Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bow Back Nettie

Oops I did it again. I made another Nettie top (here's my first one). It's got stripes on it, surprisingly enough.

This time I lengthened the sleeves and, since I find my bra straps keep peeping out at the back when I wear the first version, I brought the sides of the scoop back in a little. I think the fabric is from a shop on Goldhawk Road. Today I'm wearing Nettie with my favourite Delphine skirt, from Love at First Stitch - a match made in nautical heaven.

Oh yes, and it has a bow at the back! I'm going to share a little tutorial soon on how to make the bow, if you want to make one yourself. (Just in case you're wondering whether I really do have a beefcake body builder back as this photo would suggest, no. I do not. It was surprisingly difficult to get the angle right on this photo!)

What have you been sewing, please?

[Soundtrack: 'Somebody Else's Guy' by Jocelyn Brown]

Friday, 18 July 2014

Dates for Your Diary

Good day, my friends! I hope you're doing well and those of you in southern England are enjoying the heat wave and thunder storms (don't you love a good storm?). Today I wanted to share a few upcoming dates in my diary for crafty events that you might want to come along to...

The Handmade Fair

When? Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014
Where? Hampton Court Palace

Hosted by TV's Kirstie Allsopp, this new crafting extravaganza includes talks from the likes of Kaffe Fassett, the V&A,  Cath Kidston and Pinterest; hand-crafted shopping goodness; the Etsy business school; and, perhaps best of all, tons of workshops on everything from paper cutting to cake decorating, cross stitch to furniture upcycling. Oh and of course sewing! I'll be running sewing workshops throughout the weekend in the Janome tent, giving complete novices the opportunity to make friends with a sewing machine, and beginners the chance to sit down and stitch the Brigitte scarf in an hour. I'll be popping over to the Quadrille stand for a book signing at some point too, and I hope I'll have time to explore some of the show because it looks fantastic. You should come!

Crafty Fox Talks: Blogging, social media and events

When? Wednesday 30th July, 6.30 - 9.30pm
Where? MOO, 32 - 38 Scrutton Street, London, EC2A 4RQ

If you run a crafty business and are looking to spread the word through blogs, social media, pop-up shops or workshops, this talk is for you. I'll be on the panel to share my experience and tips on blogging and social media, alongside speakers from HAM, Craft Candy and Eventbrite. I'm looking forward to picking up advice from my fellow panellists and audience too - it should be a really interesting evening.

Thread... a festival of textiles

When? Friday 26th and Saturday 27th September 2014
Where? Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QR

This lovely festival is celebrating the art of textiles with talks, workshops, exhibitions and a marketplace. I'll be giving a talk at 3 o'clock on the Saturday taking you behind the scenes on my book and sharing what's involved in putting together a craft book. I must admit I haven't been before, but it looks like a lovely arts centre (and I do know of them from my former career working with arthouse cinemas!) and a nice environment for meeting new people and getting inspired.

If you come along to one of these events, please don't be shy, I'd love to say hello! Hope to see you there...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

When Nettie Met Miette

 Nettie top sewn by Tilly and the Buttons
 Nettie top sewn by Tilly and the Buttons

Have you made the Nettie pattern by Closet Case Files? I'm in love! I think she makes the perfect partner to my Miette skirt, not just because of the tongue twister name combo, but because of the way the tight silhouette on top is balanced out with the flared skirt. Seventies loveliness, right there.

Nettie is a print-at-home pattern for a very figure hugging dress or body to be made in stretchy jersey (named after the gorgeous Wanette from Sown Brooklyn!). When I say "body", I'm talking about those things with poppers down below that we sported in the early 90s. I distinctly remember being impressed with my friend Emma Viner's crushed velvet body from M&S that she wore to the school disco. M&S seemed posh in those days, to me at least, and a crushed velvet body? The height of sophistication, particularly in contrast to my own school disco ensemble of carpet waistcoat, denim shirt and leggings. Wait... what was I talking about? Oh yeah, so the pattern is for a tight dress or body, but I prefer wearing less clingy stuff on my bootiful lower half and don't like the idea of a body cutting into said booty, as fashionable as they may be, so I redrew the bottom of the pattern to create a simple top instead.

 Nettie top sewn by Tilly and the Buttons

You get the choice of three different necklines front and back - I went for the scoop neck front and medium scoop back. Because of my petite frame, I raised the front neckline by 1cm, as well as shortening the bodice. I'd read that the shoulders on the pattern were narrow, which is perfect for me as it saved me a job. I also raised the medium scoop back by 2cm because I was paranoid about my bra showing. However, I needn't have worried, it is well covered - next time I'll use Heather's original cutting line for the back, she knew what she was doing. The sleeves ended up being a bit tight on me though, which is something I find quite often happens - I'm clearly doing too much body building. (Not.) Apart from that, fitting jersey is so easy as the stretch basically... well, stretches over the bits you need it too. I was slightly concerned about just how tight it ended up being, but my caring boyfriend reassured me that "there's no such thing as too tight". He's a big fan of Nettie. Soooo predictable.

 Nettie top sewn by Tilly and the Buttons
 Nettie top sewn by Tilly and the Buttons

Cutting stretchy jersey is, let's face it, a bit of a pain, as it wriggles all over the place and you need to be careful not to stretch it out of shape while you're trying to get it to play ball. Once I'd cut it out, the pattern came together very quickly and relatively easily, stitching it on a combination of my lovely sewing machine and overlocker. If you're a relatively new stitcher, you may find stretchy jersey a bit of a challenge, so I'd advise you to start with a low stretch knits pattern first. If you've mastered something like Coco and are ready for the next level, try Nettie! She's a good girl. You'll love 'er. I do.

[Soundtrack: 'Rumble' by Kelis]

Friday, 11 July 2014

My Favourite 1960s Sewing Patterns

Following on from my posts about my favourite 1970s sewing patterns (and more here), let's take a look at some gorgeous patterns from the 1960s that are in my collection. Styles from the mid- to late-1960s in particular enchant me so. I just can't help but swoon when I see shift dresses such as these ones. Not only are they gorgeous, but they're so easy to wear. Expect to see a T&TB sewing pattern inspired by the 1960s shift at some point in the future!

That hair!
Which one is your favourite, please?

[Soundtrack: 'There's No Other Like My Baby' by The Crystals]