The Bess Top by Imagine Gnats

A simple top with an easy fit with three lengths options, two neckline options, a pleated yoke, and optional in-seam pockets.

Pattern: The Bess Top
Designer: Imagine Gnats
Categories: Tees, Tunics
Difficulty: Intermediate
Recommended Fabrics: Chambray, Double Gauze, Lawn, Linen, Quilting Cotton, Voile
required fabric: 2 to 31/2 yards
Sizes: 2 - 20
Digital Sewing Pattern$12.00
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Digital Sewing Pattern$12.00


If you're a sewist that likes options, you've just found your new favorite sewing pattern. Imagine Gnats has built in more options than we've ever seen in one pattern with The Bess Top. Three length options (shirt, tunic, and dress), two neckline options, and the option to add in-seam pockets make this pattern one that you can sew over and over again without ever making the exact same piece of clothing. Pair it with a pair of shorts for a casual summer getup, or sloppy tuck it into your favorite high-waisted skinnys with a blazer for a more refined look.

Pattern Previews

The Bess Top by Imagine Gnats Pattern Preview 1 |
The Bess Top by Imagine Gnats Pattern Preview 2 |
The Bess Top by Imagine Gnats Pattern Preview 3 |

Pattern Details

Intended Paper Size: Letter (8.5in x 11in)
Number of Files Included: 1
Total Number of Pages: 38
Copy Shop Version Included: No
Pattern uses layers to select size: No

Pattern Size Chart (inches)

Bust3132343638404345 1/24850 1/2
Waist23 3/424 3/426 3/428 3/430 3/432 3/435 3/438 1/24143 1/2
Hips33 3/434 3/436 3/438 3/440 3/442 3/445 3/448 1/25153 1/2

Fabric Required (yards)

Shirt222222222 1/42 1/4
Tunic2 1/42 1/42 1/42 1/42 1/42 1/22 1/22 3/433
Dress2 3/42 3/42 3/42 3/42 3/42 3/42 3/433 1/23 1/2
Jersey Knit (all) 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4

Recommended Fabrics

Required Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Pins
  • Measuring Tape
  • Fabric Scissors

Optional Tools

  • Rotary Cutter and Mat
  • Seam Gauge

Required Supplies

  • Thread
  • Universal Needle

Additional Notes

This PDF pattern includes images of the finished pattern, step by step instructions with photographs, sewing tips and full-size printable pattern pieces.

Love the pleat detail and construction. It's quite loose fitting and I would size down next time and use the higher neckline option. Overall a great pattern!

I'm really disappointed with this top. THIS PATTERN ONLY WORKS FOR A FULL BUST! If you are less well-endowed, the pleating at the top just looks weird and makes way too much volume across the chest. It's very difficult to tell from the photos that this is the case. I'm sad I wasted money and time on this.

The person who wrote these instructions needs to learn about use of capital letters and punctuation. The instructions were confusing and didn't "consider the reader" by simply using the sort of writing conventions that make it easier for all to get through any sort of writing. Even the photos were not especially helpful as the pattern creator could have used a high contrast thread or popped in some directional arrows on the photos for clarity. The instructions need a complete rewrite, not just a few revision tweaks. This is probably the poorest set of written instructions I've ever encountered on a paid-for pattern. Sometimes a freebie comes through with less-than-ideal/incorrect writing style, but this one was a bust. Disappointed.

Love it!

Love this - will be making more!

So simple! Quick to make and fun construction.