i’ve got something unseasonable summery to show you – my bettine dress!
i was very kindly sent this pattern by Lucy, one of the directors at sew essential. they’re branching out into stocking indie pattern designers and have got a great range with all my favourites, including colette and grainline studios.
i’m sure i don’t need to tell anyone that the bettine is a super quick, (if you’re not an idiot like me) super cute dress that tilly and the buttons released in the summer.
i didn’t buy the pattern straight away because i wasn’t sure if the shape would suit me as my hips are quite wide but when Lucy got in touch, i thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to try something i wouldn’t necessarily buy for myself.
i got this beaaaautiful fabric from john lewis in the sale. should have been £12 per metre but it was down to £6. technically i didn’t even buy it as my MIL got me a voucher for christmas!
it’s so unbelievably soft and doesn’t crease either, i’m not sure what it’s made of but it must be a mix of something. i did my usual “great, i won’t have to pattern match anything!” and then realised when it was drying after the prewash that it most definitely does have a direction. i chose to go for vertical stripes, as i didn’t think horizontal would be a winner, especially already worrying about my hips looking wide.
the fabric made it a bit tricky to cut out; it’s pretty slippy so i decided to cut it out on the single layer rather than fold it. this also helped with making sure the fabric was going in the right direction and that my stripes were definitely straight. i used my walking foot while sewing to keep it all in line.
i made the bodice in one evening and it all went together well. i really like the little sleeve cuffs to make things a bit more interesting. i didn’t put the tabs on as, aside from the fact my fabric doesn’t want to hold a crease, i didn’t think they would stand out very much due to the patterned fabric. this was also the reason i didn’t put pockets on the dress – they would get lost and i was not up for pattern matching them!
i made the skirt up and attached it one evening in the week but it was a disastrous mess. i managed to sew the bottom of the skirt to the waistband. i’m not even joking. i even thought i’d cut the wrong size because of all the excess… ugh. the waistband did not sit in the right place either, it was about an inch too low, which looked so awful.
so after lots of seam ripping and cutting an inch off the bottom of the bodice, on sunday afternoon i reattached the correct side of the skirt to the waistband. unsurprisingly, it all went together much better than the previous time!
for finishing i reduced the hem depth – i’d already lost about half an inch due to the disaster of attaching the wrong side, so just went with 5/8ths of an inch.
i think i will make this dress again because i want to try it in jersey. maybe not with the same waistband technique, maybe just gathering it. i’ll go up a size in the sleeves next time though, my biceps (read: chinese takeaway storage arms) are a teeny bit snug. they’d like a little more room, hehe.
this version will be perfect to take away on holiday with my friends in a few week’s time!
disclaimer: sew essential provided me with the pattern for free, but the rest was all me and my christmas money. sew essential’s website is www.sewessential.co.uk if you would like to take a look at all the things they stock!0