For a while, it felt like this dress was not meant to happen. First, I didn’t realise it was a narrow fabric so didn’t buy enough! I had to do some serious pattern tetris to get the main pieces to fit. I ended up having to cut the back skirt piece in 2 halves so it has a seam down the centre back. Unfortunately, this means I have headless elephants! I didn’t have enough fabric for facings so I just used scraps. The pocket lining is just a stretch black cotton and the neck facings is from a fat quarter I got free with a magazine.
Then, my thread kept running out part way through every seam (it felt like) and I bought the elastic for the waist and misplaced it. I ended up buying more then finding what I’d already bought once I’d finished it. Sods law!
Anyway, I’m glad I persevered as this dress is super comfy and a perfect casual dress. It’s a simple pattern and I love the elephant print chambray I used. It’s from Minerva Crafts but they don’t seem to have any left on their website. I saw the lighter version on Fabric Galore’s website a while ago too.
I made the version with pockets, because, you know, pockets! I’m super pleased with how this dress turned out.
I can definitely see a few more of these in my life!
Name: Bettine Dress
Company: Tilly and the Buttons
Description: Bettine is an easy peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress. It has a blousy bodice with a scoop neckline, kimono sleeves which hang softly around the underarm, turn up cuffs, elasticated waistline to cinch you in and flattering tulip skirt.
Printed or PDF: It’s available as both but I have the printed version.
Sizing: As with all Tilly’s patterns, the sizes are 1-8. I made a straight size 5. I think this is a UK 12/14.
Alterations: My only alterations were due to lack of fabric! I cut the back skirt in 2 halves and omitted the turn up cuffs simply because I didn’t have enough fabric.
Fabric: An elephant print chambray from Minerva. It sews and presses like a dream!
Difficulty rating: It’s rated as a beginners pattern. I agree. I think this would be a good first dress pattern. If you’ve made a few simple items this will be an enjoyable challenge. There are no darts or fastenings and the kimono sleeves make it simple. I added pockets but making the plain skirt would make it even easier.
Difficulties encountered: All my difficulties were self inflicted! The construction was super simple. I used a 13mm elastic at the waist so it could be inserted easily!
Time taken: I made it in several sittings as I am unorganised but this could be made in an afternoon.
What would I change?: The only thing I’m not keen on mine is the shape of the skirt. I should have graded a size smaller at the hips. I didn’t and it sticks out slightly. It doesn’t help that the pocket lining I’ve used is heavier than the chambray so that affects it slightly as well.
My favourite thing: The pockets! Who doesn’t love pockets in a dress??