Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #04

As I was telling you about a few posts ago, on the 28th November, the lovely Charlotte and Sophie at Badger & Earl, a sewing cafe in Chiswick (West London), invited Elisalex from By Hand London, Rachel of House of Pinheiro, Jane from Handmade Jane and your truly to come for a fun day of social sewing in their shop. The brief was to choose a pattern they stock and fabric and make it there and then.

Now, I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun that was! I mean, what’s not to love: unlimited tea & coffee, cake (and healthier snacks too), delicious lunch and best of all, chatting to some amazing ladies, about… wait for it… SEWING! And of course, sewing :).

Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #08.jpg

Here I am amidst the creative chaos… I must say I felt right at home, ha ha! Although it’s a bit weird to sew outside your own environment, especially on a different sewing machine, I loved that they had really good quality tools (which they provide for all their workshops, btw, and you can also buy in the shop). I especially love the Fiskars cutting tools, especially the little embroidery scissors.

No, what were we all making? Jane chose the Mortmain, one of her TNT patterns (she actually teaches the pattern at Badger & Earl, check out the next class here). Rachel also used a TNT, the Bruyere, which she hacked into a dress. Elisalex and I realy went for it, choosing new (to us) patterns, the Ultimate Trousers from Sew Over It for her and the Bettine dress from Tilly & the Buttons for me. The big reveal at the end of the post.

Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #01

So a little bit about my Bettine. I had never made a paper Tilly & the Buttons pattern before (just the Mimi blouse from the Love at First Stitch book). So I was really excited to try it, plus I ended up choosing this lush Merchant & Mills indigo linen. The fabric is amazing, heavy, stable and so so easy to sew. The only downside is that it crinkles like nobody’s business, but doesn’t all linen? I got to take it home before the Sewathon and prewashed (Elisalex guilt tripped me into it), and also copied the pattern and cut it all beforehand. So on the day, I only needed to construct the dress. I also wanted to use some contract fabric for the sleeve cuff and the pocket sacks, and I was hoping I can nick some from the other ladies. And as it happened, Jane had a little navy polkadot cotton left over, so I used it. You now me, I like a bit of recycling.

Bettine came together really, here we are halfway through, taking pictures for Social Media before we paused for lunch.

Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #03

And here I am putting the pockets together.

Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #05

All in all, it was really great fun and here we are with out (almost) finished products and Charlotte (left) and Sophie (right), the lovely ladies from Badger & Earl. Elisalex unfortunately had to dash off before the end of the day.

Badger & Earl #Sewathon (2015) #06

I took my Bettine home to give her the last finishing touches, and I also took a few more detailed pictures for you to have a better idea of what the dress looked like, plus a few more standard review details. The pics are really not the best, in spite of my doing the best to sort them out in Lightroom. The weather in December in London is just not appropriate for taking blog pictures!! Plus really bad hair day :(.


Pattern: Bettine Dress – Tilly & the Buttons (paper pattern) (as a disclaimer, I got the pattern for free from Badger & Earl, but I traced it and returned it back to them).

Fabric: Merchant & Mills indigo linen from Badger & Earl, 2m; a scrap of navy polka-dot cotton

Trimmings: Fusible interface for collar facing; woven elastic, 70 cm (all from Badger & Earl); 2 pearl snap buttons (from my stash)


I cut a size 4, which was exactly right for my hip measurements. Being a pear shape, that’s where my problems lie usually, so that’s what I’m most concerned about. Nothing more annoying than finishing something and realising it’s perfect everywhere else, but can’t get it over my hips. Besides, Bettine has an elasticated waist, so it would be easy to adjust of it was too big. I felt however that even size 4 would not be enough to accommodate my lower half, so I ended up sewing it all with 0.6-0.7 cm seam allowance (a bit over the overlocked edge) just to be sure.

Tilly & the Buttons Bettine Dress

It all came together really easily, the instructions are very clear and since they are meant for beginners, I really had no trouble following them. I didn’t refer to them very much, except the cuff of the sleeves, just to make sure I’m doing it the way it was meant to be.

Tilly & the Buttons Bettine Dress

What I like the most about Bettine are the little details, like the cuff and the pockets, especially with contrasting fabric. I used a snap button instead of real buttons, as the tabs are decorative and don’t need to open, and I didn’t have any non-shank buttons that would have worked.

Tilly & the Buttons Bettine Dress

The dress is now back with Badger & Earl to keep in their window for display, but I now have a copy of the pattern and I am definitely thinking of making another version ready for warmer weather next year (whenever that happens!).






  1. 13 December 2015 / 4:03 PM

    Aw, your dress is fab and I’m having serious sewing buddy envy! If anyone goes sick next time you plan one, please can I come!?? 😉

    • Alex
      13 December 2015 / 4:06 PM

      Awww, thank you Ali! It’s Jane’s, Elisalex’s and my local sewing shop, so it was easy to organise. You should do one at your local, I’m sure they would love to have you! Like a Yorkshire Spoolettes Sewathon?

      • 13 December 2015 / 4:07 PM

        What a fab idea! But it’s having all the stuff. We have lots of shops but no sewing cafe. Maybe I should open one!

        • Alex
          13 December 2015 / 10:44 PM

          You really should!! I think every city should have at least one. It just rent a village hall and bring your own sewing machines. Rachel had a post a while ago about setting up a sewing club. Might be worth having a look.

  2. 13 December 2015 / 4:12 PM

    So many new patterns to try, so little time! Love your version of this, the polka dot trims really make this, thank heaven for sewing buddies 😉 Sounds like the perfect day, and a lovely setting too.

    • Alex
      13 December 2015 / 10:41 PM

      Thanks! But don’t stress, it’s a summer pattern, so not to be put on the sewing list until next spring 😁

  3. 13 December 2015 / 9:24 PM

    I really wish I could of made it that Saturday! I would have been sewing starstruck! and definitely would have just stuck to eating the cake 😉
    I love the contrasting cuffs and pockets you did. I’m seriously being seduced by all the Bettines I’ve seen 🙂

    • Alex
      13 December 2015 / 10:28 PM

      Thank you! Badger & Earl is a fantastic place, so friendly and the cake is to die for!! I’m trying to convince Charlotte to do it again, maybe in spring. Bettine is great, but I think a bit summery, so maybe put it in the queue for when the weather get a bit warmer. It’s a great sew though!

      • 14 December 2015 / 11:42 AM

        I would love a second one! Pester until it happens haha and I would absolutely visit this time! 🙂

    • Alex
      14 December 2015 / 7:16 AM

      Thank you, Linda! These socials are really great, hope I’ll take part in more in the future.

  4. 14 December 2015 / 7:05 PM

    I love the Bettine dress and yours is really lovely. I might have to fossick in my stash for some indigo coloured fabric with spotted contrast and totally copy yours!

    • Alex
      14 December 2015 / 8:30 PM

      Well, seeing that we’re not exactly neighbours, I think that would be OK! Plus, we’re always going to be in desync. And mine is in the shop, not sure if I’m actually getting it back. How’s NY?

      • 14 December 2015 / 8:32 PM

        NY is fabulous! It’s been years since I spent any time here so I am enjoying reacquainting myself!

        • Alex
          14 December 2015 / 8:33 PM

          Very jealous! Never been. Any garment district visit planned?

          • 14 December 2015 / 8:35 PM

            Yes, I’ve already been! Spent some time (and money) in Mood Fabrics, plus a couple of trimmings shops. Need to find all the other fabric shops soon. I shall be blogging my fabric adventures at some point…

  5. 14 December 2015 / 9:30 PM

    The neckline on your dress really suits you and the contrasting cuffs are a lovely addition 🙂

    • Alex
      14 December 2015 / 10:10 PM

      Thanks Chris! Unfortunately I will have to wait a bit until it will be warm enough to wear again :(.

  6. 15 December 2015 / 6:45 AM

    A lovely Bettine. The polka dot trim really makes it. Love the indigo linen. You had such a fab day!

    • Alex
      15 December 2015 / 8:27 AM

      Thank you! I was so lucky Jane had that leftover fabric. That’s the best part about sewing socials. 😬

  7. sam b
    21 February 2019 / 2:46 PM

    I’ve been thinking of getting this pattern, but there’s one question…How do you put it on? It’s obviously meant as a pull-over, but the hemline doesn’t seem big enough. No openings or fasteners, and woven fabrics–doesn’t it get stuck on your shoulders? I’m having flashbacks of a dress I made decades ago when the pattern I picked was for knits but I made it in a woven; had to pick out the back seam and put in a 20-inch zip! Disclaimer–one of my go-to alterations is widening the shoulders of any fitted pattern with sleeves, and in the 80’s I always took the shoulder-pads out of RTW blouses and dresses because they fit me better without (and still looked fine), so yes, my shoulders are wider than average. But isn’t it a little snug getting this dress on?

    • sewrendipityalex
      21 February 2019 / 3:05 PM

      Hi Sam, no, I don’t have that problem at all. The front neckline has a slit opening that makes the neck opening quite wide without a plunging cleavage. I can measure it when I get home, but I would say it’s about 15-18 cm long. Re wide shoulders, I have the opposite problem. I have a very narrow back and usually I have to remove serious cm from the CB. It fits me perfectly there, so perhaps you might need a bit of a wide shoulder adjustment or grade to a higher size. I would email Kim, she can advise if you send her your shoulder measurements. Hope this helps!

So, what do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: