Friday, 28 June 2019

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Hack

I hatched a plan to make the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress in an A-line skirt and drawstring waist fastening. The plan came together pretty smoothly during a sewing Saturday at the end of May when I had the house to myself. 

I used two metres of gorgeous patterned viscose that I bought from Sew Over It from their original Islington shop. The fabric has a printing flaw in it (a missed line of printing which is white) but it isn't very noticeable. Before I even cut the pattern pieces out I decided to use the reverse side of the fabric as it had a 'chambray' type effect and softened the intense colours a little.

The 'right' side is on the left and the 'wrong' side is on the right.

It was a fairly straight forward and enjoyable sew. I made a Bettine dress in 2015 and in 2017 cropped it into a top because the 'tulip-style' skirt section didn't really suit me. The idea of making the waistband as a drawstring rather than elastic was partly due to the lack of elastic supplies in my stash but mostly because I wanted it to be really comfortable and flexible.
A limited amount of viscose fabric meant I needed to raid the stash for a contrast facing, pocket, cuffs and waistband. The black worked well with the colours of the fabric but the cotton is a little stiff compared to the soft and drapey viscose. I am hoping it will soften in the wash.

I cut the A line to the very edges of the fabric to maximise the A-Line skirt section. I folded it towards the centre to create two centre fold lines.

The waistband drawstring sections were just two strips of black fabric attached to the bodice and skirt on the outside and on the inside I ironed the seam allowance in and pinned all around to create a channel. I topstitched this inner waistband on from the front. I sewed two buttonholes at the front of the waistband so the drawstring would come out of the front of the dress.

If I wanted to add elastic at a future date I created an opening on the inside waistband by hemming the centre back pieces rather than sewing them together. It probably makes more sense to see the photos below.

The final photos of the dress showing the last few steps of construction.


  1. That's a really nice dress Caroline. I like the more flared skirt.

  2. Great hack. The bettine has been on my horizon lately but nothing as yet to show for my inner thoughts! Jo x