Tilly and the Buttons’ Bettine dress was the first dress I ever made, and I absolutely loved it! I still get a lot of wear out of it, whether on its own with sandals in summer, or layered over a long-sleeved top, leggings and boots in winter. I decided that another one, in grey and white stripes, would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe.
I’ve been admiring striped dresses with horizontal stripes across the bodice and vertical stripes down the skirt, so wanted to try it out for myself. With hindsight, I’m not sure Bettine was the best pattern for this – I think a gathered skirt would have worked better with the vertical stripes. But I’m pleased with the overall effect.
The fabric I used was a cheap cotton from a fabric shop near me, and to be honest, it’s not the best quality. It sewed up really nicely but it is somewhat see-through and doesn’t feel as nice as other dress fabrics I’ve used. The dress has also run up a bit smaller than my previous version, for some reason. I cut a size 5, the same as last time, but it’s ever so slightly too tight around the bust and hips, which the last dress is not. Bizarre.
That said, there are many things about this dress which I’m happy about. This was my first time pattern matching stripes and I’m really pleased with how that’s turned out. I also added the pockets for this version. On my first attempt I left them out because they looked too complicated, but now, a year later, I tackled them with ease. I used horizontal stripes for the pockets which I think looks kinda cool next to the vertical stripes of the skirt (you can just about make this out in the picture below).
Overall, it’s sad that I probably won’t get as much wear out of this Bettine as I do my first, but in terms of the neatness and accuracy of my sewing, it’s easy to see how much I’ve improved since my first ever handmade dress!