Two Beautiful Betties

Phew, I made it! It was looking a bit unlikely there for a while…

As soon as I bought the Sew Over It Betty dress pattern to make a dress for my Mum I knew I wanted to make one for myself as well, and what better inspiration to make it sooner rather than later than the ‘One Pattern Two Takes’ challenge?

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I made Mum’s Belated Birthday Betty in time for Dresses week, and was totally chuffed to get chosen as a finalist. A quick summary of that make:


I used red ‘Day of the Dead’ quilting fabric from Spotlight, and lined the bodice with white rayon from my stash. I didn’t have to make any fitting adjustments, so I was able to sew up a straight size 10. I bound the skirt seams with white bias tape and used red bias tape on the hem. The pattern uses an invisible zip but in this case I went for a centred zip as I quite like the technique of putting it in, and also you can hardly see the zip anyway with this crazy fabric!


I was quite proud of the finished result here: the insides of the dress are very neat, and the dress is well matched to my mum’s personality! I know this fabric is not something a lot of people would wear in a garment, but if I saw this in a shop I would definitely think ‘my mother would wear that!’





So on to dress number 2 – the dress that nearly didn’t happen. After a bit of a mad scramble to get my Cambie finished in time for the ‘New to Me’ challenge I was dangerously close to losing my sew-jo. We’d had a weekend away and between feeling a bit fat from all the eating I’d done and feeling exhausted from a busy week I didn’t really feel like putting myself through a whole bunch of fitting woes to make a dress that I wasn’t going to be able to wear anytime soon anyway. So on Tuesday I gave myself permission to sit this one out and take a break for a few days.

Then on Wednesday night I thought stuff it, I want this dress, I’m going to damn well make it!

So off I went on my polka dotted Betty. I bought this fabric when we were in the UK visiting family over Christmas. I found it in Fabric Land in Bristol for about £3.20 a metre, and picked up 3 metres. I am so glad I wasn’t sewing as a hobby while I was living in Bristol – Fabric Land is amazing! I would have spent so much money there. This fabric is cotton and is light without feeling flimsy, and crisp without being too stiff.  I am a little bit in love with the stuff! It had Hill Berg Fabrics printed on the selvage.

My measurements fell between a size 14 and 16 of the finished garments measurement, so I kind of blended the two sizes. I made a 1 inch FBA and made a muslin of the bodice, which I then proceeded to hack to pieces with changes. I lowered the neckline and brought the shoulders in a bit, and also moved the shoulder seams forward. I pinched about a centimetre out of the back neckline as it was gaping pretty severely. I took about 2 inches off the shortest skirt length before I even cut the fabric.


This time I used an invisible zip as directed. I fully lined the bodice again, this time using white cotton lawn – so soft! I stitched a piece of ribbon into the waist seam to act as a waist stay.


I used french seams on the skirt side seams, and folded and stitched the centre back seam from the waist down. I finished the hem with white bias tape.


I am SO glad I decided to make this dress in the end.




This dress isn’t perfect – it’s a bit small at the moment and I think I got a little bit carried away with the FBA so there’s a bit too much fabric at the bust that I don’t quite fill out…

But I love it.




It’s also very me. So I’m feeling pretty good that both of my ‘One Pattern Two Takes’ garments have been dresses that are so reflective of their wearer’s personalities. Unfortunately my parents have gone away at the moment so I couldn’t get a photo of the two of us in our dresses.

Betty Collage 4

Can I also just say how awesome it has been to see everyone’s wonderful makes and supportive comments during Indie Pattern Month (and every other month at TMS!). I am very geographically and socially isolated so it’s really nice to have such a welcoming online community out there. It really has made the difference between me getting frustrated and giving up and persevering with my projects.

Naww, now I’m feeling all warm and mushy!

Well, off to find another way to avoid tidying my craft room!


12 thoughts on “Two Beautiful Betties

    • Thanks! I think we will have to do that! Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until summer, damn me and my habit of unseasonal sewing!


  1. They look like such fun dresses! The skirt of the dress swirls so beautifully – I think I need one of those in my life, too.

    I like the way you finish all of your seams. You’ve inspired me to try something other than the standard old zig zag in the next garment I make.


    • Thanks! I do love a full skirt! I gained a lot of inspiration from the ‘Inside Out’ challenge (even though I didn’t sew anything for it) so have been aiming to make my insides nice and neat in all my recent makes!


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