Monday, June 8, 2015

All the Nessie Tops

I know have used the Craftiness Is Not Optional Nessie Top pattern a lot, but it wasn't until today that I counted them up. I have made 13 different Nessie's in many different variations. Sheesh, I can't even believe it so I thought I'd do a round-up and show you all the basics and all the hacks and embellishments.

Most have been blogged about previously so I'll include links to learn and see more. They are in no particular order.

1. Nessie Rides Again 
This Nessie was lengthened a couple of inches just under the armpit to keep the shape. I also added flat piping under the yoke and lace trim to the sleeves. The fabric was thrifted.

This very recent make probably bears the least resemblance to a Nessie. I mashed the Nessie up with the Crafterhours free racerback tank/dress pattern. I like the swingy shape of the Nessie and used it also to gauge the width of the front and back pieces because the racerback tank has some extra width to allow for gathers.

3. This is a straight up Nessie with the Peter Pan collar and some pearl beads on a floral fabric from Joann's. I think it was a Doodles print, but a couple of years ago already. I never did blog about it for some reason, but it has gotten a lot of wear. 

4. T is for Texture, adding reverse applique technique
This Nessie is my all-time favorite. This was actually a test. I was interested in trying an Alabama Chanin style dress for Olivia but I wanted to try a smaller project first. The funny thing about this being my favorite is that I invested absolutely nothing but my time into it, and was greatly rewarded. The green jersey was upcycled from a standard box tee, the magenta from another tee, and the cream is a scrap of interlock. I already owned the beads and the 2 sequins and the thread for the embroidery.

This pattern is super quick and easy, especially when you reuse the hems for the sleeves and bottom and the neckband too! It has fit her for over a year now, and it will be a sad day when she outgrows it.

5. Blue Floral Gathered Hack
The Nessie creator, Jess of CINO, showed this hack on her blog and I had to make one too. I used a thrifted jersey fabric and paired it with stretch velour leggings for one of Elena's very favorite outfits this past winter. I love this version too.

6. The Ready for Anything Outfit
I made this Nessie during this past Kids Clothes Week. A mostly white tee is always really useful. It was super quick too because I used a box tee to make this one also, which means reusing hems and the neckband ribbing. Woot woot.

7. Butterfly Tee & Shorts
This one was also made during this past Kids Clothes Week with the Wild Things theme. I used the basic pattern and the only change I made was to bind the neck instead of using a band, and I bound the sleeves instead of hemming. It is embellished with a combination of paint (freezer paper stencil) and embroidery. I have a tee in this same fabric so now I have to be careful not to be twinsies.

8. Rainbow Bright for Project Run & Play Sew-a-long
This Nessie only got worn a couple of times before it got paint on the front. I loved the bright colors together, but it isn't my usual color choices. Combine that with the paint stains front and center, and this one spent the winter in a drawer. :-(

9. A Plaid Nessie with a Kangaroo Pocket
I borrowed a kangaroo pocket pattern piece from a commercial pattern, bound the edges with ribbing and matched those plaids up like a boss. This one has been worn so, so much. The neckband is getting stretched out and wonky now and the whole thing is a bit short anyway. How sad.

10. An Incredibles Birthday Nessie Top
To make this version of a Nessie, I redrew the sleeves to be a dolman style cap sleeve. That means you have only a front and back piece so it's even quicker. What was not quick was the freezer paper stencil on the front. It took me a few tries to draw the emblem, then to trace it and cut it out of the freezer paper, and many coats of fabric paint to cover that dark red. It was ready just in time for the party and got a lot of wear. It is really borderline too short now. Oh, stop growing kiddo.

I used the same modification to make another out of some of that popular monkey fabric and she loved that one too, but it didn't make the blog.

11. Merida Princess Dress
Elena wanted to be Merida from Brave for Halloween. I majorly lengthened a Nessie made out of stretch velvet and bought and made a few accessories including the wig and a bow and arrow set.

She liked it so well, that I made a red one as well. She slept in them often and her little friends and her always play dress up when they come over.

So that is all the Nessies so far. I can't even guess how many more there will be in the years to come considering the pattern goes up to size 8. Elena currently wears a 3 with a 4 length so we are nowhere near outgrowing it. 

The lesson I've learned lately is that you don't need a lot of patterns. It's fun to have a lot of them, but it's not necessary. It takes a good deal of time and energy to print and put together a pattern, trace it and then find out if it works for your child or not. I like a sure thing and like to find ways to just change it up. I already know what my next Nessie will be when Elena needs another t-shirt. It involves a change to that yoke piece and I'm excited to try it. The question is, can I be patient or will I just go ahead and make it sooner rather than later?


  1. Oh wow, what a great post, nice to see all these! My absolutely favorite is number 5 but I like 1, 3 and 4 a lot too!

  2. these are all SO amazing! this post just made my DAY!

  3. I can't sven pick a favorite, I have at least 4 I love the best:) I don't buy many patterns anymore because I find myself making my tried and true over and over. Great roundup!


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