Friendsgiving (Sewaholic Rae + Classic Capsule Plans)

Some of you may have seen my instagram post for day 10 of #bpsewvember, "Everyday," where I highlighted a favorite blogger of mine, girlsack (that's her, not me, below). No, I don't know about the name, either. She's no longer style blogging under that name but you can find her outfit posts from ten years ago all over pinterest and tumblr by searching "girlsack" (or on the girlsack board I just made here) and besides that J. Crew bubble necklace we all wore for 6 months, it's still so so good. (PSA: if you still wear your bubble necklace, retire it.)

My outfit (worn to an amazing Friendsgiving feast) is inspired by her signature breton stripes and a specific plaid skirt (J. Crew circa 2009? it's all over that pinterest board). This top was previously seen here two years ago and I think I've had this piece of plaid wool blend in my stash for even longer than that. I decided to finally pair it with a pattern! This is another Rae with a flat waistband, and you can all see how much I like the shape of this pattern because I braved 6 panels of (okay) plaid matching to make this. Not too much to say about this that wasn't said for my leopard version but this is such a wonderful staple pattern and I'm positive this won't be the last one--in fact, I've already ordered some navy twill for a plain navy one.

One of the things I admire about girlsack's style is that she relies on a small amount of classic pieces and is endlessly restyling a small selection of items--you know, like a real human--so you only need a few patterns for a complete girlsack-inspired wardrobe. I've put together a little collection of patterns to use as the basis of a "classic style" capsule, with a little mix of masculine and feminine and a whole lot of girlsack style. This is a lot of sewing, but it's all basics and I think I can get a big chunk of it done this winter and wear it year-round:

Blazer: I'm bad at wearing blazers but I aspire to be the kind of person who can just throw one over anything and look effortlessly put-together. I now have a navy knit blazer (B5926, it will be up on the blog next week I hope!) to match Alex's (S8528), and I think it's a good way to ease into it, especially since my decade-old J. Crew Jackie cardigans are falling apart and I need something to replace them. I'd love to make a second even more sweatshirty blazer out of heather grey french terry, either for myself or for Alex... doesn't that sound so nice? Would you make the lapels and accents (welt pockets, maybe?) out of the wrong side? I've also had a navy wool blazer on my to-sew list for. literallyever. and there are lots of woven blazer patterns to choose from depending on what style you like, but this one by Claire Schaeffer is the most classic I could find, and since it's Vogue you know it will have all the little details that make a blazer special.

Black skinny jeans: I have a round up of possibilities here if you are in the market for a jeans pattern, but my favorite hands down is the Ginger from Closet Case. I have a white pair and a dark denim pair, but I think it's time to add a black version. I've never owned a pair of black jeans before but my black ponte pants are looking pretty faded and I think it's time to replace them. I ordered some black stretch twill/denim from Hart's Fabric for this project. I'm thinking black topstitching and a gold button!

Oxford shirts: now that I've discovered glue stick technique for attaching collars, I'm a lot more enthusiastic about making a production line of collared shirts--it makes attaching the collar so much simpler! I love my short-sleeved gingham Granville and I'd like to make a few more with full-length sleeves and plackets and everything: one in chambray, one in white oxford and maybe with a slightly rounded not-quite-Peter-Pan collar, and one in blue oxford to replace my worn-out Ralph Lauren one. I've just ordered some 100% cotton oxford cloth from Stylish Fabrics and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

Full, mid-thigh skirts: Rae, duh... A navy skirt has literally been on my to-sew list for years and I've never made one! I'd also like to try making the shorter version of my wedding dress (Simplicity 5343) as a skirt, since I love love love those pleats. If you don't have a go-to pattern I think the new Patti Pocket skirt looks really promising, or you can always take my skirt class to make a classic, girly dirndl!

Bonus If-I-Have-Time Trench: there are a few trench patterns available now, and although my personal favorite is the Deer and Doe Luzerne, for this capsule I would go for a more classic one with all the tench details here. I have a copy of M5525 (tragically out of print, seen on Cashmerette here) that I've been wanting to make, so this one is my pick, but it's hard to get a hold of. The Named Isla is also perfect--super trad lines and all the bells and whistles you could ask for.

I haven't forgotten about my coat sewing plans, I promise! I'm still on the hunt for a perfect colorful coating and although the Eagle pattern isn't going towork out, I have a replacement pattern for my wool herringbone, also French: the Blousette Rose Ive. That pattern doesn't come with seam allowances included so I've been putting it off, but it should be a relatively simple sew once I get going.

Since I already have all of these patterns and almost all of them are tried and true favorites of mine, I really hope I can get some of this list knocked out. I also have big plans for menswear in the upcoming year so it may be all collared shirts, all the time around here, I really hope my blog doesn't get too boring with all these classics...! Dress lovers, I apologize in advance, but y'all know I'll never forsake my pink flouncy roots, and come spring it will be seersucker and ruffles and lace again, don't you worry...


ps: off topic but speaking of my wedding dress pattern i've recently had the idea to make a black silk (faille maybe?) version of the short variation to wear with my black lace jacket from the same pattern--basically the ultimate cocktail lbd, right??--and i don't know why i never thought of it before.

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  1. It was fun taking a tour of your upcoming "capsule" wardrobe! Sadly the Isla is only available in PDF! I wish Claire would do a trench but now that she's retired I fear we'll never see one :(

  2. I love your ideas! Can you link the glue stick collar trick alluded to? I'm intrigued!

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure where I originally saw it but it's this: instead of using a million pins, you just use a fabric glue stick to keep the collar stand in place while topstitching.

  3. Hey Allie, been thinking about this flat-waistband Rae. I have the pattern kicking around and may try to make the same change. How do you reduce the bulk in the front skirt? Do you reduce the front three panels only by taking 1/3 the necessary reduction off of each panel? If so, do you take that same amount off from waist to hem, or do you grade back to the old seam line? If you take it off the whole pattern piece, do you take it from one side or slash and overlap in the middle?

    Hope those questions make sense. I have a similar Kate Spade skirt—flat front, elasticated back—that I would love 30 of.



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