Bettine in Wonderland Rayon

Did you know that the shop carries Tilly and the Buttons patterns? We do indeed! Tilly has the ability to create patterns that look vintage 1960’s inspired while still being fresh and current. It is the best of all worlds in my opinion.

The pattern that caught my eye the most from her line is the Bettine Dress. When we finally got the patterns in the shop, I knew it was going to be the first thing I would sew. This easy-wearing kimono-sleeved dress with elastic waist has been high on my “must sew” list since its release. It looked like the perfect spring/summer/fall dress that you could throw on and instantly look put together. I was right!

I initially made a full muslin with some rayon, as I knew that was going to be my final choice for fabric. On my first attempt I put in the pockets, but I think my fabric was just too drapey, and it looked pretty sloppy. I know it can be done, as I have seen other people do it, but I decided against pockets on my final version. And the benefit was no droopy pockets and much faster! Win win!

This dress was pretty fast to construct. I think I sewed almost all of it during a Sip + Stitch at the shop. I am pretty sure that if there had been no distraction at all (which is probably not ever entirely possible) I could have it completed in a couple of hours.

I didn’t change anything on this version of the dress and sewed up a straight size 2. I was unsure about the tulip shape of the skirt. I am absolutely a pear shape and even in the final version, I am not loving the skirt. Should I make this again, I will just shave the excess off the pattern.

I sewed this up using the Cotton + Steel rayon from their Wonderland collection, which we still have in the shop. I have used this fabric before here and here, and to be completely honest, as long as they continue to make it, it will usually be my first choice for rayon. Those ladies have found a magical formula that feels amazing to wear all year long. It’s light in the summer, yet substantial enough to wear on cold days as well (layered obviously). The colors are bright and the durability is top notch. Yet another win!

When I sew this again–and I’m shocked I haven’t–I will change a couple of things. I will shave off the tulip shape of the skirt and I will also add in-seam pockets. I am tempted to try to swap out the recommended elastic for a thinner one, based on a dress I currently own that has this feature. If I don’t, I won’t be that upset. I am pretty happy with the elastic as is, but I think thinner would also be cute.

This pattern would be great for beginners since there are no closures and the construction is pretty straightforward. For those that are more advanced, it is a nice, quick project that isn’t just an elastic-waist skirt! Not that I don’t love elastic-waist skirts, but sometimes you need something else.

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

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