a floral cotton sateen Bettine

Starting the weekend with a 10 am sunrise photoshoot! Like I mentioned in my last post, about the jersey Bettine, I’ve been waiting for daylight and weather to co-operate so I could take pictures of the cotton sateen Bettine I’ve made. Waking up Saturday morning to the absence of sleet and hail and pouring rain had me dressed to the nines at sunrise to take some balcony photographs. The things we do for blog photos!

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Fabric: 1,3 m floral print cotton sateen from Stoff og Stil.
Pattern: Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I made the size 2, but used just 1/4″ s.a. for overlocking.
Techniques: bias binding, understitching, elastic casing.

I haven’t worked in a cotton sateen since my final thesis project in fashion school. The dark grey side-draped skirt is made in cotton sateen, and I remember creases setting in like crazy – once a wrinkle had appeared there was no amount of steaming or ironing that would get it fully out. Therefore I was a bit worried about the same here, but though the fabric does wrinkle (even just from sitting down for 10 minutes!), it is way easier to iron them out than my last attempt! So… maybe not all cotton sateens are created equal? This is still definitely a dress I’ll need to iron before wearing though.

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I really like the print of this fabric, and the colors! It’s bold, and watercolor-like, and it’s cream-colored rather than white-white, and I love it.

I wrote quite a bit about the pattern changes I made to this dress in my previous Bettine post, so I don’t need to repeat all of that. The only change I made to this cotton dress after sewing up the jersey dress, was to shave off another 1/2″ or so from the bottom of the back bodice, to make it pool even less. I also remembered to fold the elastic casing down into the skirt this time, as intended – which makes the bodice lay nicer over the waistband. In this version I cut the back skirt with a center seam. I did this partly for fabric yield, but mostly for fit reasons. By having a back seam I could add some width and length over the butt, and I think that helps the side seam hang more nicely as well.

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I know the pattern changes I wrote about were a little hard to visualize, so I took some pictures of my pattern pieces post-alterations. They’re a little worse for wear after travelling rolled up in my bag during a rain storm, but you can see the important parts still!

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This is the back skirt piece, where I first of all lowered the center back waist point, to shape the waist and get a curve going up to the side-seam instead of the original straight edge. You can also see where I opened up the pattern at hip/butt-level and added a wedge. This wedge gives the skirt piece extra length to travel over the shape of the butt, and also just a tiny bit more width. The side seam length stays the same though. You can also see how I’ve reduced and redrawn the dramatic side seam curve, which is even more crucial to a good fit in a stiffer fabric like cotton sateen.

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The back bodice skirt has length taken out at the center back waist seam to reduce the amount of fabric hanging over the waist. I took out a little bit of width too, to get a near 90° angle at the side seam/waist seam intersection so it would meet the front bodice piece correctly.

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The front bodice piece I’ve shown already, but I did an FBA by opening up a wedge from the shoulder to the bust apex. Instead opening up and adding length evenly across the bodice, as you usually do with FBA’s, I rotated it into the center front fold line. This adds length to the center front only, and the side seam stays the same length. By doing this I got a little bit of extra length to travel over the bust, which I think was needed to have the same amount of pooling in the front as in the back. So – added length to the front bodice, reduced length in the back.

I don’t know if it was the thickness of the fabric or the multiple layers around the pockets, but I had the hardest time getting the elastic into the casing using a safety-pin! It took me 5 or 6 tries, after ending up between the wrong layers of fabrics. I actually unpicked a section in the front to get it all straightened out, and re-sewed that section with the elastic in place. A different way of getting the elastic in might save you some time!

Other than a woven fabric and the back skirt seam, the only difference between this version and the jersey one is adding the button tabs. The fabric is quite busy, so it’s not very easy to see – but it’s there, and it has a brass-colored button, and it’s a nice little touch. I think it works with this weight of fabric.

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Well, I managed to say quite a lot about a dress I’ve already said a lot about! It works very nicely as a party-dress (worn to my neighbour’s 30th birthday party), and I like the print and the colors very much. The end.

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14 thoughts on “a floral cotton sateen Bettine”

  1. Wow, your sunrise is at 10am right now? I mean, I know you are way up north, but somehow that makes it seem even farther from here! Your dress is lovely – I really like those delicate colours on you! Very pretty!

    1. I had to check, sunrise is actually 9.38 am and sunset at 3.28 pm (that mountain in the background of my pictures doesn’t make things better). And we still have a few weeks left before winter solstice. :( Norway is surprisingly far north! My hometown is further north still from Bergen, where I live now, and I can totally tell the difference when I travel between the two places. And…! We’re considered the southern part of the country! Way up towards the end of the world, the sun doesn’t even make it past the horizon this time of year – you just get a few hours of blue-ish twilight. I’d love to experience that once, but I’d have a hard time living in it.

      Thank you Gillian! I’m feeling quite bold in such a large print, but I’m doing ok I think! :D

    1. Thank you! Yey, I’m glad you noticed the shoes! I bought them to attend a wedding a couple of years ago, and I really love that they match this dress as well. I felt just a little silly putting them on first thing in the morning! :)

  2. It’s a beautiful dress and it suits you very well. I also love the shoes. I have something similar, but in navy blue.
    I have all together stopped buying fabric at Stoff&Stil, but it seems you find a lot of nice fabrics there. Maybe I should go back and have a look at what’s on offer.
    And yes, the sun rises depressingly late this time of year, but what can you do. I too am glad i don’t live further up north.

    1. Thank you Anne! Stoff&Stil can be a real hit or miss, but I’ve found more and more nice things there the past two or three years – one of the employees even said that as a company they are becoming more aware of following trends. Since I know so well what their basic offerings are now, I’m getting quite good at spotting the newcomers! Sometimes those will strike my fancy, and I just have to bring it home with me! I’m trying to not buy more fabric at the moment – I don’t have a huge stash, but I certainly have enough to make a lot of things! But I’m hesitant to flat-out deny myself. There is too much fun in finding nice fabrics and make something while you’re still inspired and want the garment you’re making!

      Only 6 days left til winter solstice!

  3. This dress fits you so well! I love the fabric, the color and the fit. It’s really nice to see this pattern made out if both knit and woven.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m very happy with the outcome. I’m glad it is helpful to see the pattern made up in both knit and woven fabrics – I thought it worked quite well with both.

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