It's been a hot stretch this summer. First when we were in Paris it was unusually hot, breaking all kinds of records as it hit 100+ for nearly a week straight, one day hitting 104 degrees! Then upon returning home, I was greeted with summer in Los Angeles, with our hottest days coming in August. So needless to say, I've been pretty much living in the most breezy comfy garments in my closet!
When Tilly recently released her new Bettine Dress pattern, I thought it was super cute, but I didn't really consider it for myself because the skirt really won't work on my body type. But then I got to thinking–what if I pair the super cute top half with a fuller a-line skirt? Yes! So thanks to the impulse-friendly PDF pattern option, I had soon bought, printed, and was cutting directly into my Cotton + Steel Frock rayon.
I am short waisted and for tops that blouse like this one does, I know I usually have to take some length out of the top so the blousing doesn't completely overwhelm my waist. I'm already carrying all my weight in my middle section, so creating what looks like additional rolls isn't what I'm after! So first thing I did was shave 1" off the length of the top front and back. This allowed the top to still blouse a bit, but not to the point of adding a new roll to my middle.
I then cut two Emery skirt front pieces to a size 4. The size selection was a pretty arbitrary choice–I just eyeballed it so that it would be bigger than the waist of the Bettine, but not enormously bigger. I then gathered the Emery skirt to match the waist of the Bettine. But, before all of that, I of course also cut out the Emery pockets and added them to the skirt too! I love pockets (don't we all?) and the pockets that come with the Bettine are adorable, but they wouldn't work with the plan to gather an a-line skirt. So I followed the steps on the Emery Dress to add the pockets in, and then gathered the skirt and followed the attaching instructions as Tilly had written.
The only other changes I made were in the finishing. I love the big top stitched facing, so I kept that as is, but I added in some understitching to keep it all tidy and in place, which is especially important with the rayon. I also understitched the sleeve cuffs so you don't see any of the wrong side on the outside of the sleeve. I skipped the tabs because I didn't think it suited the drape of the fabric.
And speaking of fabric, this is more of the dreamy rayon Frock collection from Cotton + Steel, which has to be the greatest rayon I've ever worked with. I really love it so much and want to make all the things in it! It's amazing. And it's perfect for swishing around in! I picked up this rayon at Pink Castle Fabrics when I was there teaching at Camp Stitchalot.
So all-in-all, I consider this frock a success! I will absolutely be making more versions of the Bettine, and might try altering the original skirt that comes with the pattern into an a-line like Sally did on her super cute version!