I don’t know about you but, much as I enjoy shopping, I really do like to feel like I’ve made something for a bargain price. Or even for nothing.
This make falls into the “almost free” category. Absolutely the only thing I went specifically to the shops for was a set of 6 buttons. So that totaled about 75p.
To be fair, the only reason it was “free” to me was that I used a gift voucher. But that still counts, right? When I left my old team at work at the end of last year, they kindly bought me a voucher to spend at the habberdashery across the road from the office, The Fabbadashery. One of the things I really like in there is that they carry hard copies of lots of different independent patterns. I was having a quick browse and saw the Beatrix top by Made by Rae.
I’ve been on the hunt for a nice woven t-shirt pattern for a while now. I’ve tried the Grainline Scout but was drowned in the right size for my measurements and then didn’t want to guess at how many sizes down to go so wrote it off mentally. This one I’d seen before but hadn’t bought as it wasn’t cheap (just under £15 for the hard copy). But when it’s a gift? Well, what better time to buy yourself something you wouldn’t ordinarily justify.
So that was the pattern. The fabric was one I grabbed at last year’s Sew Up North fabric swap. It’s a lovely feeling rayon (?) in a deep navy printed with seaside themed items in white and red. I was really chuffed when I saw this in the fabric mountain, it was one I’d lusted after online and resisted, so grabbing it for free was a total joy!
The pattern has a button up back so it’s not the quickest sew in the world but I really like the detail on the back. I did think that somewhere in my huge button collection I would have matching buttons but apparently not, so there was a little trip to the market where I sourced these red buttons with white polka dots.
The hard copy pattern comes printed on lovely, heavy weight paper; however, it’s printed on both sides so there’s no getting around tracing this one. It comes with different pattern pieces depending on cup size, which is always a bonus. The front bodice has a single dart; you have the button plackets down the back and then a neckline facing.
My measurements put me in size M but the finished garment measurements had more ease than I was looking for so instead, I cut the size S with the C/D cup bodice front.
I had less than a metre of this fabric, but it was wide and I got all the pattern pieces on without difficulty, definitely another win for this pattern (love a good stash buster!)
For a simple looking garment, it isn’t the fastest sew because of that back button band. But I think that detail’s worth it; I love the ability to put feature buttons there and also, as someone who carries more weight lower down (!) I was able to place the buttons as I wanted, starting at the neck and finishing slightly below the waist. The placement is such that I won’t be flashing any skin at work, but I do have a little extra give at the hip.
I really like the finished verison; it’s smart whilst still being casual so I can happily wear it to work with my jeans. The fabric feels lovely and smooth against my skin, a real winner for summer, and it feels a lot more put together than an ordinary t shirt. Another total win was I didn’t need to make any adjustments to the neckline, where I often have to move things around to avoid flashing bra straps.
The pattern markings helpfully include where the centre back line would be on the back bodice piece so if you wanted to, you could just cut the back on the fold as well, making this a really quick sew.
There will definitely be more of these in my wardrobe; thank you mystery fabric donor!
Pattern: Beatrix top by Made by Rae
My measurements: high bust 34″; bust 36.5″; waist / torso 30″: hip 40″
Size cut: S with C/D cup bodice front
Fabric: rayon? from fabric swap
Future adjustments: if I make as a single back piece, I need some extra hip ease!
Make again? Oh yes! Less than 1 metre stash buster? Absolutely!