Betty dress

I bought the August edition of Sew Magazine as it came with a free downloadable pattern. It looked perfect for a summer dress, but of course I then didn’t finish it until September and summer’s on its way out now. Still, I’m sure it will look nice with leggings as well…!

I made this in a size 18, which was really depressing as usually my measurements come out somewhere between a UK size 14-16, and I did a full bust adjustment. The waist ended up a little too baggy for my liking, but there were no final garment measurements to help choose a more appropriate size. Still, as usual a belt helps neaten it up! The fabric was £5/metre from Bromley market.

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Overall it’s a nice pattern and I really like the style of the dress, especially the sleeves. At the same time the sleeves has caused me a massive headache for two reasons.

  • The pattern pieces include armhole facing, but I followed the instructions in the magazine and it didn’t include when or how to sew them. I don’t seem to need them so it doesn’t matter that much, but it’s a bit weird! It’s quite possible that I am stupid and the instructions are there but I just couldn’t find them.
  • After sewing the sleeve on the instructions say to snip the seam allowance under the sleeve, so that you can then fold the fabric under at the armpit. This section of the armhole is then finished with bias binding. I must have snipped a little too far on the left sleeve because when I lean forwards to far or reach for a jar on the top shelf it rips into the dress bodice. I patched it up but it doesn’t look goods, Luckily the fabric pattern hides it a bit and it’s hidden at my armpit so it doesn’t show up too much.


For the most part the instructions were clear and easy to follow and, ignoring my confusion with the armholes, fairly straightforward to make. Not bad for a free pattern. It’s just a shame that the sun is fading and I need to start working on a winter wardrobe!


7 thoughts on “Betty dress

    1. Thank you! If you want to make it I think you can download it from the Sew Magazine website. I can always send you the instructions from the magazine 🙂

      1. Yeah, I’ve had to learn how to do them. There are some really good beginners patterns that talk you through it though, such as Tilly and the Buttons (her Miette skirt was the first pattern I ever used) 🙂

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