Hot! The “Little Houses” Shirt | Sarah Gabbart

Top photo
The Facts 

Fabric: 1.5 yards of white linen from my stash (similar at for $13 a yard)
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 8399
Year: c. 1969
Notions: buttons from stash
Time to complete: about 2 hours for the top and 3 hours for the embroidery
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Hmmm…

Total Cost: ~$20

Let me first say that I am super good at bungling directions. While all the lovely Sew Weeklies are doing outfits that revolve around dying or painting their fabrics, I took a left and did embroidery because I misunderstood the very clear theme of dying and painting to be embellishment in general. Fail! I will have to try dying when we have an embroidery theme sometime and then the universe will be evened out!

Now on to the shirt! I decided to make this late 1960s sleevless top out of linen – you know, because of the super hotness – and add some Sublime Stitching embroidery to the bottom edge. This pattern was done by the Black Apple, one of my favorite illustrators. 

Detail shot
The top pattern was a breeze to put together – the task that took the longest was making the 4 buttonholes and sewing on the buttons. Outside of that, easy peasy! 

And then there's the embroidery! I love to embroidery – it's relaxing, easy and so satisfying to create textured work by changing stitches and adding colors/layers. It took me about 3 episodes of Breaking Bad (how I count time!) to complete these tiny houses – I love them!

I finished this top just in time to jet out of town for a ranch vacation with the hubbo and my best friends.

RanchcationThese jokers – love 'em. 

In the top photo you can see the San Marco river in the background, as the ranch we stay in sits on the river. Did we do ranching while there? If you count shopping at the outlet mall, eating tons of candy and drinking wine, then yes. We ranched a lot. 


Sarah Gabbart


Comments are closed.

  1. Lol! Sarah, Really cute embroidery. I am busting to try it, it’s been years. I keep collecting bits of embroidered doilys, apparently it was quite the thing to do in Aus when the men were away in the War (WWII) telling myself I am going to make something with them. Saw a woman in NZ wearing a dress with sleeves made out of them – it looked amazing!

  2. LOL! You are so funny Sarah :P Love the lil embroidered houses, I must give them a try sometime.

  3. What a sweet top. I love your little houses.

  4. Awww Sarah, I LOVE embroidery and your little houses are adorable! Ohh I also love Sublime Stitching, she has the most fun and quirky patterns. Perfect shirt too, looks comfy for the heat and ideal for a ranch vacation!

  5. You give this to your sister, yes? I love it!!!

  6. Lovely embroidery. Side bust darts a good three inches too high.

  7. Thank you Trish! Sleeves out of embroidered doilys?!? That’s awesome!

  8. Thank you Cathe! OMG – Love Sublime Stitching so much; they’re based out of Austin, which is super close by! I once met Jenny at Maker Faire and she is awesome!

  9. LOL – I will give it to joo!

  10. Love it! I love sleeveless woven shirts in the hot weather, so much classier and cooler than the inevitable knit tanks and t-shirts that cling and up the hot quotient.

  11. That’s super rad Sarah.

  12. WOW! Black Apple have embroidery designs?? How did I continue to exist in the world without this knowledge contained within my brainsicles? You are as ever, the great bringer of the awesome knowledge. I do have some questions though… Wear again: Why the Hmmm? What makes this potential unwearable? I’m seeing some super cute, super weather suitable wear. I’m also curious, what is ranching? Is it being at or in the vicinity of a ranch? If ranching is eating sweets and drinking lots of wine then does there have to be an actual ranch present? Because I think you just described my life. I digress… but I love your top! (So does Tex, he sent me an email yesterday on exactly that topic. You have a surprisingly tech-savvy hound).