18 January 2017

Sewing Space Tours... Our Vanessa's Sewing Nook!

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!
Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

Howdy, sewing fans! We have a special treat for you in this, our latest instalment of Sewing Space Tours. Today, we're having a look around (our very own pattern cutter) Vanessa Allen's space. Vanessa has transformed a corner of her room into a sewing haven, and we are so excited to be sharing it with you. Over to Ness for more...

Hello all! My name is Vanessa. I’m a dressmaker, pattern cutter, and an all-round lover of time consuming DIY hobbies. I've had the pleasure of working at Tilly and the Buttons for the past year and a half helping to make the patterns, sew up gorgeous samples and eating all the studio biscuits. When I'm not sewing for work, I like to take a nice busman's holiday and sew for pleasure – such is the addictive nature of this amazing hobby! 

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

My current sewing space resides in a cosy little corner of my bedroom in South London. I’ve always enjoyed inhabiting small spaces, and my sewing area is no exception. It’s my haven, with Radio 4 turned down low, copious amounts of tea and snacks, and more fairy lights than Stranger Things.

Vanessa's colourful sewing space!

11 January 2017

Five Tips for Sewing with Corduroy

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

I love corduroy. And judging by the popularity of our needlecord Cleo dungaree dress kits, so do lots of people! (They’re back in stock, by the way!) Today I thought I’d share a few tips on sewing with corduroy to get a great result.

Corduroy - which is made of cotton, sometimes blended with polyester - has visible ribs or “wales” running vertically down its lengthwise grain. The width of the ribs can vary, from jumbo cord which has wide wales - if you see it labelled as “3 wale”, this means it has 3 ribs per inch - to finer needlecord or pincord, which is more like 16 wales per inch).

As well as dungaree dresses, corduroy is great for making skirts, trousers (corduroy flares, anyone?) and jackets. Finer needlecord is also lovely for shirts and dresses (take a look at Rosa’s needlecord Rosa dress!).

So what do you need to know when cutting and sewing with corduroy?

4 January 2017

What I Made in 2016




One of the questions people often ask me is, now that I run a sewing business, do I still sew for fun - or is it too much like work?

While I dabble in other hobbies like knitting and drawing, for me it's still all about making clothes. I try to carve out time when I'm not working to make things just for me, both with Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns (as the designer, I love them all!) and other brand's patterns that catch my eye. Of course, I do inevitably end up thinking about work when I'm sewing, which isn't ideal when I'm trying to have a Sunday off. But on the other hand, sewing is still my greatest passion - our photographer always laughs as, even during a stressful photo shoot when I've been frantically stitching for nine hours, I'll often let out a love-struck sigh of, "Ooh, I love sewing!"

This year I've been making a balance of our both speedy, satisfying sews when I needed a quick sewing fix, and more intricate and involved projects for when I needed to get my teeth stuck into something.

1 January 2017

30% Off Online Sewing Workshops!

Online sewing workshops - Tilly and the Buttons

Happy new year! If one of your resolutions is to sew more or learn new skills, you may be interested to know that our online sewing workshops are on sale! You can get 30% off when you enter the code JANUARYSALE at checkout.

These sewing courses are taught through video lessons, allowing you to watch the sewing in action close up. You can rewind and revisit the lessons whenever you like, as there are no deadlines for finishing.

Choose from the following workshops:

Online sewing workshops - Tilly and the Buttons