Bess Top

7 May

IMG_7462A few months ago I wrote all about the 241 Tote purse pattern that I bought online, printed off at home and sewed up.  I loved how easy and convenient it was and have decided that it’s the perfect solution for someone like me who lives in rural Italy where it’s almost impossible to find any decent sewing patterns.

And from what I’ve seen online lately PDF sewing patterns are really gaining popularity amongst the online sewing crowd all over the world.  Just this week I saw that Jenny from The Southern Institute launched the Sew Fab Pattern Sale which is a bundle of 19 (+1 bonus) PDF patterns for $29.95.  For a girl who in the past paid upwards of $15-$20 for one pattern I find that a pretty amazing price.  IMG_7464

So after my success with the 241 Tote I decided to try my hand at another online pattern.  And seeing as I’ve been a Sew-Fan of Imagine Gnats for a long time I ordered her beautiful Bess Top pattern (which is all over Pinterest!).

I love the style of the top and the versatility of the pattern (3 different lengths and sizes 2-20 included).  It’s flattering on just about any body type as well.  Believe me I know, I’ve made all my friends try it on.  

As you can see above I made one blouse/shirt length and the other a tunic length.  I also really love the subtle high-low hem.IMG_7448I used 2 Max Mara linens for the shorter version.  The linen has a lovely drape and will be perfect for our hot Italian summers.  I find that little pleat at the shoulder just the perfect touch as well.

IMG_7431 For the longer tunic version I used a really lovely patterned cotton (again Max Mara) with a solid black for the shoulder/back.  Turned out very elegant and will be perfect with black leggings in the winter.

The pattern calls for jersey knit strips to finish all the edgings.  Unfortunately I don’t have any jersey in the house so I used a thin bias instead and it seems to have worked out just fine.  


Can’t wait to make up some more Bess Tops in all sorts of fabric and colour combinations this summer.  Now to convince Rachel to draft up a few kid’s sizes… 

**Get 10% off everything in the Imagine Gnats Shop (including the Bess Top and many other lovely patterns for women and kids) with the discount code Jillian10 until Monday May 12th.


7 Responses to “Bess Top”

  1. rachael {imagine gnats} May 7, 2014 at 15:11 #

    these are both so lovely! the yellow and the stripes, it’s just striking! thank you 🙂

  2. thesoutherninstitute May 10, 2014 at 06:02 #

    Beautiful tops! The fabrics are gorgeous. Thanks so much for mentioning the Sew Fab Sale too!!

  3. joelix May 19, 2014 at 00:19 #

    Loved seeing the yellow top in your home last month. Do you know the pattern brand Deer and Doe? I once met the very sweet owner and really like her Belladone dress. (but yes, her patterns are more in your previous price range 😉 ). xx

    • Jillian In Italy May 20, 2014 at 08:17 #

      I do indeed know Deer and Doe. They have such lovely patterns and designs. I haven’t bought one yet but it’s on my to-sew list this year. Now off to check out the Balladone dress…

  4. Joanne Natale July 27, 2016 at 11:24 #

    Hi Jillian, am just discovering you now. Have recently taken up sewing again after a (ahem) couple decades (maybe more) away from the sewing machine. Did two courses in Milan this winter and am exploring online resources. Would love to bend your ear sometime about fabrics and resources. Off to explore the rest of your posts now! xo

  5. Joanne Natale July 27, 2016 at 11:27 #

    Hi Jillian, just discovering you now. Have recently got back into sewing after a (ahem) couple decades hiatus. Did a couple of courses in Milan this winter and am now exploring online resources. Would love to bend your ear on fabrics and sourcing. Off to explore the rest of your posts now. xo

  6. Joanne Natale July 27, 2016 at 11:28 #

    Sorry for the dual comments but something went wonky with my wordpress account!

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