Last week, I got to test the Sahara Top and Dress by Bella Sunshine Designs. It’s a fantastic knit dress pattern – simple, elegant and playful! What I love most about this pattern though is the fit, from the beautiful scoop in the back to the fit across the chest, it is complete perfection!

The Sahara Dress features a fully lined bodice with a scooped neckline (with no closures which I really like) and both sleeveless and sleeve options in different lengths. It has a full circle skirt which comes in top and dress lengths. The circle skirt is without a doubt my daughter’s favorite element, you can never have enough twirly dresses around here. Every piece of fabric that she sees me petting, she has to ask “are you making a pretty dress for me?” pretty equals twirly!


This dress for me is the classic combination of perfect fabric meets perfect pattern. I love the texture and stretch and drape of double brushed polyester, and have used it a ton for leggings this past year. And the Sahara Dress pattern recommends fabric with good drape and more importantly, good recovery, so this fabric (fabric from So Sew English Fabrics) works beautifully for this pattern, with no stretching out or rippling around the neckline and the waistline.


This child just turned 3, but is skinny and still fits into her baby clothes. One of the most helpful things I learnt while testing this pattern is how to blend correctly across sizes. This dress is a 12 month size widthwise blended to a 2year size in length. The pattern comes with clear instructions and illustrations for blending between sizes, so you get the perfect fit. I love love love that pretty neckline and those 3/4th sleeves!




For the sleeveless version, I used this lovely spring-like cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and an interlock jersey for the bodice lining.





Obviously, I can’t decide which one I love more but these dresses will be worn and loved to death, that I do know!!

Because, I don’t believe I’ve said it enough times 😉 but the fit of the Sahara Dress is pure excellence and is such a great pattern to have on hand, oh the possibilities of having a well fitted basic pattern!  My husband says she needs a princess dress for when we go to watch the Beauty and the Beast next week, I’m wondering if I can use this pattern for a maxi length dress.

The Sahara Top & Dress is currently on release sale price of $5.50 (regular price $7.95 USD), don’t forget to take a look at the listing for some gorgeous tester versions. One thing that I have come to love about Bella Sunshine Designs is how thorough their testing process is and how they strive for perfection in the pattern fit and instructions. I have used and reviewed several of their patterns (here, here, here and here) before and highly recommend their patterns.

Happy Sewing!!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Sahara Top & Dress – Pattern Test for Bella Sunshine Designs

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