A Showcase – Twirling With Betty
Have you ever looked at a garment and immediately said “I NEED it”? That was Betty for me. Betty is a dream come true for any child who enjoys ruffles, flounces, bows, and twirls. This dress truly has it all.
Let’s start with the simplest form of Betty: a quick sew, ample space for embroidery, any any length sleeve (short, elbow, 3/4, or long!). Colour-block her main bodice, and lined flounces can be added without having any uncomfortable seams on the inside of the bodice. Bows or ties can even be sewn into these seams for an adorable extra side detail.
Betty can have a simple gathered skirt for something more casual, or go all out and have a gathered circle skirt with a ruffle hem for extra twirl! You can even go somewhere in between and have a hemmed, gathered circle skirt. On any version of her skirt, sweet pocket bows can adorn the roomy pockets for keeping the child’s treasures.
You can even use these bows as hair clips or ties. Not only is Betty a beautiful design, but she comes with three files for your choosing: a PDF (print-at-home) file, an A0 (copy shop) file, AND a projector file!
I hope you enjoy this pattern showcase, complete with a full Betty Sew-Along!
All The Bells
This version of Betty has all the bells: Double flounces, side bow, colour-blocked bodice, and a gathered circle skirt with ruffle hem! My daughter often complains that the dresses she has are not twirly enough. I knew, without a doubt, that this one would please her. I chose a gorgeous 150 gsm, 100% cotton woven fabric from Northern Fabric Shop in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It was the perfect weight to make a fabric-heavy dress light and breezy for the summer.
I paired the large print fabric with some small gingham that I found for a nice contrast. I couldn’t decide whether to go with the purple or the blue. Thanks to Betty’s colour-blocking options and double flounces, I chose both!
Undebated, I added those great big treasure-keeping pockets for all the rocks and pinecones “Miss 3” loves to collect. They might have been even more exciting to her than the twirl!
The pocket bows make a perfect hairbow, too! Just slip a hair tie in before you sew the bow center on, et voila – a perfect hair piece to match the dress!
For this dress, I chose a snap closure instead of buttons. A three-year-old rarely stays in one place long enough to do up 5 buttons.
All The Whistles
This version of Betty lies somewhere in between the simple version and the extra version. For this dress, I chose single flounces, side ties, and a hemmed, gathered circle skirt. I used a smaller scale print (also from Northern Fabrics) paired with a coordinating solid. This is definitely my “Little Mermaid’s” favourite.
Half-way through creating this dress, I decided that the front bodice would be too plain. So I added this gorgeous mermaid applique. This design is from my Disney Brother Innovis NS1750D combination sewing & embroidery machine.
I decided to omit the ruffle for this dress and chose, instead, a simple hem. If hemming a circle skirt scares you, check out The Northern Fabric Fam where I have posted a full sew-along for this pattern, including an easy way to hem a circle skirt (and many other tips).
I chose to add side ties because I love the idea of adding a bit more shape to the ruffle-less Betty, and the ties add some definition at the waist. It is also, simply an adorable detail.
I chose to use buttons and buttonholes for this dress for the sake of the sew-along. There are many a sewist afraid of sewing buttonholes or sewing on a button, and I wanted to once again ease that fear.
I hope this blog posts encourages you to give this beautiful pattern a go. It is, truly, one of a kind.
~Victoria Strong (The Sensible Sewist)
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