I made a couple of Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dresses when they were first released. I love the simplicity of the shape and those gorgeous feature pockets. I do find that I don’t wear them that much though as they are both in lighter coloured fabrics, which I wouldn’t wear tights with so they are reserved for Summer days, but not too hot days as they are quite covered on top!
A while ago I saw someone on instagram had hacked the Bettine to a maxi version and I loved how it looked. I really love wearing maxi skirts and dresses as the weather warms up so decided to try it myself.
Tilly has written a blog post all about sewing the Bettine using a jersey fabric. This was really helpful as she had already done a lot of the hard work! I followed her advice about adding a neckband, rather than the facing and I think it worked brilliantly. She even gives you the measurements needed for the neckband piece – so helpful!
I toyed with adding the pockets to my version for about a week before I cut it out! My thinking went along the lines of:
Cons for pockets:
- It would take more fabric
- It would take longer to sew
- They might stretch out
Pros for pockets:
So in the end, pockets won!
I made sure I interfaced the pocket curve on both the skirt front and the pocket facing pieces so that they were well stabilised.
I added the cuffs as usual but just left them hanging downwards, rather than folding them back.
To alter the pattern to the maxi skirt, I traced down a line from the hip curve downwards and added about 16 inches to the length. I pretty much kept the line from the hip, as I didn’t want a particularly full skirt.
I did the same on the front and back pieces and added a notch at the knee point of the skirt that would be my split marker.
I overlocked the skirt front and back pieces down each side before joining them together and then joined them down to that split notch. Once I had pressed the seams open, I then pressed under the 5/8 inch seam allowance all the way down to the hem. I also overlocked the hem of the skirt and then pressed that up by 5/8 inch too.
I topstitched the hem slit in place and the hem of the skirt.
And that was it – pretty straightforward, and I know I am going to wear it so much this summer.
The fabric I used is a red leopard print viscose jersey that I stock – it is called Puma red viscose jersey. I think it is good to use something like a viscose jersey as it has a nice drape to it, that I think you need for the Bettine bodice.