I think we all binge-watched The Queen’s Gambit, and we all drooled over Beth’s wardrobe. Between her adorable dresses, her chic coats, and the accessories to die for, there was rarely a moment she didn’t look completely put together. The first outfit she buys with her chess winnings has a special place in my heart and acted as inspiration for this new free pattern. With a wide-winged collared shirt and full-skirted pinafore, the Gambit Dress brings all the vintage vibes you need this season.
Purchase Materials Used Below:
- 4-5 yards Italian Blueberry and Charcoal Plaid Wool Suiting
- 1 916 Pale Black 24″ Invisible Zipper
- 2-3 yards Chesterton Beige Calendered Organic Cotton Oxford
- 16-20 Luminous Italian Ivory Shank Back Button – 24L/15mm
- MDF239 – The Gambit Dress Sewing Pattern (free download below!)
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.
Sewing the Shirt
First, create the darts on each of your front pieces following the guide on your pattern. Press each dart downward.
Attach the back of the shirt to the fronts at the shoulders and side seams using French seams. At the shoulders, be sure to stop your first row of stitches 1″ from the edge of your back neckline. The second set will end a 1/2″ from the edge.
Using a regular seam, attach the two front panels at the center back collar seam and press the seam open.
Using a regular seam again, attach your collar to the back neckline. Be sure to line up the center back of your shirt with the center back seam of the collar.
If using a lightweight shirting, I’d recommend interfacing your front facing pieces here. The fabric I went with is actually pretty sturdy all on its own, so I chose to skip interfacing.
Attach your facings at the center back with a regular seam. Pin face to face to your shirt, beginning at the center back and working your way around the perimeter of the collar and center front. Stitching, clip your seam allowances, turn right side out, and press.
Fold the raw edges along your facing inward 1/2″ and press. Pin the facing down so it lays flat against your shirt and stitch into place. I recommend machine stitching along the front and slip-stitching along the collar.
Face to face, sew your bias binding along the opening on each of your sleeves. Double fold the binding inward, tucking in the raw edge and stitch-in-the-ditch to secure.
Form each of your sleeves by sewing up the inseam with French seams. Attach each cuff along the bottom edge of your sleeves, leaving 1/2″ on either end for seam allowance. Fold the cuff upward in half, faces together, and sew along the sides. Flip each cuff right side out and press. Fold the raw edges along the inside edge inward, press, and slip-stitch closed.
If desired, add a button and button loop or hole at each cuff, but personally, I used the vintage feel of this shirt as an excuse to secure the sleeves with some cute cuff links.
Create your button placket, sewing the two pieces face to face with a small opening to turn it right side out. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and press. Top-stitch around the perimeter and pin the placket beneath one side of your shirt center front. Sew two rows of buttons along the placket, securing them through your shirt as well along the one side. On the other side of your shirt, add corresponding buttonholes.
Finish off your shirt with a 1/4″ double rolled hem.
Sewing the Pinafore
First, sew the two back panels of the skirt to the front panel at the sides using French seams. Set the skirt aside for the time being as you sew the bodice.
Attach the front and side bodice, making sure to match up the notches. In the show, the plaid matches along the top part of the bodice near the shoulder, so that’s how I chose to cut my pieces as well. If you’re not using a plaid, the side front can be cut regularly on the grain instead. Repeat with your lining and press your seams open after sewing.
Add the darts on your back panels and back lining before attaching the front and back pieces at the sides and shoulders. Press each seam open again.
Attach your main bodice pieces to their corresponding lining along the neckline, fabric faces together. Clip along the curves in the seam allowance, turn right side out, and press.
Fold the raw edges of your armscyes inward 1/2″ and press. With the folded seam allowances together, pull the armscyes to be partially inside out to sew along the pressed fold. Once the lining is fully attached around the armhole, turn fully right side out and press again.
Overlap your two bodice pieces at the center front so the bottom corners hit the princess seams of the opposite piece like you see above. Pin and stay-stitch into place before attaching your skirt using a French seam or bias-bound seam.
Insert an invisible zipper at the center back before finishing up the remainder of the center back skirt with another French seam. Finish off the bottom of your pinafore with a 1/4″ double rolled hem!