13 February 2018

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern)

This post refers to a sewing pattern, which I received for free as part of the blog tour. 
* Affiliate link - see page bottom

A new top made out of beautiful soft fabric was just what I needed. Add bell sleeves and a lot of lace and it becomes my new favourite garment.

This post is part of the Get Ready for Spring Blog Tour, which was hosted by Seams Sew LoEllie and Mac* were so kind to let us choose a pattern for free. As usual you'll find only my honest opinion here.

Spring stands for everything new and here I am finally actually thinking about my life and planning my future.
While I had fun with my few sewing projects last year it is time for me to get my game on. I want to evolve my style and focus on projects that fit this using fabrics that I won't regret using.

But enough of this, you sure want to see what I made:

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern)
Sneak peek, haha! 

Details about the pattern 

I used the Women's Bell Sleeve Dress Pattern* by Ellie and Mac. Again, this was kindly gifted to me as part of the blog tour. 
You'll get one file with all the words and the pattern itself. I like that the pattern is for sizes XXS up to 4XL. Also there is a lot of information included - think fabric recommendations, stretch test and many, many tips. 

As I've made a few tops now I know how I like to sew them up. Therefore I didn't read the instructions that come with the pattern when sewing my top. I've just read it now to see how they are and I think they are excellent. The written instructions are clear and easy to understand and there are also photos showing the steps with the sewing lines marked. 

The pdf has layers - hello easy print - and there are several lines on the pattern pieces showing where to adjust the lengths. 

I would totally recommend this pattern for beginners. Overall I think it is flattering on my body - which means I think it is flattering on somewhere-between-hourglass-and-pearshaped-bodies. 
Also, though I have nothing planned by now, I will definitely make it again - with correct bell sleeves as drafted. 

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) twin needle hem
I hemmed the bottom and the sleeves using a twin needle; say hello to Kleopatra!

My alterations

I made a size SM (small) graded out to M where the hips start. 
As I didn't want the whole dress length I cut off about 20cm, now it ends with my bum. 
The sleeves were way too long for me, so I removed a few cm here as well - sadly this removed a lot of the bell sleeve. 
I cut out the neckline piece, which is a part of the pattern, but I didn't sew it on as the instructions say. Instead I used the same method as I used for my Greenstyle Creations Green Tee to get the center seam at the V. 

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern)  v neckline
My much better second v-neckline; topstitched with a twin needle

For another one of this I would shorten the sleeve pattern to get all of that bell. I actually do not need any other fit adjustment here, how amazing is that! 
I also think this is perfect for an asymmetrical hemline, so maybe I'll try that. 

My fabric

Spring is delicate, as is lace. Fragile looking flower buds and fragile looking threads, though both are quite robust. So I decided to add lace - two different types to be specific! 

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) lace overlay
Bell sleeves with lace overlay

The main fabric I used is a rayon jersey (plus 4% spandex), which is among the softest fabrics I've ever felt. Seriously, it is a dream to wear this. The designer is hamburger liebe and I bought it at kaysoo (if you ever happen to be near Linz, Austria, go check it out; small collection but carefully selected with so much love). 

I've added a galloon lace trim at the center back to hide the seam here - I had only 1m of the rayon fabric so I had to split the back. 
And I put a lace layer over the rayon sleeves, which I think looks great but was difficult to work with as this lace has no stretch in the length. Next time I'll know how to deal with this better. And for this one I'll figure out a way how to deal with the sleeve hems. 

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) galloon lace back trim
Sadly there is a bit of excess fabric puckering at the back left shoulder

My styles

To show you how versatile this piece is I decided to show you three ways to style it. 

First is more sporty, combined with only leggins and my new awesome velvet shoes:

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) sporty style fashion selfmade

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) sporty style fashion selfmade

Then the rocking version of how to wear bell sleeves. I think it goes well with jeans, boots and a waist belt:

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) rocking style selfmade fashion

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) rocking style selfmade fashion

And lastly I put on a maxi skirt, my selfmade hat and some jewelry to create an almost a little witchy kind of style: 

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) witchy style selfmade fashion

Spring Sewing a Bell Sleeve Top (Ellie & Mac pattern) witchy style selfmade fashion

Which one do you like best? Any other ideas and inspiration how to style this? 

Overall I think this is a great pattern and I am quite sure I will make more of it.

Please visit all the stops on the Get Ready for Spring Blog Tour featuring Ellie and Mac* spring sewing patterns (35% of right now), hosted by Seams Sew Lo. Do no forget to enter the giveaway below too!  

Click on the names to get to their blog!
  1. February 3rd: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
  2. February 4th: Seams Sew Lo
  3. February 5th: Violets and Jewels
  4. February 6th: Threadistry
  5. February 7th: Mama Can Make it
  6. February 8th: My Crazy Crafty Beautiful Life
  7. February 9th: Aurora Designs
  8. February 10th: Flaxfield Sewing
  9. February 11th: Floral and Flannel
  10. February 12th: FABulous Home Sewn
  11. February 13th: Minns Things
  12. February 14th: Our Play Place
  13. February 15th: Tenille's Thread
  14. February 16th: Seams Like Style
  15. February 17th: Hutsepruts
  16. February 18th: Candi Couture Designs
  17. February 19th: My Sewing Roots
  18. February 20th: Manning the Machine
  19. February 21st: Stitched by Jennie
  20. February 22nd: Kathy's Kwilts and More
  21. February 23rd: Sewjourns
  22. February 24th: Mermaid Mama Designs
  23. February 25th: Fee Bricolo
  24. February 26th: Oak Blue Designs
  25. February 27th: Big Fly Notions
  26. February 28th: Sewing Blue

* This post contains affiliate links. If you order something using my links I will get a percentage. This does not cost you anything. Thanks for your support!


  1. I love how you styled everything. Looks great on you!!

  2. Minn,

    I love this. And the 3 ways you styled it is just awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Kathy, that is so nice to hear!

  3. I love the one with the dress the most. Great job!

    1. Thanks, that one is kind of special / unusual for me and I like it a lot!

  4. All 3 styled looks are great. I’m a jeans kinda girl, so if I had to choose that would be it. I love the lace details!

    1. Jennie, thank you for your lovely words! Jeans are my everyday wear, but I love a bit of variety!

  5. I love this and your fabric is gorgeous!!

  6. This looks great!! Love the lace detail added in the back

  7. This is so pretty, I love the fabric that you used!! The drape is gorgeous!

    1. Agree, the fabric is perfect for this pattern. Thanks!

  8. My favorite is with jeans and a waist belt. I never would've thought to style it that way. Guess I will when I get mine sewn up! Love this pattern.

    1. I love it too! It's nice to read you found inspiration here.

  9. I'm totally digging this! You look fabulous and that v-neck is perfection!

    1. Becky, thank you so much for your lovely words! I am indeed very happy about how well this v-neck went.

  10. I love how versatile this top is, the fabric is beautiful and the lace overlay is such an elegant touch.

    1. Thank you, Tenille, those are the things I also love about this make!