March 25, 2024

Just call me Maria: Sicilian tablecloth Springfield top hack

To the tune of “My Favourite Things“:

# Beaches, volcanos and pretty piazzas #

# Mind-blowing pastries and views of the mountains #

# Lemon-y tablecloths, White Lotus scenes #

# These are a few of my favourite things (in Sicily) #

I mean, I made a Springfield Top out of a tablecloth, so this was basically obligatory.

Last year I went to Taormina in Sicily, now famous for being the backdrop of White Lotus season 2, but a well known beauty spot for many centuries. I highly recommend it: gorgeous views, astounding food, and some really lovely hotels.

I really enjoy collecting fabric from my travels, so while I was there, I dragged my friend around town on the hunt for some quintessentially Sicilian fabric. As it happens, Dolce and Gabanna have long used fabrics with Sicilian motifs – in particular, lemons and hand-painted tiles – so I was hoping to find something similar for sale as yardage – ideally, lemons, as I have a soft spot for all things citrus.

Unfortunately, it turns out that small, almost entirely touristy, towns like Taormina, don’t have fabric stores. Much googling and asking about yielded basically nothing. If I wanted to buy a pre-made bag, there were tons and tons of options. But actual yardage was nowhere to be found. So, I tried a different tack, and decided to look for large tablecloths instead that might yield enough for a top or dress. Initially, I had little luck: most of the tablecloths were nasty polyester and clearly not made anywhere near Sicily – I could no doubt get the same at Ali Express. I did find one that was much nicer, and I think had been hand embroidered, but if I recall it was something like Euro 500, and much as I like a fabric souvenir that was a step too far.

Until eventually my friend and I came across a linen goods store, and I hit the jackpot. They were selling mostly printed linen tablecloths and the quality was gorgeous – really sophisticated prints, on a beautiful linen base. The store owner was thrilled that we recognized how different her wares were than the surrounding stores; apparently the average person isn’t so au fait with linen quality these days.  I immediately realized the full tablecloths were way too expensive for my project and the drape was also a bit too crisp for the type of summery dress I was envisioning. But then we found a selection of smaller tablecloths intended (I think) for side tables, and I found the lovely linen I’d been dreaming of!

It was a little touch-and-go whether it would be enough for me – I knew that I would barely scrape a top out of it – but after various futzing about and holding a tablecloth up to my body (I’m sure the other shop patrons though I was losing my mind) I reckoned I could do it. And I did!

Behold, my lemony tablecloth top!

I used the Springfield Top as my base, as it’s just the perfect woven shell top if you’re busty. I made no fit adjustments (naturally!), but I raised the neckline a little, added a wide neckline facing and cropped it. The cropping was almost entirely driven by the size of the tablecloth: I placed my pattern pieces directly onto the fabric and figured out what length I could get. As it happened, I also retained the lovely deep hem of the tablecloth, but if necessary I could have taken it down a bit more more length.

And now I have a delightful little top that I took on my recent vacation! It’s a lovely weight for a shell top – some structure without being stiff – and such a nice reminder of Sicily every time I wear it.

Want to make your own tablecloth top? The Springfield comes in sizes 12-32 and cup sizes C-H.

5 thoughts on “Just call me Maria: Sicilian tablecloth Springfield top hack

  1. Paul Schindlbeck says:

    What a lovely top Jenny! Sadly for me it doesn’t come in my size. I’m and 8-10-12 EF Cup size.

    1. Marion says:

      I’ll bet you could grade that down easily as it doesn’t look too complicated to make.

  2. Karen F says:

    What a clever way to create a useful souvenir! Well done

  3. Janet says:

    Oh my, now I’ll be keeping an eye out for fabulous tablecloths. Your top is lovely!

  4. Mrs Kay Eldred says:

    such a good idea and a perfect top for holidays and general mood lifting!

Let me know what you think!