THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

October 19, 2008

Spiderlily Patterns 12808: Bib & Bow top

Filed under: Designer Inspirations,Fabric,Inspirations,Patterns,sewing — phyllisc @ 6:41 pm

 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…



  1. Very cute top for your girls. I love mixing prints like this.

    Comment by LindsayT — October 19, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

  2. Your 2 print version for this top really makes this sewing pattern look great–I love the fabrics you selected, this “same but different” concept is something to think about when starting a new sewing project–thanks for the great idea!

    Comment by Jen O — October 19, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

  3. Beautiful! I love how these two fabrics work together.

    Comment by Gigi — October 20, 2008 @ 4:02 am

  4. Phyllis,
    This is a great top – I think your version shows off this Spiderlilly pattern to it’s best advantage. Personally I wasn’t feeling the love with the pattern photo, however your creation has me wanting that pattern.

    Comment by Jan — October 20, 2008 @ 7:59 am

  5. Very cute! I love the grommet solution, too.

    Comment by Summerset — October 20, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  6. Nice work Phyllis. I’ve always loved that Blue M top and have fabric very similar to it in my stash. Love your fabric pairing.

    Comment by Cindy — October 20, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  7. I just WISH I could wear black and white together! It always looks chic.

    Comment by odumnobles — October 21, 2008 @ 11:12 am

  8. I love the pattern!And fabric too!

    Comment by Maja — October 21, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  9. Gorgeous fabrics!

    Comment by Miss Janey — October 23, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  10. Fun to see the DD.

    Phyllis, is your e-mail address on the “about the authors page” current?

    Comment by Lori Kay — October 23, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! I like how you paired the fabrics together.

    Comment by Dawn — October 24, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  12. Love those prints! Wish i can get those fabric. so cool!

    Comment by alviana — November 6, 2008 @ 3:47 am

  13. I have that same 1974 machine! It was my first machine! I got in when I was 8, which was in 1989. My mom was a bargain shopper. But I LOVE that machine. I just thought it was funny when I scrolled down and saw those orange flowers. Tell your machine my machine says hello…and that she’s had a good life:)

    Comment by Stephanie — January 1, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

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