24 May 2017

How to Line the Etta Dress

How to Line the Etta dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Sometimes it's satisfying to spend a bit of extra time on your sewing project to get a super luxurious finish – particularly if you're making an outfit for a special occasion.

Vanessa here today - I'm going to show you how to make and attach a lining to your Etta dress. You can also use this tutorial to line many other fitted dresses, including those with a fiddly kick pleat. A lining will not only give your dress more weight and a flattering shape, it also reduces static and twisting - so no tugging around an unruly garment!

How to Line the Etta dress - Tilly and the Buttons

When choosing a lining fabric, look out for something lightweight and drapey that feels lovely on your skin. Try acetate or poly satin (nice and cheap - but check it first as it can go a bit static), viscose (rayon) crepe de chine, silk satin or, if you really want to push the boat out, something like silk charmeuse. Tilly bought this lining fabric from A One Fabrics on London's Goldhawk Road.

You'll also need matching thread, some large pieces of paper to make a lining pattern, and the Etta lining template, which prints on one sheet of A4 or Letter paper:


I've sewn this version in a gorgeous quality red sateen - an easy-to-work-with fabric with a touch of stretch for comfort and a subtle sheen for glamour. You can get your hands on the same fabric that I've used as well as all the notions you need in our Etta sewing kits.

How to Line the Etta dress - Tilly and the Buttons

17 May 2017

How to Sew a Mitred Corner

How to Sew a Mitred Corner - Tilly and the Buttons

Mitred corners create a neat finish on exposed corners, without any flappy bits that you might get by folding one edge over the other. It’s a lovely little extra detail to add to the kick pleat on the Etta dress, and can also be useful on other projects such as blouses, tablecloths and napkins. Here’s how to sew a mitred corner…

The first thing to do is ensure the two folds to be joined are the same width. On the Etta dress the kick pleat fold is 40mm (1½in) wide, while the hem fold is 30mm (1¼in) wide. So you can either trim down the kick pleat by 10mm (3/8in) or fold the hem up an extra 10mm (3/8in) so both folds are either 30mm (1¼in) or 40mm (1½in) wide.

How to Sew a Mitred Corner - Tilly and the Buttons

Finish the seam allowances and, if you’re making the Etta dress, press the raw edge of the kick pleat under 10mm (3/8in) and topstitch in place. Press each fold to the wrong side.

11 May 2017

Inside our Online Dressmaking Workshop

Sew Your Own Knockout Dress - online workshop from Tilly and the Buttons

Today I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about our latest online workshop - Sew Your Own Knockout Dress - and give you a peek inside the members-only workshop site.

I've spent a lot of time developing each of our five sewing workshops to ensure they're clear, well-structured, user-friendly and jam-packed full of learning points. In fact, I've been designing workshops professionally for over a decade and it's my favourite job in the world!

Here's the trailer...



So what do you get when you sign up to one of our online workshops?

8 May 2017

Fitting the Etta dress sewing pattern

Etta dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Making yourself an Etta dress? Vanessa here to take you through some fitting adjustments you can make to create a personalised fit unique to your figure.

Bear in mind you almost certainly won’t need to make all of the changes covered in this post. You might not need to make any at all!

But since we’re all different shapes, one of the lovely things about making your own clothes is being able to get a bespoke fit – much better that shop-bought clothing. You can add or remove length where you need it, take the shoulders in or out, adjust for larger or smaller boobs... It does take a bit of extra work, but it's worth it to have a lovely outfit tailored just for you!

We’re going to look at:

  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening the bodice, skirt or sleeves
  • Combining pattern sizes
  • Widening or narrowing shoulders
  • Adjusting for a sway back
  • Adjusting for a full or small bust

5 May 2017

Inspiration for Making the Etta Dress

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Planning to make the Etta dress? Today I thought I’d share with you some gorgeous Pinspiration to help you decide on colours and prints, and get some styling ideas.

When choosing your fabric, I suggest you pick a medium weight material. You don’t want anything too drapey or the dress might hang a bit funny. If the fabric has a bit of stretch in it, that’s always helpful for a fitted dress like this to make it more comfortable to wear. Look for stretch woven cotton, sateen, triple crepe, crepe-back satin, ponte di roma or stable jacquard knits. The cap sleeve version would also work nicely in brocade, but you might find this kind of material a bit uncomfortable on longer sleeves.

Above - clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

It's easy to get drawn to pretty and unusual prints when fabric shopping. But don't forget the humble solid colour! These can often make the most striking dresses. The V-back collar looks particularly good in a solid as it will stand out more. Try a bright or jewel tone, or even a pastel or cream. Look for textured fabrics too, such as jacquard knits and heavy crepes, to add an extra bit of interest.

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Clockwise from top left - 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

3 May 2017

NEW Etta Sewing Pattern! And Online Dressmaking Workshop!

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

There’s a new sewing pattern on the block… she’s called Etta, and she’s a head-turner!

If that wasn’t exciting enough, I’ll take you through all the steps to make it in my brand new online workshop – Sew Your Own Knockout Dress.

Plus you can easily get hold of all the bits and bobs you need to make the dress with our limited edition Etta sewing kits.

So many good things to tell you about today! Let’s start with the design of the dress…

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons