Tilly And The Buttons Bettine Dress

Bettine Dress Collage

Finally! After my initial aborted attempt at this project, the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress proves itself to be a winner. Don’t just take it from me – ask the several colleagues who commented on this outfit today. And it’s so gorgeous to wear. Not once did I find myself fidgeting or adjusting.

I made this version from a very cheap viscose (see my guide to this fabric here) bought on Walthamstow market last year. I never was quite sure what to turn this fun print and very fluid drape into. When I started pulling items out of my stash, searching for Bettine inspiration, this fabric called to me. Perfection!

This viscose is long gone down the market, but I’ve found an eBay source here. In fact, there are lots of fun viscose fabrics available online. Sew Over It is a particularly good source, and I’m impressed by the viscose at Stoff and Stil.

bettine and frixion pen

My Frixion pens were extremely useful during this make. (If you want to read a very detailed set of comments on the delights of Frixion pens, I suggest reading this blog post!) Why did these pens help? Well, there’s a certain amount of accuracy you’ll want at the elasticated waist, neckline and the gorgeous sleeve tabs of this dress. I wanted to freely wield a marking tool, knowing that there was no danger of permanent stains.

On the subject of sleeve tabs – if you’re using a directional print, think carefully about how the tabs will sit on the final dress and cut out your fabric accordingly. This is the type of lesson I only learnt the hard way in the early days of my sewing career.

clear elastic

The pattern calls for half inch elastic at the waistband. I didn’t have any in the house, so in a fit of desperation used clear elastic instead. A move I strongly recommend if, like me, you can’t bear bulk at your waist. This elastic is lightweight but strong and you’ll barely notice your elasticated waist. Win, win!

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress

I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out the pockets, but I think that’s all for the best. This viscose is so full of drape that pocket bags would only sag. As it is, I have a very cool and breathable dress for walking the dog. I apologise for the view of Ella’s posterior, but there you have it. Never work with children or animals.

This make was cute, cute, cute and FUN. I can’t wait to make several more. I may just have found myself the perfect, wearable summer dress. Now all I need is a summer!

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28 Responses to Tilly And The Buttons Bettine Dress

  1. redsilvia says:

    Oh so cute! A good dress for warm days, but still looking dressed and not shorts/tee. I’m kind of getting sweaty looking at you in those tights though, soooo warm. Even Ella’s got her summer haircut. 😉

  2. ellegeemakes says:

    You’re both cute and I love that fabric!

  3. Karen Levesconte says:

    Looks fabulous Karen – thanks for sharing with us all!


  4. Meg White says:

    I read your post about missing the back skirt piece of the other Bettine. But that cord is so cute! What if you used a light weight denim or chambray for the back of the skirt? I think that could look cute. This version is adorable. 🙂

  5. Michelle says:

    It looks so good! Adore that fabric. And at least Ella has a cute butt. 🙂

  6. Katie M says:

    It’s very cute fabric and a perfect choice for a simple, casual dress. It looks like a comfortable dress, but I hope you don’t mind a small fitting suggestion. I think you should take a tiny bit of length out of the bodice in your next make. I think the silhouette would be slightly more flattering with a little less blousing.

    • Of course I don’t mind! It’s a tricky one, as the fit of this dress is very focussed on that blousing effect. But maybe I could try on one of my inevitable multiple future versions. Thanks so much.

  7. Irene says:

    Such fun fabric! Perfect for this dress.

  8. Lynsey says:

    It’s a lovely dress, love the drape of it in viscose, I brought this pattern (along with marigold in the hope of mix and matching them) so it’s perfect to see your version.

  9. J K Willliams says:

    This is a fun look on you!! Well done!!
    Hope you get some clear beautiful summer days very soon!!
    It’s 100 F here. Hope you don’t get that much summer though.

  10. emcclure2010 says:

    Clear elastic! That is a good idea…I am making two of these (god willing as time seems to be quickly moving!) for weddings this weekend in silky fabrics. And I wonder if clear elastic would be faster…

  11. PsychicKathleen says:

    I am a huge fan of Tilly’s patterns – her Orla shirt is lovely. I don’t have this pattern yet but looking at your dress all made up I just might have to give it a whirl too 🙂 Beautiful summer dress!

  12. Anngora says:

    I think your dress is just perfect, as you say the blousing in the bodice is the main feature of the pattern , i have seen quite a few versions online which have been made with a shorter bodice, but not in my view as nice or a Bettine Dress. I have my Bettine pattern and the perfect fabric, just need to find the time to make it, and the inspiration it is pouring with rain here.

  13. I love your version of this dress. The fabric is wonderful and was on my eBay wish list. So cute. It’s a pity that we are not having the summer o match it. Xx

  14. Jill says:

    I love this dress! As a beginner in sewing could you explain how you use the clear elastic please. I agree that a little less bulk at the waist would be a good thing!

  15. Karen, you can really rock a dress like this and gym shoes in a way I’m always envious of!

    Genius idea of the clear elastic. On my second and third Bettines I used 1/4″ elastic because I hate having much at my waist. How did you secure the ends together, just sew through them like crazy? I always feel the clear is fussy and haven’t ever used it for anything but stabilizing shoulders, say.

  16. Jo says:

    The fabric is great. I have two Bettines, one cotton and one jersey. The jersey is my fav. so easy to wear to work for sitting down or standing up teaching. Jo x

  17. gingermakes says:

    Cute! What a fun dress!

  18. Janet says:

    Oh, if only summer would come soon! Great-looking fun dress – and the elastic finish makes the waistline very similar to Colette’s Moneta, which I also love, so that idea could help this pattern be a winner for me too…

  19. Kirsty Adams says:

    OMG I love this so much, the fabric is amazing. Stoff and Stil website is amazing, my purse strings thank you for pointing me in their direction!!!!

  20. Andrea says:

    Unique fabric … love it! Need to go to a good sewing shop soon and make some experiments of my own!

  21. kezziah01 says:

    Great outfit for summer!

  22. Alessa says:

    Lovely, and such a pretty fabric!

  23. Pingback: Summer Holidays – How To Still Make | Did You Make That?

  24. DianaX says:

    ooh I made a scout tee with this very cheap buy, I love your dress and you dog!

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