Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Japanese Lawn Bess Top

Today I'm taking part in the Imagine Gnats January Pattern Tour. I've sewn up another version of the Bess top, I was keen to add another garment to my summer wardrobe.

A while ago I found this blue floral japanese lawn fabric at Spotlight, and I grabbed a couple of metres. I had no real plans for it, but sometimes when you find something random at Spotlight that you like, if you don't buy it, you'll never see it again. It is beautifully soft and feels lovely against my skin but I had a really hard time sewing with it!

My first Bess top was made with a cotton voile, and I thought a lawn would be fairly similar. Wrong. The voile had a lovely drape that worked much better with this pattern. I made a size 10 first time around and felt the it was a little bit big, so I sized down to an 8. Off the rack I am usually an Australian size 10-12, which is a US size 6-8.

Ignore the crazy hair in this pic (haha you looked again didn't you?)

You know those projects where nothing goes right? I mucked up one of the sleeves a little bit so I had to unpick both the seam and the top stitching, then try again, then I pierced a hole in the fabric, I had tension trouble, then my thread started nesting, arrrrgggghhh.

But it worked out in the end and I'm pretty happy with it. It will be a nice light top to wear with jeans during the warmer weather. I could have finished it better on the interior, but by the end I just wanted it DONE after all the hiccups and seam ripping. Maybe when I'm in the mood I'll go back and tidy it up.

The pattern suggests using strips of jersey as the facing for the neckline, sleeves and hem. I didn't particularly like the finish it gave my first version - it seemed a bit scrappy, especially after a few washes. I used bias binding this time and I prefer it.

It doesn't show in the pictures due to the floral pattern, but the pleat in the shoulders are much more obvious with this fabric than the voile, which I like because it adds a nice feature and makes the top more interesting.

Pattern details: two pieces, with sleeves created from back piece. I used 1.5m of fabric and had a fair bit left over. Trickest bit is creating the sleeves. Quick sew, it can easily be whipped up in a couple of hours. Get the Bess Top pattern here.

Rachael is having 20% off all her patterns during the January pattern tour with the code JANUARYTOUR, so definitely pop over and check them out.

All these amazing bloggers are joining in the tour so you can see lots of different versions of the Imagine Gnats patterns here during January:

Inder Loves Folk Art / mon petit lyons / Sew Delicious
la inglesita / Miss Matatabi / Rae Gun Ramblings
Welcome to the Mouse House / Casa Crafty
Make it Handmade / Made with Moxie / Buzzmills
girl like the sea / just me jay / Play Crafts
Sew Well Maide / Sew Charleston / Mingo and Grace
Caila Made / Sewbon / do Guincho / call ajaire
Alison Glass / a.Amelia Handmade / Bored & Crafty
you & mie / Stitched Together / things for boys
fake it while you make it / Sanae Ishida
Behind the Hedgerow / I Seam Stressed / Charming Doodle
The Crafty Kitty / Siestas & Sewing / Figgy's


  1. You look lovely, crazy hair and all! I'm determined to try my hand at more clothes sewing this year.

  2. Looks great! And yes... I scrolled back up! Haha.

  3. Its such a pretty fabric, and I agree - I went in and bought a stretch fabric from spotlight last year, just because I loved it. It's still sitting in a bag in my sewing room, because I don't sew with stretch fabric! lol.

  4. It looks adorable on you though! (And I did go back and look at your cray hair!)

  5. i love it in this fabric and it looks lovely on you :) yay!

  6. It's gorgeous Ros, such pretty fabric. I love your hair :-)

  7. oooh, everytime you sew for yourself it makes me thing, YES! I'm going to totally make myself something swanky! And then I look at my stash and realize that everything larger than a meter has planes-trans-cars/circus polka dots/or little girl daisies... and then I think ok, maybe next year.. But I think this top looks great on you! Sorry you had a bit of trouble with it but that's how sewing goes sometimes :) I like your haircut!

  8. That's a very pretty top, Ros! Love the blue and best of all it looks so comfy! I also thought your hair was lovely and was wishing mine would look like yours! LOL ;) Happy New Year! Kris

  9. Looks great! If the weather ever decides to warm up I think you'll get a lot of wear out of it.

  10. Love your blog name! So cute!


  11. The fabric is beautiful. I love lawn although have to say that cotton voile is probs my all time fave fabric to sew with. However, being a fellow Aussie, i do understand the whole 'buy it when you see it' Spotlight thing. I have yet to make the Bess top but am making the Meridian as my contribution to Rachael's January tour. Cheers, Karen


Thank you so much for your comments - I adore hearing from you! I love to reply personally via email so if your email isn't visible in your profile feel free to leave it in your message so I can get in touch!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...