I bought the Bettine pattern from Tilly at the Handmade Fair back in September, and I made a version soon after using some lovely black cotton lawn from Maud's Fabric Finds. I wore it loads but it is now too big for me, which is a real shame as it was such a wardrobe staple. I decided to make another version using some bargain fabric I bought in the sale from John Lewis back in January for £6 per metre. I made the plain version last time, but decided to make the variation with pockets and sleeve cuffs this time. I didn't buy the fabric with any project in mind and I didn't have quite enough to cut it according to the layplan. I improvised and extended the facing pieces by 15mm then stitched together, rather than cutting on the fold.
The dress is really easy to sew up, and Tilly's instructions are super-clear as this is a beginner's pattern. All was going well until I tried to attach the facings. My attempt at extending and stitching together had worked brilliantly on the front facing, but I had somehow made the back facing too small. I tried to stretch and ease it in, but still ended up with a couple of pleats. Being keen to get the dress finished, I decided that I could get away with it because the fabric is quite drapey. I hadn't put pockets into anything before, but I found them easy to do, and will definitely use them again as I really like the fact that the make the dress look really casual and modern. I bought some buttons from John Lewis for the cuffs which also give the dress a different look. Strangely, I had to make a lot of alterations to the hips last time as they stuck out, but I didn't need to alter the pattern at all in the smaller size.
The result is an every day dress that is extra comfy and I can hopefully get loads of wear out of (please excuse the slippers - as I said, it's still cold!):
On reflection, I can't get away with the back neckline facing - I'm wearing it today and I'm annoyed by it every time I catch my reflection in the mirror! I'm going to unpick it and either make another facing or split this one and a piece to it.
I haven't got many pictures of the original Bettine I made, but I found this one (Thomas is modelling shorts that I made him here as well):
I would definitely recommend this pattern to sewers of any level - I'll be making plenty more. I saw a pic on Instagram of a maxi dress version which I am tempted to try ready for Summer.