably take me forever at my glacial pace, but at least now I have something to aim for!
What patterns would you add to (or subtract from) this list? If you’re not a jacket-and-jeans type of girl, what’s your personal style?