Saturday, 12 September 2015

Bettine Jersey Dress

I've already talked about my obsession with the #sewingbettine Instagram hashtag. I've loved seeing so many different versions of Tilly's latest dress pattern in so many different fabrics. Last month I had a go at making myself a Bettine dress but despite my very careful measurements it was just too small. I had been so looking forward to making a comfortable easy-to-wear throw-it-over-your-head-dress but the small size meant that it was just too much of a faff to wiggle in and out.
I wasn't quite sure about having another go. Having fitted the size 3 top to my smaller sister, I found it still wasn't easy to get on and off. I wanted this dress to be effortless to wear. That was when I saw Tilly's tips for making a Bettine out of jersey fabric. This was perfect for me as I could have another go at the pattern and learn a little bit about sewing with stretchy fabrics at the same time.
I hot-footed it down to Fabricland and bought some colourful stretchy fabric. I changed my needle for a ball point, read some more of Tilly's jersey tutorials and played around with zig zag stitching. Turns out I absolutely love working with jersey. No fraying of fabric; no need to finish seams. So quick!
I'm semi-pleased with the result. Based on my first attempt at the Bettine, I opted for a size 4 this time. I also altered the skirt so it's a little straighter and less curvy round the hips and bottom. I never really feel I need any help to accentuate these bits of me!
Although making this dress has made me fall in love with jersey fabric, I'm still not entirely convinced by the pattern. Looking at the dress side-on, I don't feel this fit is entirely flattering on me and was really interested to read Ksenia's take on this issue. I'm not really sure my sewing skills are up to a full bust adjustment (if that's even what it would take), especially not for a dress that is supposed to be easy-to-make easy-to-wear.
Have you had any experiences of sewing the Bettine dress that might help me? What do you think of the fit? I'd love to hear what you think!


  1. I personally think it is a really cute dress you did a good job and it does look nice on you.

  2. I saw Ksenia's version on Kollabora and followed the thread here. I think you're right. On both yours and Ksenia's versions there are drag lines coming from the bust. There are a few different methods to doing an FBA without darts, but what it boils down to is adding extra width at the side and bottom front. Don't be intimidated, it's pretty easy to do. I like this tutorial here:

    I think this pattern is poorly drafted. I haven't made it but I have another pattern where the front and back are the same. Anybody who isn't flat chested is going to run into issues with a pattern like this. Boobs need extra fabric to go over them, otherwise they will start "borrowing" that fabric from other areas, pulling up the front of the dress and creating that fold in the armpit.The armpit fold is what happens when the front has to ride up to accommodate the boobs, but is attached to the back that wants to hang straight down. Once you create enough width around the bust the fabric will hang straight and you won't have the fold anymore. I hope that makes sense to you and others who are making this "easy" dress and need to make the same alterations.

    P.S. your fabric is amazing.

  3. Wow, thank you so much for all this whoever you are! Your comment is absolutely invaluable and I hope others read it too. I'm not sure I feel ready for tackling the full bust adjustment but I've learnt so much from the mistakes with this dress. PS Fabric from fabricland - the best shop in the world.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...