I wanted to start this blog with a bit of a disclaimer. I'm not trying to pattern bash Bettine, but more explain the difficulties that I face with this pattern and my body. There's not a ton of voices that discuss fitting issues for apple shaped bodies, and I really want to help with that. Tilly's pattern's are really cute, and her marketing is spot on. From all accounts, I seem to be the only person that has had any issues.
I hate making muslins, I won't lie to you. I know I'm supposed to, and I know it pays off in the end. When it comes down to it, I'm stupid busy. This dress took me a couple of weeks to finish because of all my boudoir & event photography clients I've had. It was supposed to be a quick project, and I was stoked. I didn't think I'd need a muslin because I'm fairly close to all the measurements, and after all it's supposed to be rather loose fitting.
While it doesn't look too awful if I'm standing up, It’s very restrictive when sitting. I don't understand why the skirt is so very constrictive on me- Normally I have to take ease out with my hip lacking apple shape.
I also found issue with the top front pattern piece. While I'm all for a nice loose bust area, the front pattern and back pattern piece are the same size with different necklines. If you wanted the same amount of fullness from front to back you would need something to accommodate the sweater puppies, yes? Tilly is on the opposite spectrum of bust size that I am, so this probably worked fine for her and her similarly shaped model. My E cups didn't agree with the drafting though. I really don't know how to do a full bust adjustment without a dart, but I guess I need to learn! I would recommend checking the fit if you're over a c cup though.
I don't know if I'll attempt to resew this dress. Word from my Partner Brian is that even if it did fit well, it's not the best look for me. I have to say I agree. He did commend me on my finishing techniques though, so at least there's that. I really wished this would have worked for me, but they can't all be winners right?
Pattern name: Bettine
Size range (with measurements): From a bust size of 30 to 44.
What size did you make?: The largest size, which according to the vanity sizing for tilly and the buttons, is a size 8. (Bust- 44inch, Waist- 38inch, Hips-47)
What are your measurements, height, and body type? 5'8", solid size 16, apple shaped.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? None, I decided to try the pattern as is, because it was close enough to my measurements.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? Construction was straight forward, simple pattern so it kind of came intuitively to me. I did't reference them often.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape? I don't think this pattern works with my body shape out of the envelope. Although I dig the kimono sleeves, where the waist falls and the cut of the skirt really make me look much more "round" than I am in side profile. Sitting is also nearly impossible with the cut of the skirt.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? I might use the bodice to draft a kimono style tee, but I don't think that skirt and I will ever meet again.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up? Make a muslin, and be cautious of the cut of the skirt if you carry more weight in your middle. Also, some kind of full bust adjustment is need for those of us who are chestier.
Size Range (1-5): 1 (Straight sized pattern.)
Instructions (1-5): 5 (Easy and straightforward with helpful photos.)
Construction Process (1-5): 5 (Everything lined up well, didn't have issues in constructing it.)
Final Fit (1-5): 2 (It fits as in much as it doesn't look too terrible while standing, but there's a ton of fit issues with this pattern and my body.
Overall Rating (1-5): 3.25(Average of all scores)