Tag Archives: Bettine dress

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…..

Bettine dress

Tilly and the Buttons has released her summer sewing patterns – there is a dress, Bettine, and some summer PJs, Fifi.  I have been involved as a tester for both of these and today I am going to show you the tester version of Bettine.


Laughably it seems as if I chose very similar fabric to the modelled shots on the pattern (NO- Tilly did not think my version was so super ace that she begged to use it.  Hahaha!)

So I had this length of kind-of-chambray-but-with-unknown-polyester-perhaps-content that I bought for something silly like £2 per metre from a shop near Goldhawk road known to Jane and Janene….and when the drawings came out for Bettine, I knew it was a match.


I don’t want to spend too long on sewing chat about Bettine, as Tilly may have changed some elements from the test version you see here- but you need to know that this is a gloriously comfy & easy to sew summer dress.  I think there is something of the “Seasalt” style to it with its Kimono sleeves & blousey bodice & gathered waist.  It would look good with a long sleeved top underneath as a layering dress too.  And I have worn it with dotty leggings on cooler days.


I made the version with pockets just to put the pattern through the testing, & of course I’ve ended up with rather a lovely casual (but practical) dress.


It really is easy to make & wear.  I love the tabbed sleeves and the way that the waist is gathered with elastic.  I have made dresses with a waist elastic or a drawstring that are a pain to mark the position of the elastic/ drawstring casing.  Tilly’s design is genius in that the casing is made by the seam that joins the bodice to the skirt.  Simple!


All in all a successful test, maybe I need a slightly bigger size in my upper chest however, something I would look at next time.  Forgive the slip making itself known at the hem & the creasing – let’s say that if there is polyester in this fabric there is not that much!


This week only you can buy a bundleBettine with Fifi!  Wowser!  I’ll show you my Fifis (if you show me yours….!  No, sorry couldn’t resist) I will show you my Fifis later in the week.