Hot! The “Yellow (and Blue and Brown) Flowers of Texas Shirt” | Sarah Gabbart

Top photo

P02200900150 Fabric: Floral fabric from (2 yards; $10)
Pattern: Simplicity 7143
Year: c. 1975
Notions: none
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Absolutely!

Total Cost: ~$10


Down turned eyes, a hand to the head in disbelief – the illustrated lady on the right looks like she knows how ugly this pattern cover is. I know that the 70s were a breeding ground for crazy-looking prints, but this pattern cover is an assault on the eyes. Ethnic prints, patchwork and paisley on a western shirt? No. Just … no.

Shirt details This week's theme, turn an item with an ugly cover image into something wearable, was the perfect chance to finally make a western-style shirt that this Texas gal could be proud of. 

I picked a tiny floral pattern of yellow, brown and blue in organic cotton for the whole shirt instead of a traditional two-tone western look so that it felt more like me – a mix of girly and Texan.

After my first jump into vintage patterns, I was a bit nervous about how this one would come together. Thankfully, it was much, much easier to construct than the last one. The yoke was super easy to piece together with the front and back pieces, and my amendments to the sleeves (from some fluffy, banded mess disco sleeves to a simple roll up) made the pattern even more simple. 

Another change made to the original pattern, I omitted the buttons. I have a billion button down shirts and wanted something that was more like a cotton cardigan – I love wearing it with a contrasting camisole or T-Shirt underneath!

Full body

I will be wearing this shirt again in a heartbeat – it's perfect for Texas summers and looks great with my blue boots. I know a bunch of you asked to see more of them, so here they are! Bought them at a vintage store last year and they were exactly my size – a vintage miracle!



Sarah Gabbart


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  1. a vast improvement on the pattern pic. I like the idea of a cotton cardigan too. (ok and the boots are pretty cool too)

  2. Love it! Small florals make it look really darling and so much better than the suggested materials! I have a cowboy shirt similar (that I’m yet to try) but with different girls on the front. Very embarrassing for them!
    I adore your boots so much, and wanna come vintage shopping with you to find a whole bunch of them!

  3. Lovely shirt! Huzzah–so happy you’ve entered into the vintage pattern sewing! What a fabulous first piece! And it does go perfectly with your blue boots! The first photo is AMAZING…that lizard looks very lifelike…hahahah

  4. So cute, but I really want to know where that giant armadillo lives?

  5. I have always secretly wanted a western shirt but never knew how I could make it more “me” and less Urban Cowboy. Making it all one fabric and omitting the two-tone was genius! Now I have to go pull the awful pattern out of the donate bag and into my stash. You’ve saved its life!

  6. Thanks Jen! Weirdly enough I got the idea from my grandma’s wardrobe – she has a ton of old lady cotton cardigans that she layers over hilarious grandma shirts (she’s awesome) – HA!

  7. Thanks lady! We could definitely get you some boots here – there’s a store in town called the Texas Junk Company that has literally thousands of boots for about $30 a pop – an absolute steal!

  8. Thanks lady! You guys have inspired me to keep not be so scared of them – your blog in particular is really helpful, since you’re a vintage ninja! Also, thank goodness he’s fake – he was as big as a building!

  9. Hey hey Deane! His home is Kirby Drive in Houston at the Goode Company Armidillo Palace (a BBQ place/dance hall)!

  10. Huzzah! I can’t wait to see what you make!! I feel you on the “No Urban Cowboy” clause; it’s an unofficial rule in Houston: you can’t go Urban Cowboy or you are a dork. This goes double for guys. Many try to pull this look off, but few if any succeed – like the mullet.

  11. No wonder you said you would wear it again, it looks great! I agree that the small pattern really works. FAB x x x

  12. Over the years I have seen some great Cowboy/girl shirt so why the pattern cover looks so gross is a wonder to me. What were they thinking?
    You did a great job and I love the all one pattern fabric idea. The yoke shape adds the extra to take this shirt from boring to really cute.
    The boots are beautiful. I have been looking for a pair myself.

  13. Very cute! And I love those cowboy boots. I am jealous.

  14. Cute,cute… Loved the look of the shirt turned cardigan.Great idea to leave off the buttons.. And the boots are great.

  15. Thanks Sue! Really – what the heck were they on when they made this cover?!? I know it was the 70s but DANNNGG!

  16. Thank you Judy – I’m wearing those suckers right now!

  17. What a sweet cardigan Sarah and I heart those boots! Yeeha!

  18. Please tell me you caught a rodeo concert in it! I love it…and Armadillo Palace in the background just makes it perfect!

  19. A western shirt cardi…Cute idea Sarah.

  20. A giant mirror mosaic armadillo? That is some kind of awesome right there! I love that you’ve turned an ugly pattern into something so cute and home town relevant. I also love the idea of a cotton cardigan – cute, functional and goodbye many button holes :)

  21. A shirt cardigan, what a great idea! And good that you identified it, could you sell that idea…? I think you are on to something really good! Super comfy and well crafted!
    Cardigan, cami, jeans, (blue) boots and setting, what a great western vibe!

  22. I’m so inspired by this challenge. You did great!

  23. I sadly did not, but it is my designated rodeo shirt for next year! I may have to remove it for the traditional eating of fried oreos, as they are too messy to leave it to chance!

  24. Right?!? He is HUGE too – you can see his shiny self from pretty much anywhere in that area. Like a BBQ beacon… Also, thank you! I was happy to skip the skabillion button holes – yuck!

  25. Thanks lady! I think Chico’s has me beat, though – my husband’s grandma has a ton of cotton cardigan shirts! I feel like I’m descending into old age rather quickly – I hit 30 and was like “Blueblockers? Why the heck not!”

  26. Dear Sarah, If you ever get tired of your boots, I will gladly take them off your hands :) Fabulous job dear!

  27. Smart you are, bring it to a fresh generation! It’s all new to us!