As an adult, this should have subsided into a love of hoop earrings and peasant tops, but no. When I was 8, she befriended a family of gypsies near my grade school. No caravan: they sold carpets and drove big old beat-up cars, but they were gypsies and she was entranced. So entranced that one day when they took off for their yearly wanderings, she bought their pet monkey.
A real monkey. A small, skinny, patchily bald monkey with some really unpleasant personal habits. She brought him home in a cage and put him in the kitchen, hoping my dad wouldn't notice the odor. (He was a fireman and most smells were beyond him, but trust me, he could smell monkey.) The monkey didn't last a day before it moved on to the pet store.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with sewing? Well, I never ran away to join the gypsies or bought a monkey, but I got the love of hoop earrings and peasant tops. Go figure.
So this one's for her. All the other versions of BWOF 1/08 #122 I've seen are beautiful, but solid colors. Every once in a while mom fights her way to the surface and demands colorful, sparkly, garish . . . which is why I said this top was either going to be great or scary. It truly could have gone either way, but I think this is a nice compromise between her taste (turquoise, hot pink, sequins, massive amounts of cleavage) and mine - definitely colors, but not those; cleavage, but not that much; and no sparkly bits, though I did consider a bit of discreet beading on the front.
This is also a nice save from one of my bad buying habits - too little fabric in too many colors. I fell in love with this cotton voile from Emma One Sock about 2 years ago. Couldn't make up my mind if I liked the brown or the orange better, so I bought a yard of each. A yard! What can you make with a yard, realistically? So it waited until a pattern came along that actually worked well with two colorways of the same fabric.
On to a practical reivew of this pattern: I love it. Love. It. Next time (and there will be a next time) I will make it about 2" longer, because even with a really skinny hem it hits at the wrong part of my hip/thigh, but other than that, it's great. I didn't have the too-low problem the other reviewers have had (being a little big in the shoulders is apparently good for keeping the girls out of the public eye), and I love the overall look of this. The back yoke that turns into the top of the sleeve (only brown part on the sleeve) is a really nice touch - it's almost invisible on the back, but it's the major part of the shoulder and it gives the sleeves a bit of interest. Even done in a solid color, it's interesting.
This one's definitely a winner. I was no more than halfway through when I knew it would be label-worthy.