Bettine-Dominique mash-up

So I wanted something with a slight vintage-vibe to it and yet also easy to sew. My vacation time is nearing the end and this will be one of my last makes. I’m hoping to finish one last Bettine to complete the challenge for this month on The Monthly Stitch

As I wrote earlier, I am not that fond of the Dominique pattern because of the elastic waistband, but I do love the flow of the flared version. Since I had just finished my first Bettine the idea of a mash-up was quickly born. I used a seersucker fabric and the finished dress has a light and airy feel to it. Perfect for the last warm month (hopefully!!!!).

I used the Bettine top as the base for the mash-up. It’s more important to get that measurement right than the hip when the skirt has this much flare. I chose a Tilly size 5 for the top. This is snug on me, I reckoned with the whole losing weight thing so this will still be a dress I can wear next summer. I then fitted the skirt pattern to fit the bodice which meant I worked with a skirt size 2 that I graded out to a size 3 in the hips.

I finished the skirt with a rolled hem:

Practice works with these hems! Also: pressing with a steaming hot iron….

I added some vintage buttons to the sleeve tabs:

I’m pretty happy with this make. Old ladies love this dress so far and they’re my peeps.


Dominique et Agnes!

During me-made-may I decided to switch things up in my sewing. Up until then I had been sewing exclusively with Colette patterns and had taught myself sewing by looking at pictures in books and blogposts. I started sewing with different patterns and signed up for two online workshops at Tilly and the buttons: the learn to sew a skirt and learn to sew jersey tops ones.

Last night I did the skirt workshop and tonight I did the jersey top workshop. Both workshops are aimed at true beginners, something I no longer am as I discovered. Even though I breezed through, I did pick up some handy tips here and there and I really enjoyed having Tilly chatting about the projects while I was working along. 

The patterns used are Dominique and Agnes. I had my eyes on the Agnes pattern for a while. I love knit tops and like having another pattern. It’s a pretty top with a nice feminine cut and optional details like ruched sleeves and a ruched  neckline. 

I’m not a big fan of the Dominique skirt. Elasticized waists are not my thing. I do like the lines of the flared version, I kind of mistook it for the Miette skirt (that I prefer) and was slightly dissapointed it turned out to be the Dominique. The elastic bunches up and gives a bumpy silhouette while I prefer sleek lines. 

I chose a black crepe for the Dominique that I fully lined. I went for the flared version with a sash (to hide the elastic) and finished the hem with a satin band. The construction of this skirt is really easy. 

I chose a blue striped jersey for my Agnes shirt. At first I wanted to make the version with ruched everything, but I backed out of the ruched sleeves (again: sleek lines are my preference). I might try them later on, but I really wanted this top to be great and didn’t want to end up with something I might regret. Together these seemed like a really nice outfit to me, a bit Parisian. I made the skirt in a Tilly size six and the shirt in a size five.

The construction of the top was easy to follow. It obviously wasn’t my first jersey project, but I managed to pick up some new tips on working with jersey. I prefer finishing my hems with a twin needle to the zigzag Tilly uses and deviated from her instructions for the hems and neckband. 

I would recommend these workshops for beginners. They’re easy to follow along, the steps are clear and you can take your time sewing. Tilly has a pleasant and clear way of explaining things. It’s just clear to me that I should be aiming at something with a bit more difficulty to it. 

I really like the patterns of Tilly so far. They have the clean lines I love and you can really have a go at personalizing them. I can imagine filling my wardrobe with them and be really happy about that. 

Next day I made a tiny version for my little girl. She did get the ruffled sleeves!

Self-drafted forties-ish dress

I had been thinking about forties dresses for a while when I decided to make this jersey mint dots and flowers fabric into a retro dress.

I love vintage dresses, but I also believe there’s a very thin line between clothing and costumes. As much as I love Gertie, for instance, I find her clothes more costume than clothes. I think that’s why I gravitate so much towards Colette patterns, because they seem to get the balance right. But they also tend to pay most attention to the fifties whereas I love the forties and don’t always enjoy the twee. Their patterns are easy to adept to my own style. 

After looking at lots of forties dresses I ended up with a surplice bodice, gathered sleeves and a slim skirt for my dress.

For this dress I drafted my own pattern, starting with a basic bodice block. I slashed and spread the shoulders and underbust to create gathers and turned the whole thing into a surplice bodice that ended just underneath the bust. I drafted an a-line skirt and added the rest of the bodice to the skirt. I created gathered sleeves. Both sleeves and bodice are finished with a band. 

In the end I took out most of the a-line of the skirt and ended up with a pretty straight skirt. The a-line did not go with the sleek lines of the midriff-section of the skirt. I love the finished dress. It drapes beautifully and has a vintage feel to it. It’s also easy to alter if I need to take it in after losing more weight. 

Dahlia and Bettine dresses

I finally finished my aspiration dress! It took me so long, it actually fits me now!

I chose a size 14 back when I was bordering on size 20 as a way to motivate me. Losing weight is hard for me because of my type 1 diabetes. The insulin I use messes with the fat storage in my body. Losing weight is a long, long process and I need all the motivation I can get. 

This Dahlia was an extremely hard make. I could not get the invisible zipper in. I sewed it in five or six times and took it out again because I would sew over the teeth every time even though I was working with my invisible zipper foot. Drove me nuts. But last night I finally managed to get the bloody thing in (stitches are all over the place, but I’ll live with that).

I love the pattern though, it’s such a feminine dress without being frilly and twee. I will make my next version with the gored skirt I think. 

This Bettine dress is part of my Dream Wardrobe subscription at the Fabric Godmother. Every month Josie from the Fabric Godmother picks a pattern and a fabric for me based on a series of questions I answered.

June’s package consisted out of the Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons and a soft cotton fabric with litte crayon fans on it.

I chose the Tilly-size 6 for this. I made my Megans in an 8, but these were getting really roomy. This was a really easy sew, it took me about an hour after cutting. I added a band at the hem because it turned out shorter than expected. I will remove the extra fabric at the hips. The skirt has an exaggerated tulip shape and it just looks a bit comical. I keep smoothing the fabric on my hips.

I will make the Bettine again, probably in solid color, maybe a chambray.