#frugalfrocks2021 – FREE Betty Dress Pattern

Today is reveal day for the #frugalfrocks challenge hosted by Ruan of The Yorkshire Sew Girl and Sam of Frugalisama. I was one of over 40 vloggers who shared options and plans on Youtube. When I shared my options, lots of people wanted to see the Betty Dress by Kama Sewtra Sewcialite Patterns. I had showed an Ankara stretch cotton sateen fabric too, and you all loved it. So I took the plunge and went with the majority vote. Make sure to watch my Youtube video for all the details on sizing, the fabric, the construction and of course the little booboos I made.

The Betty is based on Archie Comics and has a vintage feel. It is essentially a wiggle dress with a v neck at both the front and back necklines. It features the cutest shoulder strap bows and an invisible zipper down the back. There are horizontal bust darts as well as waist darts and the dress is meant to be lined. The pencil skirt has a back slit and is meant to hit just pass the knee. The Betty pattern is offered in sizes S-3X and is available for free download on Reagan’s blog.

I pretty much hacked mine into a mini dress suitable for a lunch date at a seaside restaurant. I did have some sizing issues especially because I fell in between sizes and the size bands come separately. S-L is in one file, and XL-3XL in another. What I really appreciated was the fact that there is a bodice file and a skirt file. So I was able to make my muslin using just the bodice file. I tried to avoid printing both size sets and did some eyeball grading.. bad idea! I ended up having to recut my skirt. Thank goodness I had enough fabric! By the end of all my trial and error, I ended up with size L bodice graded to 2XL hips, with the side seams sewn just a little under 3/8″.

Adjustments

  • Shortened the bodice 1″
  • 1/2″ swayback adjustment
  • Petite adjustment removing 3/8″ across the front above the bust and below the shoulders
  • 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment
  • Lowered the hip curve
  • Reduced the zipper seam allowance from 5/8″ to 3/8″ which is perfect for an invisible zipper. (I trimmed off 1/4″)
  • Omitted lining and added an all in one facing instead

My fabric is an Ankara print stretch cotton sateen that was a gift from my mom. Thankfully she gave me 3 yards so I had enough to recut my skirt piece and still have the print line up symmetrically. I am really loving stretch cotton sateen right now for woven patterns. That additional stretch is more forgiving and makes fitting just a tiny bit easier. My print is so busy that you can’t really see the shoulder bows. Perhaps I should have made contrast bows?

I omitted the lining and drafted my first ever all in one facing. It went smoothly and silently! I just googled to see the general shape of an all in one facing and free handed something. It worked perfectly. Installation was easy and seamless. The only regret I have is not using interfacing. Knowing I didn’t have any stretch interfacing, I just used my self fabric to try to preserve the stretch factor of the cotton sateen. The right side of the neckline did get stretched the tiniest bit while attaching the facing, and so it gapes ever so slightly. Use interfacing you guys… very important! Like we say here in the Caribbean, “short cut does break man neck”… definitely learnt that with the freehand grading on the skirt too! Anyway I wanted to share my all in one facing process so here goes:

Step 1: Draw your all in one facing using the exact same pattern pieces from your front and back bodice. The length of mine is 2″ down from the side seam.

Step 2: Finish the bottom edges and side seams of your facing pieces.

Step 3: Sew your facing pieces together at the shoulders.

Step 4: Your bodice pieces should already be sewn at the shoulders. Lay your facing on top of your bodice right sides together and pin the necklines and armholes.

Step 5: Sew your neckline and armholes, then trim the seam the allowance.

Step 6: Try to push your hand up under that front facing curve to pull through the back bodice. It takes some work but you’ll get there. I found it easy to sort of roll the back bodice and push it through under the back facing. Then use two fingers to catch it from under the front facing.

Step 7: Turn it out and admire your beautiful all in one facing. Under stitch as far as you can.

Step 8: Tack you front facing down to your center front bodice seam to keep it in place.

Step 9: To sew the side seams, flip the facing up and sew from the edge of the facing all the way down to the waist in one go.

Step 10: Tack the facing to the side seams at the armholes.

Tada! So happy with this all in one facing!

I had such a blast participating in Frugal Frocks 2021. It was a fun challenge that opened my eyes to so many free patterns. I already have plans to sew up a few more. I especially love the Mood Fabrics Lobelia Dress and the Little Lizard King Galena Dress. We don’t really use the term frugal here so I’m not even going to lie; when the challenge was first announced, I had to google frugal! Needless to say, this challenge taught me so much. I was excited about the frugal aspect, I actually wore completely free items head to toe for this look! The hat is a gift from my sister in law, the necklace is a gift was my mom as is the fabric, the pattern is free, and the absolutely fabulous macramé bag was made by my lovely sewing friend Andrea (I won it in a giveaway)! You really can’t get more frugal than this outfit! You guys told me on Instagram to keep the beach photos coming so I did just that! Did you participate in #frugalfrocks2021? Let me know what you made in the comments below!

Toodle-loo

Keira

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6 Comments

  1. SD
    /

    Such a gorgeous dress with fantastic accessories. You look amazing!

    • Keira Wood
      Author
      /

      Thank you so much!

  2. Thanks for sharing how you achieved the facing. It’s such a nice finish for this pretty dress.

    • Keira Wood
      Author
      /

      Thanks Crystal! Two layers of this fabric would be too thick and hot so I opted for a facing instead.

  3. Abbey
    /

    This dress came out beautifully! And the whole look is cute! Your mum found such a prett fabric here too.

    • Keira Wood
      Author
      /

      Thanks! Yup moms hooked me up with the good stuff!

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