Velour Bellavista Top and other Odds and Ends

Happy 2018!!!  My 2018 started out by missing our 6 am flight at the Denver Airport and having to wait 8 hours for the next one with a cold and sinus infection.  Uggh!  I think that I now have a broken eardrum too.  But, like having it rain on your wedding day, I am thinking that starting out the New Year with a few bumps should make for smooth sailing the rest of the year.

I can't think of a better way to start my sewing New Year than by reviewing a beautiful, beautiful pattern that I think everyone will love- the Bellavista Top  from Itch to Stitch designs.  Bellavista means "Beautiful View" in Italian, and I think that the name fits the style.

This is a top designed for knits, and has a swing bodice, giant cowl neck or band, and either long sleeves or 3/4 bell sleeves.  I made the long sleeves with the cowl neck option for mine.

 I had made a couple of cowl necks tops lately, searching for that sweet spot where the cowl was big enough to be dramatic, yet not fall of of my shoulders.  I think that designer Kennis Wong found the sweet spot with this one.

My first version of this uses a beefy cotton velour combined with a french terry for the back and sleeves.  I actually hand dyed these fabrics!  The velour was white to start with and the french terry was white and black.  I dipped them in the same dye so that they would coordinate.  Here is a view from the side so that you can see the cowl side view:

 And notice how the shoulder seams are sitting perfectly on my shoulders?  That is with no alterations!  Usually I have to do a forward shoulder and round back adjustment to get a shoulder seam fitting that perfectly.  Not with this one!  I also didn't have to do a full bicep adjustment, which I do with any big 4 pattern.  Yay!!

 I also tried it with a thin jersey knit in lavender.  Here the cowl is less pronounced,  The top is designed to be shorter.  I added 3" in length to this one, and 2" in length to the first one.
I can highly recommend this pattern, and since it is a new release, it is on sale for just $8.  You can see all of the other pattern testers views here .

We visited my daughter who lives in the Denver, Colorado area for Christmas.   While there, we checked out Colorado Fabrics in Aurora.  It was by far the nicest fabric store that I've been to in ages!!!  It has everything, huge, clean, very knowledgeable staff.   The fabric selections included a huge selection of designer fabrics, technical fabrics, discount deals, as well as knits, home dec and more.  It was truly a dream FABRIC store- not full of junky decor and impulse buy stuff like the chains are.  If you are planning on visiting Denver, definitely allow an afternoon to visit Colorado Fabrics!   That said, the only thing that I brought home from there was a package of sewing themed bandages.  I thought that they would be cute for when some of my sewing club students prick their fingers.

I also got these sewing themed wine charms from a pair of my sewing students that I just love.  They came from this Etsy shop:  Life Baubles, in case you'd like to drop a hint to anyone that you'd like some of these next year!  LOL!

I've been reading other people's plans for 2018 with awe.  Right now, I'm taking an intensive 2 week Spanish course, and then back to work, so no time yet for reflecting and planning sewing goals.  But I'm certainly getting some good ideas from other bloggers.

Have you started sewing yet in 2018?  Are you a long term planner or more of a go with the flow type of sewer?

Cheers and Good Health to you and yours in 2018!!



  1. Great Top and nice color! I like it so much that I have just ordered the pattern. Thanks. Itto

  2. That's a great top. My favorite is the second one with the lighter weight knit. So flattering, and I do like the longer length.

  3. I love the fabric top you dyed. It is beautiful. Any tips on dying

  4. Ann, I love both of your tops. The dyed fabric one is my favorite; great outcome with the dye. I truly like the look of this top!! Fit looks perfect.

  5. These are beautiful, I just love those colours, and I like the way you have used two fabrics on one garment. I will certainly be ordering this pattern. Thank you for introducing the finished garment to us.

  6. Both of your Bellivistas are gorgeous! Kenni does it again - I love so many of her patterns and this one tops the charts (especially yours :) )

  7. I think the additional length you added is great. As always, your blog posts for FM are a favorite.

  8. I am trying my first Itch to Stitch pattern (knit jacket, but have been very impressed by others I have seen in blogland. This pattern looks like a good one too. Lovely tops. I am giving an ASG program on dyeing fabric and would like to share the link to your velour top as an idea of how to create coordinating fabrics by at home dyeing. Great idea!

    1. That sounds great, Audrey! I love dyeing fabrics. I hope that you post some of your program on your blog too! I'm always looking for new ideas.


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