The Black (no, White!) Blazer

I’ve been wanting to tackle sewing a blazer for almost a year. I’m a total blazer fanatic, and I have at least six black jackets, three of which are tuxedo style (one in velvet with silk lapels, yummm). So no, I won’t be sewing a black jacket. But what about white? I was in a total black and white mood this year.

And I loved this look from Stella McCartney’s spring show last year. It was for sale for a gaping $1500 or so on

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The White Shirt

{Proenza Schouler white shirt, via La Garconne}

When I started making a list of classic fashion pieces to sew, I had mostly coats and blazers at the top of the list. A trench was at the very top, and I even looked into various trench patterns in hopes of trying it out. But then I tried on a few Burberry coats. Yes, the $1200 kind. I definitely don’t have a problem trying on luxury clothes even if I can’t afford them. I just love seeing the details and touching the fabric. I could live at Dries van Noten if only they’d set up a sofa bed in their sweet, lofty store in Antwerp. But trying on the “real” trench just ruined the idea of sewing one–I knew from then on out any trench-sewing expedition would get far too perfectionistic. The fit and details were too much to live up to.

I needed to thin out my coat ideas anyway; I live in Texas and wear coats maybe, oh, two months a year? Don’t be jealous–I wish I could layer a lot more than I do. Instead, I decided to start with something simpler and easy to wear year-round. A White Shirt!
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The Inspiration

I write this as SXSW and thousands of bloggers and musicians descend on my hometown of Austin, Texas. While I’ve only ever attended one interactive conference, the first one way back (I think?) in 1997, every year the general buzz of technology inspires me to a rush of blog-making and all sorts of go-forth, young woman, go-forth online adventures.

In this new blog, dear reader, I expose my sewing habits. Last year I was inspired by Nina Garcia’s fun book, The One Hundred, to write a list of my own must-have pieces. Even if style advice ain’t your thing, this book is awesome alone for its hundreds of quirky illustrations by Ruben Toledo.

There comes a time in every woman’s life where her clothing starts feeling like flings with cheap trends. I love fashion and always have and love investing in good pieces (especially shoes). Some of my “must-have” pieces I’ll buy but I’m taking the challenge of learning how to make some of these for myself, like a classic tailored blazer or dress shirt. Along the way, I might even sew something for my husband (he’s been begging for a smoking jacket).

I thought about calling this blog “clothes habit” but since a majority of my sewing ideas remain in a state of uncut cloth, it’s more of a, um, cloth habit. So here I go accruing tools, machines, fabric and hopefully sewing my own classics… Which by, the way, start with this list (to be continued as I find I need more!):

1. The classic stripey tee
2. The classic white shirt
3. A classic black (or white) blazer
4. A white shirtdress
5. The camel coat
6. The red cape
7. The tuxedo pant
8. The perfect summer wide-leg trouser