Made For Me

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress

I love the Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons but as I’m a pear shape (wide hips, narrow shoulders), I thought the pocket version would make me look more hippy and I wasn’t sure if the sleeves (with or without tabs) would be enough to balance me out. So I decided to insert the pockets into the side seams – not something I’ve done before so a learning curve for me as well.


I bought some beautiful chambray and some floral cotton from Higgs and Higgs. My sewing machine absolutely loved both fabrics, they were a dream to sew with!

I chose the size 3, which is normal for me with Tilly’s patterns (apart from the Mathilde). The only adjustment I made (bar the pockets) was to lengthen the skirt by only sewing the hem at 2.5cm instead of 4cm as per Tilly’s instructions. Also, the instructions say to hand stitch the sleeve cuffs – sorry but I don’t do hand sewing on clothes unless it’s buttons! As I’d lined up the seam of the cuff with the seam of the sleeve, I ditch stitched the cuff in place. I also stitched the top of the cuff in the to the should seam, this is now hidden under the tab.


So these pockets, I used the pocket patterns provided but cut 4 pieces. I decided where I wanted the opening and made notches, making sure it was big enough for the widest part of my hand to fit comfortably inside. I sewed around the outside of the pockets at 1.5cm, in keeping with the seam allowance. I sewed the pockets to the skirt front at the waist and side seams, leaving the pocket opening. I then sewed the back skirt piece to the front at the side seams, also leaving the pocket opening.


The next step was then to attach the pockets to the front and back skirt pieces at the pocket opening. I snipped the fabric down to the stitched at each end of the pocket opening. Underneath the pouch of the pocket, I sewed the floral pocket flap to the chambray flap of the front skirt. I then sewed the flap on the back of the skirt to the flap on top of the pocket, I kept to the 1.5cm seam allowance so it would fit nicely with the rest of the skirt seam allowance.


I’m very proud of the pockets because the only time I’ve ever put pockets in a side seam before was when we were taught the technique in Uni, I’m impressed how much of the technique I remembered! Although, I’ve got to admit, the pockets do make the casing for the elastic a little bit bulky and a bit of a hindrance when feeding the elastic through. If I make another with side seam pockets, I will reduce the top of the pockets by the width of the casing so the pockets won’t be included in the casing.


Thanks to a few lovely ladies on Instagram, I also learned to cover my own buttons. Simple once you know how! As instructed by said ladies, I did a running stitch around the edge of the fabric and gathered it around the button tight, securing the end of the thread before putting the back of the button on.


I’m really happy with the finished garment and can’t wait to wear it. I have no doubts I will make more, I definitely want to try a jersey version (or several!).


12 thoughts on “Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress”

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