A Helen's Closet Outfit: Gilbert and Arden

I made a shirt... with a collar... and buttons!! 

Well, I made a whole outfit which I had high hopes for, but the pants are a bit of a failure (not due to the pattern because it's amazing).

All right - let's start with the shirt. I used a gorgeous viscose linen slub from Blackbird Fabrics and it was an absolute dream to sew. It's also really comfortable. It's going to be amazing to wear next summer but over the next few months, I can easily wear it with a cardigan on top.

To say that I'm proud of this make would be an understatement. I made a million mistakes while putting it together and it's far from perfect, but I love it to death! This was my first time making anything with buttons and my machine behaved so well when sewing the buttonholes, I had to ask myself why I waited so long.

Helen's instructions, just like in all of her patterns, are super detailed. She really holds your hand through the whole thing, adding some tips and tricks along the way. And I love that her patterns just seem to fit me so well. I made a straight size 16 (D-cup) based on my bust measurement. The tie makes it very easy to fit at the hips so I didn't bother grading at the waist or hips. 

The details:

Now let's have a very quick look at the pants shall we? This is the Arden pattern, also from Helen's Closet. The pants have a straight leg, elasticated waistband and optional ankle cuffs. I decided to go with View A (no cuffs). I made a muslin from pretty stiff fabric in a size 18 based on my hip measurement, but I found them to be a little snug in the bottom area and thighs. So I made my final pair in a size 20 thinking I could take a bigger seam allowance at the side and cut my elastic short enough to fit my waist.

Well, I had forgotten that my fashion fabric is a stretch woven and has a little give. From the back, I think they look really good and they feel really comfortable. There are patch pockets on the back which I love.

But I find the front really big - I have a lot of excess fabric there and the gathering at the waistband is really not a good look.

So my next pair (and there will definitely be a next pair) will be in a size 18 and I'll once again use a stretch woven fabric... I mean - who doesn't want a little stretch in their life right now!

The pattern was a lot of fun to make. There are a ton of small details that just elevate this make - lots of top stitching, patch pockets, and front pockets sewn in the sides and waist so no flopping around.

The details:

Overall, I'm super pleased with the outfit. It's crazy comfortable, perfect for working from home and both pieces were great learning opportunities!


  1. You made a whole outfit!! Yay! Looks great! I really love that shirt. Garment sewing is not for me, but I love to see what you make! Great job!!


  2. Well done. They look amazing on you. Good luck with future makes.


Post a Comment