fabric patterns sewing

Sew a Chic Work Outfit

It never fails that when someone new I meet learns that I sew, they are taken aback. Amongst the comments I have received are “oh, I didn’t know people still sew”, “oh wow, you’re young to sew”, and “there are careers in sewing outside of factories?” I am always happy to let people know of the expansive online sewing community I have connected with, full of sewists young, old, and in between, from all around the world, from all cultures and backgrounds. While I know many probably have imagery of grandma or mom sewing Halloween costumes, table runners to match the drapes, and the occasional family holiday coordinating outfits (yes, I wore them)…sewing has transformed so much over the years. Many of those I have met are sewing everyday clothing, athletic clothing, special occasion, and entire work wardrobes. That brings me to the topic of today’s post; we are gonna chat about sewing a chic work outfit!

As many know by now, I sew up patterns from Ellie and Mac quite often. I used to be a tester since late 2018, but when I took over writing and photographing the pattern tutorials, I stepped a little back from that aspect. As such, I still promote often for the company because I end up sewing every pattern from writing the instructions haha! I also love the values that the company represents and stands for, the supportive community, and how easy the patterns are to fit and tweak to my liking. The Elevated Blazer Jacket* released last night and I couldn’t wait to talk about it, the vision I had for it, my styling choices, and tips for you to make your own work wardrobe.

This pattern is intended for stable knits (think ponte, Liverpool, etc). It comes with a rounded or straight front option that can have pockets with or without the flap. The back has fisheye darts for a more tailored fit, and it doesn’t take very long to sew. For my version, I had this gorgeous plum colored ponte that I had purchased a while ago from a local fabric shop that I had been dying to use. It had the right amount of stretch and beautiful structure, so I knew this was it. I actually ended up going back and buying more because I wanted to make a pair of pants or a skirt to wear with the blazer. I decided on the Paperbag Pants*, also from Ellie and Mac. Underneath I am wearing the Classic Camisole and Dress* in top length with the straight back. When styling the whole outfit, I had visions of my future meetings and my future job where I have to actually leave the house (ya know… way, way future when I’m the CEO of something other than the House of Webb 😜). This would be the exact style of outfit I’d wear! Because it’s knit, it’s very comfortable for me, I don’t feel stuffy or stiff. Think of the set as secret fancy pajamas that you can get away with wearing in a conference room.

I didn’t show other styling options, but tons of testers did, if you check out the photos underneath the listing. This Blazer pairs nicely with a skirt for a different take on my “suit”. It also goes so cute with jeans for a more casual, everyday look. I think when considering your own work wardrobe and sewing for it, your best bet is to consider these things:

  • What is appropriate in your line of work? Are jeans and tees acceptable or are things more formal? This will help determine the style of garments you could choose.
  • Do you have to move a lot or are you stationary? If stationary, perhaps wearing jeans or other woven trousers may be comfortable for you (give it’s “allowed” in your dress code). For someone who is doing a lot of moving/lifting/other physical activity, you can make nice pants with Liverpool, ponte, scuba or other structured fabrics. Because they are knit, they’ll move nicely with your body. They are structured enough to look like “pants” and not as casual as leggings or joggers. Of course if you can wear joggers and leggings and want to, go for it!
  • Do you get hot/cold at different times/locations at work? Think in terms of layers. Pair short sleeved shirts with long sleeved cardigans or jackets that you can put on or remove as needed throughout the day.
  • Do you sweat a lot? Consider natural fibers or fabrics listed as moisture wicking. They are more breathable and help to reduce sweat pooling on the body. They also will be less likely to hold any odors within the fibers (yall all know that shirt you got a little too sweaty in and it has the slightest scent lingering ever since…or is that just me 😩)
  • Have fun with prints and color! No one says work clothes have to be boring. Perhaps your dress code is a little more on the conservative side. That’s fine and dandy, but let’s find a way to let your inner you shine. Wearing a suit, blazer, something formal? Make it solid, but use a nice print for the undershirt (basically what. I did here). If your work is more relaxed, go wild with it! Wear the colors and prints you want and be proud to flaunt your one-of-a-kind me-made clothing!

Do you sew your own work wardrobe? How do you consider the pieces you create? I’d love to hear!

*Links within this post containing asterisks are affiliate links. You don’t pay any more for the product than listed, but I do earn a small commission when you shop from the link. I appreciate every little bit of support, as it encourages and enables me to keep doing what I do!

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