7 August 2015

It's Like Wearing a Quilt!

Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Let's face it, it was only a matter of time before I made a Bettine dress in stripes. This beauty of a fabric has been sitting patiently in my stash for years now, waiting for the right project to come along. It's a soft double gauze that I found a while back on Etsy (alas I can't remember the name of the seller - sorry!).

Wearing this dress feels a bit like wearing a quilt - in a good way, naturally. Double gauze, as the name would suggest, is formed of two layers of fine cotton gauze, trapping a teeny bit of air in between. The result is breathable yet snuggly - a winning combination!

Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Because it's not that drapey, double gauze is one of those fabrics that holds the kimono sleeve shape - with loose fabric at the underarms - more clearly than a drapier fabric would. It's what I would categorise as a "modern-utilitarian" Bettine, similar to how it looks in chambray, as opposed to a floaty-feminine one in something like a viscose or poly crêpe de chine - like my sunglasses print Bettine - in which the fabric at the underarms would fall in softer folds. You can see more of what I'm talking about in this post on fabric ideas for sewing Bettine.

Japanese manufacturers seem to have a particular penchant for making double gauze (anyone know why?), so you can find it in some beautiful designs. Fabric HQHart's FabricBackstitch and Guthrie & Ghani all have some lovely pieces in at the moment.

Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I cut the pocket bags and pocket facings with the stripes running vertically instead of horizontally - I love the finished effect. When you wear the dress with your arms down, the kimono sleeve design makes it look like the stripes on the sleeves are running vertically too. If you're making a stripey Bettine of your own, you could also try cutting the stripes horizontally on the bodice and vertically on the skirt.

Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I bought the same fabric in a blue and red stripe too, and made some Margot pyjama bottoms in it - you can see it in my book, on the page about adding a patch pocket. As it's so soft and snuggly, double gauze makes a great choice of fabric for pyjamas - the Fifi sewing pattern is too delicate for double gauze but it makes a great pair of Margot PJs.

I've made seven Bettine dresses for myself so far, and this is definitely one of my favourites. It's one of those dresses I'm worried about wearing too much as I don't want it to fade or shrink in the wash or whatever it might one day!

For those of you who saw a work-in-progress snap on Instagram of my jersey Bettine dress, omigawd I love it.. I'll post a full report soon, including changes to make for sewing the pattern in a stretchy knit fabric.

Bettine dress in stripey double gauze - pattern by Tilly and the ButtonsDon't forget - we're having a Summer Sewing Instaspam Party this coming Sunday 9 August 2015. Post a pic of your Bettine dress or Fifi set to Instagram or Twitter anytime on Sunday, using the hashtags #sewing and either #SewingBettine or #SewingFifi so we can see it. Search the hashtags to find others at the party, get some sewing inspiration, like their posts, make new sewing friends, and let's have a big love in :) Can't wait to see you at the party!

19 comments:

  1. I love that dress. Don't know where I can get that material out here in Texas. It is adorable.

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  2. This is the cutest! I've been looking for a new project for a while and now I think I know what I'm doing next! :D

    x

    www.bewarewildbear.com

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  3. Ahh I'm such a sucker for stripes. This is perfection!!!

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  4. Beautiful result! Double gauze is fantastic to wear. :-) And for the reason that it's almost always of Japanese manufacture? What I heard is that it's because their warm, humid climate. Double gauze is light enough but able to handle heavy sweating.

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  5. Tilly, this is an absolutely stellar dress! I love it!

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  6. Absolutely love it - stripes are the best!

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  7. This is SO cute! Can't go wrong with stripes <3

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

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  8. This is so cute and it looks sooo comfortable! Way to go!!

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  9. Gorgeous! I hope you don't mind me asking, but how snug is the Bettine around the bottom-area? I can't seem to find any photos of it from the side, and am trying to decide whether it would work for me or not (not the smallest behind!).

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    1. The skirt is a semi-fitted tulip shape but with a bit of ease in it so you can move comfortably. There are some angled shots of the dress here and there's a side shot of Laura in it here (but please bear in mind that Laura's fabric shrunk a little in the wash before this pic!). Hope this helps!

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  10. I just love the design of the Bettine dress! I bought the pattern and started copying my size. I have drafted an A-line skirt instead of the Tulip skirt (looks better with my slightly bigger bum) and I have to increase the size from a 5 to a 6 around the hips. It worked well for the top of the dress and the back skirt. However, I am not sure about the front skirt including the pockets. The part where I usually grade from 5 to 6 is right where the pocket opening is at the front skirt. And as the pocket pieces are one size, I got even more confused... Is there a failsafe way to grade between two sizes on the front skirt piece? I don't want the skirt to end up all crooked and out-of-shape.

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    1. Good question! All you need to do is trace the new side seam you've drawn on the back skirt onto the front skirt, lining the two pieces up at the hip notch (labelled on the pattern). Then lay the pocket bag and pocket facing pieces in turn over the front skirt piece, again lining them up at the hip notch, and tracing off any changes to those side seams too.

      Don’t worry that the top curves of the facing and skirt don’t look like they match up on the pattern pieces - they will do once you’ve understitched and rolled the seam to the inside. Just match the pieces up at the hip notches.

      I hope this helps! You can see a demo of grading between sizes and changing the pocket pieces in this post.

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    2. Great, thanks, Tilly! I should have checked out your other posts on the Bettine dress. :) I'm finishing a test version without pockets tonight and then, if it all fits well and if I like the look of it on me, I'll try to make a pocket version including grading between sizes. :)

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  11. Gosh, this does look comfy!! What a perfect fit and flattering shape. Can't wait to purchase and get started!!

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  12. Having suffered several Japanese summers of daily temperatures in the mid 30s, with high humidity, I can confirm this is the reason for the popularity of double gauze fabric there!

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  13. Hi! What a great site! Nice patterns! I wonder if you still have that "old mysterious pattern" from the edwardian era ( 1910 princess slip) that I saw on a really old blog page from 2011...I would be interested to have a copy if you still have it...;) I could exchange a copy of one of the original dress, hat or coat pattern I have here dated from 1840 to 1950...or buy it. Thanks for your time and have a beautiful day!
    Julie Papillon from Québec ( BTW, Stef is my husband, we don't have the same hobby...lol)

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