Knit Bettine dress – of course!

One of my first thoughts after sewing my first Bettine dress, was, ‘I bet this would be a cracking dress in a knit’.  So when Tilly started to reveal on Instagram that she had made  Bettine out of a knit, & that she started the thinking for me by showing how the neck facing is replaced by a neckband (of course!  simples!)  I charged ahead.  The knit Bettine dress would be even more of a constant wear than my chambray version which to be honest gets a bit too comfy in the ironing pile.

Bettine in a knit?!

Bettine in a knit?!

And when Girl Charlee UK contacted me to offer me some fabric to try out, well it was a match made in heaven.  Until this point I had of course heard about the US Girl Charlee, but tucked that gem away for interest – I had no idea that we were getting a full blown UK store, so I was eager to give them a go.  Because an online store specialising in knit fabric?  Oh I am so there!  Loads of collections, of course I go straight for florals but there is the biggest & funkiest ponte roma selection I think I have seen in one place!  I chose this teal oriental floral jersey (temporarily out of stock I hope)  & when it arrived I was really pleased with the quality, the colour & how it would work as either a dress or top.  But Bettine it was to be. (Without pockets)


So here are the things I did to adapt a woven Bettine to a knit Bettine.  Tilly has some tips here too including measurements & process for adding a neckband.  I made most of my Bettine using my overlocker (serger) but there are some steps that need a regular machine.  I will point these out too, but you may have your own thoughts about how you would do it.

I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams, I always do it for knits, it’s in my genes now I think, as it supports the seam which has to carry a bit of weight & avoids stretching out of shape.  i think!

bettine shoulder

The invisible clear elastic in my shoulder seam

Of course the neckband is a difference, but use Tilly’s guide and you will be fine.

Bettine neckband

I kept the tabs at the sleeves, but sewed these using a regular machine with a straight stitch- it’s not as if these will suffer any stretch during use, they are just decorative really.

Cute flower buttons x

Cute flower buttons x

I think the part of the dress I was most conscious of sewing was the elastic casing.  Joining the bodice to the skirt can of course be done on your overlocker, but not the next step in making the casing out of the seam allowance.  You need to use a narrow zig zag.

Zig zag the casing seam

Zig zag the casing seam

On the inside it looks like this

bettine knit casingAnd the effect in the finished dress is ….

Knit Bettine


At back

Bettine back


And what about on a real person?  Looking at how this fits me I think I should have done an SBA as the creases at my shoulders disappear when I pretend I have bigger boobs.  (NO- not with socks in my bra!)

bettine (6)From behind …


She loves it, you know!

knit bettine So might you be tempted to try a knit Bettine dress?  It really is the perfect combo of comfort, style & lazy washing!!!!  This one does not languish in my ironing pile & has not seen the iron since it was made…..

19 thoughts on “Knit Bettine dress – of course!

  1. Sarah Jane

    Great dress and great minds think alike on the fabric! I made a dress for myself at the beginning of the summer out of the very same fabric! It’s one of my favourites! 🙂

  2. Eliza-sew-little

    I too did mine on the overlocker except for the casing. I did put pockets on it but used a woven fabric for the facing. I think it just about works. I love the colour of yours. I’m wondering about a wool crepe for a winter version What do you think?

  3. Shawna

    Just curious if it matters to you, but got interested in Girl Charlee’s fabrics after I saw your post today. I noticed on their website(the US version) that if you were referred by someone they can get bonus bucks back, do you have a referral code so I can give credit where credit is due! Thanks for your blog, love reading the posts.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you so much Shawna, that’s so kind of you. I don’t think there’s such a thing with the UK company, or if there is maybe you need to have bought something to get a code and so far I haven’t ( this fabric was a gift for me to review). But that’s so kind of you, thank you ?

  4. Jo

    I immediately wanted to make it in a knit because I thought a cotton one would stick out too much and make me appear bigger how vain! So I am getting jersey for it in my next round of minerva. Jo x

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  6. Catherine Marie

    Great idea, I know what I will be making today it will be nice & quick as too without the pickets, facings and my over earning it’s keep! I have made two Bettines (plus a little Betty) & wear them both for work, I have been thinking about warmer versions. Just need to decide between black with small white dotty flowers or hot pink with black kittens.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I think the knit Bettine is a winner too – it’s such a comfy & useful little frock. I have been wondering about winter versions too! hot pink with black kittens?! Awesome!!!

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  8. Gill

    Hi Winnie could you explain how you add clear elastic to jersey shoulder seams please? I only have a regular machine, not an overlocker. Thanks!


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