The Gilbert Top

It’s no secret that I love Helen’s closet patterns. I’ve made quite a few of her designs and each time I’ve been impressed with how clear and thorough the instructions are.

When Helen first teased the Gilbert top a couple of months ago I was smitten. I’d been looking for a fairly casual easy to wear shirt for a while. I had tried the Libby shirt from Sew Over It but the collar was tricky and it just didn’t sit right. That is partially because the fabric I toiled it was too stiff for the design but I never liked it enough to try it again.

I made my first Gilbert shirt at the end of July and I have had so much wear out of it. I used some of the new Atelier Brunette viscose called Shade in the cobalt colour way. I also added the matt cobalt buttons which I bought from Lamazi fabrics.

I made a view A shirt which is slightly more cropped with the tie front. I cut a straight size 8 which is drafted with a B cup. My measurements suggested I should grade from an 8 to a 12 at the hip but when I looked at the finished garment measurements I felt that there was enough ease in the size 8.

I was concerned that the cropped length might come up a bit short on me. I have a slightly longer than ever average torso and often need to increase the length. Again after reviewing the finished garment measurements I felt that it was going to give me the length I was wanting.

I did alter the length of the sleeves. I took around 9cm off the length of the. At the time this was for no other reason than to get the pattern cut out of just over 1m of fabric. I think I much prefer the shorter sleeve length too.

One of my favourite things about this shirt is that it has a flat collar (ie no fiddly collar stand) which means that construction is much simpler . You don, however have to use the “burrito “ method to enclose the seams for the back and yoke pieces. It can be a bit fiddly and and difficult to get your head around the first time you do it but trust the instructions. There is also a very good visual demonstration saved to Helen’s Instagram story highlights which I recommend.

I’ve loved my Gilbert top so much that I’ve already made another one exactly the same.

This time I used a cotton satin from a brand called Atelier 27 which I bought from Good Fabric in August. I adore the colours on the fabric and they are to me very autumnal and fit into my wardrobe well with all the blue tones in it.

The fabric is quite light and delicate similar to a cotton lawn but softer. I made a mistake by sewing the bulk of this shirt with a universal 90 needle! So I do have a couple of small pulls in the fabric. They really are not noticable and as soon I noticed I swapped it out for a microtex 70. Thereafter I didn’t have any hint of pulls, even after making buttonholes.

I even used the same buttons on the second shirt as I loved they way they looked with the fabric.

Have you tried naking the Gilbert top yet? It’s quite a versatile pattern I think the next version I make will be a dress (Helen has a tutorial for hacking the pattern on her website).

I would recommend it, just take care when reviewing the finished measurements chart to make sure it’ll work for you and size down if you think it’ll be too oversized.

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