Sew Over It Betty Dress

Sew Over It Betty Dress pattern review

'Now this is my kind of style'…That’s what I thought when I saw this pattern in the online shop. I have a few fit and flare dresses lurking in the wardrobe and really wanted to make my very own. This dress has a nice nipped in waist and vintage style full circle skirt. I know that this pattern also has downloadable neckline and sleeve variations but I loved the v back so much I thought that it was best to keep this as its key feature. This was also my first attempt at a full circle so I thought it best to keep it simple for what I knew would be the first of many!


I had a bright cotton from Atelier Brunette ready and waiting in my fabric stash that seemed perfect for this. I bought the Sparkle Tangerine from Maud’s Fabric Finds ages ago in a 20% off event (normally £14 per metre), and have been saving it for a summer dress. I did need to order a bit more before I started this dress as this pattern needs quite a lot of fabric due to the full circle skirt. As far as working with the fabric goes it was nice to get back to working with cotton after some of my more complicated makes! This fabric cuts and sews really easily. It is comfortable to wear, though I realised a little too late that it is quite see through in daylight, so I would recommend considering a lining or a slip as well as the cotton.

Vintage style dress with full circle skirt pattern review

Pattern and Instructions

I opted for a pdf download when I bought the pattern. I printed a colour booklet and then set about printing and assembling the pattern itself. The 6 piece pattern is spread across one large pdf document, that when printed is stuck together and cut separately into individual pieces. I have found it takes between 15 and 30 minutes to assemble pdf patterns, but I am beginning to prefer them as having the pattern on paper makes it a little more durable. The booklet has a glossary and diagrams to illustrate key steps. I used the sewalong on the blog too as this has colour photographs, just to make sure I was doing the right thing!
The only complicated part of the dress (really) is when it comes to attaching the all in one facing. I did have to get out my stitch unpicker more than once as it took a bit of head scratching to get the right parts together. I’m still not entirely sure why it all works, but I now know how to sew it at any rate! All I can say is to follow the instructions and use the sewalong and you will get there.

50s style dress with full circle skirt


I did need to alter this dress quite a bit as it came up pretty large on my frame (particularly noticeable around the waist). But I really didn’t want to go back and take it in (because I was feeling lazy), so I made a belt using the Brigitte pattern from Tilly and the Buttons' learning to sew course, and used this to draw the waist in….et voila! It is still fairly roomy around the top but I have decided this will be a bonus for really hot summer days. I also think the hem needs raising by about 4 cm. (FYI I matched the size 10 measurements and am 5ft tall, usually a UK high street 10). For my next make I will try the size 8, especially as with its circle skirt you don't really have to worry too much about the hip measurements.

Betty Dress with a belt


I was looking for a pattern to make in a special fabric for a wedding, and this does fit the bill suitably now I think. I also prefer the matching belt - it is needed but it actually does make it all look more flattering and stylish I think. I love the swooshiness of the full circle skirt and the unusual V shaped neckline. I also really like the way the all in one facing sits. This is a perfect summer day dress!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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