Floral bettine dress


Here’s something I made back in the Spring. I made this dress over a bank holiday weekend and almost finished it but was distracted by the sunny weather. Tilly’s pop over design with kimono sleeves and elasticated waist makes for instant sewing gratification. It’s a super quick sew and I could probably knock this up in a day next time.

This was meant to be a wearable toile. I know what you’re thinking, that fabric’s too good for a toile. It’s been in my stash for ages and I’d gone off it. However now that it’s a dress, I take it all back. I never wear red but this orangey shade is rather lovely. I like the print again and viscose crepe de chine has the perfect drape for this casual summer dress.


I cut a size 4 bodice and graded the skirt from a size 4 at the waist to a 3 at the hip. I assumed this was the right thing to do as I have slim hips compared to my waist measurement. However this turned out to be premature thinking as I can only just squeeze the skirt over my hips! I’m hoping there won’t be any washing shrinkage as this will render my dress unwearable. Wah!


I shortened the sleeves and bodice but left the length of the skirt unchanged. I read reports that the skirt comes up short and guess what, it does. I’m 5′ 3″ and it’s short on me! And it rides right up when you sit. Although I shortened the bodice, there is too much bagging around the waist area, especially at the back. I know this is part of the look but I prefer a less blousy silhouette as I have a short top half.


Construction was really straightforward and this is a brilliant pattern for beginners. I only came unstuck when my safety pin opened and got caught when I was feeding elastic through the casing. Lots of cursing and unpicking enabled me to free the frigging pin.

This is a great little dress and I’ve seen so many iterations on instagram. It’s also addictive and I went on to sew a knit version straight afterwards. I think the pattern works well as separates too if you lengthen the top. Anyone else sewing a Bettine?





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10 Responses to Floral bettine dress

  1. Emma says:

    I’ve just cut out the pattern for mine. This pattern is a bit of a leap of faith for me as my Coco was horrible in many ways (at least some of which were my fault, admittedly!). I’m grading out at the hips, though from the centre to avoid complicating the pockets. We’ll see how that goes. Having read this post I think I’ll add an inch or so in the skirt, too! I think your blousing looks great 🙂

  2. Lynsey says:

    Perfect timing, I’m just waiting for mine to arrive in the post, I’m a knee length girl will def add some to length’ loving the colour on you and the dress looks great on.

    • I’m pleased I used something languishing in my stash. I’ve had this fabric for years. I think this is a good stash bustin pattern too as it doesn’t use that much fabric and you’ll want to make another after the first.

  3. Back to Blighty says:

    What a gorgeous fabric! The Bettine really suits you and you’ve done an excellent job!

  4. great dress, glad you like the fabric now its a dress. The blousing looks good I think.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Whata lovely dress, and fabric! That’s crazy you had to add so much length though. I’m sure you’ll get so much wear out of this;

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