Making the Gambit Collection

A 1960s inspired collection is something that has been simmering at the back of my mind for a while now. Lockdown has given me plenty of time on my hands and I, like many others, have found myself watching the Netflix hit series, The Queens Gambit. The incredibly beautiful styling was really inspiring and some of dresses, from the end of the series in particular, as it moves into the 1960s, were enough to push me into action.


Our Gambit Collection consists of four garments: the Gambit Dress, which is perhaps the most memorable of Beth Harmon’s outfits. This dress was inspired by some of Pierre Cardin’s fabulous geometric designs from the 60s, many of which will already be familiar to you. Following the original fabric choices of the era, I have made my version of the dress in double knit, which is not only warm and comfortable, but easy to sew with.

The Moscow Dress is my personal favourite. It is similar to a dress that Beth wears in the final episode of the drama. We only see it fleetingly as she plays her final match in Russia. It looks so chic but is, in fact, easy to make and just throws on over the head with no need for a zip.

The Harmon Tee is the “favourite top” that we see Beth wearing several times over many episodes. It has a classic boxy shape and monochrome styling of the 60s.

Finally the Sicilian Top, named after the famous chess opening that she refers to, this garment is sported by Beth as she sashays through college. This is such an easy to make and easy-to-wear top that I just had to include it. It works well in anything drapey – from scuba crepe to a slinky silk. It is finished with two decorative statement buttons at the cuffs.

We had a lot of fun with the filming of this collection. I hadn’t initially planned to appear in the shots myself but it soon became clear that a game of chess looks better played with two people. So, I put on my own Sicilian Top and posed as the opponent. At the risk of ruining the mystique, you can see from this behind the scenes shot that we were also working around the Christmas tree which was awkward. Trying to stop our photographer from encouraging Tara to smile all the time was a little tricky at first, but after some experimenting with the lighting we came up with the moody atmosphere we were looking for.

As with all of our patterns, the Gambit Collection patterns come in sizes UK8 – 26 and are available on paper or to download. The two dresses are part of our main line of designs that come complete with envelopes and full colour instructions, while the two tops come as part of our Quick Makes range in minimal packaging and in dual sizing (8-10, 12-14 etc).