Sunday, 31 January 2016

Last years Bettine Dress


Pattern: Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. It is already my second version - my first version I made for our Honeymoon.

Fabric: This time I used a very drapy viscose. I think I got it from Walthamstow Market last autumn. As always when I see a fabric with butterflies on it - I just can't leave without it. I tried, but came back at the end of the shopping trip. I knew immediately that it would be perfect for Bettine!


Alterations: I have some minor fitting issues with my first Bettine. A) it is too short, B) it rips under the arms when I try to bend and stretch forward, and C) the shoulder seams slip backwards. The length was easy to fix, I just added 4 cm to the pattern. For the shoulder seams, I added 1.5 cm to the back shoulder seam tapering to nothing towards the sleeve and removed the same amount from the front shoulder seam. Tapering again to nothing towards the sleeve. As you will see in the photos, the shoulder seam is still slipping backwards.


Lastly, I did a broad upper back adjustment and added 1 cm to the front and back bodice in the shoulder area. I'm not sure if this adjustment is actually the right one for me because I have a narrow back. The problem of ripping underarm seams is not completely solved yet, as they still tend to rip if I'm not careful (although there is some more give). I guess the actual problem are my broad shoulders, so I have to look into fitting these.


For this version I also added the optional sleeve taps and small white buttons that came from my Kiev shed find. I didn't make the pocket version as I felt the fabric is not stable enough.

Have I worn it yet? I did loads in autumn and I really love the fabric. It is super soft! However being so soft can also be disadvantageous. I noticed already that something weird was going on with the fabric when I tried to straighten it before cutting it out. I was using the thread pull method to identify the grain. I did not pull hard but the thread kept breaking. Not snapping but just disintegrating.


So, when I was wearing the dress the first time after a couple of hours I noticed pulled threads on the front of the skirt! The culprit was my kitchen table. The wood of the table apparently pulled the threads out. Leaving white spaces behind where the thread had been before. That has never happened to me before. With none of my garments.


I'm still wearing it because the marks are not that visible but they are there (you can actually see them on most photographs). Has anything like that happened to you before? I have not sewn with soft viscose much, so maybe it is a usual feature of this fabric? Or maybe it is just bad quality...


13 comments:

  1. The dress really suits you and I love the last photo with those little furry boots!

    It sounds like we have similar fitting issues (broad shoulders yet narrow back, shoulder seams slipping backwards.) It drives me nuts too. So many books/sites talk about broad backs but not broad shoulder alterations. I've tried forward shoulder adjustments but wasn't convinced it was the correct alteration. High round back adjustments have worked better for me so far as I think it gives my shoulder blades more room. We'll have to keep each other informed if we make any discoveries!

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    1. Thanks Jo! The fur was what made me fall in love with these shoes, haha. I'm glad I'm not the only one with these proportions :) and good that there are two pairs of eyes now looking for fitting solutions. I've tried the round back adjustment as well, but it doesn't work each time. Phew, no universal solution it seems. But if I find one, I will let you know!

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  2. It's such pretty fabric, I don't blame you for going back to buy it! The problem you're having with the threads pulling sounds strange - I've never had that problem myself but I also haven't used viscose that much either. I can't offer any fitting advice I'm afraid, but I hope you find a solution!

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    1. Yeah the fabric always lure me in! Butterflies? Flowers? Birds? Can't leave without it, haha.

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  3. I love love love this fabric! The dress is very cute on you, really flattering.

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    1. Thank you Sabs! There will be one more Bettine on the Blog soon because I just couldn't stop sewing it :)

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  4. that fabric is so pretty, perfect for Bettine ;o)

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  5. So so so pretty! Love the dress and the colour on you!

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  6. I didn't notice the pulled fabrics until you mentioned it and then had to scroll back through all the photos to look for it :)
    This dress is so pretty and you can't see those pulled threads without looking hard. This color is great on you too!

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  7. I've never commented before, though I love reading your blog! I wanted to share the tutorial that I use for a broad upper back adjustment: http://www.kestrelmakes.com/2014/02/how-to-make-broad-upper-back-adjustment.html (method 2 in the tutorial). It makes everything better for me, and I use it in combination with a 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment as well- which I do first. I hope this helps you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment Adrienne, it's lovely to hear from you :) I'm always happy to get some input about how to improve my fitting. There is still so much to discover and learn. I just had a look at the tutorial and the method you recommend is definitively something I want to try out. Especially because it also adds more space = fabric to the armpits. So that might help with avoiding the ripping. Thank you :)

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  8. Oh that fabric is beautiful, I totally get why you had to buy it! Lovely dress, and I think it fits you really well.

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  9. I love love love this fabric! The dress is very cute on you, really flattering.

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