Right, it’s time for some real experimenting now. A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a hack of Bettine on Instagram that was just the skirt. It had been re-jigged it somehow so that it had a waistband, and it looked really great. ‘Who is this genius?’ I hear you saying. Her name is Helen, and she can be found on Instagram at @helenmenzies – please go check out her makes. I asked how Helen had done it and she was kind enough to share, so I owe this project entirely to her – it’s not something I would ever have thought to do myself. Here is Helen’s lovely, sophisticated Bettine skirt.
My skirt on the other hand is more on the outrageous side, as you can see.
You’ll have to forgive me for camouflaging in the photos. Unfortunately everywhere around my house is green. Well, not unfortunately, usually I don’t mind that at all, but it did make getting photos of this skirt problematic.
The fabric: a slightly outrageous choice, no? I have a gorgeous brocade-style fabric that I think would be perfect for this skirt, but learning from my disastrous Bettine top hack, I decided not to plunge straight in with the perfect fabric. Now, this green stuff has been sat in my stash for a while now. I got it from Resourceful Restoration, a vintage and antiques furniture shop. Every now and then there’s some fabric up for grabs and I managed to snap up 2.5 metres of this for £20. I think it’s quite an old fabric, as it’s only 90 centimetres wide. I was drawn in by the colour and print – I love greens, and I love florals. The thing about this fabric is that it’s textured. It has a flocked/velvety/velour feel to it – I guess it was originally some sort of furnishing fabric – so I wasn’t sure what sort of project it would be suited to. Eventually, I just decided that if it wouldn’t work for a simple skirt it probably wouldn’t work for anything at all. I decided I’d try for a wearable toile, but I’m not sure how wearable it is. Thoughts? Is it too weird? Anyway, I do like the shape of the skirt, and this hack has been far more successful than the last one, so I’m going to go ahead and try with my brocade fabric (if I have enough…).
The pattern: a mash up of Bettine and Delphine (even the names sound like they belong together!), both from Tilly and the Buttons. Delphine is from Tilly’s book, Love at First Stitch (which is brilliant, by the way – highly recommend) and you can see my non-hacked Delphines here.
Modifications: yes, I had to make quite a few. Firstly, I needed to figure out how to make the two patterns work together and redraft them. Additionally, I added a side zip and a waistband. I didn’t put pockets in this one – I didn’t think they’d work with the fabric. I’m going to put a tutorial (of sorts) of this hack at the bottom of this post, so scroll down if you want more detail 🙂
The cost: just the fabric, at £20. I have some left though, but I’m back to wondering what I could make from it… I used a zip that was given to me and I already had the thread.
Although I’m unsure on my fabric choice, I’m really happy with how this turned out. In the right fabric it would be beautiful. It’s like a tulip-meets-pencil skirt in shape, and I think it would be lovely in woolen fabrics for winter. We’ve hit September so I’m all over the winter sewing now!
And with this, I come to the end of #OWOP16! What a great idea One Week One Pattern is – it’s great for showing off a pattern’s versatility and encouraging sewists to be abit more adventurous with hacks. I’ve loved seeing everyone’s creations, and I’ve added about fifty patterns to my wish list. I huge thank you to Cinderellis Sews for hosting it this year – it’s been a blast!
How I did it
- I traced off the front skirt piece of Bettine onto some new tracing paper.
- I drew a line 1.5 centimetres down from my Bettine waistline – the waist seam on Bettine is 3 centimetres, and Delphine’s is 1.5, so I needed to even it out somewhere. This would be my new waistline for Bettine. I think I could have started further down if I wanted to, as long as the side seams met up somewhere. Helen’s skirt looks shorter than mine, and I wonder if that’s why – but it could also be that I’m only 5’2″.
- Then I needed to trace off the top part of the Delphine side seam onto my new Bettine piece. I already had Delphine cut out, so I placed that pattern piece on top of my new Bettine piece, lining the top centre fold corner with the corner of my new waistline. I traced the Delphine waistline and side seam until it met up with Bettine, as pictured.If you have not already cut Delphine, I guess you could place the new Bettine piece over the top of Delphine (1.5 centimetres above the Delphine waistline) and trace it off from underneath, if that makes sense?
- I trued up the new curve where the two patterns met with my dressmaking ruler – as you can see from the above picture they met at a slightly funny angle.
- Finally, I cut it out and labelled it properly so I’ll know what the heck it is next time I’m rifling though my Bettine envelope.
And then I sewed it up using this new pattern piece for both the front and the back and the Delphine front waistband piece. I mashed up the Delphine and Bettine instructions. I used the Delphine instructions for the waistband and zip (except that I put the zip in the side instead of the back, because I’d omitted the entire back seam), and I followed the Bettine instructions for the hem. I think next time I sew this it will be super-quick. Even with all the technical stuff it only took me a few hours, so next time I’ll whiz through it 😀