The “Madame Elizabeth” Top
Fabric: Kona cotton broadcloth $4
Pattern: Lisette for Simplicity 2211
Notions: Lace salvaged from my childhood bedroom curtains $0
Time to complete: ~3 hours (the entire NBC Thursday night line-up)
First worn: At my in-laws’ house
Wear again? For sure!
Total price: $4
I was drawing a blank for the longest time with the challenge. I couldn’t decide between a literal remake, or a just inspired-by approach (à la “Project Runway”). Eventually I settled on the latter. I browsed through all my art books and through some random museums’ online collections when I found a few contenders. When I saw this portrait of Madame Charles Simon Favart by François-Hubert Drouais in The Met’s collection I had a sparkle of an idea.
I wanted to do all the shots at the piano but the lighting was all wrong.
When I was allowed to redo my bedroom in high school (*cough15yearsagocough*), everything pink was stripped away including my “dusty rose” curtains that had miles of lace trim along the edges. My mom insisted on salvaging all of it, she was thrilled when I asked to use some. I stitched the top of each lace row to the sleeve piece and then later realized I needed to do the bottom row of the top one because it stuck straight up, so that got tacked down.
I knew Lisette’s “Market” pattern would serve as a good interpretation of this work. The long-sleeve option calls for a ruffle, but I thought that would be over-kill so I stuck to my short sleeves which I’ve done three other times. I also nixed the sleeve cuff because I couldn’t decided how to tackle it with the lace, so the sleeve is just hemmed. I think the look is cutesy but wearable. I have a lace overlay obsession at the moment so I’m quite pleased. I can’t decide if the bodice is too plain.