Ballard Top


When I posted recently about how I’m not holding back and waiting for the perfect circumstances to sew more for myself anymore, I was overwhelmed by the amazing response. I’m obviously not alone in this. Too many of us are waiting until things are “just right” before we jump in and sew for ourselves.

So when my new friend Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs (affiliate link) asked if I would join the blog tour for her newest pattern release, the Ballard, how could I say no?

Ballard Top

The Ballard top is a comfy knit top that is easily dressed up or down. It’s all “hey, I’m a super cute shirt!” in the front, and then “well heeeeeyyyy, I’m super sassy!” in the back.


The front has a sweet gathered, scoop neckline that I am loving. It hits in the perfect spot – not too low, not too high. And it adds a nice detail when you’re using a solid colored fabric.

DSC_0194I’m on the petite side (under 5’4), so this top is more like a tunic on me. I could maybe get away with wearing it with leggings as is, but I’d prefer to lengthen it just a teeny bit (because I’m in the leggings are not pants camp, and I like to keep the booty covered) It would also be very easy to shorten it, but I actually like the length as is.

DSC_0188The open back detail is so fun! It adds something really unique, but you could easily make the opening smaller if you’re not crazy about it being so open. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the open back at first, but after wearing it a bit (and getting quite a few compliments ;) I decided it’s too fun not to like, and I think it’s a great way to show a pop of color with a tank underneath.

DSC_0210From cut to sew, it probably came together in an hour or so. The pattern is super straightforward, though you should know going into it that this pattern has the fantastic feature of being able to print only the size you want to use. I really recommend this, because I completely missed this (because I didn’t read through the pattern until after I printed), and it would have been nice, as there were a lot of size lines crossing and it got a bit confusing which line to cut. So print only your size, and you won’t have this problem (and read the directions before you print… also a good lesson learned ;)


I wish you could see this fabric in person. I picked it up at JoAnn’s, it has a great weight… and it’s sparkly. We all know I love a good glitter fabric, in my land of boys over here. :)

I’ll definitely be sewing more Ballards! The pattern is being sold exclusively on Indie Sew for the next week, but will be sold at Straight Stitch Designs after that. You can check out all the other lovely versions of the Ballard being sewn up for the tour!ballard-tourgraphic

And just to keep it real… this is how photo shoots really look:

Happy sewing, friends!

Disclosure: I received this pattern as part of the blog tour, but all opinions are my own.

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  1. LOVELY BLUE KNIT YOU’VE CHOSEN FOR SEWING THE BALLARD TOP! Looks FAB in your photo shoot– seen front & back. I was surprised at the open long vertical slit at the back to show another plain color or print top. DIFFERENT . . . Thanks for sharing, Jess. Saraah in Minneapolis

  2. Cute! It suits you well. I had to laugh “leggings aren’t pants” I actually recently left the house on a short errand and realized too late I left the house in leggings (though thankfully bum covered) and was all…..I’m not wearing pants :) -Rachel

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