Hot! The “Brisbane Does Downton Blouse”

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton Gingham, scraps from Megan’s Vendetta
Pattern: Sisters of Edwardia
Year: Contemporary, based on the blouse worn by both Edith and Sybil on Downton Abbey
Notions: Scraps of interfacing, invisible zipper
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
First worn: April 7
Wear again? Yes- in fact I wore it most of the weekend.  It’s comfy!  And obnoxious!  And I love the way the cut works with my linen plus-fours!
Total price: $9


This is my second blouse from this pattern.  Last week I made a VIP version in silk twill which is perfect for “professional” wear (not to mention that silk twill is closer to Downton Abbey than gingham!).  Since this week’s challenge is to take inspiration from your city, I decided to see how casual this cut could go.  Brisbane is a pretty laid-back place, it moves at the pace you’d expect from a city in a climate of near-perpetual summertime.

Gingham is just about the most casual fabric I can think of.  (Besides, it demonstrates the grain of fabric.)

It’s comfortable- relaxed fit sleeves, blousey top, one piece gussets for mobility.  At the same time, the midriff section provides waist definition.  Not restriction, definition.   I used the contrast fabric for the gussets because it shows up well- but usually I’d use the same fabric as the shirt.

For fun, I ran four lines of pintucks down the center of the fabric before cutting the top.


When I first moved to southeast Queensland, I found the colors favored by natives rather startling.  The this summer I started to look around at the bright colors on people’s backs, on buildings and flowers growing in the gardens and found inspiration.   I started to understand bright color as a sort of bravery against the harsh, unrelenting sunshine.  Paler pinks may be tasteful, but they’re lost under this blazing sun.

Fuchsia is a strong color that stands up to the sun.

Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to take photos in the city before we left for the long weekend.  I hope that’s ok!  Besides, these pictures show my favorite thing about Brisbane: the most gorgeous coastline I’ve ever seen in my entire life is within an hour’s drive.




Stephanie mothers, writes, and teaches sewing in Brisbane, Australia. She blogs about sewing, drafting, vintage style and sustainability at 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World.


Comments are closed.

  1. Great blouse in a lovely location.. the gusset in different colour is genius.. love it

  2. Wow, so cute and comfortable looking. I’m very impressed with the versatility you’ve shown us using this pattern both last week and this week. Love your bright color palette for this one. It’s perfect with those cute pants you’re wearing too. Did you make those too?

  3. I really love this look, both in this blouse and the one last week. I wonder if you’d consider selling us a “Sisters of Edwardia” blouse? I, for sure, would get one!

    And that gussett: YES!

  4. Oh! Thanks for your lovely comments. I’m really distracted by the photos- why are they so big?? Oh no! I don’t think I did that!!

    The pants are linen knickerbockers I made last year… They’re my favorite pair of pants. I wear them constantly. :)

    I am making it up into a pattern-

  5. The photos are lovely– that coastline is amazing!– and you look like you’ve soaked up all the happy-making positive ions. This blouse does casual really well. The contrast gussets, bias-cut sleeves, and pin tucks are cool details. I would wear this outfit all the time too.

  6. I LOVE this blouse. Both versions you’ve made have me SUPER excited about making it!

  7. Hi Stephanie, love the combo of shirt and pants. The underarm cracks me up. What a beautiful day on the shore, god it’s really beautiful. Love the extra pleats!

  8. The pin tucks are a cute little detail that strangely seems to complement the busy gingham. Nice job on this bright little top! :D

  9. Love this blouse, the shape and the fact that it incorporates Mad Men and Downton Abbey is one garment – who’d have thought?! Beautiful colour and fab sleeve gusset….I nearly braved fitting one this week, but neshed out as I’m a big coward (though I should have done it, it’s sometimes useful to be able to raise your arms not just flap from your elbows).

  10. Absolutely love this in bright gingham! It’s so true that relentless sun just begs for saturated color. Yeah, yeah, white linen is classic. But I love me some color.

  11. I ADORE the color of this blouse! I’m with Lavender on this one–white *might* be the go-to summer color, but I totally favor a bright pop of color! The cut of this shirt if very flattering and totally fits with the environment! Love it.