20 September 2017

Sewing Space Tours... Jade's Kitsch Haven!

Sewing Space Tours... Jade's Kitsch Haven!

Hello! Lexy here, to bring you another lovely Sewing Space, where a crafter show us around their creative area. Today we have a sweet space in South Wales, belonging to a dressmakers who has an enviable 60s style handmade wardrobe - we love seeing her makes on Instagram. Let's hear more from the lady herself...

Hello! I’m Jade, welcome to my little sewing sanctuary in sunny South Wales. I am relatively new to the realms of dressmaking and have only really been getting to know my way around a sewing machine for the past three years. By day I work in an office-based role in Bristol but by night can be found in my little sewing haven, musing over my next big make.

Sewing Space Tours... Jade's Kitsch Haven!
Sewing Space Tours... Jade's Kitsch Haven!

I have always been a creative individual and have enjoyed crafting from a young age. At university I studied Graphic Design, which instilled my admiration of beautiful craftsmanship and contemporary design. There was a time when I believed my love for fashion and textiles would be limited to high street trending ready-to-wear garments. Learning of the wonderful indie sewing makers movement really changed all of this for me and after pouring over many inspirational sewing blogs (including Tilly and the Buttons!), I wanted in! In the beginning I attended a brilliant beginners dressmaking class and learnt basic skills and techniques but soon realised that if I was going to take the next step I’d need to make some room at home to build upon these skills!

13 September 2017

Perfect Coco Fabric is Here!

Perfect Coco Fabric is here!

It's no secret here at Tilly Towers that we have been on a quest for perfect, soft, snuggly ponte fabric with which to make our popular Coco sewing pattern. Coco requires a medium weight knit fabric with very little stretch. You wouldn't want anything too thin, or with a huge amount of stretch, as you want your finished creation to hold its shape, rather than cling to you.

Perfect Coco Fabric is here!

Team Tilly is also MASSIVELY stripe obsessed (I write this whilst sporting one of many Breton tops!), and we're not alone in our stripe love! We've seen so many gorgeous Coco dresses and tops stitched up in the perennially chic stripe, but kept hearing from you lovely sewists that finding a good quality, knitted ponte was proving a challenge...

Perfect Coco Fabric is here!

...and then Tilly had a brainwave - let's create our own! Et voilà, you see before you the fruits of our labour. Wanting nothing but the best, we designed and commissioned this limited run of Hello Sailor! Navy Stripes on White and Hello Sailor! Red Stripes on White fabric in gorgeously heavy cotton interlock, and the stripes are actually knitted as part of the fabric, rather than just being printed on - so there's no fear of them rubbing off, or quickly fading away!

6 September 2017

Love at First Stitch - Finalement en français!

Couture pour les grandes debutantes - Tilly and the Buttons
Great news for French readers - my book Love at First Stitch is now en français! You can order Couture pour les grandes débutantes from Amazon.fr.

From the outset I've been dreaming of seeing the book in French, and it has finally found a publisher in Editions Marie Claire. Hooray! 

Couture pour les grandes debutantes - Tilly and the Buttons

30 August 2017

Photo Shoot Outtakes!

Outtakes from our maternity photo shoot! - Tilly and the Buttons
Outtakes from our maternity photo shoot! - Tilly and the Buttons

Thank you so much for the love for our maternity sewing patterns! It turns out I'm not the only one who's struggled to find maternity clothes in the shops... It's great that we can take matters into our own hands and make a baby mama wardrobe that we love :)

By the time this is published, I'll be on maternity leave. While I'm gone, I thought I'd share some outtakes from our maternity pattern photo shoot. I was 34 weeks pregnant when we shot these pics - I kinda wish we'd done them earlier as I felt enormous!! Plus I had various pregnancy symptoms to contend with. At least we could have a bit of a giggle snapping some shots showing the reality of being pregnant, such as...

23 August 2017

A trick for turning narrow loops

A trick for turning narrow loops, waist ties, drawstrings and straps - Tilly and the Buttons

Ever sewn a drawstring, button loop, waist tie, narrow strap, or other teeny tube before wondering how on Earth you're going to turn it right sides out?

I've shared in a previous post how to turn out narrow tubes or loops using a bodkin or a dedicated loop turner. Here's another way of doing it, using just the thread on your sewing machine. You can use this method to make the drawstrings on the Maternity Agnes top and the waist tie on the Maternity Bettine dress.

It begins before you've started sewing the fabric strip into a tube...

A trick for turning narrow loops, waist ties, drawstrings and straps - Tilly and the Buttons

Start by pulling out the bobbin and spool threads on your sewing machine, so you have about 5cm (2in) or so more than the length of the strip you're sewing together.

17 August 2017

Introducing Sewing Patterns for Mamas-to-Be!

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Exciting news for stitchers with a bun in the oven – we’ve created two maternity sewing patterns!

Currently pregnant while writing this, I (Tilly) have struggled to buy maternity clothes in the shops. Brands with maternity lines are few and far between, and when you do find a store that stocks them, the range is disappointingly limited, the colours bland, and finding the right size is near impossible!

So I decided we should develop a couple of patterns with multiple variations so you (and I!) can build a stylish wardrobe to show off your bump. They’re based on our popular Bettine and Agnes patterns, redrafted for a curvalicious pregnant shape and size, and redesigned with the needs of baby mamas in mind.

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Crucially, these patterns are:
  • Comfortable to wear – essential when you’re growing a little one and have enough aches and pains to deal with, amirite?
  • Quick and easy to make – so you can get on with curating your nursery Pinspiration board!
  • Versatile – multiple variations mean you can get a wardrobe full of garments out of each pattern
  • Easy fitting – to accommodate a range of bump shapes, and to continue to fit you as you grow

OR SAVE MONEY WITH THE MAMA-TO-BE BUNDLE!

9 August 2017

5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals - Tilly and the Buttons

It’s a wonderful feeling to finally finish a big creative project. I’ve just submitted my second book, and juggling that alongside running a business (and growing a baby with the appointments, admin and ailments that this entails) has been a mission – but ultimately very rewarding. More and more crafters are starting a business, maintaining a vlog, writing a book or embarking on some other big project – often alongside a day job, kids or other commitments – so perhaps you know the feeling?

Today I thought I’d share a few tips on how I stay on track, both with my business and big creative projects such as writing a book, in order to achieve my goals. I’d love to hear your own thoughts in the comments too.

5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals - Tilly and the Buttons

2 August 2017

Behind the Scenes... Book 2 Progress

Behind the scenes on Tilly's second book

Hoooraaaaayyy! I've finished writing my second book!

It's been a ton of work, but everything has gone really well and I couldn't be more pleased with how it's turning out. All that's left to do now is proofing and planning the release. I'm soooo excited to share it with you when it's published next Spring!

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you some peeks behind the scenes at the recent garment photo shoots - the final three days of photography after the seven instructions shoots. For the garment shoots, we used the same photographer as my first book, Ellie Smith, and were back in the same studio in Bethnal Green that we used three years ago. It felt a bit like a déjà vu - but in a good way!

Behind the scenes on Tilly's second bookBehind the scenes on Tilly's second book
Behind the scenes on Tilly's second book

28 July 2017

When we say Summer, you say Sale!

Tilly and the Buttons Summer Sale!

The sun is out, and our sewing machines are whirring away as we're itching for a whole new summer wardrobe... and because we thought other people might be in the same boat, we thought we'd give you 20% off sewing patterns and kits! 

Enter code SUMMERSALE at checkout 
20% off ends Sunday 6 August midnight GMT

The discount code is not valid on pattern bundles, books, dungaree buckles, gift vouchers or online workshops. 20% discount ends Sunday 6 August 2017 midnight GMT.

Tilly and the Buttons Summer Sale!

26 July 2017

Sewing Space Tours... Kate's South London Studio!

Sewing Space Tours... Kate's South London studio!

Who's ready for another Sewing Space Tour? We're very excited to introduce a lovely crafter who has allowed us to snoop around her gorgeous creative space. We are huge fans of this blogger, and if you've ever watched her vlogs, then you'll recognise THAT gold, spotty wall... over to Kate for more!

Hello! My name’s Kate (on the right!) and welcome to my little creative space in South London. My day job is running the The Fold Line - an online sewing community - with my work wife, Rachel (pictured left). I’m lucky enough to work from home, and I spend my days immersed in blogs posts, social media and other fun projects. While all of this is sewing-related, it’s only in the evening my office transforms into my sewing space and I get to make a mess. I feel really lucky to have a dedicated place to work and make. Any Londoners reading this will understand, as space is a premium!

Sewing Space Tours... Kate's South London studio!

My space does reflect my personality... organised clutter comes to mind! I really like mixing old and new and have some lovely bits that I have collected over the years. I like having lots of things on the wall and I regularly move things around to freshen things up.

Sewing Space Tours... Kate's South London studio!

19 July 2017

I Can Make Shoes!

I Can Make Shoes!

If you follow our Instagram, you may have noticed that (some of) team Tilly and the Buttons were out of the studio on an away day earlier this month (Vanessa and Louise sadly couldn't make it), when Tilly treated the team to a sandal making workshop at I Can Make Shoes! Lexy here, to tell you a bit about our day.

I Can Make Shoes!

I Can Make Shoes is the brainchild of Amanda Overs, who wanted everyone to have the opportunity to craft their own footwear, without the need for industrial machinery. She came up with a method of creating high-quality shoes that can be done from the comfort of your own home (or indeed her lovely space at Pillbox Studios, in London). Amanda had laid everything out for us, and we couldn't wait to get started!

I Can Make Shoes!
I Can Make Shoes!

12 July 2017

Come and see us in September!

Tilly and the Buttons

Lexy here, and I'm super excited to tell you that we're exhibiting at not one, but two shows in London this September, and we'd love to see you there!

We love exhibiting at shows - it's so much fun to meet so many lovely, creative folk, and we love having a chat about what you've been making using our sewing patterns - plus, it's our favourite thing when people come and say hello wearing something they've made from a Tilly and the Buttons pattern!

Show are a really fun opportunity to meet other like-minded crafters, be inspired by what's on offer, attend a talk or workshop, and come and see our patterns in real life, rather than on a screen. 

Tilly and the Buttons

There are always some great deals up for grabs at fairs, and I know I'm not alone when I say that I always leave the show with a lighter purse, but pull of inspiration and armed with the tools for a plethora of new projects! (#fabricaddict). You can also have a rifle through our sample rail, and hopefully be inspired by seeing some of our patterns made up into garments.

5 July 2017

Your Makes!

Your Makes!

Hello, sewing pals! It's Lexy at the keys once again to send some dressmaking inspo your way. Your makes over the last few months have been super inspiring, we've loved seeing how you've interpreted our sewing patterns by using different fabrics and embellishments - we've noticed a lot of ruffles and frills, of which we highly approve!

The Zadie dress pattern is still going strong, and these two makes are gorgeous. Laura's use of spots is cute and mega flattering, and Selmin has made the ULTIMATE stripy stretchy dress. Love!

Your Makes!

Can we please take a moment to appreciate these two incredible Marigold jumpsuits? Lauren made hers with Rifle Paper Co fabric, and Lucy chose this cute ice cream print fabric for hers.

Your Makes!

Lisa chose to combine two of our patterns, opting for a Bettine top half and cropped Marigold bottom half for this lovely, leafy make. For further inspiration on how you could hack your Marigold jumpsuit, check out this postJulia's palm print Bettine is stunning, the perfect thing for a holiday in the South of France!

28 June 2017

How to Sew Slipstitch

How to Sew Slipstitch - a handy hand sewing technique! - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to brush up on your hand sewing skills?

Slipstitch is a hand stitch that you can use to join a folded edge of fabric to another piece of fabric - for example, for hemming or for attaching binding inside an armhole.

How to Sew Slipstitch - a handy hand sewing technique! - Tilly and the Buttons
How to Sew Slipstitch - a handy hand sewing technique! - Tilly and the Buttons

The great thing about this stitch is that it's almost invisible on the outside of the garment, so provides a more couture finish than if you were to topstitch by machine.

Here's a short video showing you how to sew slipstitch. I'm demonstrating on the armhole binding of the Etta dress. I'm using contrast thread so you can see exactly what I'm doing - please do use thread that matches your garment fabric though so your stitches are barely visible and the finish looks much neater!



This video is an extract from my online workshop, Sew Your Own Knockout Dress. Watch the trailer and sign up here!

21 June 2017

Sewing Space Tours... Emma's Chic and Organised Space!

Emma's Sewing Space Tour!

The location of our next Sewing Space Tour, where someone lets us have a nosey around their lovely creative space, used to be a chicken shed - although you'd never know it now! Lexy here, handing over to Emma to find out more...

Hello, I'm Emma and this is my sewing space. I live just north of Bristol, where I run my business - Emma Giacalone Textiles - making freehand machine embroidery artwork. I have always been creative, and enjoy anything crafty, but never really considered myself to be very good at sewing as I'm too impatient to measure, pin or tack things properly (while still wanting the end result to be perfect!)

Emma's Sewing Space Tour!
Emma's Sewing Space Tour!

14 June 2017

Make Your Own Bias Binding

How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to add a pretty detail to your homemade clothes?

Bias binding is useful for creating a neat finish on seams that aren’t attached to anything else and don’t have a facing – for example, the armholes below the cap sleeve on the Etta dress. The bias cut will allow the binding to stretch slightly, which is handy for getting around curves such as armholes and necklines.

You can buy ready-made bias binding relatively easily. But it’s good to know how to make it yourself so you can make it in a print, colour and width of your choice. Homemade binding is one of those details that can make your handmade clothes truly special.

Here's how to make it...

How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

You’ll need a large piece of fabric – a light- to medium-weight woven cotton will be fine. I'm using a Liberty print Tana cotton lawn. You'll also need a bias binding maker for the method I'm going to show you. You can get these handy tools in different sizes – I’m using a 12mm (1/2in) one (this is an affiliate link), which will make single fold bias binding that is 12mm (1/2in) wide once finished. This size is perfect for binding the armholes on the Etta dress.

If you want to make double fold bias binding, for example to bind a neckline edge where you want the binding to be visible on the outside as well as the inside of a garment, you'll press the single fold binding in half after it comes out of the maker. So you’ll end up with 6mm (1/4in) wide binding with a 12mm (1/2in) maker.

How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

7 June 2017

Behind the Scenes...

Behind the scenes at Tilly and the Buttons HQ

It's been a little while since we took you behind the scenes at Tilly and the Buttons HQ, so today I thought I'd share a few snap shots of what we've been up to. Please excuse the mess - the studio gets in such a state when we're busy!!

Behind the scenes at Tilly and the Buttons HQ

31 May 2017

Lady in Red...

Sew Your Own Etta Dress!Sew Your Own Etta Dress!

Is anyone else out there totally in love with the Etta sewing pattern?! Lexy here (both behind the keys and on your screens!) and it's my pleasure to show you the Etta dress that Vanesssa made when she explained how to line it. It's just too gorgeous not to share!

Sew Your Own Etta Dress!

Ness used one of our Etta sewing kits to make this stunner. The material is a gorgeous quality sateen, which is super easy to sew, and the slight stretch to it means that it hugs your curves to flatter, whilst allowing movement for comfort - the best of both worlds!