At Tilly’s stand at the Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia my friend Suzanne bought the Cleo dress pattern and was offered a second pattern which I took, the Bettine dress. I’ve seen lots of these around but never tempted to make it myself as I thought the style was too young for me but then I came across Lisa from Sew Over It’s review and thought it might be a possibility.
I had two metres of really inexpensive floaty viscose fabric that I bought last year from The Truro Fabrics shop when on holiday for making a blouse and thought I’d try that. However, looking at Lisa’s static ‘cling’ I thought I would make the skirt out of two layers of fabric rather than one. I also decided to add 8cm to the length of the pattern. (This was ironed flat for cutting out !)
I then merrily cut out the two top pieces, four skirt pieces and the pocket linings before realising that with the extra skirt length and the two extra skirt pieces I had run out of fabric ! I managed to squeeze in the back neck facing and one pocket bag before giving in and piecing scraps for the remaining pocket bag and the front facing. There was no way enough for the sleeve turn ups and tabs. (Which actually turned out to be a good thing….)
As with the Marigold trousers Tilly’s photo instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Once I had made the top I tried it on and it was obvious that it was just long enough and that if I made the elastic casing as instructed the top would be too short to ‘blouse’. I cunningly used the twin layers of the skirt to create the elastic casing there and attached the top to the skirt with a much narrower seam allowance, which has worked well.
I found that I REALLY didn’t like the all-in-one sleeves as they pulled at the shoulders and around my armpits so I just cut 7.5 cm of them off leaving more of a cap sleeve (See, I didn’t need the cuffs and sleeve tabs at all….)
Sadly I don’t have a photographer so I can’t take a picture of the dress on me. It’s just knee length and it has turned out much nicer than I thought it would. The top is really light and floaty and the double layered skirt hangs well, I also think the two layers of skirt fabric help to stop the pockets from drooping in this lightweight fabric.
A surprisingly good result.