17 July 2015

Fabric Ideas for Sewing Bettine

Bettine dress - easy sewing pattern for beginners - Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing the Bettine dress? Ready to do some fabric shopping?

When choosing fabric for Bettine, go for something light to medium in weight with drape. The drape is particularly important because of the kimono sleeves - these sleeves are cut and sewn in one with the bodice, so they have gentle folds of fabric falling softly at the underarm. The amount of drape in the fabric will have a big impact on how the finished dress hangs – look at the difference between the red dress and the blue dress in the model shots…

Bettine dress - easy sewing pattern for beginners - Tilly and the Buttons

The red version is a light-weight and drapey poly (bought years ago from somewhere in Chicago), and it gives the dress a floaty, feminine feel. Go for something like viscose (rayon), a poly or silk crêpe de chine or georgette if you want a similar look. I’d love to see Bettine made up in a semi-translucent chiffon too, perhaps in black with white polka dots – you’d just have to be careful to make the waistline channel and seams nice and neat as they’ll be visible. (Read my tips on sewing with slippery fabric.)

I went a bit nuts on the internet yesterday picking out some suggestions for you (bear in mind that I haven’t seen or handled most of these so order a swatch if you’re unsure)…


Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4



Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Bettine dress - easy sewing pattern for beginners - Tilly and the Buttons

Our blue Bettine dress is a medium-weight chambray that’s relatively soft and drapey for a chambray but still has a bit of body in it – this one is from Minerva Crafts. It holds the shape of the dress more – and shows up the underarm folds more visibly – giving it a more modern, utilitarian style. “Very Seasalt,” as one of the pattern testers put it, which is obviously a good thing!

Making the dress in a chambray, cotton voile, lawn, seersucker, light-weight linen blend or double gauze will give you something similar. I’ll show you a double gauze Bettine I’ve made soon – it’s ridiculously comfy ☺ If you’re going for something less drapey, remember you’ll be pulling the dress on over your head and arms, rather than unbuttoning or unzipping it, so pick something that won’t be a struggle to get on and off!

Here are some ideas…


Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

If you’ve signed up to our Learn to Sew Jersey Tops online workshop, you might be wondering if the Bettine dress can be made in jersey (your new favourite fabric!). Yes! But with a few tweaks to how the edges are finished. I’ll make one and do a post on what changes I made if you’re interested in that.

Bettine dress - easy sewing pattern for beginners - Tilly and the Buttons
Because the Bettine dress doesn’t have many seams, it’s a great blank canvas for showing off bold prints. Don’t forget solids as well – this dress can look chic in a solid colour crêpe, for example, accented with nice buttons on the cuff tabs. If you want to add a design twist, you could make the pocket bags and facings in a contrast colour or print, or add a flat collar to the neckline. I’d also love to see this made up with a white bodice, with a faux placket and gold buttons down the front, and a darker skirt, maybe in navy – that’d look cute, non?

Lots of ideas to be getting on with! You’ll need 2m (2 ¼ yards) of 150cm (60in) wide fabric, or 3m (3 ¼ yards) of 115cm (45in) wide fabric for all sizes. Take a look at the Bettine sewing pattern page for the supplies list and sizing chart. We'll talk about sizing and fitting next week.

What fabric are you going to make your first Bettine dress in? Can’t wait to see!

11 comments:

  1. I'm definitely adding this to my to-do list. I don't have a fabric in mind so, I enjoyed reading your suggestions. I like the look of your chambray version because I can imagine it with a long cardigan when the season starts to change.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really want to make one in jersey, so eagerly await your tips!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have some lovely Art Gallery jersey that I will use, so I am also eagerly awaiting your jersey version.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, now I really need a dress in a flamingo print...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have some lovely turquoise linen that I think might do the job quite nicely if I can manage to fit the pattern to all my lumps and bumps (seem to manage ok fitting others but not myself) would definitely be interested in the jersey tutorial :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're writing a fitting post for Bettine, so watch this space!

      Delete
  6. Yes please on the jersey tutorial, I have some navy and white stripes that I don't know what to do with and this would be perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the betting dress and your fabric choices. I am following you on Bloglovin, please follow me bak so we can keep up with each other's news :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have the pattern and was on Minerva today looking at jersey and ponte roma so any tips would be good. Jo x

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.