Hot! The “Back to Cool” top | Sarah Gabbart

Top photo
The Facts 

Fabric: 2 yards of gingham plaid from my stash (~$4 a yard; similar on
Pattern: Simplicity 2245
Year: c. 2010
Notions: vintage bias tape from stash
Time to complete: about 3 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$8

It's hot in Houston y'all. "Yes Sarah – we know this," you may be thinking. "You talk about this all the time." But seriously – SERIOUSLY Sew Weeklies! – it's seriously hot. For serious. It has been over 100 degrees every single day this month. I'm over it in a big way!

What this has to do with this week's challenge: all my local fabric shops, which I assume have national buyers, are only stocking A) very heavy plaids, B) suiting plaids made of wool (no thanks!) and C) novelty plaids. No thank you, all three of those options – I'm going rogue! Because gingham has squares and crosses at certain points, I'm declaring it a plaid. 

Oddly enough, my old school uniform (from kindergarden) included a gingham shirt and dark blue shorts! So this is my grown up take on almost exactly what I would have worn to school in the late 1980s. 

I decided to try a brand new pattern from my stash, a Lisette multiple-view pattern with a cool shirt option. Emphasis was on temperature cool and looking cool – I like the way it turned out! Super easy to make, though I did amend the pattern to include bias tape on the neckline and omitted the banded sleeves. 

Truth be told, I would wear this everyday just like a uniform if I could. But it would probably make me miss recess (and nap time!) too much… 

Detail shot


Sarah Gabbart


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  1. Great top, Sarah! I have that pattern and it’s nice to see it made up. :) What pattern did you use to make your skirt (shorts?)? Is it vintage Butterick 7762?

  2. A.dorbs. :)

  3. Good Eye Sarah!! It was that Butterick pattern – made for this challenge previously:

  4. Very nice! And too funny – in Vermont, there is no plaid wool. I’ve been looking…

  5. Pretty.. and it looks great and cool on you.. And Sarah..I so understand your ‘Seriously hot” has been here in Ms too. 100 plus degrees for a month..but Thank God..this week, has cooled off a little bit.. in the 90’s now..yea.
    Happy Sewing.

  6. Love your shirt and your “back to school” back drop looks just like a school photo! It’s starting to feel like fall here which actually makes me a bit depressed!

  7. Sarah, I love this top. I also live in NW Houston and I am SO DONE with this weather. Happy Sewing….

  8. Love this shirt, gingham gave it a touch of fun.

  9. Gingham..plaid, they have to be from the same “family”! I love your shirt, looks so comfy in the heat…sorry about the temps, it sounds awful, hopefully it will cool down soon!

  10. I love that you declare it a plaid. That heat sounds sickening, love your top Sarah.

  11. Gingham plaid is just as good as tartan plaid, no? LOVE it, and this really scoopy neckline and lovely sleeves really suit you! xoxo

  12. Weird! I am so used to seeing plaid wool exclusively in our local shops!

  13. Thanks lady! And OMG it’s like fall here today, which is weird after it being 100 degrees a week ago; we have lows in the 60s this week! I’ll send some good weather vibes your way!

  14. Thanks Jessie! I was going for exactly that look, so yay! We are starting to get some fall weather here this week – fingers crossed that it will last!

  15. Thanks lady! And can I get a heck yeah on the weather today?!? I walked outside expecting the wall of heat and it was actually pleasant – mind blown!

  16. Thanks Cathe! It is cooler – I think your good weather vibes helped! :O)

  17. Thanks Veronica! I can’t wait to wear this layered with wool this fall!