A Simple Design Paired with Fabulous Fabric and Trim

Brocade Sweater

Whew, what a week this was here on the East Coast. Guess you heard about the storm that ripped through the area. Grrrr. Good thing I don’t have any friends named Sandy. My neighborhood looks like it was chewed up and spit out by some tree-hating monster. And I had no idea how much I LOVE electricity. Today is Day 4 without it and the family’s nerves are fraying. I spent two days hand-sewing trim on a jacket during the daytime, listening to the news on a crank radio; yesterday trains were running again so I was able to come into work. Wednesday while walking the dog I slipped on some wet leaves and fell, hard. People came out of their houses to check on me, it was that dramatic a fall. Fortunately nothing broken, just bruises, aches and pains.

But enough about the storm and my personal drama…. Let’s talk about this top I made recently and am in love with! The pattern is Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2192, which I keep making over and over in all kinds of fabrics. This time I made it from a heavy woven brocade that has a drape like liquid metal (bought at Mood NYC). It sewed up quickly, as I felt it was best just to serge the seams. Though I loved it immediately upon completion, I felt like it would need a dramatic necklace for maximum impact. But hmm, I don’t own any dramatic necklaces and didn’t feel like searching for one, so adding trim was the solution.

Brocade Sweater

I brought the finished top to Mood’s trim department and asked Jonathan, the department manager, for his recommendations. He immediately picked out this beaded mesh trim, and I was like, that is so perfect! It was expensive, but as I only needed a yard, it was still less than what a new necklace would cost. Because the trim is heavier than the top fabric, I tacked down a couple layers of muslin in the neckline area to support it, and then I hand-sewed the trim on. And because the trim causes the neckline to gape a bit (not unattractively), I made sure the facing was pretty enough to be visible and used some silk charmeuse I had in my stash.

I feel like I wear this top every week, that’s how much I like it. Sometimes all it takes is a design with simple lines, paired with a stunning fabric and trim, for maximum effect.

Brocade Sweater

Stephany and Jennifer in our ever-expanding trim department.

This is what my neighborhood looked like the morning after Sandy. Lovely, right?



  • Lorraine
    November 2, 2012

    So glad you came through safely. The top is gorgeous. Guess there is a way to get one’s sewing fix in spite of no electricity. Kudos.

  • RobinDenning
    November 2, 2012

    Oh my, that does not look good, and I am talking about the mess in your neighborhood. The top looks great. I agree, so often the fabric (and the trim) are so fabulous that a very simple pattern is all you need.

    Sorry to hear about your fall, too- I fell earlier in October and it took a couple weeks to resolve. Not fun.
    Hope things steadily get better. Thank goodness there is power in the garment district!

  • oonaballoona
    November 3, 2012

    oooh, i believe i saw you in this top , and i can attest to its gorgeousness.. it is a Classy. Top.

    may i recommend tiger balm for all your banged up areas?

  • Carolyn
    November 3, 2012

    Glad that you’re moving around after your fall. What a thing to happen after the rest of this stress filled week! But you do have a fantastic new top and the trim is fabulous!

  • Elizabeth
    November 3, 2012

    Wow, I hope you’re feeling better after your fall. I love the top. It looks so luxe. Beautiful.

  • Cissie
    November 3, 2012

    Love the top, Meg. Fabric and trim are perfect together. Glad you have survived all the events of last week!

  • Amanda S.
    November 3, 2012

    What a week!!! Your new top is fabulous!

  • JC
    November 4, 2012

    This piece is beautiful, I saw Meg picking out the fabric and was pleasantly surprised with the way she styled it. Kudos!

  • Ginger
    November 5, 2012

    Ooh, this looks amazing! What a great pairing of fabric with trim! I hope your neighborhood gets cleaned up quickly (and that your bruises heal quickly, too)! What a rough week! 🙁

  • Amy
    November 13, 2012

    Awww, what a story. Love the trim details though. It’s the little things that always help out, right?