Sew Your Own: Your Favorite Queer Characters’ Wardrobes

Queer women on screen seem to be universally – and distinctively – stylish. Of course, fictional characters have the benefit of stylists and costume designers, but if you’re handy with a sewing machine, you don’t need either! For Halloween or for every day, here’s how to stitch up a look inspired by your favorite fictional queer women.

Bette Porter


This list can only start with The L Word‘s foremost executive lesbian, Bette Porter. Bette’s signature looks center around clean lines and architectural details in solid-colored fabrics.

On top, you can’t go wrong with a classic Oxford like the Cashmerette Harrison (12-28) or Butterick 5526 (6-22) shirts. Alternatively, get some of Bette’s signature ruffles with the Vogue 9029 Top (8-24), or drape to your heart’s content StyleArc Rosemary Blouse (0-26) in a jewel tone silk.
For your bottoms, try high-waisted, medium-wide leg trousers like the StyleArc Katherine Pants (sizes 0-26), or the Vogue 7881 (6-22) in a drapey, neutral wool.



Lena Waithe’s Denise on Master of None always looks sharp in athleisure with modern prints and textures. To get her look, try the Burda Style 6489 Bomber Jacket (18-32) paired with the Patterns for Pirates Bear Joggers (women’s and men’s XXS-3XL) in a soft French terry fabric. Printed jerseys and sweatshirt fleeces make a bold statement even on the basics, like the Seamwork Jane Tee (XS-3XL), Green Style Creations Centerfield Sweatshirt (XXS-3XL), or Hey June Halifax Hoodie (XS-2XL).

For a more formal Denise look, try the Burda Style Stinchcomb Blazer (chest sizes 44-60) or the StyleArc Bronnie Tux Jacket (0-26) over the Simplicity 1538 Button-down Shirt (6-22) in a graphic print.



For something a little more vintage (think solid colors with subtle textures in well-tailored ’50s silhouettes), look no further than Carol Aird of the eponymous Carol. A fitted skirt suit like the Simplicity 8508 (10-28) is perfect for a thank you lunch with that girl you like, while the slim skirt and slight dolman sleeve of Butterick 6242 (6-22) works equally well in a wintery blue or retro plaid. For a more modern spin on things, try a cardinal red boxy jacket like the Seamwork Lilliana (0-26) with a plaid pencil skirt like the Butterick 5466 (8-24).

Alternatively, glam up for your road trip with silk sleepwear like the Closet Case Patterns Carolyn (0-20) or Simplicity 3971 (S-XXXL) pajamas, topped with a classic plaid bathrobe like the Simplicity 5314 (S-XXXL).



Wynonna Earp‘s badass little sister Waverly has captured our hearts not just with her demon-hunting abilities, but with her playful, trendy looks. If you too have never met a crop top you didn’t like, try the Ellie and Mac Sweetheart Crop Top Pattern (XXS-5XL), or the Simplicity 1283 Multi-Way Set (6-24). Next, get yourself some sky-high stonewashed denim with the Simplicity 8516 (6-22) or Seamwork Tessa (0-26) jeans (if you’re going for cut-offs, the shorter, the better).

Finally, since nobody layers like Waverly, try a loose wrapper like the Sew Caroline Florence (XS-XXL) in a silky printed fabric, a bomber like the Papercut Patterns Rigel Jacket (XXS-XL) in denim, or the Kommatia Parka (XS-XL) in a heavy twill with faux fur trim.

For more of Shannon’s sewing tips, check out 4 Dapper Plus-Size Sewing Projects for Beginners and Pros, Summer Project: Sew Your Own Gender-Affirming Swimwear, and Sew Your Own: Pants Projects for Any Skill Level.

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Shannon is a 30-year-old art historian living in the Midwest with her bulldog, Imogen. A self-identified fat femme dandy, she likes to talk about clothes, sewing, and how both relate to gender presentation. She writes about sewing on her blog, With A Rare Device, posts daily outfit shots and fashion inspiration over on tumblr, and gives out equal numbers of selfies and dog pictures on Instagram.

Shannon has written 4 articles for us.


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