Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My Beautiful Bettine - A review...

After 5 weeks away from home, I have finally returned to sewing. I certainly missed it a lot! During that time I have been collecting fabric, patterns and inspiration to use on my return home. 

The pattern at the top of my list of 'to make's' was the Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons. This pattern was part of a dual release back in July and was in fact part of a special deal with the Fifi boudoir set. I actually didn't take advantage of this offer because the boudoir set is not something I would wear - more of a comfy casual pyjama kinda gal! I did however decide to buy the printed version of the pattern, not my usual PDF. This was because I was in the UK and postage was reasonable. I teamed it with purchasing the Miette skirt, which is a pattern I have been considering for a while. I took the plunge as I would save on postage or printing at a later date.  

The Bettine is a zip-free, casually worn dress that is suitable to be made up in either woven or knitted fabric. It is pulled over the head and it keeps its shape with a simple piece of elastic around the waist. It is described as a great beginner sew. Because i'm not a beginner, I decided to make it as complicated as possible, by including all the details - Front pockets and tabs on the sleeves. 

I decided to make a toile of this pattern. I don't always do this, but I have found recently that my measurements have changed (they're smaller!) and when matching up with the size chart, I fell right in the middle of the size 5 and 6. I decided to draw a line in the middle of the two pattern lines to trace off. After completing the toile of the shape, there were some issues with the fit and shape of the dress. The bodice seemed much longer at the back, which made the front look two small. Because I wear an E cup, I presumed this was the issue and that there was not enough fabric to go over my curves. I had already lengthened the bodice by 2cm due to the fact that I have a long torso. I decided to add a further 2cm, which would allow the fabric to skim my body better. In addition to this, the hip area looked too severe. The natural silhouette of the skirt is that it curves out at the hips before coming back in towards the hem - a tulip skirt. I decided to smooth hip curve by 1cm and flare it out as a whole by 3cm. This allowed a wider base and more fabric to slide over my bottom. 

The fabric I chose was a cotton lawn that I bought from Guthrie and Ghani's website, also while I was in the UK. I saw a dress that Lauren had made from it and fell in love! (You can buy it here) I'm totally into nautical stuff, so this was perfect for me. It's a really lovely weight, slightly heavier than a Liberty Tana Lawn. I figured it would be perfect for this dress. 

The make itself was really straight forward. There are lots of little details to keep you stimulated, such as the pockets and the sleeve tabs. I decided to alter how I clip into seams thanks to 
Tilly's fabulous colour instructions. Removing a triangle does help with the turning of the fabric and it allows it to sit really flat. Previous to this I cut slits into the fabric only.  

I managed to make the final dress in one afternoon thanks to some super speedy sewing and I wore it today. I love the feel and the fit and it's nice and lightweight, which helps with the humidity we're experiencing at the moment! I styled it with my Tatty Devine lobster necklace and some red Saltwater sandals - Nautical-tastic! 

I love this pattern and know i'll be making another one soon. I've got a few lovely soft viscose fabrics in my stash that have got Bettine written all over them! I also recommend the printed version of Tilly's patterns, they're so nice and definitely worth the money. Now i'll move onto the next garment on the to do list; watch this space! 


  1. Absolutely love it!! this looks awesome Sophie. Bet you're glad you went to the extra effort of the tabs too.
    I am admiring the nautical styling going on with the blue and red. Great to see your Tatty Lobster doing a sterling job of pulling a look together.
    I am debating what fabric to use for my first Bettine - I have some lovely viscose but wonder if it might be a bit lightweight. Whatever I choose it HAS to come out of my stash fabrics because it's getting out of hand!

    1. Thanks Cazza! I really enjoyed making it. I would put it in the top 3 of things i've made. I think this style would really suit you, so you'll have to give it a go. I'd definitely toile it though to make sure there's enough volume in the top part to look casual. Liberty Tana Lawn would be a great choice for this dress if you have 2m knocking about? I'm going to use viscose for my next one for sure. I've bought 3 different ones that all have possibilities.

  2. Love your dress! I've been pondering buying this one myself.

    With curves I tend to use pinking shears to clip away the excess seam allowance (Thanks to Megan Nielsen's Kelly!) Simple but never occurred to me previously -I've never looked back :)

    1. Thanks for the tip Marie! I'll have to try that one out in the future. Definitely go for the Bettine, it's a very satisfying make.

  3. Dear Sophie

    Lovely dress and so many other nice sewing projects to see in your blog!
    I actually run over your blog when searching the web for quilted knit fabrics to buy, both by yardage and later for wholesale.
    Then I came over your previously post;

    Here I found your photo of the exact quilted knit fabric I`m looking.
    So I`m hoping that it`s okey for you to ask if you know if this shop "Kam Fung Trading Company" sells fabrics worldwide and if they are a manufacturer and not only a shop? Or you you have any contact information for the shop to cheer like email or web page, it`s even better :)
    I really appreciate if you have some time to reply any day J

    Best regards
    Marie (Norway)