Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Voila: An Exaggerated Bettine Dress

A dress sewn in Shanghai, China and photographed in Gippsland, Australia! Very excited to show you this dress today, and yes! I’m back in Australia for a short visit, with Husbie’s demanding work schedule clearing up around Golden Week in China, we’ve secured a few extra weeks away and catching up with all the nature we can find at my parents place in Gippsland.


I made this dress the week before we left for our trip and had hoped this fabric would turn magically into a happy holiday dress, and that’s what happened! Yay! It’s a different shape for me, but after my Orangey Floral Kim Dress wasn’t my favourite fit (the fabric is exactly the same light linen feel) I wanted to try a flowy kaftan or kimono sleeve with this absolute favourite purple fabric! And I think it worked!

Bettine Dress Tilly Veronica Darling

The fabric is from the usual fabric markets (you can see it here) and I got it at the start of summer. I am in LOVE with these colours. Purple, green, red, yellow. I think they’re my absolute golden ones. Outside of black, but I actually don’t see myself wearing black as often… I haven’t sewn it for ages…. so I might be off it! Sewing this up was easy but it creases a lot and that’s why I think it’s linen… but very lightweight. I need to get a list of fabrics and have them translated so I can try and find out what things are at the markets.

Anyways, the pattern is the Tilly & the Buttons Bettine Dress but super exaggerated… I imagined Bettine dropped by while I was tracing and just kept whispering “more sleeve… you can drop that underarm curve more… you can do it” to me… so I did and in the end didn’t use the skirt pieces at all, because as I traced lower and lower under that arm… it almost matched up with the waist seam so I just drew the side seams straight down to the hem. I tried to keep the same length of the Bettine though, because I wasn’t sure how I’d make a waist (elastic like the Bettine pattern or ties like I’ve done) before I started sewing.

Bettine Dress Tilly Veronica Darling

But it’s a Bettine pattern front and back, and instead of that wide facing pieces for the neck, I just used bias and handstitched/blindstitched it down… I didn’t want any topstitching near the neckline.

So I’d stitched the shoulder seams, the neckline and the side seams… and tried it on and was officially a Bettine Bag. Lump of Linen…. and of course no shape for my curvy body made it look even more enormous… so I measured out a long couple of pieces of fabric to make the ties… then attached them at a spot either side (unstitched the spots on the side seam stitching) kind of at the same point the waist seam would be on the Bettine skirt piece (or I guessed it was). The idea came from this photo I pinned but of course didn’t have the extra fabric pieces to make it smooth like that... but hindsight doesn't work as well with fabric, so this worked fine really.

Bettine Dress Tilly Veronica Darling Bettine Dress Tilly Veronica Darling

I hemmed it and that was it. QUICK and easy and florally flowy. I tried tying it two ways… this way is pulling the ties forward first and then wrapping them around… that makes a smoother bum and a gathered front. The other way I tried to make a smoother tum and a gathered back waist/bottom but Husbie said this way was better, and showing my body shape a bit more than creating a weird extra shape at the back. I don’t feel frumpy because the fabric hangs so lightly, but I don’t think I’d make it again unless the fabric had heaps of drape.

But I like it and could kiss the big flowers for being so richly coloured. I think these jewel tones suit me ok? I haven’t really thought about it until I went normal blonde last year and then strawberry blonde this year… it’s hard finding the colours you like and that suit you… After a bit of googling I came up with pastels (not my favourite colours/tones) and jewel tones… so will try to stick to these to see which suit my skin and hair colour… When you’re platinum everything looks bold and really good (or I thought so anyways) apart from yellow… so at first I felt muddled having to find the right ones… I feel great in these colours though, so that makes me really happy!

Bettine Dress Tilly Veronica Darling

We’re going to a wedding this weekend, and I’m hoping to wear this lovely purple relaxing dress… (unless I make another dress or wear the other Fabric Market dress, who knows what I’ll be in the mood for?!) and cannot wait to catch up with loads of good friends. xoxo

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