7 October 2015

Introducing the Orla sewing pattern!

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

There’s a new sewing pattern in the house!


Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Orla is a stylish and wearable semi-fitted shift top. Classic at first glance, a closer peek reveals a wealth of interesting design details to develop your sewing repertoire…

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


  • The bodice is shaped by unusual curved French darts at the front
  • The back has both contour and shoulder darts for a great fit
  • The flattering, booty-shielding curved and dipped hem is slightly longer at the back than the front, and finished with a facing
  • The slim-fitting sleeves have a subtle pleat at the shoulder, and can be cut full length or cropped just above the elbow
  • Keep it understated with the plain neckline version, or go distinctive with the pretty snowdrop collar
  • The delicate, feminine details of the top are offset by a modern exposed zip closure at the back, its edges neatly concealed on the inside with a facing. Choose a metal teeth zip in a contrast colour to make a statement!
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Orla is one of those tops that you can dress up or down, and that’s seriously easy to wear. It looks great over skinny jeans or leggings for every day, or with slim-fit trousers or tucked into a skirt for the office. The collar version makes a lovely layering top to wear under knitwear.

We suggest you make it in a lightweight drapey fabric, such as viscose (rayon), cotton lawn, voile, dotted Swiss, silk or polyester crêpe de chine or lighter weight crêpe-back satin. We’ll talk more about fabric choices in another post later this week. In the meantime, you can take a look at how much fabric you need and what other supplies to get.

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Like all Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, Orla includes jargon-busting instructions, helpful sewing tips, and colour photos showing you each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.

Order the printed pattern and we’ll send you a beautiful pattern in the post, with full size pattern sheets and colour booklet. We ship around the world, or in the next few days you’ll also be able to order the pattern from one of our lovely stockists. (If your favourite sewing shop doesn't stock our patterns, we'd love it if you asked them to!) If you prefer, you can order the digital pattern and we’ll email you instantly with a PDF version of the pattern and instructions to print and stick together at home.

The pattern includes options for eight different sizes, similar to UK 6 – 20. You can see the measurements on the sizing chart here. We’ll talk more about choosing your size and fitting the pattern on the blog next week.

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

The pattern is aimed at improver stitchers, as making it involves some fiddly techniques which may prove tricky for beginners. These include easing together the curved edges of the front dart, sewing the exposed zip with a precise seam allowance, inserting set-in sleeves, and fashioning the curves of the snowdrop collar. Tip: you can leave off the collar if you want to make it easier for yourself!

Having said that, we’re all about learning new things and not worrying too much if you make a few mistakes along the way - because life’s too short and sewing is supposed to be fun :)  If you fancy giving the pattern a whirl but could do with a helping hand, you’re in luck! We’re going to have a free sewalong on this blog over the next few weeks, taking you through the steps in more detail than we’re able to fit in the instruction booklet. Provisional dates for the sewalong are:

Fri 9 Oct 2015 - Choosing fabric and gathering supplies
Mon 12 Oct - Fitting the pattern part 1 – Choosing your size, combining sizes, lengthening and shortening
Wed 14 Oct - Fitting the pattern part 2 – Bust, back and shoulder adjustments
Fri 16 Oct - Cutting and stabilising the fabric
Mon 19 Oct - Sewing the darts
Wed 21 Oct - Inserting the exposed zip and sewing the shoulders
Fri 23 Oct - Making the (optional) collar
Mon 26 Oct - Sewing the neckline facing and side seams
Wed 28 Oct - Sewing the sleeves
Fri 30 Oct - Finishing with the hem facing
Wed 11 Nov - Your makes!

You can follow along as the posts go live, catch up at the weekends, or join us anytime later as the posts will remain up on the blog indefinitely on this page – you might want to bookmark it for later if you plan to join in. Joining a sewalong is a great way of learning new things - even if it’s simply a different way of approaching a technique you’re already familiar with - and staying motivated as you join a group of other DIY dressmakers all sewing themselves something lovely :)

Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons



Photography: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Elbie van Eeden
Model: Amber Butchart
Special thanks to our wonderful pattern testers for your beady eyes and helpful suggestions x x x

11 comments:

  1. LOVE IT! Thanks for another great pattern :)

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  2. Beautiful! Love the collared version :)

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    Replies
    1. This will look super cute on you, Shauni!

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  3. Oh my, you're getting me into trouble! You just designed a pattern that I've been wanting. I'm trying to be more selective with my pattern purchases, but this fills the gap in my wardrobe.

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  4. Would make a nice dress or a two piece with a gathered skirt.

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  5. Looks great, I'll have to dig out my sewing machine! I love how you have a sew-along too x

    Wonky Lauren

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  6. I'm SO in love with these! They are both adorable. I'm getting my sewing space ready again and the Orla is on my list!!! I think a dress out of this pattern would be equally adorable. Can't wait! ♥

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  7. Beautiful pattern !
    Is it possible to do it without the zipper (because I simply hate exposed zips ), or is it essentiel to put on the top ?

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    Replies
    1. You could switch to an invisible zip if you prefer! Just add a seam allowance to the centre back of the back bodice piece :)

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