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.
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.
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!
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!