Tag: bettine

I have been a huge fan of Tilly and the Buttons since I found them as a sewing newbie. Their brand is bright and colourful, their designs modern retro (I guess). Tilly’s byline is ‘learn to sew your own clothes’, and by purchasing her patterns I was well on the way  (from someone who thought they would never achieve dressmakery this is quite a compliment!).

To date I have bought her book Love at First Stitch, Francoise dress, Arielle Skirt and Bettine. It is Bettine I am going to review today.

I ordered the pattern online and it came pretty quickly. The pattern is made of thick paper (almost card) and is only printed on one side so will be re-usable time and time again. Nothing worse than a pattern made out of something you use to wipe your nose then to have to recycle it to use the other side!

Bettine_sewing_pattern_cover_grandeMy first step was to trace the pattern pieces. I could just cut them out and use but in case I want to make the Bettine in a different size in future I opted for tracing it. There are lots of different ways about doing this (a blog post in itself!) but I use greaseproof paper (which you can buy from the pound shop!) and a Sharpie.

The pattern comes in 8 sizes and gives guidance on sizes and measuring yourself – this is really helpful. It’s also simple to understand. I decided to make this in a size 5 (roughly a size 12) so I could give it away as a gift.

Once my pattern pieces were created and cut out, now came the time to pick fabric. For this dress I decided to go with a cotton twill I had in my stash – green with white bows on it. It is slightly Christmasy but not enough that you couldn’t wear it the rest of the year. I only had two meters and was concerned it wouldnt be enough but following Tilly’s advice about laying wide fabric out, I managed to cut everything within the stash I had – result!

Once the fabric was cut and the markings made with water washable ink, I found it really helpful to write which piece was which on the fabric in the seam allowance.

Before I started to make Bettine I read through the booklet that comes with the pattern. I think this is a really good idea. I am a huge fab of this booklet. It gives simple step by step instruction with colour photos to show what she is talking about. There was only one time I couldnt work out what she meant, which was probably my lack of experience, however given it’s for newbee sewers I would expect this to be explained. This didn’t take away from the experience – I just used my initiative and did what I thought she was asking.

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I added my own touch with a star button on each tab. Ignore the green line on the facing, that will wash out in the machine!

As it was the first time I’d made Bettine, I expected there to be errors and for it not to come out perfect, but to learn from that. I have to say I exceeded my own expections. It did take a long time to make – from tracing, through to finishing the hem it was 9 hours of work (which I would expect to be speeded up in future) and so was quite a process, however it was a lot of fun to see my project coming together and mistakes were few and far between – pretty unusual for me!

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Pockets! I am in love! So glad I made the pocket version!

My biggest problem was getting my serger to work properly – I ended up giving up on that and using pinking shears instead. My only other trouble spot was sewing the channel for the elastic. I sewed from the underside and ended up sewing half the skirt together (or the pockets in the wrong place anyway!) so the seamripper did come out for that. And I had to thread the elastic twice as it got twisted – otherwise a very straight-forward exciting project that I throughly enjoyed.

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Love the shape of the skirt, so sexy! No gushes of wind up the bum! Really love the elasticated waist, this will be so comfy to wear!

I can’t tell you the immense pride and joy I experienced looking at my finished garment. I never in a million years would have believed I could make something like this, it is by far the most advanced dress I have made to date. I went for the pocket and tab version – thank you Tilly and team!

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Here is the finished garment. Thee picture really doesnt do it justice. I am very happy with the end result.

Before I talk patterns, have you entered my freebee competition to win a ‘Be Happy’ notebook? Check out my post September Shop for more details…

As I have been gaining in sewing confidence I have developed a growing catalog of patterns that I want to attempt. There is a mixture of paid patterns and free offerings from sewing magazines.

Here is the run down in my current to do list:

Tilly and the Buttons is a very successful indie brand of patterns and I can see why. I have a few patterns of her’s sitting and waiting to be made (not to mention her book)

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Bettine is the top of my Tilly patterns and I cannot wait to get stuck in. I love that the arms and main body are all one piece, shaped like a kimono.

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Francoise was the first pattern I purchased from this lady. I’ve made a version of this, and would like to make more. I love that there are infinite versions you could make based on fabric and alterations. This would be good in summer (sans arms) or winter.

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Arielle is my most recently made pattern of Tilly’s. I love the shape to this skirt, its fantastic. The pattern was easy to follow (certainly without adding a lining) and I want to make lots of these. I really need to get to grips with buttonholes though. I know how to do them and can do them well but sometimes my machine doesnt want to do as it is told, its very random.

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I love this dress and want to make it – perhaps for my wedding day. Or perhaps not – we will see! I feel this dress is more for the advanced sewist and I feel quite nervous about making it. Nervous is never a reason not to do something though (certainly in dressmaking) and so expect to see a blog post on this in the future.

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Ruby dress was a free pattern in a sewing magazine, and I am looking forward to making this. At the moment it isnt a huge priority but it should be – for sure. It states it is for an adventurous beginner which is definitely me and then some. I just need to find the right fabric – any ideas?

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The english tea dress is a simple yet elegant dress that is bound to be a staple in my wardrobe once I embark on it. I was attracted to buy the magazine this pattern came with purely for the dress. This dress is dying to be made in green like in the picture – it just works so well.. And I have green eyes – what more can I say?

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When I saw this pattern with a magazine I wanted it because I dont currently have any jackets and could really do with some for work. I loved the smart-casual design of this jacket – it could be worn both formally and informally. Stripes isnt really my thing but a plain material would work wonders, or perhaps even geometric patterns…

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Lastly, I want to make this little girl’s dress. It looks easy and manageable. Only problem is… I dont have young children so I may have to find some little girls to give presents to 🙂

What patterns are in your todo list? Who is your favourite patternmaker?

 

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