29 July 2015

How to Make an Eye Mask (free pattern!)

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons


There’s something so indulgent about slipping on an eye mask to help you get enough beauty sleep during light Summer nights… particularly when it matches your frillies! We couldn’t resist making an eye mask to go with the Fifi camisole and shorts set – and we’re sharing the pattern with you for free so you can make one too. Yay! This is a lovely speedy make, and a perfect project for using up leftover fabric. Ooh and it makes a great gift!

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

You will need:
  • Fifi eye mask pattern – download the free pattern
  • 15cm (1/5 yard) light- to medium-weight cotton for the main fabric (we used Cloud9 Escapade organic cotton voile courtesy of Hantex)
  • 15cm (1/5 yard) fabric for facing (we used a silky satin for the backing – choose something that will feel nice on your delicate eyelids)
  • Matching thread
  • 10cm (1/8 yards) wadding (we got ours courtesy of our studio neighbours Fancy Moon - thanks, Nancy!)
  • 38cm (15in) x 9-12mm (1/2in) wide elastic (a bit more or less if you think your head is particularly large or small!)
  • 1m (40in) string or cord
  • Sewing machine and basic tools
Open the pattern file in Adobe Reader (you can download it for free). Print the pattern on either A4 or Letter size paper, selecting “actual size” or “set scaling to 100%” or “turn off scaling” in your print settings. You can double check the pattern has printed at full scale by measuring the test square - it should be exactly 40mm x 40mm.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Cut out your fabric:

  • Cut 1 eye mask pattern piece in your main fabric, snipping the notches.
  • Cut 1 eye mask pattern piece in facing fabric, snipping the notches, then trim it down by 2-3mm (1/8in) all the way around – this will help the seam roll to the back so it’s not visible when you wear the mask.
  • Cut 1 eye mask pattern piece in wadding, then trim it down by 15mm (5/8in) so it will fit inside the other pieces comfortably.
  • Cut a rectangular strip in your main fabric for the elastic strap, 90cm (35½in) x 4cm (1 5/8in).

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Fold and press the strip in half lengthways, right sides together. Cut a piece of string slightly longer than the strip. Slip it inside the folded strip and stitch it close to one end, back tacking over it a few times so it’s nice and secure. We’ll use the string to pull the strip right sides out once we’ve sewn it…

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Stitch together the long raw edges of the strip using a 7mm (2/8in) seam allowance, enclosing the string next to the fabric fold. It helps to pull the string taught as you go, so you don’t sew over it.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

You should now have a tube. Take hold of the loose end of the string and pull it out of the tube, turning the tube right sides out over it as you go. This can take a bit of time so go slowly! It can help to use then end of a pen or pin to push the fabric inside itself. Once it has turned all the way out, trim off the end with the string attached and give it a good press to neaten it up.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic, and pin the other end to one end of the tube temporarily. Insert the safety pin into this end of the tube and feed it through, distributing the fabric evenly as it starts to gather up.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

When the safety pin emerges at the other end, pin it to this end of the tube. With each end of elastic lined up with the opening of each end of the tube, stitch across each tube opening using a 10mm (3/8in) seam allowance to secure the elastic in place.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Tack (baste) one end of the elastic tube to each side notch on the eye mask piece, right sides together, using a 10mm (3/8in) seam allowance. Make sure the tube isn’t twisted.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Lay the facing piece on top of the eye mask piece, right sides together. Pin them together around the outside edge, matching the notches - since you trimmed the facing, you'll need to stretch it ever so slightly. The elastic tube will be sandwiched in the middle – take care not to catch it in the pins. We need to leave an opening between the two notches on the top edge of the eye mask – you can mark each side of the opening with two pins to remind you to stop sewing here.

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Stitch around the outside of the eye mask, using a 15mm (5/8in) seam allowance - remember to leave an opening between the two pairs of pins. Trim the seam allowances and notch small triangles around the seam allowance every 2.5cm (1in) or so, being careful not to snip through the stitching. Press the seam allowances open (test the iron setting on your fabric first).

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Turn the eye mask right side out through the opening. Press again, rolling the seam slightly under towards the facing so it’s not visible from the right side of the mask. Slip the wadding into the eye mask through the opening and smooth it out. Press the seam allowances on the opening to the inside of the mask and pin the opening closed. To close up the opening, you can slipstitch it by hand, or take a short cut and edgestitch it (topstitch close to the edge) on your machine (we won’t tell!).

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
Fifi camisole and matching eye mask - sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Admire your completed eye mask, and have a very stylish night’s sleep!

Maybe you could make one for our Summer Sewing Instaspam Party? Post a photo of your Fifi boudoir set or Bettine dress to Instagram or Twitter on Sunday 9 August 2015 using the hashtags #sewing and either #SewingFifi or #SewingBettine, and search the hashtags to find others at the party. See you there!

27 July 2015

Liberty Fifi Sets

Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the ButtonsFifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons


The Fifi sewing pattern was born to be sewn in Liberty lawn. The cotton has a lovely drape to it, allowing the camisole to hang softly over your body, and the small scale, detailed prints work well on the little pieces that make up the camisole. Swoon...

I've made two Fifi sets for myself in Liberty lawn so far. This first one is Oxford B Tana lawn, left over from making my pussy bow Mimi blouse. The colours are just lush.

This one was a bit of an experimental make while developing the pattern - I didn't have enough fabric to cut the camisole on the bias, plus the trees would look a bit weird at a diagonal angle, so I cut it on the straight grain to see what it would be like. It's nice. But if you're thinking of cutting a Fifi camisole on the straight grain to save fabric, just bear in mind that it doesn't hang as nicely as when it's cut on the bias.

Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons
Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the ButtonsFifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons

The shorts, on the other hand, look better cut on the straight grain, hence why we suggest in the instructions that you cut them this way - and this is what I've done here. We tried them on the bias (not shown here) but the hems look a bit flouncy and the elastic-stitched waistband looks a bit messy. Trust me, stick to the straight grain for the shorts :)

Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons
Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons
Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons

I made this second one in another Liberty print that had been sitting patiently in my fabric stash for years (I can't remember what it's called, sorry). I'm not usually massively into florals, especially pink florals, but this print seems perfect for a pretty boudoir set.

Fifi is my absolute favourite sewing project at the moment - both to make and wear. There's something so relaxing about sewing on a small scale, using intricate techniques such as narrow French seams and the elastic-stitched waistband. Plus it doesn't take that long as it's so small! I'm wearing these sets all Summer long - they're perfect for staying cool on hot nights, and they look so pretty too.

Fifi sewing pattern made in Liberty lawn - Tilly and the Buttons

The instructions for the Fifi camisole and shorts set are pretty detailed, but in case you need some extra help, we're writing a blog post on fitting the Fifi camisole (it's not too tricky, don't worry) and another one on easing curves together, in case you're looking at the cup pieces and wondering how to attach them to the bodice. Ooh and another exciting little bonus... watch this space!