How to make Beatrix without buttons

How to make Beatrix without buttons

At its essence, my Beatrix pattern is a very simple silhouette: fitted sleeves and a bodice with bust darts for shaping. The buttons in the back and hem and sleeve bands are really mere embellishment; they add stylistic elements to the pattern, but they don’t affect the overall shape.

So (no surprise!) it’s very, very easy to make a Beatrix without the buttons in the back to create a simple pullover top! Maybe you’re intimidated by buttons, or a beginner sewist, or maybe you just want a quick project and don’t want to take the time to add those buttons. I also like to make Beatrix without buttons if I’m using a rayon or a slippery fabric that might make it tricky to add the buttonholes.

How to make Beatrix without buttons

Here’s a quick how-to!

You will need:

  • Beatrix sewing pattern (you can buy it as a PDF in my shop, or ask your favorite local shop if they carry the print version!)
  • fabric (I used Sleeping Porch lawn by Heather Ross for this sample)
  • lightweight fusible interfacing (see this post for my favorite kind)

Cut out your pieces:

Use your Beatrix pattern to cut out a FRONT and two SLEEVES (choose either length) from your fabric.

Beatrix without buttons

Cut one (note!! ONLY ONE!) BACK piece by placing the fold along the line labeled “center back” instead of cutting two back pieces out. This will create a back piece that is all one piece, and eliminates the extra fabric you would normally use to create the button placket.

Beatrix without buttons

Cut one FRONT FACING and one BACK FACING out on the fold. Line up the edge of the back facing along the fold, instead of cutting two as indicated on the pattern piece.

beatrix without buttons


From your interfacing, cut out a front facing and a back facing, also both on the fold. You now have four facing pieces: two fabric, and two interfacing.

Beatrix facings

Sew it together

Sew the darts, shoulders, and side seams as indicated in the pattern (you can also see these steps in Day 4 of the Beatrixalong). Staystitch the neckline and armholes.

Beatrix bodice

Apply the interfacing to the front and back facings, and sew them together at the shoulders. Check out my SUPER FUN FACINGS TRICK if you want to create a lovely finished edge like the one shown in this post.


Now we’ll add the facings to the neckline. Pin them to the outside of the bodice with right sides together.

Beatrix without buttons tutorial

Sew all the way around the neckline with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Beatrix without buttons

Clip the neckline.

Beatrix without buttons

Understitch the neckline: press the facing and neckline seam allowances away from the bodice and stitch through all three layers — facing + seam allowances — just inside the seam line, at about 1/8″ away from the edge. Because of the clipped seam allowances, I find it easiest to do this with the facing on top and the seam allowances below. It’s a bit hard to see what’s happening in the photo below, but the facing and seam allowances are on the right, and the main blouse is on the left in this photo. I’m stitching 1/8″ away from the seam; at the bottom of the photo you can see where my stitches are visible:

Beatrix without buttons

Here’s what it looks like after understitching, below. More pics of understitching can be found in my Day 6 Beatrixalong post.

Beatrix without buttons

Press the facings to the inside of the blouse and tack them down along the shoulder seams.

Beatrix without buttons

Then add the sleeves (I like to hem them before attaching them)!

Beatrix without buttons

and finish the hem as indicated in the pattern.

Beatrix without buttons

Voila! Quick and easy Beatrix without buttons!

How to make Beatrix without buttons

You can find all of the tutorials relating to Beatrix over on my Beatrix page, or visit my shop to purchase a copy of the Beatrix sewing pattern.

How to make Beatrix without buttons

16 thoughts on “How to make Beatrix without buttons

  1. Glad to see this. I have already made a couple Beatrix shirts using my husband’s old dress shirts so that I could have the buttons down the back without all the work.

  2. Possibilities, or suggestions, about finishing the neckline without facings? I need to make a white rayon/silk/flowy blouse and the sheerness of the fabric makes them visible.

    • I would suggest lining the bodice in that case; I just (check back here tomorrow for the post!) made a button-less Beatrix out of a somewhat sheer white rayon with a lining and it worked out beautifully: if you just line the bodice and baste the two layers together at the armholes before adding the sleeves, you’ll have a nice finish at the neckline without visible facings!!!

  3. I am laughing at your “hives” comment because that’s how I ended up in the ER getting stitches in my pinky toe a few years back. Lesson learned!

    • oof!!! that’s awful. Thankfully I have avoided any major injuries up to this point but I’ve heard so many scary stories!! Those things can be SO dangerous.

  4. Beautiful top Rae! Love the fabric. I’ve got a few of these on my fall list to make. I’m going to add long sleeves using the Josephine sleeves too. This is such a great pattern!

  5. I love this top and would like to make it. I think I read somewhere that you are going to be releasing more of your patterns in plus sizes. I so hope this is true and that this pattern will be one of the first to be upsized. Thank you!!

  6. I purchased this pattern recently and this is my first time sewing a garment. I’m using this because I prefer the back instead of the buttons and I’m in the process of making the muslin test piece. I’ve done it twice and I keep getting the front about 1/2″ to 3/4″ longer and getting stuck on how to stitch from the armpit to the hem since one is longer than the other. I know this is going to affect the final bottom hem. Can you point me in the right direction to figure out what I am doing wrong, if anything? Thanks!

  7. I have made two of these without buttons and with elbow length sleeves for my daughter. One was a double gauze which turned out lovely. I finished with flat fell seems to encase them so no raveling. The second was made from lawn by Allison Glass. Such nice drape on this one too. This is my go to pattern now, well that and Gemma Tank. I have made 5 Beatrix and 7 Gemmas!

Comments are closed.