The Beatrix Top

It’s that time of year where I’m yearning to sew something that says SPRING!  A top with some sweet details in cheery colors always does it for me since I can layer it with a sweater and jeans until the days are warmer.   The Beatrix top from Made by Rae was calling my name from our pattern bins with its easy construction and ample instructions.  

 An easy to wear fit ready for your favorite prints

An easy to wear fit ready for your favorite prints

 ... and buttons! 

... and buttons! 

With so many beautiful fabric options to pair with the Beatrix top it was hard to choose, but that gorgeous set of Loominous 2 kept teasing me.  These woven beauties range in weight and my choice has a nice lightweight lawn quality to it, perfect for a comfy top.  The fabric can come with some tiny imperfections so if you go boldly forward with one of these large plaid-style prints maybe buy an extra 1/4 of a yard to get everything just right.  Leftovers would make gorgeous bias tape or additions to a quilt. 

 The Loominous 2 collection from Anna Maria Horner

The Loominous 2 collection from Anna Maria Horner

Choosing my size was simple with Made by Rae’s size chart that included both upper bust and bust measurements as well as A/B and C/D cup sizes to perfect your fit.  I decided to go with a short sleeve View A as a curved hem fits my style.  

Laying out the pattern pieces was easily the most fun and challenging part of this particular top.  I wanted to play with the vertical lines of the fabric so I cut the front bodice vertically along the grainline as directed and horizontally (against the grainline) with the two back pieces.  Deciding on the direction of the sleeves was determined by what fabric was leftover to make them symmetrical.  

 By laying out pattern pieces on a single layer of fabric I could dial in the striped symmetry.

By laying out pattern pieces on a single layer of fabric I could dial in the striped symmetry.

Per usual I constructed everything with longevity in mind using french seams in the shoulder, sides and for setting in the sleeves.  I stuck to directions for inserting and finishing the facing using a zig zag to secure the edges and trimmed with my pinking shears.  To finish the hem I opted to make some 1/2 inch single fold bias tape rather than roll the hem.  As expected this fabric makes striking bias tape that I’m ready to put into every garment this spring.  

 Bias tape to finish the curved hem

Bias tape to finish the curved hem

 Setting in sleeves: pinning, pinning, pinning

Setting in sleeves: pinning, pinning, pinning

Overall the fit of the Beatrix was as expected with the exception of the bust darts.  They are drafted to be perpendicular to the side seam which makes for clean matching of plaid fabrics and boxier shape that I love.  However they seemed to sit a bit higher than I prefer as bust darts are supposed to point towards the apex of your bust, a.k.a the fullest part of your bust.  After a bit of investigation I discovered that moving bust darts up and down might be one of the easiest modifications I can make to a pattern! 

The Curvy Sewing Collective has a treasure trove of tutorials for making various adjustments to patterns.  Here’s a quick view of how I modified my bust dart for future versions of the Beatrix based on their tutorial found here.  

So easy right?  My traced Beatrix is ready to go for next time! 

If you want to make up a sweet springtime Beatrix like Jenna's, we have some great fabrics for you. Shot cottons come in every color under the sun and are a great weight for a Beatrix. For a completely different look, we love this baby's breath digital print. Or embrace the season with these colorful raindrops on double gauze.