You may have seen on Instagram that I'm on the hunt for my favorite short sleeve button down style for summer. Helen's Closet model Gilbert Top has been making his way around the sewing community lately and he seemed like the perfect candidate. I wish I had jumped on the bandwagon sooner! The Gilbert top is pretty easy to make because it skips a few of the steps I don't like regarding buttons (i.e. plackets). So far, mine has been a perfect staple as the LA weather finally warms up.
Choose size + fabric
My measurements fluctuate between measurements of sizes 2 + 4. I ended up going with size 2 based on the final garment measurements. I didn't want the shirt to be too boxy. I really liked that the pattern had options for B and D cups – I feel like that's always a good sign of thoughtful sizing and editing. The size goes up to a 58 inch bust, so it's pretty inclusive too.
The fabric I used is a cotton shirt (I assume) that I picked up at a fabric swap in LA a few months ago. It was the perfect pairing with the Gilbert top, as I was looking for something light and summery. I can totally see myself doing this in a linen or crepe next time. It seems to be versatile enough to work well with many types of fabrics and I appreciate that the pattern makes specific recommendations based on the view presented.
Sew the Gilbert top from Helen's Closet
My goal was to create an easy summer staple, so I opted for version A which has short sleeves and a tie front. It also has a pocket, but I left out the pocket because I didn't really feel like I wanted it. Other than that, I haven't made any changes. The fit is great and I love the look so I don't think I'll make any changes next time either.
This pattern is quite easy to make as far as the buttons are concerned. I love wearing buttons, but I don't like sewing the fiddly details of collars, sleeve plackets and button plackets. This template simplifies a lot of these steps in the way it is written. The only small problem for me was that I had never used the burrito method before this model (I don't know how I avoided it for so long!). The burrito method requires a lot of “trust in the process.” It's hard at first to see how this will turn out, but if you follow the instructions it will work. Generic YouTube videos of the burrito method can also help, because it's visually clearer how it's going to happen. Overall, I think the Gilbert Top could be a great introduction to buttons for someone who hasn't tried one yet, because the writing and instructions are so well done.
The Gilbert Top will be a new addition to my pattern library. I'm already going through my fabric stash and determining if I can use the shirts and lawns that have been in my stash forever. But before I create more Gilbert tops, I have a few more short sleeve button up designs that I'm going to try. Stay tuned!