Friday, 11 April 2014

Oooh Betty!

It's my pleasure to present to you the new pattern on the block from Sew Over It - the Betty Dress


I LOVE the cover illustration!

The Betty dress is already taught as a dressmaking class at the Sew Over It sewing cafe (it's one of the most popular classes), so it's lovely to see it released as a paper pattern. It's a classic fifties dress based on the style of Betty Draper from Mad Men (in the early days, when she was still married to Don). I did hesitate about pattern testing it initially, as I'm not a big fan of circle skirts (although I do love a fitted bodice!)  But I've been curious to try out a Sew Over It pattern since they started releasing them last year and the overall look of the dress was just too tempting, so I said yes. I'm really glad I did as I've surprised myself by how much I like this dress. 




The pattern requires three metres of fabric (it's all in the skirt) so it was perfect for some vintage fabric I've had squirrelled away for a while. It's a tiny navy gingham print with ribbons woven through it which I picked up for about £10 from a vintage fair. It's definitely made from some kind of poly-blend as it's very drapey. It was actually quite a good choice of fabric for this dress - the skirt doesn't have the very full effect you'd probably get from a less drapey cloth, which was exactly what I wanted.  I decided to have the stripe of the ribbon running in opposite directions for the bodice and skirt, sort of a low-rent Horrockses effect if you will. 



The pattern is a classic design, comprising a darted, fitted bodice with a rounded neck and V back and a full circle skirt. The instructions were clear and well explained and included a gem of a tip for ensuring your seam lines line up around the zip. The only part I struggled with was the all-in-one facing. The shoulder seams are left free and once the bodice is constructed, everything is finished by machine. I couldn't quite get to grips with the method demonstrated, so I finished the shoulder and facing seams by hand, which still gave a very neat result and took no time at all. There's a sew along coming soon to the Sew Over It blog so I'll be following it like a hawk when they attach the all-in-one facing.



I shortened the skirt by 3½' as I'm intending to wear this as a day dress. If I was making a version for a wedding or something more formal, I'd probably take the hem a bit lower. I also took ⅝" off the back shoulder seams to stop the back bodice gaping. It's worth noting that there's not much ease in the bodice - it's designed to be very fitted - so just pay attention to the waist measurement. For reference I made a size 10 all over.


Luckily, I realised quite early on that the fabric was actually pretty see-through, so added a full lining to the bodice rather than just a facing (I just used plain white cotton lawn). I didn't bother lining the skirt - my reasoning was that it was so enormous the folds of fabric would disguise any transparency. Wrong! As Patrick Stewart would say in Extras "I could see everything!" so it has to be worn with a half slip.  It's the first full circle skirt I've ever made and I'm pleased at how flattering it looks. If I was making a fancier version, I'd use a less drapey fabric and maybe add a crinoline, just for the hell of it.

Behold my circle skirt!
The pattern retails for £13 and is available both in store and at the Sew Over It online shop. I do have a copy of the Betty Dress pattern to give away, but this will have to wait until later in the year as I've had quite a lot of giveaways on the blog recently. Overall, I think it's a lovely pattern for the summer and a really nice addition to the Sew Over It pattern range. x


32 comments:

  1. Love the way the stripes run in the circle skirt, looks great !

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  2. Loving the stripes! Can't believe you've never done a full circle skirt before Jane - would have thought that'd be right up your street...

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    1. I can't believe it either but it's true! For some reason I thought they'd make me look massive! x

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  3. I love the vintage fabric you chose!

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  4. It's really cute and it looks as if you're enjoying it!

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  5. Lovely! Looks like such a cute pattern - another one for my never-ending list!

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  6. This is so pretty! I think you look great in a circle skirt!

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  7. Jane, everything you make is amazing! This is SO cute and so you! I love it on you!

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  8. This dress is sooo cute! You knocked it out of the park!

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  9. Gorgeous, that vintage fabric is perfect for this dress! Man, I would LOVE to take part in one of the Sew over it classes

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  10. Oooh la la, very lovely Jane! Love your fabric it's super cute! And I particularly like the patterns' deep V neckline at the back!

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  11. The dress looks wonderful and the different directions of the pattern as excellent.

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  12. Your dress looks wonderful. I love the effect of the pattern with the circle skirt
    Hugs

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  13. Lovely dress, Jane. I really like how the skirt's stripes are not aligned with the bodice. I bet this will be a super easy to wear garment, and one that could extend into fall wear if worn with a short cardigan, perhaps in red?

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    1. Ah you know my tastes well, I'd definitely team it with a red cardigan! And thank you! x

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  14. It's gorgeous. I love your fabric and the way the pattern falls on the skirt.

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  15. That fabric is excellent! Great job! Your shoes are divine :)

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  16. Really gorgeous, you've done a beautiful job with the stripes on the skirt

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  17. Looks even better on a real person Jane!! Goyjus! I'm convinced by the circle skirt too...

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    1. Glad to hear I can give Angie a run for her money when it comes to dress wearing! x

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  18. Absolutely love the fabric and the fit is spot on!

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  19. Lovely! You're brave to make it with stripes and I love the way they fall! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Great pattern but I LOVE the fabric, so cute!

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  21. I'm not surprised you like this dress...it's lovely. I do like the way the stripes fall on a circle skirt.

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  22. LOVE the fabric and the dress!

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  23. I love the fit...you look lovely!

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  24. It's beautiful! I love the fabric.

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