I made this pattern back at the start of May along with Sally (@theyorkshiresewist) who shares my love of vintage styles. Just like any of Gertie’s patterns, the Gardner deserves a place on the blog. It’s definitely a spotlight look.
Named after the beautiful Ava Gardner, this yoke top could easily be dressed up or down depending on your mood. And the options for fabric pairings are limitless.
For the yoke you can use any non stretch sheer fabric; the top can be quite risqué, too, depending on what you use. You could use a lace yoke for more coverage or choose a sheer tulle or fishnet fabric if scandalous is your style (yes, please!). The pattern is drafted with fabrics like ponte roma in mind for the main body and the collar so this is not a super stretch pattern like the Skipper or Barbie Tops from earlier Patreon releases. The collar needs to hold its shape, after all.
This year, Gertie’s Patreon comes with an extra bonus of earning merit badges for each new skill that is the highlight of each project. For this project, the badge is for the clean-finish collar (there are no facings and no bindings here, because of the sheer yoke) with a polished look. I really need a circle skirt version of the Stanwyck to pair with this top.
The Gardner sews up much faster than I had imagined it would. I sourced the fabric for this make from Minerva; they have ponte in every colour imaginable but, as I am newly resolved to make more basics, I decided to make my Gardner in black – as Ava herself was prone to do – and paired it with a Lady McElroy mesh net with polka dots.
I love the aesthetic, but I’m just not sure about the fit. While Gertie does state that you shouldn’t be put off by the excess fabric at the underarm – that it was part of the drafting – I find it really annoying but that’s because I love a real close fit at the bust. Maybe there’s a way to make an adjustment to lessen that excess fabric but until then, I’ll stick with my black version. It’s not as obvious in black as it would be in a lighter or brighter colour. Saying that, I might just need the right skirt to with it – that’s my cue to make a Stanwyck which, unbelievably, I’ve never made!