Tribal Print Betty Dress


A few weeks ago, the very lovely people at Sew Over It kindly sent me two of their patterns to try out - the Betty Dress and the Ultimate Trousers. I'm too chicken to try out the latter yet due to my body issues, but I was straight in there with the dress! I love Betty's 1950s inspired design with its fitted bodice and full circle skirt.


But I think my favourite feature of this dress is the V-shape back bodice neckline. I'm a sucker for back detail, especially when a dress is demure from the front and also because I'd rather keep the ladies covered up without being too boring.


I would have loved a pretty floral print for this dress, but nothing in my stash was wide or long enough, because Betty may look ladylike, but she's pig greedy - she demands 3m of 140cm wide fabric or 4.5m of 115cm wide fabric. So there, you've been warned! 

As it turns out, I love the cotton sateen I ended up using. The tribal print keeps my Betty from looking too cutesy and I really like the vibrant green background with inky blue print. Plus, the fabric has the expensive feel and drape of lawn, as well as that lovely sheen.


The construction is so easy and the instructions are nice and clear. It really takes no time to make, so I'd highly recommend it to someone looking for a quick, yet impressive, fix! Can you believe that in the 4.5 years I've been sewing, I'd never made a dress with this kind of neckline/armhole facing before?!? I know it probably doesn't beat a fully lined bodice, but if your fabric is a decent weight and not transparent, then this does the trick pretty nicely.



I almost made a straight size 10 and I'm very pleased with the fit. I say almost because I pinched 2cm out of the back bodice neckline, to counteract the gaping due to my really narrow back and shoulders. It's an easy adjustment to make, just be sure to do the same for your facing pieces too! Next time, I think I'll also pinch out 1-2cm from the front bodice neckline too.


I love me a voluminous skirt and I see a few more Betty dresses in my future! I find sleeveless styles much easier to pair with a cardigan in the colder months.


Have you tried Betty out yet? What do you think?

P.S. Have you enjoyed the cheeky little peek of our near-finished dining room (minus furniture and accessories of course)? I plan on regaling you with our trails, tribulations and plenty of pictures soon!

60 comments:

  1. now that's the kind of facing i can get behind! and that back-- the whole shape of the dress is really so lovely. let me continue the droolfest over THAT PRINT!!!

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  2. LOVELY! I adore this colour on you!

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    1. Thank you missus, it really is a great colour!

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  3. Beautiful dress and great photos! The dress looks pretty much identical to the Eliza M Audrey dress!

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    1. Yes, the two designs are very similar!!!

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  4. I was just going to ask where your pics where taken! Looks like it'll be great! Are you going to save an open bit of wall for taking pics? (Come on, don't we all arrange furniture based slightly on blog photos? ;) That green is stunning on you, the dress is lovely... and you are clearly feeling body issues that the rest of us can't see! (But hey, I get that - I do it too.) One day though, I hope you give sewing pants a go!

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    1. Haha, you clearly know me too well Gillian! I would love to keep a wall free, but our table is quite big...but hopefully I can work around that!? Thanks for the kind words!

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  5. Beautiful! I know it's not the most economic, but I LOVE dresses that don't skimp on yardage. I feel that they look higher end, generally. It's just not possible to achieve the same swirly swishy glamour with a single yard or two of fabric.

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    1. Yes, I think you're right about the higher end look that extra yardage provides...nicely put!

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  6. This is really, really pretty! Love this green on you!

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  7. Gorgeous! The style is lovely and that colour looks fantastic on you. Like how the dining room is coming along.

    And I love your shoes/sandals! It's so hard to find nice low heeled summery shoes that aren't ballet pumps (not that I've got anything against ballet pumps, but sometimes its nice to get a bit of air to your toes!)

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    1. Thanks Sam! The sandals are from Primark!

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  8. This is STUNNING. Very pretty and fits you so perfectly.

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  9. These facings are the best. Nothing flapping around! Also, can inhave your shoes

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  10. It's gorgeous! I love that emerald green / black print, it really does make this pattern less cutesy and vintage (not that there's anything wrong with cutesy vintage..!). Looks like it fits you perfectly as well. I love a nice all in one facing and the v-back is such a great detail.

    Lovely ice cream colours going on behind you too, look forward to seeing more.

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    1. Thanks Katie! I do love cutesy vintage, but I'm enjoying this look for sure!

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  11. The Betty looks like a fun pattern, lots of skirt for swirling!
    I'm kind of jazzed about your dining room, the colours are almost ice creamy, yum.

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    1. So pleased your jazzed about my dining room..it's so close to being finished now!!!

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  12. Such a simple but gorgeously pretty dress. Perfect fabric for the job and lovely photos to boot. You look divine, Marie. As always xxx

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  13. Drop dead gorgeous! What a stunner. The color and print looks wonderful on you and what a great combo with that full skirt. Truly divine!

    Also, that is a genius way to do a neckline and armhole facing, I'd never even thought about that! I must admit I'm not a huge fan of lined bodices... I don't actually mind DOING it, I just don't seem to wear them as often, maybe it's just that extra bit of fabric I don't like. So I usually prefer facings. I may give that a whirl on my next Elisalex!

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    1. Aaaw, thanks so much Tasha! How is it that neither of us had come across this simple facing before?!? Enjoy trying it out for your Elisalex ;o)

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  14. A beautiful Betty Dress :) Love the colour and think you're right about it preventing the dress from being too cute. I don't think it loses anything for not being lined either. Looking forward to the next decorating round-up post!

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    1. Thanks on both accounts Jennifer!

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  15. I have a navy blue cotton for this dress and can't wait to make it. Your fabric is perfect for going Autumn. I also think the dress would look great in a light wool with fully lined bodice. Looking forward to seeing your completed dining room: the colours are great.

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    1. Oh yes, I think you're onto something with a winter version...great idea!

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  16. Very pretty and nice fitting! I love the fabric.

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  17. The fit looks bang on. What a fab dress.

    And happy to see that the floors don't look pee-stained (ha!)!

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    1. Haha, it took a load of effort to fix the floor...so glad we managed it though!!!

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  18. Oh no, another must have pattern! I love the drape of the skirt and the shape of the bodice. You have managed to find the perfect fabric for this dress and it really enhances the updated vintage look. Love it!

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  19. Lovely fabric, such a beautiful colour

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  20. That's the type of facings I like, minimal fuss! Fab dress and I bet all that fabric makes for a lovely swishy skirt.

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    1. It certainly does, thanks Sarah!

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  21. Ooo! This is gorgeous! I love the style, and the fabric is amazing. That green is just beautiful. I'm a bit jealous of the bodice back! I recently tried to fit a Butterick pattern with that back shape, and it just wouldn't work.

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    1. Oh no Lynne, why wouldn't your bodice work? Was it too big/too small?

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  22. What a great fit and tribal is right on trend. Jo x

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  23. *droooooling over that fabric* You look marvelous in emerald green! And the style is lovely - demure in the front, elegant and interesting in the back. I hope you get to wear this often, because you look fantastic in this :)

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    1. Thanks so much Meg, you're too kind!

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  24. "pig greedy" haha! Lovely, lovely dress as usual, Marie! xo

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  25. You look amazing in this green Marie! Great job sewing it up, it fits great. I've got the Ultimate Trousers waiting for me too, I think we should make a deal...If I can do it you can!

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    1. Thanks Fiona! Hmmm, sounds like a good deal! Though I doubt your lovely petite frame will need as much 'fitting' as mine! lol!

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  26. Gah- this is all kinds of fierce! Epic work, lovely :D And yay for more reno shots :D

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    1. Thanks Amanda! How are your renos coming along?!?

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  27. Wow, GORGEOUS dress! That colour looks GREAT! I would never have thought up pairing a tribal print with a retro dress but it SO works. Loving that neat little neck/armhole facing job too. You're such an inspiration!

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    1. Aaaw, thank you! Glad you think so ;o)

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  28. I love your fabric choice! Definitely helps it not to be too cutesy which makes me totally want to give this pattern a shot!

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    1. You would rock this pattern in a funky print ;o)

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  29. This dress is just gorgeous on you! The colour is perfection for your skin tone. And because I feel like I haven't spoken to you in ages I'm sending a massive hello & a big virtual hug :)

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    1. Kat, hi! I've missed you! Thanks for the lovely words, so nice to hear from you!!!

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  30. very cute dress, the fabric works brilliantly!

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