Dressmaking in my spare time: the Betty Dress by Sew Over It

Today I’m sharing one of my favourite handmade pieces ever, the Betty Dress by Sew Over It.
I’ve always liked this dress pattern, and when I received an invite to a friends wedding to be held in February I thought it was the perfect chance to make it. I bought the ‘sleeve and scoop neck’ pack too, which is a PDF download pattern to add a sleeve, and a scoop or v-neck to to the bodice, which is normally sleeveless and has a boat neck at the front. The print at home pattern was very easy to put together and it’s a great extra option for the dress. I like that Sew Over It patterns also have plenty of notches for matching pattern pieces too, it just makes them a wee bit more accurate to sew up.

Late on last year, I bought the Sew Crafty  dressmaking journal. It’s a clever notebook which has space to make detailed notes and drawings of sewing projects, along with fabric swatches and photos (if I ever get round to printing them off). It was rather useful for the Betty dress as I had to make a quite a few adjustments to the bodice, and I used the mannequin outline pages in the journal to more accurately record my measurements. Making your own clothes can sometimes make you feel like you are a weird shape. I had to take out 10cm from the back of the dress, lower the bust darts by 4cm, widen the shoulders and alter the slope of them…. And I still think the neckline gapes a little! The journal was really handy for recording all the alterations which I did while making 2 toiles. I also used a book called Sew Many Dresses which has a very helpful section on adjustments, when you need to make them, and how! 

I’m really pleased with how the dress turned out. The fabric is also from Sew Over it, it’s a slightly heavier than normal viscose and I absolutely love it! It has all my favourite colours, beautiful drape and was a real treat to sew with. I bought a fluffy 50s style petticoat to wear underneath for some extra volume which really made the dress feel extra special. I also made a clutch bag using some Cygnet Seriously Chunky yarn, in Barley (from Mrs Snufflebean ). I adapted the purse pattern in Inside Crochet magazine (which is designed by my internet friend Rosina of Zeens and Roger blog). It’s lined with some left over fabric from my dress for extra matchy-matchiness. 

This is one of my favourite makes; it was perfect to wear for a wedding and I really loved the swishyness of the skirt. It did use a lot of fabric though as I wanted the skirt to be a little longer than the pattern, and as it is a full circle skirt that meant a lot of fabric indeed. With a little bit of jiggery pokery in the lay plan I managed to save enough fabric to make a top from the fabric too, and as I’m planning to make a plain black circle skirt I’m sure the top will get a lot of wear.  I need to get myself invited to another fancy do so I can wear this dress again!

Teresa  xx

16 thoughts on “Dressmaking in my spare time: the Betty Dress by Sew Over It

  1. It is truly beautiful, I love the colour of the fabric. The scoop neck gives it quite a modern feel while the rest is very vintage-y, I think? Either way, I think it’s fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Maura, you’re very kind!
      Rosina bag, I love it! That’s what it will be called now!


      Btw I have found I have a similar pattern already like those trousers from Pinterest- I’ll let you know how I get on with them…!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can I just “OMG” this!? Truly love it. My favourite thing you’ve made. And the dress is kinda nice I suppose… Haha, not really (well, I love the “Rosina” bag too but the dress is amazing). Well done, skilled lady. X

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is beautiful work! I have the Sew Little Dresses Sew Little time book as well and I love it! It has allowed me to become confident with my dressmaking skills 🙂

    I am also current working on Sew Over It’s Pussy Bow Blouse. I love Lisa Comfort’s style 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Lisa Comforts style is very enviable!
      I was a little overwhelmed by the Sew Many Dresses book at first, there are just so many options! It’s all nicely explained though, and the alterations section really is good! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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