Me, Grandma & Gingham

The Facts

Fabric: Blue & white gingham
Pattern: New Look ????  I can’t seem to find it anymore…
Year: contemporary
Notions: elastic
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: A year or two ago to work…
Wear again?  You betcha!
Total price: $70!!!!  (If you include my first  refresher sewing lesson)

I had big plans (as usual) for this challenge.  Really. Big. Plans.  I first learned how to sew from my grandma, so I knew that I would use her as my inspiration right away. Looking through pictures, I had almost too many ideas going through my head!  I finally settled on a picture that I thought not only represented who my grandma is, but truly captured her personality.  It was also something that I could totally see myself wearing back in her day and here in mine.

Unbelievably, I found a pattern from the 60s that matched the shape of the blouse.  I got some shirting fabric that had some very colorful stripes, and got to cutting.  I was on cloud-9, you see, because I was getting this all accomplished a whole week ahead of the challenge!  I was able to trace and cut out the pattern, which left me the following (challenge appropriate) weekend to sew it up.  Should be a breeze!  My shirt is pictured to the right…Yah.  It never was finished.  I got to it on Sunday (knowing I didn’t need that much time) and realized that there were NO directions included in the pattern…What I thought were directions, was a newspaper clipping about detailing what people were doing the previous weekend. Ahhhh!  But wait, I’ve been sewing for a few years now.  I’m a pro.  I can do this without directions or maybe with another pattern’s directions since shirts are probably constructed with similar logic.  That plan was good. It was real good.  Until, that is, I realized that I was missing pieces for the collar…raaaaawwwwrrr!  I still have no idea where they are, or if I even cut them in the first place. So the shirt sits, and waits, for its nonexistent future.

I just figured I’d miss the challenge and get back in the game for the mixy-matchy theme, when I remembered another picture of my grandma that had me laughing.  Here she was pictured hanging out in the back yard wearing her giant bell-bottom pants!  When I saw it I was struck by a stroke of genuis (or it was the wine)! My first official garment I made when getting back into sewing was a shirt I made in my ‘refresher course’ at the Needle Shop. It was a simple top that I had picked out some gingham fabric for.  It fits alright, so I don’t wear it much.  I find the elastic a little annoying around the neckline, and its a bit boxy even in the midsection.  Since the morning I thought about using the shirt for the challenge was ‘spirit day’ at my school, and our colors are blue & gold,  I decided to style it up!  It was a good day for sewing, despite the fact that I didn’t even utilize any of my tools.  To make up for that, I headed straight over to Joann’s Fabric after the pictures so that I could get my mixy-matchy fabric for this week’s challenge.  No working ahead for this gal. From now on, it’s all procrastination all the time! :)



Cheryl is a teacher, martial artist, crafter and sewer just trying to find balance in a busy world. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin she's now trying to fit into and explore the vast expanse that is Chicago, Illinois.


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  1. Hey Cheryl, another great look pulled wrote her for school!,

  2. I love it! And I love how you’ve styled it. The belt looks really nice on the gingham. Great job making it work!

  3. You’re a funny girl! I procrastinate way too much! Sorry to hear about your top. I think you should revisit it sometime-make it up as you go-that’s what I do. I love your outfit here and am glad you found a way to contribute this week. Love the splash of yellow.

  4. Clever rescue! I do hope you finish the first top though – the fabric is gorgeous!