After making two Bettine’s exactly as the pattern suggests I decided it was time for a bit of experimenting – this one is half jersey and half denim. Not only that, but I’ve done some stash busting too, making this a really cheap sew.
The fabric: leftovers from other projects. I got the striped jersey from Plush Addict ages ago and it was leftover from my Coco dress, and the lightweight denim was rescued from a disastrous (I mean, disastrous) attempt at a jumpsuit. I had enough denim left for the front skirt piece, but I had to cut two pieces for the back from the trousers of the jumpsuit. This means I’ve got a centre back seam, but that’s okay. I used more fabric from the jumpsuit for contrast cuffs, pocket linings and facings. How very frugal of me! It was a bit challenging making the stretchy jersey and denim go together nicely, but with a bit of gentle persuasion I managed it.
Modifications: yes, a few. Tilly outlines various changes you should make when making Bettine from jersey in this blog post. I followed her instructions for the top half of the dress – for me, it really only meant I had to swap out the neckline facing for a neckband. I didn’t actually follow some of the usual rules for sewing with jersey, such as using zigzag stitch, because the garment isn’t form fitting and doesn’t need to stretch while you’re wearing it, so I didn’t think it would matter. It seems to be okay so far – hopefully I won’t live to regret it.
The cost: I was tempted to label this a free project, because the chances of me rescuing the denim from that ghastly jumpsuit were very slim. However, I did probably use about a metre of denim (maybe slightly more), so I will include that. It was this denim – £7 per metre from Fabric Time. I already had everything else though, so it really did only cost me £7.
By the way, I completely forgot to take any photos to document the epic disaster that was the jumpsuit (this jumpsuit), which I’m really angry at myself about. It’s a lovely pattern, but there were two problems. Firstly, an incident with my overlocker meant that I put an enormous hole in one of the trouser legs. I could have cried real tears, let me tell you, but I decided to persevere and try to make a wearable toile, shortening the legs to get rid of the hole and have a shorts-style play suit instead. However, it didn’t take long for problem number two to become apparent. To say I had crotch issues would be the understatement of the century. I’m short, so I would always expect skirts to come up a little long and crotches to sit a little low. A little low. However, this particular crotch was sagging about three quarters of the way down my thighs. I’m not kidding – it was ridiculous. I do really like it, so I’ll be giving it another go at some point (this time I’ll toile it properly!) and report back. You live and learn, don’t you?