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!!

11 thoughts on “Lace Beatrix with gold buttons

  1. I love your lace top and especially the buttons in the back and the colour looks amazing on you. I hope you grow to love it more too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about creating (the time spent daydreaming and planning) and in particular this top. I found them very encouraging as I have been feeling the same and just finishing some re-design projects, some more successful than others.

  2. Half the fun is trying things out as you go along. It’s still made a lovely top even if it wasn’t quite how you’d imagined it ending up.

  3. Love the way the top looks on you! The gold buttons really make the top.

    When I’ve sewn with lace, I actually basted each piece of lace directly on to it’s matching lining piece around the entire edge. That way the lining piece provided the stability for the lace as I sewed the top together. It doesn’t produce as a nice a finish because the seams are exposed on the inside, but then the lace doesn’t shift and stretch as you sew. Maybe that will help for next time:)

    I love your sewing!

  4. I love this top! It stopped me in my tracks of blog wandering – paired with jeans it’s just perfect. The contrast or juxtaposition of lace and jeans I really like – like wearing a jeans jacket with a fancy dress 🙂 I think you did a beautiful job. Your attachment to hacks is really just loving to build in some serious challenge.

  5. I LOVE this blouse…and it really looks amazing on you! Love the beautiful lace and the shorter look, so sweet.

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