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!