Chilli Bettine Dress

Yet another Tilly and the Buttons piece… I made this Bettine dress! With chilli print fabric! Because spicy food is my favourite food!

chilli-bettine-kimono-full

Making this dress felt a lot like cheating. It has extremely simple construction as it is targeted at absolute beginners. I think I’m in the “advanced beginner” camp by now, so this was a doddle to put together! I made the version without pockets (not a fan of how they look) and omitted the cuff tab, which meant I was left with very few pattern pieces and very few seams. And no darts! It was a very quick make, to the point that it seems like I barely did anything to the fabric for it to turn into a dress.

 

chilli-bettine-front-full-2

I did a 1.5″ full bust adjustment on the front bodice piece because I am a C/D cup and Tilly’s patterns are drafted for a B cup. When you execute an FBA, you increase the length of the bodice piece. Typically, there is a horizontal dart on the bodice which then gets redrawn to consume that extra length of fabric, but this dress has no darts! Tilly recommends ease-stitching the extra length in which I found very straight forward.

chilli-bettine-back

The fabric came from Malin Textile at Chinatown and I paid S$11 (£5.50) per metre for it, down from S$13 (£6.50). It frayed like crazy while I worked with it, which was irritating. But it came out so cute! It’s a fun dress. I like the kimono sleeves. They’re different.

chilli-bettine-kimono

It’s not at all easy to pull over my head though. I have to do a very awkward wiggle dance to put it on. It’s probably because I cut a size 1 for the hips whereas I’m a size 2 plus FBA in the bust, and the skirt is a tulip shape so it narrows towards the hem. As there are no closures, the narrow hem needs to go over my head and past the bust when I put it on, and it takes a fair bit of encouragement to coax it to where it’s supposed to be.

 

chilli-bettine-waa
A much more graceful wiggle than the one I had to do while getting dressed.

I’m not sure what I could do to fix that next time, though. My first thought was to try it with an A-line skirt, but I think the skirt does need to hug the hips in order to balance out the bagginess on top. Maybe I will just try it in a jersey, once I’ve learned how to sew with knits. And I’ve already ordered a couple of knit patterns so that won’t be too far away!

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6 thoughts on “Chilli Bettine Dress

    • Oh it didn’t occur to me to consider a zipper in the side seam! The dress has an elastic waistband so I’m not sure how well a side zip would work with that. I could possibly do it just for the skirt. Thanks for the idea, I’ll have a think!

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  1. Adorable. I especially like the sleeves and neckline. The best thing about a simple pattern that fits as well as yours does is the number of times you can remake it! …sewing with knits should be no problem at all. Do you have a serger? They can be handy. Have fun!

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  2. Lauren Guthrie has a post on making the front opening , a simple placket. Tilly has a post of making this in jersey, any type. I also have trouble getting it over my head!

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