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.
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.
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.
Stay tuned, Beatrix is coming soon!! To see all the versions of Beatrix I’ve posted so far, click here.
Allow me introduce our first Sewing Superstar! (Learn more about this fun series here.)
I’m not sure when I stumbled across Teri of Fa Sew La, but I think it was last year after she started making oodles of Washis. She has made 11 Washi Dresses or Tunics (4 of them for friends), plus so many other great garments for herself. I’m particularly fond of the Josephine Blouse / Washi Expansion Pack mashup on the bottom right.
She’s also wearing a Ruby Top (top left) and three variations on the Washi Dress. The version with the bow (bottom left) can be made with the Washi Expansion Pack.
Teri sews prolifically for her kids too. Her boys love their Fanfare Flannel Parsley Pants, and her new baby girl will surely grow up in Geranium Dresses. All her Made By Rae posts are here.
You can follow Teri online on your social media platform of choice:
Fa Sew La Blog / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Flickr
See what others are making:
Flickr pools Josephine Sewing Pattern, Ruby Dress & Top, and Washi Dress.
Instagram tags #washidress, #josephinepattern, #raemademedoit, and #madebyrae.
It inspires me so much in my own sewing to see what you are making with my patterns. Please add your photos to the photo pool(s) or tag your pics with #raemademedoit or #madebyrae so I can see what you’re making. I’m excited to feature more Sewing Superstars here soon!!
Today I want to kick off what I think will be a fun series! Quite often the people who get featured on my blog are already well-known makers and bloggers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I think it’s inevitable that many of the friends I’ve made since I starting blogging are now well-established in the sewing community because let’s be honest I’ve been at this for a very loooong time. But very frequently when I’m scrolling through Instagram checking the #raemademedoit or #madebyrae tags or looking through the Rae Made Me Do It photo pool on Flickr, I stumble across a new face who grabs my attention because they are putting out some really amazing work, often with my patterns (which I’ll highlight here) but also very frequently other designer’s patterns, or even their own designs. That’s the great thing about social media: ANYONE can put work out there that is really fantastic.
The purpose of this series will be to highlight some of these “Sewing Superstars” who might not have made it onto your radar; maybe someone who is really prolific with their sewing, or clearly skilled in some area, or doing something interesting or different with patterns, or maybe it’s just someone who consistently nails it with their fabric/pattern combinations. I’m calling this series “Sewing Superstars!” because I find their work inspiring and they deserve recognition, and I’ll be featuring each person with a special post (they’ll also receive a fabric gift certificate to thank them for letting me feature their work, as well as just being awesome). I’m hoping that you’ll find someone new that you might not have already been following! And if you have someone you want to nominate, please feel free to comment!
I really love the Charley Harper prints that Birch has put out in the past year. This vireo print is one of my favorites, and I was really excited when it ended up on knits as well as quilting cotton! This is the second thing I’ve sewn with the Birch knits, and I really like the quality of these knits a LOT; they hold up well, have a nice (medium) weight, and the perfect amount of stretch for clothing. One thing I learned the hard way is that they do shrink quite a bit in the wash, so my usual 1 wash / 1 dry prep for fabric didn’t work as well; the Flashback dress I made for Clementine shrunk even more in the wash after it was sewn and now is more of a 3/4 length on her sleeves and tunic rather than dress length…oops! Totally my fault, but I would recommend washing and drying these at least twice if possible before making something.
The pattern…hmm. I’m almost 100% sure that a pattern exists for this exact style, but honestly I just traced a pair of knit leggings he already had in a smaller size and added a little width and length to make them bigger. The final fit was trial and error (read: me wrestling them on him during a diaper change, then trimming off the seams with the serger after he went to bed, then repeat again the next day) and it took a bit more tinkering than I would have liked, but they look really cute now so I’m happy with them. But all that to say: life is usually easier when you just use a pattern. I could learn to take my own advice a little more in this department rather than going rogue all the time; it just saves so much time when someone else has done the work for me, and I’m realizing more and more how much my time is really worth.
I guess that brings up a good issue in general that I still struggle with when it comes to sewing: how to decide what to sew when time is so limited? I remember when I first realized that I could sew ANYTHING in that classic world-is-my-oyster kind of way; there was something so freeing and awesome about being able to sew anything I set my mind to. But inevitably the project list became overwhelming and unrealistic, and I’ve had to pare it down and really choose more carefully what I want to sew, especially because kids outgrow things so quickly. So while I’m still pretty spontaneous slash irresponsible about what I choose to make, I definitely try to weigh how much something will get worn or used against the amount of time it would take to make it, and then considering whether it might just be better to buy it and weighing that against the question of whether a child in Malaysia might have sewn it up for me…OK, I digress, but you get the point. In this case, the leggings will probably get a few months of wear, but considering how cute they look, it was totally worth it.
Part of the fun of making a new pattern is pushing the envelope with fabric choices to see how versatile it can be. Originally I envisioned more flowy, lightweight fabrics for my most recent pattern — Moon Pants — but it works surprisingly well when sewn up in a sweatshirt fleece, as you can see. I’d say it’s a win. They’re baggy sweats, to be sure, but I think they’re pretty cute, don’t you?
It might seem somewhat unseasonal to post sweatpants in May, but the weather here in Michigan has been so. crazy…cold one day, hot the next. Case in point: yesterday it was 80, and today it’s 50. So these are very much in Clementine’s wardrobe rotation yet, and if this summer is anything like last summer they will get a ton of use. I also made a pair for Elliot in solid sweatshirt fleece (without the moon pockets, but with a drawstring). More on that soon I hope!