Inspired by a RTW shift dress I’ve got from M&S, which is on over the head with a drawcord waist, I picked up a copy of Tilly and the Buttons’ new Bettine pattern which is very similar in style, but with an elasticated waist instead.
I’ve seen great reviews of it on various other blogs, and there’s certainly an autumn easy-to-wear dress-shaped hole in my wardrobe!
I’d bought this viscose fabric at Fabricland in Brighton a few weeks ago for about £4/m and it seemed ideal for a wearable toile – I know making a toile is best practice but it takes far too long for me, so making one in a cheapish fabric that I could actually wear seems a pretty good compromise.
My measurements seemed to fall between sizes – I’m 97cm bust, 85 waist and only 96 hip, so I decided to cut the size 5 and grade the hipline to a size 4.
But once I’d got the bodice sewn up I realised that even the size 5 was a bit snug, so I unpicked and sewed it up with a smaller seam allowance. When I make it again I’ll have to go up a size if I want it drapey, although the size 5 would be ok for knit fabric or something a bit firmer without so much drape.
The hip line, even graded down, was still far too big, so I’ve taken it in a bit more here – again I’ll alter the pattern for the next time. I guess my shape is big up top then fading away to nothing! The only other change I’d make would be to add an inch or two to the bodice length – it’s ok for me as it is but there’s not enough length for a drape or blouson effect, plus you need the bodice length in order to make the channel for the elastic, and I didn’t have quite enough really.
After I’d got my head around these changes, it all sewed up pretty easily. I finished the seams with the overlocker as the fabric was shedding a lot.
Overall opinion? East to sew, good, clear instructions with photos – just double check your measurements before you start! Here’s the finished article:
Next time, I’ll use fabric with a little bit more drape, and not as much ‘bounce’ if that makes sense? I’d like to try it in a knit and I know that Tilly’s blog has some suggestions about converting the pattern from woven fabric to something with a bit of give.
Oh, and I had a bit of company while I was sewing!!