Big Love for the Beatrix Top

We are heading into the final months of summer here in the Pacific Northwest and I have been working on some new additions to my wardrobe for this transition into Fall. It is still quite warm here, but my hope for these new items is that they will easily transition into the cooler weather with an added layer or two.

The first of these new makes that I wanted to share is my Beatrix top designed by Made by Rae. We just got in a few of the amazing Loominous yarn dyed shirtings by Anna Maria Horner and I couldn’t resist using one of them for this structured but comfortable shirt! The Big Love plaid ended up being the perfect choice- I love the color, the feel and especially the giant scale of the pattern.

Beatrix Front

Finished Beatrix top in Loominous Big Love Shirting

To start, I took Rae’s advice and made a muslin of the pattern to check the fit. For this pattern I was mostly worried about the fit in the shoulders and sleeves. My muslin showed me that the shoulders fit great but the sleeves were a bit tight- I almost felt like I could pop a seam if I bent my elbow. A slight adjustment (widened by about 3/4″ on either side) and I was off and running to make my finished garment.

Making a Slight Adjustment to the Sleeve Fit

Making a Slight Adjustment to the Sleeve Fit

Due to the scale of this plaid, it was pretty easy to get all my stripes to match up nicely. I also paid close attention to where the color in this unique yarn dyed fabric was going to fall. I wanted to maximize color and impact and I think the result is fantastic. The construction of this top is beautifully done and simple to sew. The lined neckline with under-stitching, especially, gives it such a professional, finished look.

Beatrix Side View

Maximizing Color and Pattern using a Large Scale Plaid

My favorite detail of this top is the back… I love the button up closure. I chose some coral-red buttons to finish off the look- they pop just enough so that you notice them but aren’t too flashy.

Beatrix Back

Love Matching Plaids and Button Accents!

Inspired by Rae’s beautiful versions of her Beatrix top and the jewelry she paired with them, I went in search of the perfect accessory to go with my own top. I happened to have the perfect chunky necklace hanging in my closet! It was almost like I made the top to got with the necklace- Don’t you love it when that happens!

Beatrix Detail

Perfectly paired Beatrix top and Jewelry

Overall, I think my Beatrix top it the perfect addition to my late-summer wardrobe. Add a cardigan and it will carry on through Fall. Then, it might be time for a new version in flannel shirting… What do you think?

Sew Serendipity: Rhiannon Shirt

I find myself always going back to a few staple items in my closet. I’m sure this is true for most of us! As I sew more and more of my own clothes, I have been trying to figure out what make those few my “go-to” favorites. My goal is for everything I make to become a closet staple- Otherwise what is the point, right?

So far I have decided that comfort rules all. I live in jeans and then dress them up or down depending on what I am doing. I’m trying to break this addiction but that is a subject for another time. Paired with my jeans, I like soft, comfy tops with kind of a casual style- not tightly fitted but not too loose either. Something casual but fashionable at the same time- then I can accessorize with jewelry and a great pair of shoes (my other addiction!).

Rhiannon Top from Serendipity Studios

Rhiannon Top from Serendipity Studios

At the Spring Quilt Market I got to chatting with Kay Whitt from Serendipity Studios. I have long been an admirer of her books and pattern and it was great to talk with her again. She shared with me some of her newest patterns, along with some of her favorites. After comparing notes of favorite fabrics we like to sew with and styles we are drawn toward, Kay graciously offered me a copy of her Rhiannon Shirt pattern, released last October. I couldn’t wait to get home and sew it up. Seeing Kay’s beautiful samples in her booth totally inspired me and just knew this would be the my next handmade, closet staple!

Finished Rhiannon Shirt in Rayon Challis

Finished Rhiannon Shirt in Rayon Challis

And boy, was I right! For summer, I chose a beautiful rayon challis- black with multi-colored dots. Before cutting into my fabric, I did make up a sample out of cotton muslin first just to check the length and fit- since my 5′ 9″ frame is a bit different than 5′ 4″ woman the pattern was designed for. It turned out being perfect, no alterations needed! The best part about this top is that you adjust the gathered neckline to fit you just right. You actually put the top on and pull the gathers in place, spreading them out where you want them to fall. Genius!

Attaching Jersey Bias to the Gathered Neckline

Attaching Jersey Bias to the Gathered Neckline

The only deviation from the pattern I took was on the neckline. The pattern calls for you to make some bias tape from your fabric and use that to finished the gathered neckline. I took a shortcut and used some black jersey bias tape instead. This saved me the step of making the bias tape and also gave me a really soft finished edge. As I attached the jersey bias I gave it a slight stretch just to make sure the whole neckline would lie nice and flat. I would highly recommend this “short cut”.

Finished  Gathered Neckline with Jersey Bias Tape

Finished Gathered Neckline with Jersey Bias Tape

Since finishing my Rhiannon Top, I have worn it just about as often as I can. It is so light weight and comfortable for the warm weather we have been having this summer. I love the casual feel with a more sophisticated look- best of both worlds. Mission Accomplished: I have a new closet staple and am already planning other versions to make. Maybe long sleeves for Fall/Winter?

Love my finished Rhiannon Top!

Love my finished Rhiannon Top!

Be sure to check out Kay’s other great patterns, she has a something for all styles and multiple variations in every pattern. Visit Serendipity Studio Website HERE.

Note: Serendipity Studio provided me with a complementary copy of the Rhiannon Top. All of the ideas and comments in this post are my own and were not influenced in any way. This was not a sponsored post- I am just a fan and wanted to share my experience with others.