Way back at the beginning of our just-past long winter, I was on the hunt for fresh cotton gingham to pair with some Liberty cottons for dresses for my granddaughters’ birthdays. Always having been a fan of gingham, I couldn’t help but notice the offerings of shirting gingham in the Etsy shop where I was making purchases. Of course, I ordered two pieces. (Why wouldn’t I?!) One piece in lavender has been tugging at me and I knew it would be next to make after finishing my purple boucle coat.
In the meantime, I came across this spread in the April (2018) issue of Harper’s Bazaar:
There in the lower left hand corner is – yes – a lavender gingham blouse.
Now at this point in my life, I do not sew to save money, although I am always happy to have that as an added bonus. But in this instance, once I looked at the listed price of that blouse ($375!!!) I felt quite pleased with myself, knowing I could make this knock-off, for well less than 10% of the cost of that shirt:
The feature I really liked about the “$375 blouse” was the spread collar. A spread collar, of course, has a wide division between the points in front, as opposed to longer pointed ends. I determined to alter my pattern to make my shirt look like the one in the magazine.
I used a Simplicity pattern from 1972, which somehow survived all my now-regrettable purges of sewing patterns over the last 40-some years. I had to make several alterations to it in addition to the shape of the collar, but its basic lines – with a yoked back, single button cuffs, slightly fitted body, and a long shirttail – lent itself to my vision.
To me, buttons are always an important component of any style requiring them. I went through my button collection to see what I could find, knowing that what I really wanted would be simple mother-of-pearl, two-hole buttons. When I came across this card of “Lucky Day” buttons, I knew they would be perfect.
What is it about gingham that makes it so fresh and happy – and timeless, as the tag line in Harper’s Bazaar, states?
Well, I am quite certain my “Gingham Style” looks just as good as the much more expensive “Gingham Style” detailed above. All the more reason to wear it with pearls!