14 July 2015

Introducing the Bettine Sewing Pattern

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

Exciting times as we launch not one but two new sewing patterns – wardrobe staples to see you through Summer days and Summer nights...

For Summer days, meet the Bettine dress.

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

Bettine is an easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress that’s cute, comfortable and very wearable. The dress features a blousy bodice with scoop neckline, kimono sleeves, turn-up cuffs, elasticated waistline and tulip skirt. Choose from a plain skirt or pocket skirt, and choose to add optional cuff tabs to the sleeves.

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

The plain skirt version is a perfect project for beginners. It's simple to sew, with no fiddly darts or fastenings to grapple with. Just throw it on over your head, and the elastic does the job of cinching the dress in to fit your waist. Hooray!

You don’t have to worry about setting in sleeves either. Kimono sleeves are cut and sewn in one with the bodice, draping softly at the underarm for a casual look.

If you’re a more experienced stitcher, try the pocket skirt version for a speedy, satisfying project. I say “more experienced” because the pocket version involves some precision understitching to keep the facings on the inside - if you’ve sewn a few things before you should be fine. You can also choose to add the cuff tabs to the sleeves – so cute!

One of my favourite design features is the tulip-shape of the skirt. It has extra ease at the hips so you can move about and lounge around comfortably in hot weather. And then it goes in slightly at the hem so the skirt won’t fly up in the Summer breeze and flash your frillies – hooray!

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

This dress is seriously wearable – in fact, I’ve been living in Bettine dresses pretty much non-stop these past weeks! You can throw it on with sandals for casual days, or dress it up with a necklace for the office or evenings out. It also looks cute layered over long sleeves and woolly tights for the cooler months. It’s one of those dream dresses that allow you to feel comfortable and look put-together at the same time.

Make the Bettine dress in a light- to medium-weight drapey fabric, such as viscose (rayon), cotton voile, lawn, chambray, double gauze... If you’re a confident stitcher, you could try something more delicate (and slippery!) such as crêpe or georgette.

You can see how differently the two sample dresses in the pictures hang – the red fabric is very drapey, giving it a floaty, feminine look; while the chambray has less drape, holding the shape of the dress more for a modern, utilitarian look.

We’ll talk more about suggested fabrics in a future post, so watch this space.

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

The pattern comes in eight different sizes. Take a look at the sizing chart, supplies list and fabric requirements. Bettine is an easy pattern to fit as it's a relaxed, semi-loose style. We'll talk more about choosing your size and making simple fitting adjustments in a future post.

Like all Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, Bettine includes jargon-busting instructions, helpful sewing tips, and colour photos showing you each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.

Order the printed pattern and we’ll send you a beautiful pattern in the post, with full size pattern sheets and colour booklet. We ship around the world, or in the next few days you’ll also be able to order the pattern from one of our lovely stockists. (If you prefer, you can order the digital pattern and we’ll email you instantly with a PDF version of the pattern and instructions to print and stick together at home.)

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

So that’s your Summer days sorted… and Summer nights?

Meet Fifi!

Bettine + Fifi sewing patterns - Tilly and the Buttons



Photography: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Elbie van Eeden
Model: Kamay Kan
Fabric: Blue chambray and gold anchor buttons courtesy of Minerva Crafts; red floral viscose from Tilly’s stash
Special thanks to our fantastic pattern testers for your discerning eyes and invaluable feedback x x x

*Offer expires Sunday 19 July 2015 at midnight GMT. Offer only available at shop.tillyandthebuttons.com on the Bettine and Fifi printed (not digital) sewing patterns, by ordering the Bettine + Fifi bundle.

20 comments:

  1. OMG I love it! Dresses with pockets are the best!

    http://alittlepinchofsalt.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. So I just bought my first sewing machine, though I've used them before, I'm pretty much a complete novice, I love this dress - do you think it is feasible for my first make?!

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    1. Hi Anna, I designed this pattern with people like you in mind! Once you've got to grips with the sewing machine and understand basic construction, you should be able to make this. Do you have my book (Love at First Stitch)? The Brigitte scarf and Margot pyjamas are great first projects. Let me know how you get on!

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  3. I really like this pattern. There are a lot of elastic waist dresses around but I personally find they don't have clean enough lines to appeal to me. This gives shape and definition but doesn't look like it comes out of my mum's early 80s sewing books!
    And two great patterns released on my birthday? I think it's a sign I'm meant to make them!

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    1. Thank you - and happy birthday! It's a really lovely dress to wear. I love elasticated waistbands, they cinch you in at the middle but are really comfy too :)

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  4. Love the Bettine! Will you be doing anymore online courses , perhaps featuring Bettine ? I am only half way through the jersey tops course but think it is a really fantastic way to learn.

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    1. We'd love to do more online courses!

      They take a lot of time (and money!) to produce so I'll have to give it some more thought as to what the next topic should be. The Bettine dress would be a good one, particularly as it's a great project for beginners. But on the other hand we wouldn't be able to get it ready before the Summer is out. Hmm...

      Thanks for the suggestion, it's always good to hear what you guys want us to work on next!

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  5. I love it! I love anything that I can be comfy in but still stylish :)

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  6. Loving both patterns, Tilly. X

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  7. This is the summer dress I have been waiting for! GREAT DESIGN! :)

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  8. That red dress is just perfect! I love everything about it. You look absolutely gorgeous. :)

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  9. It looks like the perfect pattern to relaunch my sewing passion after a gap of at least ten years!

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  10. Would it be possible to change this to a circle skirt?

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    1. Ooh that would be cute! Yes you could just replace the skirt with a circle skirt drawn to the same waist size. Send us a pic if you make one, I'd love to see it.

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  11. Hi, is it possible to lengthen the sleeve?

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    1. It is possible... however we tried it and felt that the kimono sleeve style looked and felt much better shorter. You could deepen the kimono curve, that might make a longer sleeve version a bit better.

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  12. I made two Bettines now and I absolutely love them! They're easy to sew in a few hours and they're extremely comfy. I've changed the shape of the skirt, though, from a tulip skirt to an A-line skirt, which was very easy and looks very very nice. I'm making my third one at the moment, from a soft denim with little white sashes printed all over it. :) Thanks, Tilly and the Buttons, for this great pattern!

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  13. Hello Tilly. I really enjoyed making this and I went for a bit of a bold leopard print which I've never worn before. But I thought the drapiness of the style could take a bolder print - as you suggested too. The only problem I had was when I tried the end product on there were two quite obvious circular bulges at the hips. Actually they sat a little below the hips. The dress looked great from the side but weird from the front. Any suggestions?

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    1. Hi Soraya, if you put the dress on inside out, you could pin where the excess fabric sits on you, then resew the side seams to get rid of the little bulges. Try not to make it too tight though :)

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