It all started when I found this ‘Faccia’ fabric at Joann fabrics. Immediately I knew I had to make something with it, but seeing that it’s durability might be more suited for upholstery (pillows/curtains) I knew I had to be careful with my design. The line drawn faces are so interesting and beautiful, that I knew I needed a design free from too many seams where it would break the design up, and a relatively loose shape so you can really let the print shine.
I initially bought another houndstooth fabric as a contrast print, but after staring at it in my home for a few weeks, I hated the combination together. I went back and forth to the fabric store and couldn’t find anything I loved with it, until I dug into my own stash and found this checkerboard lace (that’s right, lace) from Oscar de la Renta that I bought at Mood last September.
I decided to modify an existing pattern for ease, and used Simplicity 8529 as my base. Although the pattern was for knits, I sized up in the pattern one size and kept a large neckline so I wouldn’t have to put in an opening anywhere. I removed 3″ of the pattern sleeves and shoulder for the racing stripe, rounded the hemline and added a portrait collar and belt for shape.
The body of the design came together quite beautifully, and I knew I was in love when I added in the olive green piping for contrast. I’m a sucker for little details like piping and top-stitching, and I thought this little bit of a pop color against the black and white would really make it look so much more sophisticated. Since the black and white checkerboard is really a lace (all of those little squares are embroidered separately and attached with tiny threads), I needed to do it justice and attach them all by hand as well. That is the detail that takes a top like this to a more couture level, the amount of hand work that cannot be done by machine.
I realize the checkerboard black and white is a bit of a bold statement, but other than that, this is actually a pretty basic top. The shape is super easy and flattering, the fabric is comfortable to wear, and the sleeves are roomy. The only problem I encountered was the collar- I should have added interfacing to it to make it stiffer and stronger, but I can go back and add that in pretty easily as I hand finished the collar to the bodice. I styled this top in an edgier way with my old cut olive green trousers for fun, but I know this top will be equally killer with a black leather skirt or skinny jeans for every day. Get ready all you skeptics, because I will be wearing this top a lot!