Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blotchy Bettine

I was going for alliteration in the title, but I'm pretty confident that "blotchy" is not really a good adjective to use in this context. What other word could I use for this fabric, though? Mottled? Splotchy? Dappled?

Anywho, the fabric is rayon challis I got at a zillion years ago. I bought approximately 97 yards for some unknown reason, so I am making all the things from it. You might remember it from my Hudson pants last year. The print makes the camera and your eyes go a bit crazy, so it's a bit difficult to see the garment details.

Back to Bettine: god, I am such a sucker for a new pattern. This new pattern from Tilly and the Buttons just screamed to me: comfy summer dress! And I listened to the screams and downloaded it.

There is just something about Tilly's marketing that just sucks me in like a kid in a candy shop. I'm not sure why, because the vintage-y twee thing is not really my style, but I can't quit it. I love her simple lines and thorough instructions. Plus Tilly's stuff seems to fit me well, which is extra points in my book.

I adore this Bettine dress I've made. As advertised, it is "an easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress that’s cute, comfortable and very wearable." I think it easily works with flip flops or flats as well as with high heeled wedges. I think this dress is what I wanted the Staple Dress to be for me (the Staple Dress ultimately wasn't a go-to for me). Bettine has enough shape to keep it interesting.

For some reason the fabric and pattern combo is giving me some mild '80s vibes. Like Madonna would wear it with roughly 3000 jelly bracelets on a day she was feeling a bit conservative or Molly Ringwald would throw it on with a big old hair bow or jaunty hat and an oversized blazer on her way to pout about someone who slighted her. And I love it for that reason.

After finishing her up and wearing out on Saturday night, I'm already planning my next Bettine. Maybe in a cotton lawn for comparison... I'm interested to see how a fabric with a bit more body handles the tulip skirt.

Construction notes:

- Ultimately I ended up with a straight size 7. Originally I cut a size 8 in the hips because I was worried about ease. Shoulda trusted the numbers and the design, though. Turns out I didn't need it and the extra fabric in that area looked silly because of the tulip shape (like saddle bags), so I trimmed it back down to a 7.

- I used a smaller seam allowance on the shoulder seams from the neckline facing to the cuff area because it was a little snug for my guns... errrr, full upper arms.

- I wanted the pockets, but worried about bulk in the hip area, so I made a one-layer pocket by finishing the pocket edge on the skirt with bias tape and sewing the pocket piece directly to the skirt piece.

- Damn, the Bettine skirt is short! After comparing it to my Arielle skirt, I lengthened it by 3 inches. Then, after trying on the almost-finished dress, I decided to use a 1/4 inch hem (rather than the 1 5/8 inch allowance given) by finishing it with bias tape. So I added more than 4 inches and it still shows my knobby knees! But I think this length is right for me.

- I think next time I make it I'll take a little bit of length out of the center back bodice. It hangs down more over the waist band in the back than it does in the front.

How about you? Planning on sewing Bettine?

I'll leave you with a photo of me in Bettine with just my regular glasses. After I took all those sunglasses shots I felt a bit cheesy. This is more my style: