The “Roman Holiday” Orange Top

My husband Mark is of Italian descent.  When we got married I found that the Italians (or maybe it’s just Mark!)  have a sort of mafia like loyalty to other Italians (or is it a profound mistrust of others?) – we only get our cars serviced by Tony the Vespa mechanic.  We drive 45 minutes to get there because his father has known Tony for years when he was the Postino (postman) in Leichardt (Sydney’s little Italy).  So off we schleped this morning in a two car cavalcade.

I thought I would make the most of it and get some snaps of Project Orange!  – this weeks Sew Weekly challenge garment.  Found a cute orange Vespa to cuddle up to and Alex (Alessandro) was my photographer for the first two shots – he got a bit creative and tipped the camera sideways – fun hey?

I actually made this top (Vogue V8080) last year and wore it up to school pickup on a horrible hot 40 degree day – but to my horror I found it gaped horribly showing my bra!  Hate that!  So I unpicked it and it has languished in a mending basked until this week.  I re-attached the elastic to make it quite a firm fit.

The really special thing about this fabric is the white printing (not embroidered) and cut out effect – I have not seen fabric quite like it before.  My guess is that it is from the 60’s.  When I originally made the top I agonized over the placement of the cut-outs to used them to greatest effect.  I had a panel strategically placed underneath   I was then forced to use self bias-binding to finish the armholes as a regular facing would ruin the effect of the cut-outs.  Rather a complex construction for such a simple top!  As for the colour it may not look that orange but “next to red it looks totally orange” as Mena of the Sew Weekly quipped!Roman Holiday Images


Tony has lots of old Vespa ads taped to the walls, amongst resuscitation instructions!  Alex found Audrey Hepburn in shots from Roman Holiday riding a Vespa.  Isn’t the lady above wonderful?  Going to Tony’s garage makes such a mundane activity as taking the car for service a little bit fun and exotic, and Tony is a lovely man.  If you have a Vespa and you live in Sydney – you need him – capish?

The Facts

Fabric: Orange cotton cut-out border print
Pattern: Vogue V8080 $15 approx
Year:  2005
Notions: Elastic
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: October 2010
Wear again? Maybe, on another stinking hot day!

Total Cost: ~$20 approx

Tony Brancato - MA Motor Garage Leichardt Vespa Mechanic

MA Motor Garage

24 Lord Street


Phone 9560 7260


6 thoughts on “The “Roman Holiday” Orange Top

  1. The top looks so lovely on you. Love the colour and the style. Tony’s little vespar shop sounds grand! My brother lives in Perugia and is here for a month. Love everything about Italy! My sister- in- law rides around Rome on a Vespar in high heals and flowing skirts – such fun!

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