It is finally here! I wish I could say I am finally ready to release this pattern into the wild, but no. I am not ready. The pattern, however, is ready to venture out into the sewing community. I can keep hanging onto it, trying to make it perfect and second-guessing myself, but it is time to let it go.
Bessie Top has been on my mind for a very long time. I first drafted it a few years ago and I loved wearing that very first top! I was hoping that one day I will be able to offer it as a pattern and I am so happy that day is finally here.
Bessie is a versatile woven top pattern in two views. View A is my take on a woven t-shirt. It has a longer sleeve, which is intended to be rolled up to create an effortless look, but I actually love the way it looks non-rolled too! I am a sucker for a high-low hem and that’s what View A of Bessie top offers.
View B is a button-up shirt which has a two-piece collar, shorter sleeve and a straight hem. Both views have exaggerated two-piece raglan sleeves, which add visual interest to the top through uncommon seam lines. Bessie top has a loose, comfortable fit with plenty of ease, yet the bust darts provide for bust shaping. The sleeves in both views have a wide hem, and the hemline of both views is finished with a wide facing.
What I love about the Bessie top is that you can play around with the hem and sleeve length to create your own version. Why not make a button-up version of with a hi-low hem, or a simple woven tee with shorter sleeves and straight hem?
What’s in the name?
The pattern is named after Bessie Coleman, an early American civil aviator. She was the first African-American and the first Native-American woman to hold a pilot license. When she could not attend flight school in America, due to them not admitting women or people of colour, she persevered and earned an aviation pilot’s license in France. Learn more about this amazing woman here.
The pattern comes with two sets of instructions. There are detailed, step-by-step instructions with plenty of illustrations and tips. As well as a No-Frills instructions, which is a three-page document with just the necessary information, specifically for those who do not need extra guidance.
Three pattern files are included as well:
- Print-at-home file – 40 trim pages, suitable for A4/Letter sized paper.
- Copyshop file – two A0 pages. View A only needs page 1!
- Paperless/projector file – a PDF file with thicker lines and calibration layer.
All pattern files have layers, so you can only view/print the sizes you need.
At this time, the pattern comes in US sizes 0-20. If you are curious about sizing you can find Anna-Zoe size chart here. You can find the finished measurements and fabric requirements in the product photos, which also show sample instructions.
Thank you all so much for helping me with this release. I am so excited to introduce Bessie top to the sewing community! In the coming days and weeks I plan on sharing tester versions of Bessie pattern, as well as hacks and adjustment tutorials. I can not wait to see your versions of Bessie top!