Judith Rasband tells us to cut down on our clothes buying, to celebrate Earth Day (which was Monday 22 April).
Here’s the basic capsule of classics she thinks we should be choosing instead of high fashion.
image from Conselle blog
Oddly, Judith Rasband doesn’t mention making new clothes from old ones.
Much done by all the people who love turning pre-owned clothes into something else.
As I was a small child in WWII, when children’s clothes were made out of the not-too-badly-worn sections of adult clothes, this is the first thing that comes to mind for me when re-cycling clothes is mentioned.
As Judith Rasband’s choices are classics, there are dozens of possible patterns. Here are some easy makes for beginners, and supremely elegant designer versions needing advanced skills.
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Go for high quality and use Claire Shaeffer Vogue 8732.
For a much simpler make, there’s Kwik Sew 3534.
Also see my post on jackets with many pockets.
A safari jacket is the casual jacket Judith Rasband tends to go for. If you like something a bit softer, I think a drape front jacket is now a casual classic. See my post on choices for the jacket in a basic casual capsule.
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Camp shirt and straight leg pants
Let’s go simple rather than designer, for ease of making, and choose Kwik Sew Kwik Start beginner patterns.
Kwik Sew Kwik Start 3475 is a basic camp shirt.
Kwik Sew Kwik Start 3314 straight leg pants have an elastic waist.
If you’d prefer elegant designer versions, how about a couple of patterns by Chado Ralph Rucci.
and Vogue 1054.
Change the length a bit to layer under Claire Shaeffer’s safari jacket.
Or use Chado Ralph Rucci’s Vogue 1347 shirt jacket.
(Sadly the Chado Ralph Rucci Vogue 1144 safari jacket pattern is out of print.)
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Straight and flared skirts
Kwik Sew Kwik Start patterns for speed and simplicity again.
Kwik Sew Kwik Start 3765 is a straight skirt with elastic waist.
Kwik Sew Kwik Start 2806 is a flared skirt with elastic waist.
If you prefer a fitted waist, Kwik Sew Kwik Start 3877 is an a-line skirt with darts, zip, waistband.
The basic classic patterns for these styles are
McCall’s 3830 for a straight skirt,
and McCall’s 3341 for an a-line skirt.
The flared skirt illustrated by Judith Rasband is a designer skirt with horizontal pin tuck detail round the hem.
No need to go for the detailing, but if you’d like some designer elegance for your skirts, there are plenty of straight skirts among the designer co-ordinates at Vogue patterns.
Currently only one flared skirt designer pattern – lengthen the skirt from Rachel Comey in Vogue 1247.
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A simple 5-item capsule which can be business/ casual/ dressy, depending on colour, fabric, accessories. Though I would want more than one top. I’d make several shirts, other people might want tees !
Judith Rasband says – for a wardrobe that only needs to be replaced when it wears out, not because it’s gone out of fashion : “make classic pieces the bulk of your wardrobe, with a few trendy items to update and add some fun.”
Well, I’m not sure we would all be at our happiest when wearing ultra-classic styles.
And I don’t agree that it’s only ultra-classic styles that are wearable for many seasons. Fortunately, we haven’t got to choose either ultra-classics or new-each-week ultra-fashion. There are many other styles which last for more than one season.
Even ultra-classics can’t always be worn for many decades, as proportions and details change.
If you prefer modern classics, there are versions of all these styles from styleARC patterns (though what they call a safari jacket doesn’t have the 4-pocket style). Many other companies have basic camp shirt, skirt and pants patterns. They don’t all have a safari jacket style, but if they go for basic classics they usually have a shirt jacket pattern.
I’ve chosen patterns needing easy and difficult sewing skills. Of course there are many other ways of picking the styles for a basic group of jacket/ top/ pants/ straight and full skirts. If you’d like intermediate steps between making the Kwik Sew version and the Chado Ralph Rucci patterns, how about the wardrobe pattern book ‘Dressmaking’ by Alison Smith for intermediate sewing skills. Then the wardrobe pattern Vogue 6701 has a jacket a bit more advanced than Alison Smith’s (separate the dress into peplum top and flared skirt).
Make several versions of this capsule on your way from an easy starter-wardrobe to a big challenge !
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Patterns and links available April 2013
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