Not the GBSB – week 2 ‘The Modi’

More Pierrot than Modigliani model (perhaps) but the fact remains that this –
my inspiration-is my inspiration.

week 2 – ‘Sew your own Modigliani’

After hours of research it had to be a Modigliani. So (sew?!), they’re simple. But it’s not just that. They’re elegant. Stylish.  How could I not attempt to create my very own piece of Modigliani magic?
And they are simple. ModiglianiblackI mean, I could have gone for this lovely look, and who’s to say that I won’t be looking to recreate this look in a few weeks time when I’ve reached the limits of my sewing talents? But for now I’m going to push myself and go for the black top with the sheer collar as worn by the girl with the red hair.

Step 1 – It pays to be organised. Gather all ‘ingredients’ –

  • 1 top pattern (I’ll use and adapt one that I already have)
  • 1 metre of black material (cotton or polycotton) for main top
  • black cotton thread
  • .25 metre white organza (or other sheer fabric) for collar
  • button
  • scissors (large and/or small)
  • pins (best kept in pincushion)
  • sewing machine
  • sewing needle (optional – just in case…)
  • iron/ironing board
  • music, podcast, radio programme, audio-book (top choices – ‘Nessum Dorma’, Puccini  or ‘Black and White Town’, The Doves)

Step 2 – It pays to be organised. Set up the space –

  • Thread up sewing machine with black thread
  • set up iron and ironing board and give cotton a press
  • clear and clean your work surface (particularly if it’s where you usually eat…)

Step 3  – pin and cut out

  • Pin pattern to fabric.
  • Cut out as accurately as possible.
This pattern consists of 5 main pattern pieces – 1 front piece (cut on fold) , 2 back pieces and 2 sleeves (lengthen).  QUITE EASY

 Freestyle elements – 

  • Using the pattern pieces for the short sleeves, carry on cutting the fabric to make a long sleeve.
  • Make a loop and sew on the button at the back of the top.     
  • Make the collar. Fold the piece of organza in half.   Using running stitch sew loosely then pull so that pulled edge is the same length as the neck edge of the top.  Pin then sew into place.

Step 4 – machine sew


  • Sew darts  in front piece
  • sew 2 back pieces together leaving approximately 6cm open at top
  • sew together side seams
  • sew together shoulder seams
  • sew sleeve seams
  • pin then sew sleeves into armholes


  •  Fold the piece of organza in half.          
  •  Using running stitch sew loosely along the loose edges
  • Pull thread so that pulled edge is the same length as the neck edge of the top.    
  • Pin to neck edge then machine sew into place.


*FINISHING OFF – easy but don’t slack on this  – you’ve done the hard part

  • sew a loop for button at back / sew on  button
  • sew hems to neaten back opening
  • sew hem at bottom edges (I’ve added side vents)
  • IRON (BUT NOT organza)

And I’ve sewn my very own Modigliani!What’s that my supportive Gabriel is shouting? What? Pierrot?


He should see the contenders I’ve been eyeing up for my next Sew Arty Challenge…

What’s that? You don’t think I should wear it out tonight?

 He is such a philistine…
Me and my new best friend, the girl with the red hair

5 thoughts on “Not the GBSB – week 2 ‘The Modi’”

  1. Such a cool idea. And Modigliani just has to be the coolest artist. I love his women. Nice look. Do people see the Modigliani connection when you wear it? Ha, ha. Very clever. Like it.

    1. A step too far indeed Elizabeth! But thanks for the link – I’d not seen this painting before and so thanks for sharing. It’s also led me to Hockney’s ‘Red Celia’. After the trip to the museum at Chinese New Year I’m looking for red dress inspiration. ‘Red Celia’ certainly provides that. If you know of any women-in-red paintings I’d love to see them. Thanks again for the Hockney. xxx

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