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

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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!

#beatrixalong, Day Eight#beatrixalong, Day Eightphoto (12)photo (13)photo (14)Day Five, #beatrixalong

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Beatrix with Flying Geese

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

UPDATE:
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!

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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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!

UPDATE:
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!

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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Let’s have a (Beatrix) party!

Made By Rae Beatrix in Let's Have a Party

UPDATE:
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.

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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.

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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!

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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Beatrix in Alison Glass Plus print

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Another Beatrix top, this one in Alison Glass‘ beautiful Handcrafted plus print (I also bought the pink one, I love those pluses). This is the simplest and easiest version of Beatrix (View A), with the button band literally just a folded extension of the back bodice. I also love the dark buttons against this print. While I don’t really want to endorse using quilting cotton for tops, there’s enough ease built into this pattern that it’s actually comfortable enough to wear. The truth is though that it’s not as comfortable as the cotton lawn one I posted the other day. I just want to be honest about that; I enjoy showcasing fun quilting cotton prints for samples but the tops (and dresses) I wear most are made out of apparel fabrics.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

Made By Rae Beatrix in Alison Glass Handcrafted

I guess that’s all I have to say about this one for now…I’ll probably just keep plugging along and posting Beatrix samples until the pattern is ready unless anyone has any questions! You can see the other Beatrix tops I’ve made by clicking here.

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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The Original Beatrix

Made By Rae Beatrix in Plaid

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

Ta-DA!! This Beatrix Top was the very first one I ever made, giving it the esteemed honor of being The Original Beatrix. As it happens I’m also wearing it today (though these photos were taken last fall; you can see my hair was still long and pink in places) and I have to say it’s one of my favorites! This large-scale plaid fabric is a lightweight lawn that makes it super comfortable and great for the spring weather we’ve been having here in Michigan.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Plaid

We are so, SO close to being finished with this sewing pattern. I can’t wait!!! Beatrix is a nice basic women’s pattern that I personally think every woman should have in their pattern stash: a simple bodice with a bust dart (in two dart sizes, A/B and C/D, just like my Josephine pattern) with neckline facings and a set-in sleeve.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Plaid

It’s also a great template for fun variations; hem, button and sleeve bands being just one example (shown in this post). In this plaid version I added just the extra button band piece in the same fabric for some fun in the back. You could also sew in snaps if buttons give you the hives, but buttons are a good skill to have and I spent a great deal of time on tips for adding buttons and buttonholes so if you’ve never tried them this could be a great time to start.

Made By Rae Beatrix in Plaid

Stay tuned, Beatrix is coming soon!! To see all the versions of Beatrix I’ve posted so far, click here.

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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Voile Beatrix with contrast bands

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UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

My latest pattern project as you may already know is the Beatrix blouse (first blogged here); it’s no secret we’ve been working on it for some time and I’m hoping to release it soon. This was a version I made of Beatrix last fall that had some “extras” added: the contrast bands at the sleeves, the hem, and in place of  the button plackets in the back. We’re calling this “View B” for the pattern. The construction is more involved, but it’s the same basic pattern, just amped up with more pieces.

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The contrast bands really add some fun options to Beatrix, which is already a versatile pattern. Even though this gold voile version has all three bands added, I’ve used the same fabric here for contrast by simply turning the fabric sideways. You could also use a totally different contrasting fabric for a big statement. Sara, one of our testers, made this version which she posted on Instagram last week and I love how the two contrasting colors look. You could just as easily add just contrast button bands and skip the sleeve bands and hem bands, like I’ve done with this version.

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It’s a little hard to see it in these photos, but the hem band breaks at the side seams. I like how that looks plus it leaves a little more room for the hips. Are you getting excited for this pattern? I certainly am! I’ll post a few more Beatrix blouses over the next couple weeks; we’re getting closer and closer to the pattern launch!

UPDATE:
The Beatrix Sewing Pattern is now available! BUY NOW

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Geranium Dress Sewing Pattern is now in print!

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Geranium Dress Sewing Pattern is finally in print! I know there are many people out there who really prefer the printed pattern over the PDF patterns so we’re slowly working on moving a few more of the patterns over to print. The print thing started as a “let’s see what happens if we print this!” experiment with the Washi Dress sewing pattern, but it’s turned out to be a pretty good source of income. I’ve seen other pattern designers move away from print because of the high overhead but it seems to be working out for us pretty well. Turns out that having the Made By Rae brand in hundreds of shops around the world is good for business, even if we make a lot less on each pattern sale. And it allows those shops to make money off of our patterns, so it’s a double win.

print geranium bottom front

We decided to start out by printing the original size range (0-5T) because that’s been the most popular range, but if you need the pattern for 6-12 year-olds, you can get the digital pattern in my online shop. I love seeing Clementine and Phoebe smiling at me from the front of the pattern:

print geranium full front

There is a full-sized, one-sided pattern sheet, so you can either trace or GASP! cut your pieces out (I really do not recommend cutting into your pattern pages — see this post for an overview of my sewing process). Don’t the instructions look pretty all laid out on one sheet?

print geranium instructions

If you would like to own your very own copy of the Geranium Dress (sizes 0-5T) print pattern, CLICK HERE to see our list of stockists.

We also take wholesale orders from brick & mortar shops and webstores who are interested in carrying the pattern, so if you own or work at a shop, visit our wholesale page to sign up for an account.

print geranium full back

print geranium back

Kitty Geranium Dress with sleeves

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One of the most common pattern-related questions I get over email is “is it possible to add a sleeve to the Geranium Dress?” The pattern has been such a huge hit so it’s only natural that people would want to add a sleeve when the weather gets cooler. I have made the dress with a sleeve a few times before (in fact, one of the earliest “Geraniums” I made featured a sleeve); usually I use the Charlie Tunic‘s sleeve and just gather the sleeve cap. This year I finally got around to fiddling around with a sleeve that is fitted; this takes a bit more work than a gathered sleeve because the sleeve cap has to be drafted to fit the armhole and you have to play around to get the right amount of ease, whereas a gathered sleeve just gets gathered to fit (super easy). Anyway, this is the result of our fitted experiment. I love it. The kitty fabric is part of Lizzy House’s recent Catnap line.

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I’ll be completely honest, this sleeve isn’t ready to distribute in any meaningful way; it’s not even graded yet, and I’m not sure how to put it out there once it is. I really dislike multi-sized stuff being given away for free online; I think it devalues the work it takes to make something multi-sized, so my current thinking is that we could maybe make an expansion pack for Geranium, something like the Washi XP. Maybe some collar and sleeve options, and I have another idea for the pattern that I think would be really fun that I’m testing out right now. Anyway, I’ve got plenty of other projects on my plate right now (the Moon Pants Pattern is currently being tested, and the pattern pieces are ready for this new women’s pattern in the works), so my guess is that there probably wouldn’t be anything concrete until next fall at the earliest.

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Please don’t pin or reuse photos of Clementine where she’s looking into the camera; I’ve put a bunch of cropped and side shots in this post that you can feel free to pin. Too complicated? Check out the ones I’ve already pinned right here on Pinterest. THANKS!