Bella Sunshine Designs: Sahara Top

Hey, Sewists!  I have a fun new make of a brand new pattern to share with you.  May I present the newly released Bella Sunshine Designs – Sahara Dress & Top.

I was lucky enough to be asked to test this pattern out.  I almost turned it down because of moving, but I am so glad I did not.  BSD is a new to me PDF pattern company that I learned about through sewingportfolios.com.  They learned of me through there as well.  If you are not on there yet I strongly recommend it.  I have been presented with multiple pattern testing opportunities in the short time I have been a member.

See that scooped out back neckline?  That is what sold me on testing this pattern.  Of course, the fullness of the peplum won me over, but it was the deep scoop back neckline that pushed me over the edge.  I cannot think of any other knit pattern I have that features the back neckline like the Sahara does.  This pattern features two different neckline heights, three different sleeve lengths, a sleeveless version, and three different skirt lengths.  I opted to test the peplum top version with 3/4 sleeves with the high neckline, mostly because it would fit into one of the few pieces of knit fabric I had not yet packed but had been washed.    My bodice is a size 16 in the bust with a bust adjustment grade out to an 18 in the waist.  There are also two different versions of the front bodice, one with a full bust adjustment and one without.  Can I just tell you how much I love that!  Having the FBA version saves so much time for us, the sewists.

This is the very first fitted knit pattern I have ever made that I did not have to take in to give it the fitted look it had promised.  I could not believe this once I put it on.  The sleeves were a perfect fit.  All the knit patterns I have made that are supposed to have fitted sleeves are typically too big around the sleeve hem and upper arm.  I was so beyond pleased when I tried this on and I did not have to make any adjustments. None! Zip! Nada! I think the secret to the great fit of the bodice is that it features a lining and clear elastic along the waist, shoulders, and armholes.

Fabric usage for this pattern is broken down based on each element (sleeve version, bodice version, skirt version).  This makes it easy for color blocking the garment.  For my test version, I used two yards of a stashed cotton knit from a Girl Charlee Knitfix last year.  I also used .75 yards of a cotton jersey that has been in my stash for who knows how long.  It has been long enough that it was before I started keeping track of when, where, and how much I got it for.

Based on the pulling at the bust, I probably should have made a straight size 18 with bust adjustment.  That is the only change I would make on my next version.  In fact, I am in the process of making two more versions this month, a dress length and a pattern hacked maxi length.  I am excited to be able to share those once I am finished with them.

The pattern has a full circle skirt with no seams.  Be still my heart!  I love a full circle skirt because of how it hangs and, of course, the spin factor.  Overall, I find the skirt to be very flattering on this pattern.  The waistline hits at the natural waist and the length of the skirt on the top version hits at just below the fullest part of my hips.

I am so impressed with how this pattern turned out and how BSD ran the testing of the pattern that I have signed up to be an affliate for the company.  This is not something I take lightly.  I only want to work with companies that I like and believe in.  Bella Sunshine Designs meets those requirements.  As an affliate, that does mean I earn a small commission on each sale that is made by clicking on the links in this post or the badge on my home page.

I am excited to work more with BSD in the future and to try out their other patterns including the other recent release of their Alice dress.  It is a woven dress with pockets.  We all know how I feel about dresses with pockets!  They are one of the most amazing things, ever!

Have your tried Bella Sunshine Designs yet?  What do you think?  What has bee

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