About a week ago I turned out a prototype of this top. It was okay, but it needed more design and embellishment work. My original inspiration was a post Gigi did a while back on the fabulous Blumarine top on the right. The coolest thing about this design is that it’s made from two very similar, yet different, fabrics. Compare the sleeve fabric and the bodice fabric; they are not quite the same. I just love that idea, and adapted it here; both fabrics are a white, black and grey floral but one has a crinkly texture with Jacobean carnations, vines and thistles while the second is a smooth knit with more naturalistic lilies and dogwood blossoms. The smooth knit also has large areas of black, so I used one of those motifs for the bib. The first version had no binding, and this posed a problem because the differences between the two fabric were blurred. The smooth knit is also a natural white and the crinkle knit is bright white so I had to minimize that difference. Black binding solved the problem.
Ann has a stunning lightweight matte jersey on Gorgeous Fabrics that she recommends as a binding; that’s what I’ve used here and it was definitelythe right choice (yes she is a close friend but trust me this is one terrific black knit. Actually – all three fabrics are from her.) The black binding has a beautiful crepey RTW texture that is superior to the common-as-dirt black leotard knits you see at Jo-Ann’s. It’s also very heavy and drapey like slinky, and it was what this top needed to separate the different patterns.
DD didn’t like the bow front version, and wasn’t crazy for buttons, but when I suggested grommets instead that appealed to her edgey taste. Gigi again has done an excellent tutorial on using grommets.
I made a few slight design and construction changes:
- The center front contrast piece below the bib was removed because there was a lot happening with the fabrics to begin with and a contrast piece didn’t add anything.
- 3 inches were added to the length at DD’s request – she likes her tops long
- The trickiest part of this pattern is attaching the bib and the bib binding because there are four layers of fabric to contend with. So after the binding was made I machine tacked it to the bodice in four places, and then pinned the bib and ran the whole thing through the serger. That worked well and nothing slipped out of place.
Amy of Spiderlily Patternsdid a great job drafting this pattern; it went together beautifully. The pattern envelope shows three variations, but I think there are several more in there just waiting to bring out your inner fashion designer. A long sleeve version would be adorable too; I may make that for myself.
Now back to that Rucci dress…