Ginger Made: Banksia Top

Hi, guys!  It’s getting COLD out, people– the puggies and I were freezing when we took our walk this morning!  Luckily, I finished this top just in time for chilly weather.  It’s Megan Nielsen’s Banksia Top, and it’s a pattern I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.  When Megan announced the sewalong, I jumped at the chance!

Isn’t my neighborhood lovely? Sigh…

I wanted to make this really feminine top a little more my style, so I used an inexpensive buffalo check flannel from A.K. Fabrics in the Garment District.  I love flannel– it reminds me of my grandfather, plus it’s so cuddly and soft that I feel like I’m wearing pajamas at work!  The fabric had a few downsides, though– I started noticing flaws in it as I was cutting things out, plus any time I had to use the seam ripper, small holes developed in the fabric.  Yikes!

Look, I’m turning my patented outside-photography-in-the-cold shade of purple!

I love this collar paired with the lowered neckline– it makes the top a little more grownup-looking, but still cute.  I used vintage buttons from Etsy, and decided to do 4 buttonholes instead of 3.  I made a size XS with a 1/2″ FBA, and next time I’ll give myself a smidge more room through the mid-back and armscyes (yeah, yeah, I made a muslin, but for some reason I didn’t put the sleeves on… d’oh!).

I’m always standing some crazy way that makes my clothes hang goofy. What’s up with that?

The pattern is really simple to put together and the directions are really clear.  I had a little trouble lining up the placket exactly using the 2nd method, but that’s just because I’m clumsy.  Like several other people, I had to extend the collar to get it to meet the placket in the middle.  I was careful to staystitch the neckline, so I’m pretty sure that it didn’t stretch out.  Not the end of the world or anything, though.  It really is a unique pattern and looks cute on everyone that makes it– try it if you haven’t already!

What have you guys been up to lately?  I’m sorry for my lack of commenting on your blogs and posting on my own– the internet is still down in my neighborhood.  :(  Luckily, I’ve had cell service, so I can at least keep up with everybody on Instagram and Facebook– NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL.  Hopefully you’re all well!

P.S.  Did you see that Stephanie from makes the things opened up an Etsy shop?  Check it out– she’s got some cool pieces!

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Filed under finished object, sewalongs

123 responses to “Ginger Made: Banksia Top

  1. I love your version! I wasn’t so into this pattern because it’s a little too girly for me. But your fabric choice adds an edge I haven’t seen in other versions. It makes me think just maybe this one is worth adding to my collection.

  2. Your top is darling! I’m glad you’re able to sew and blog with the lack of internet.

  3. Oh, this one is super cute (as is everything you make!). In the early 80s I had a shirt in the exact same plaid and I wore it to death – I bet you get a ton of wear out of this shirt as well.

  4. Pendle Stitches

    Love that buffalo check. It really makes a different look for this pattern.

  5. You are just too damn cute. And I couldn’t agree more – pretty much everything is better in flannel!

    x Elisalex

  6. Ooh your Banksia is so well made! It looks lovely – I can’t wait to start mine. I want a Banksia dress as well! My Darling Ranges will be done soon – come to a bit of a halt though as I need to buy buttons and have no car at the moment. It’s 6 degrees here so you’re making me chilly watching you outside in a tee! I’m guessing it’s not that cold there!

    • Yikes! So cold! It was about 2 degrees Celsius here this morning– I put my coat on the second hubs was done snapping photos!

      I’m looking forward to seeing your Darling Ranges dress! It’s such a cute pattern! It doesn’t really suit me, but I’ve loved seeing everyone else’s versions! You would look so sweet in a Banksia dress!

  7. This top looks great on you! I think you’re spot on that because the neckline is lower, it doesn’t look at kiddy.

    • It’s such a great design detail! I love seeing Peter Pan collars on other people, but I feel like I would look like I was wearing a school uniform in one that was all the way up to the collarbone.

  8. So cute! did you find the fit ok? My muslin is off around the ladylumps (but I had similar problems with the Darling Ranges dress too – I gave up on that, but don’t want to give up on this!)

    • I did an FBA (which I don’t usually have to do) and moved the darts a little in the process, and that seemed to sort out my problems. I do feel like it’s pulling a bit in the middle of my back directly behind my bust, so something must be a little off still. I hope yours works out OK! This has a pretty forgiving fit, in my opinion, so I’m hoping you’re able to sort everything out. :)

  9. So lovely! There are some flannel looking shirts i(and dresses) n the People Tree catalogue but yours looks way better. :) I was tempted to get banksia but am on a spending freeze at the moment! I agree with the other comments that the lower neckline saves the collar from too much twee-ness. xx

  10. So perfect for fall and winter!

  11. What a fabulous top! Yours is by far the most different I’ve seen in this pattern and I love it!

  12. I love flannel – great idea to combine it w/ the Banksia! I’m glad to hear Sandy wasn’t* too* too mean to you.

  13. Ah makes me wanna run home and put on my flannel pj’s!! Wish I could wear those to work!

  14. I love your Banksia! What a great winter option to make it out of plaid. P.S I too was a bit clumsy with my placket and collar but alls well and despite a slow start I wear mine all the time.

  15. misscrayolacreepy

    I’m sold! I want that pattern! Your version is too cute.

  16. Cute! I’m not sold on the collar shape on this pattern, but it looks cute on someone younger. I especially like the fabric that you chose. The contrast really suits you.

  17. That is seriously the cutest Banksia I’ve seen!!! And so Vermont appropriate ;) I need one!

  18. Your plaid Banksia top is adorable! I am for sure going to have to give this one a try! I am so glad you are OK, only sans internet.

  19. Yes, sweet design and great fabric choice takes the girly edge off.

  20. Very cute top! And I think it’s time to go back to indoor shots now…don’t want you catching cold and being unable to sew!

  21. Great job, your fabric choice gives it a more relaxed edge, it looks really cosy to wear.

  22. Super choice of fabric and such a cute top….I like the way you’ve brought it into your style …fab!!

  23. i made a banksia but i’m not sure that i love it. i think i’m too angular to pull off the style. yours looks cute though. i adore buffalo check.

    • Aww man, I’m sorry. I hate when stuff that looks cute on other people doesn’t work on me– I JUST had one of those (haven’t gotten around to photographing it cause it’s too depressing)!

  24. I read pug.. and furiously scrolled up and down but .. nothing. Can’t believe it! Are you trying to get elected or something? You are aren’t you? And now you have two labradors instead…XD That’s an awesome top. I like that the collar is totally camouflaged – Peter Pan with attitude..

    • Oh no! Sorry to disappoint! They were acting up this morning or I would’ve snapped a few pics of them, too (they were all about tugging on their leashes and trying to charge ahead… pugs these days…).

  25. Oh my GOSH! I LOVE that top made with the buffalo check! Well done Ginger!

  26. Love the red checks! Definitely a unique top. I feel bad that I only used this pattern once and never wear what I made from it. Your version makes me wanna revisit it!

  27. This is super cute, I love it in the snuggly gingham! What a great idea!!! I so need this pattern, but it’s going on the Xmas gift list as I really shouldn’t be spending any money on sewing for a while ;o)

  28. Love it-and the gingham makes it so fall-ish and lovely!! Well done.

  29. I love the flannel…what a great idea. It is adorable!

  30. I like what you’ve done with this! Very clever :)

  31. You are such a sweetheart. Thank-you so much for the shout-out!! I’m shipping your necklace tomorrow. :)

    LOVE your Banksia top. That flannel is darling. I’m glad you’re doing ok! What a mess, huh??

  32. Oh this is super cute and I’m feeling inspired to make this up, I have the pattern but got put off by the Darling Dress dramas… I love love love this top on you!
    Hope everything gets sorted out in your world and things get back to normal quickly.

  33. Very cute and wearable! I like your idea of a tougher fabric for a sweet pattern. Sorry that you ran into some fabric issues! I won’t buy Joann plaid flannel anymore for the same reason!

  34. Liz

    This is great and very you!! I like the use of the plaid, plus you could dress it up or down. With a black blazer it would look really dressy too. Perfect winter wear. I love this pattern and plan on making quite a few more – a great wardrobe basic.

  35. It looks great! I love the buffalo check. I’m really glad you survived Sandy OK.

  36. This is so cute on you- what a great pairing!!

  37. I love how you made this your own with the fabric! It looks awesome! As always. So sorry things are still turbulent where you are. I hope they settle down soon.

  38. I love the red flannel! Hopefully with the trains running and most of us getting power/water back, it’ll return to normal real soon.

  39. What a cute top – totally agree that the flannel and lower neck make it more unexpected and fun! I hope your internet returns soon!

  40. Oh hun that top is cute!!!!! Can’t go wrong with black and red, my fav color combos.
    Haha, you should see my neighbourhood… I wouldn’t be caught dead outside carrying a camera! Camera would probably get snatched when it’s sitting there on self-timer mode…

  41. sunnyb64

    So cute! I like that it’s a totally modern girly version of the plaid flannel shirt. It sounds very cozy! I hope you have internet and normalacy again soon!

  42. Oh honey!! I LOVE how your top turned out! The flannel is such a cute option. I think i’m going to have to try one in check too!


  43. Love it! The neckline is lovely and I am such sucker for this peter pan collar. You made such a great choice with the fabric. Its super cute yet unexpected in the flannel.

  44. Yes! I love this top! This is so my style! I need to steer myself away from floral fabrics that I then feel uncomfortable wearing, and make myself something like this! Cute, stylish, comfortable and a little bit edgy.

    Hmm… maybe I should buy the pattern??

  45. I LOVE me some flannel. Love love love. You look cozy and fabulous – what more could we want from a garment? :) Love the buffalo check plaid – definitely one of my favorite styles of plaid. People have favorite styles of plaid, right? Or am I totally out in left field?

  46. Jen

    I keep meaning to get this pattern but I have so many other things I’m trying to get made at the moment. I love your version though, especially the flannel plaid! It looks very cosy.

  47. Love your fabric choice! I’ve been thinking about getting this pattern too, and your version makes a convincing argument to do so!

  48. This so incredibly adorable, Ginger!!!
    I’m so glad to know you’re ok!

  49. What a fun and unexpected fabric choice. It’s totally lumberjack chic. Well done!

  50. Elise

    Ah so cute! Great autumn top I can see being dressed up or down. The fabric makes it so much fun!

  51. Jen

    This is my all time fav Banksia I’ve seen! I’m also not good with really girly styles but the plaid really makes it awesome!

  52. i think this is my fave banksia so far. the plaid is so unexpected but it looks great with the peter pan collar and the diagonal front placket. i want one now!!

  53. got serious top envy and I agree with Dixie, best so far..

    looking forward to meet up soon!

  54. This is really cute and it looks so comfy. It looks great in the buffalo check. I like the contrast between the buffalo check and the femininity of the peter pan collar and the shape of the shirt. :) I may have to try this pattern for myself.

  55. This is actually the most beautiful version I have seen on the blogosphere! I love your fabric choice (I am a huge fan of flannel!!!) and I really like the idea, that it makes you think of your grandfather. :)
    I have seen many Banksia on the internet, but only yours made me tempted to try that pattern! ;)

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