Beatrix with invisible zipper



Here’s another Beatrix hack, this one much better than the last (oh wait, you forgot about that post already? Me too.). Reasons why it is better: First, voile. Much easier to sew with. Second, the print looks like someone took a brush and painted directly on it (it is from the Palos Verdes collection by A Creative Mint for Cloud9, the company I also design for); I also bought the triangle print from the same collection because I love that hand-painted look so much. Brilliant. Third: much better fit.


SASSY HANDS! Sorry, this pic was too corny not to include.


The hem on this version is 1″ longer than the actual pattern, making it read more “tunic” than “top” when combined with the fact that this size (L) is now also a bit too big for me. I’m now more of a medium, thanks to the slow meltaway of poundage that accompanies toddler-chasing and starvation due to the fact that he won’t sit at the table for more than five minutes at a time.


I added a lining to this top because voile tends to be somewhat sheer especially in lighter prints. While I was at it, I decided I might add an invisible zip instead of the buttons in the back, which turned out to be completely pointless since Beatrix is a pullover style top and doesn’t require a closure of any kind (and that includes buttons, which seems to confuse some people, since the pattern has a button placket is in back, but I assure you that it really isn’t necessary to unbutton it to get it on or off; it’s really just for show). And even though the zipper ended up being unnecessary, it’s never bad for me to get more practice adding an invisible zip. I designed all of my patterns without zippers because I’m not that skilled at putting them in (as evidenced by this close-up pic of the zipper installation). It’s a vicious cycle I tell you.


Lining a top is not as complicated as it sounds; you make a second garment out of a lining fabric (I used a solid white lawn), and then figure out how best to attach it. I attached the lining at the neckline first, added the zip ala Colette’s invisible zip tutorial, folded the ends of the sleeves up over the lining inside to hem the sleeves (closeup pic here), and left the hem unattached (closeup pic here).


So there you go: another Beatrix for my spring wardrobe!

Posted in Beatrix

Lace Beatrix with gold buttons

lace beatrix / made by rae

lace beatrix / made by rae

I’m always up for a good pattern hack, I think it might even be programmed into my DNA. I’m insanely jealous of the person who can roll out ten dresses assembly-line style that differ only by their fabric and have an instant wardrobe, because that kind of focus and self-discipline has always eluded me. Most of the time my process consists of 40% dreaming/planning, 10% hacking the pattern, and 50% of the time trying to save/hack the hack because it didn’t work out. If I thought too much about how much wasted time that represents I would probably start to cry, but every so often the skies open and the angels sing and the dress or top or whatever in my head that I’ve been dreaming about materializes exactly the way I had hoped (note to self: that intermittent reinforcement is probably fueling that pattern of behavior). This was definitely not one of those perfect moments, but I still ended up with something pretty cute. I especially like the gold buttons in the back on this Beatrix hack:
lace beatrix / made by rae lace beatrix / made by rae

This lace top was intended to be a cropped, lined version of Beatrix, which is usually hip-length and unlined. View B of the pattern (view card here) has a straight line at the hem where the hem bands attach, and I was hoping if I cut the top along that line it would produce a cute boxy effect. The lining (an off-white voile) was a no-brainer because of the lace, and voile is pretty stable so I expected it to provide a nice shape. Despite stay-stitching and serging all the lace edges before sewing it together, the lace stretched more than expected, which resulted in a wider neckline than I wanted and a larger fit overall which wasn’t as flattering as I’d hoped, so the proportions aren’t quite what I expected. I took measures to try and work on it some more — I added a line of top-stitching around the neck to help it lay flat, hemmed up a little more from the bottom and took in the side seams — and it’s definitely better, now. In the pics below where my arms are akimbo (I think I get bonus points for using that word) you can maybe see that the fit looks a little broad yet at the top.

lace beatrix / made by rae

lace beatrix / made by rae

Maybe it will grow on me the more I wear it? It’s not quite the fantastic wow-I-want-to-wear-this-everywhere thing I had envisioned, but that’s OK, I still like it. And my second experiment with Beatrix (Part II) was much better, so stay tuned!!

Posted in Beatrix

Made this: Teal Beatrix

teal beatrix back

teal beatrix front

Not much to say about this one except HEY LOOK I MADE THIS BEATRIX and YES IT’S A BIT OUT OF SEASON but WON’T IT BE LOVELY WHEN SPRING COMES AND I CAN WEAR IT? There’s something wintery about the color though, and anyway, the shorter the sleeve, the easier it is to layer a sweater over it. If the 40-degree days we’ve been having in Michigan this week are any indication, this will be seasonally appropriate by late February. Time to make myself a swimsuit?

teal beatrix 1

teal beatrix 2

Oh wait! I do have more to say about this top. I started this version (which is View A of the pattern, see handy view card below that Elli made) late last spring with the idea that it would coordinate with the View B I made out of this same voile fabric in a different color (blogged here) so that I could have a matchy-matchy photograph for the cover, see? But then, well…this one just didn’t get finished on time (it even ended up in that end-of-summer WIP post) and my Grand Plans never came to Fruition. Story of my life.

Beatrix / Made By Rae

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern can be purchased in my shop; the fabric is a lovely Anna Maria Horner voile that unfortunately is now out of print.

Posted in Beatrix

How to make a Beatrix View A with the View B button placket

beatrix how to view a+b
One of my favorite ways to make the Beatrix Top is actually a pattern hack. You may recall that the pattern includes a View A (which I like to call the “shirttail version”) and a View B (which we call the “banded version”).

It’s super duper easy to create this hybrid of the two views, and the Original Beatrix and Let’s have a (Beatrix) party tops are both examples of this. In fact we almost included this version in the pattern but decided against it because a) the pattern instructions were already getting pretty long with the two views and we were behind deadline, and b) it’s just so easy to show with a photo tutorial, so we decided to go with the tutorial. Which I then delegated. TO JESS. Heh. So, in this post, Jess will show you how to make Beatrix with the shirttail hem and sleeves from View A, plus a contrasting button placket borrowed from View B, like this:
front back beatrix


Hi folks! Jess here. I was making this Beatrix anyway, so I made myself useful and took some photos in the process! Here goes.

First, cut out and prepare your pattern pieces. Follow the cutting instructions for View A (page 6) with ONE EXCEPTION: cut your Back Bodice pieces along the vertical “Cut here for banded bodice (View B)” line.



Also cut two Button Plackets out of a contrast fabric (these are the only View B pieces you’ll need). Transfer markings as instructed for View A (page 6), and attach interfacing to Front Facing and Back Facings (page 8). Now fold and press Button Plackets, then attach interfacing (page 8).

Here’s what you should have:

  • one front bodice (darts marked)
  • two back bodices cut on the View B line, and two button plackets (folded, pressed, and interfaced)
  • front and back facings (with interfacing)
  • two sleeves (short sleeves pictured, marked Left and Right with fold line marked)

Beatrix tute 1

Beatrix tute 2

Now, sew button plackets to back bodice pieces: With raw edges at center back and right sides facing, pin each button placket to its corresponding back bodice (if your fabric has a directional print, make sure it’s pointing the right way up). Sew button plackets to back bodices with a 1/2″ seam allowance.



Press seam allowances away from the bodice, toward the plackets:

Proceed as for View A. From here, you get to follow all of the directions exactly as written for View A, starting with Step 1 on page 9. Here are some photos for reference:

In Step 9, fold the button placket to the right side and stitch down 1/4″ from the top along the folded portion:

Stitch along the bottom of the folded portion and all the way around the curved hem with a 1/2″ seam allowance:


Attach facings using a 1/4″ seam allowance:

Step 11: Pin “in the ditch” from the right side, catching the folded edge of the placket on the inside of the garment. I use fabric clips to hold my curved hem in place (and I forgot to take a picture before I sewed the hem, whoops!)

Note the directions of the pins: you’ll be sewing DOWN the left side of the back and UP the right side, so pin accordingly.

Here’s that finished seam at the top and bottom:

Now all you have to do is add buttonholes, sew on buttons (see page 20 for Very Detailed Instructions), and put your top on!

Beatrix View A with View B Button band

Beatrix View A with View B Button band

Beatrix View A with View B Button band

I LOVE my new Beatrix! I made this top out of Chambray Union in Indigo (our sponsor, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, has it in stock), with a Palos Verdes Voile button band. And those are vintage carved flower buttons made out of shell, so they’re shiny and a little hard to photograph (here’s a close-up) … but oh so pretty!

Are you ready for a Beatrixalong?


The Beatrix Sewalong is now underway!
If this is your first time landing here, it’s not too late to join in. We’re taking a full eight days to sew Beatrix, and I’ll put links to each new post here as we move through the week. For this sewalong, I’m making a short-sleeved View A as shown in the image above. This is the simplest version of the pattern (View B has more pieces) so it’s a great place to start if you’re new to garment sewing, and the short sleeve is perfect for summer!

Here’s the Beatrixalong schedule:
I’ve mapped this out so you can work slowly, taking about 30-60 minutes each day.
Preparation – Gather your materials
Day 1: Friday, July 10 Measure and Print
Day 2: Saturday, July 11
Trace pattern and Make a muslin
Day 3: Sunday, July 12
– Cut and prep
Day 4: Monday, July 13
Sew darts, shoulders seams, and side seams
Day 5: Tuesday, July 14
– Sleeves
Day 6: Wednesday, July 15 –
 Prep and attach facings
Day 7: Thursday, July 16 –
Hemming and button placket finishing
Day 8: Friday, July 17
Buttonholes and buttons

Other links:
Bust Adjustment: How to shorten or lengthen a dart
Beatrixalong Roundup
The official Beatrixalong page
How to make a Beatrix View A with the View B button placket


Beatrix is Here!

I’m so pleased to introduce my newest sewing pattern, Beatrix!! I’m over the moon about this new pattern, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

Made By Rae Beatrix Sewing Pattern


Beatrix is a button-back pullover with a simple silhouette that is both comfortable and flattering. With two views that offer different sleeve lengths, button placket options, and a shirttail or banded hem, this is a truly versatile pattern for woven fabrics.

Beatrix is available in six women’s sizes (XS-XXL), and comes with separate front bodice pieces for A/B cup and C/D cup sizes so you can choose the one that works best for you.

I’ve put together a Beatrix Page where you can find all of the blog posts and related tutorials (coming soon!) for Beatrix. There are additional photos of Beatrix in the shop. You’ll find all the charts for sizes, finished measurements, and yardage in the shop listing too. Beatrix uses a couple of techniques that might be a little intimidating to a beginner (a set-in sleeve and buttonholes), so I’m hoping to do a sewalong for Beatrix soon so you can see additional photos and tips to help you along. Stay tuned!!!

I’d love to see what you make with the Beatrix Pattern! Please post pictures of your finished Beatrix Tops and Dresses to the Beatrix Sewing Pattern Pool on Flickr and use the hashtags #beatrixpattern#madebyrae, or #raemademedoit on Instagram and Twitter to share your photos and see what others have made!

Made by Rae BeatrixMade by Rae BeatrixMade by Rae BeatrixMade by Rae BeatrixBeatrix FrontBeatrix Back

Posted in Beatrix

Beatrix with Flying Geese

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Yes, I keep posting Beatrix Tops but no pattern-is-here post. I’m stringing you along. It’s cruel, I know. But isn’t this a pretty top? The fabric is Alison Glass‘ beautiful red Geese print from her first Handcrafted line from Andover; I also made a short-sleeved Beatrix from this same line of fabric. The name “Geese” is in reference to “flying geese,” those stacked triangles you always see in quilts, so we’ve been calling this top the Flying Geese Top. Which seems somehow grammatically incorrect now (Flying Goose Top? No, that can’t be right if there are multiple geese…?). Anyway. Let’s move on.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

This was originally intended to be a sample for the cover of the pattern but then I ran into a small issue with the print; it turned out that the placement of those beautiful, randomly-placed, hand-printed triangles was just slightly lower on one side than the other, resulting in a “cockeyed headlights” effect at the bust if you catch my drift and if you don’t let’s just say the asymmetry wasn’t flattering and leave it at that. Ahem. Hence, a lovely patch pocket was added over the left bust. It was easy to add the pocket and it fixed the visual mindgames I was having when I looked in the mirror, but a pocket isn’t included in the final pattern, so we didn’t end up using this one for the pattern cover. In all other ways besides the pocket, however, this is a straight-up View A, and of course I think it shows off the fit quite nicely. You can take a look at this handy Beatrix Yardage post for more information about the two views and their yardage requirements if you’d like.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

Looking at these photos makes me miss my long hair and pink extensions a little bit. My hair is short and blue now so that works for summer but the grass is always greener, as they say. Or pinker? OK, well I’m off to proofread the final instruction layout for Beatrix so we can have it out to you next week!! Am crossing all fingers and toes in hope that it will finally be ready!

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Posted in Beatrix

Beatrix Yardage and Fabric Recommendations

As we put finishing touches on the Beatrix Top pattern, I thought I’d give you some yardage and fabric guidelines so you can gather your supplies now to get sewing RIGHT AWAY as soon as the pattern comes out!

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

First find your size. If your measurements put you between sizes, use your upper bust and bust to select your size. If those still put you between sizes, subtract one from the other to find the difference between your upper bust and bust measurements. If the difference is 2″ (5 cm) or less, use your bust measurement to select your size; if it’s greater than 2″ (5 cm), use your upper bust measurement to select your size. The pattern has two front bodices for all six sizes to accommodate A/B and C/D bra cup sizes, so you’ll get all the guidance you need before you start cutting out your fabric!

Made By Rae Beatrix Size Chart
Now get your yardage. The chart includes yardage for fabric widths of 44″ and 54″, and accounts for shrinkage from pre-washing and drying (always pre-wash your fabric!). See notes and photos below to help you decide whether you’d like to sew View A or B (or a combo of the two).

Made By Rae Beatrix Yardage

Beatrix Views
Choose your fabric. I recommend woven lightweight cotton and linen blends such as voile, rayon challis, shot cotton, shirting, double gauze, lawn, broadcloth, and lightweight chambray. There are tons of wonderful apparel fabrics available these days, and I can’t wait to see what you all choose. Here’s a list of the fabrics I used for all the versions of Beatrix that I’ve blogged about so far. Since some of my tops have been mashups of View A and View B, I’ve included details to help you get the right amount of fabric.

Beatrix in Alison Glass Plus Print (above, left) is a true View A with short sleeves. It’s sewn from the Handcrafted line by Alison Glass. The Plus in Shortbread print is in stock at Hawthorne Threads, along with some great prints from both lines of Handcrafted!

Voile Beatrix with contrast bands (above, right) is a true View B in which the contrast bands are cut from the same fabric on the crossgrain. It is sewn from Pastry Line Voile in Toast by Anna Maria Horner. Pink Castle Fabrics and Fiddlehead Artisan Supply both have it in stock.
Made By Rae Beatrix Tops

Bespoke Double Gauze Blouse (above, left) is a View A with short sleeves. It’s sewn from Cotton+Steel’s Bespoke Double Gauze, and Hawthorne Threads has a number of prints and solids from that line in stock. The print I used is Ephemera in the colorway Mustard.

Let’s have a (Beatrix) Party (above, middle) is a short-sleeved View A, with a contrast button placket borrowed from View B. Get the yardage you’d need for a short-sleeved View A, plus about a 1/2 yard of contrast fabric for the button placket. This top is sewn from the True Colors print in Avril Loreti’s Let’s Have a Party voile for Cloud9 FabricsFancy Tiger has some of the prints from that line, as well as a number of other voiles and lawns.

The Original Beatrix plaid top (above, right) is a View A with 3/4-length sleeves; it’s sewn from a lightweight plaid lawn that I picked up locally.

Thanks for your patience! The days before we release a pattern are filled with final pattern piece checks and obsessively going over the instructions with eagle eyes. Just imagine me scurrying about the studio waving around a tape measure!

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Posted in Beatrix

Let’s have a (Beatrix) party!

Made By Rae Beatrix in Let's Have a Party

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

My multi-week Beatrix Tease oops I meant Beatrix Preview (go ahead and put that in air quotes) continues today with this stunning voile version that I’ve been wearing all over the place lately. The fabric is from the Let’s Have a Party collection by Avril Loreti for Cloud 9 with a matching coral Cirrus Solid button band in back (full disclaimer: I made Cloud 9 a duplicate of this top for their Quilt Market booth in trade for the fabric. I am also a Cloud 9 designer). I’m so glad that these fun, bright, and cheerful prints are printed on voile; it makes them absolutely perfect for lightweight breezy summer garments.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Let's Have a Party

I was working on getting the length right when we sewed this one, so the hem is roughly 1″ longer than the final pattern will be; it’s hard to see why this matters in the photos because I happen to be really tall, but if you could see the photos some of the more average-height testers sent, it would be obvious to you why I decided to make it shorter.

IMG_3230 - Version 2

Made By Rae Beatrix in Let's Have a Party

The buttons are made of coconut (!?!) and came from Fashion Sewing Supply, a shop that if you’re not already familiar with you need to be if only for their awesome high-quality garment elastic and interfacings. Pam Erny runs it and does a fantastic job. Put that one in your browser bookmarks under “Sewing Supplies.” You’ll never buy waistband elastic anywhere else again. You’re welcome.


Made By Rae Beatrix in Let's Have a Party

Pattern coming soon…seriously. Many people have already asked me for the yardage requirements, so I’ll try to post that soon so you can know how much fabric to buy. Meanwhile, while you’re waiting you can check out the other versions of Beatrix I’ve made so far. And if you have questions about the buttons in the back, please read the comments on this post before joining in the discussion!

The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Posted in Beatrix