13 June 2018

Troubleshooting Overlocker Stitches

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

Overlockers (AKA "sergers") are wonderful machines... most of the time! Great for stitching knit fabrics or finishing the seams on woven garments, once you get the hang of them they're super speedy to use.

However, they do need adjusting so the settings match the fabric and seam that you're sewing. Whenever you start a new project, take some time to sew a test swatch and adjust the knobs if you need to.

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

This is what you're aiming for - perfectly balanced stitches. (This picture shows four threads - you may have three instead if you're sewing lightweight fabric or seams that aren't going to come under too much strain.) I've used different coloured thread for each looper and needles so you can easily see how the stitches link together.

If your seam doesn't look quite right, here's a quick reference guide for seven common issues and how to fix them...

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

The loops from the right side are peeping out on the wrong side!
If the upper looper thread loops are visible on the wrong side, they’re either too loose or the lower looper thread is pulling them too tight. So you can either turn the lower looper tension dial down or turn the upper looper tension dial up. Adjust them one at a time, a little at a time, sewing a test swatch each time until the loops are staying on their own side.

6 June 2018

Free Hip Pockets Pattern for the Mila Dungarees!

How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons

What's better than three pockets on your Mila dungarees? FIVE pockets on your Mila dungarees!

You asked for more pockets, so we've created a free downloadable pattern for a hip patch pocket that you can add to your Milas, plus instructions below for how to sew it. The pockets make a simple addition and are large enough to slip your phone, snacks or idle hands into. You are welcome :)



How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons
How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons


Get your Mila dungarees pattern
if you don't already have it

If your fabric is 150cm (60in) wide, you’ll need 0.25m (3/8yd) extra for the pockets. If it’s more like 115cm (45in) wide, you’ll need 0.35m (1/2yd) extra fabric.

How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons

30 May 2018

Five Lessons From Me-Made-May

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Agnes top + Miette skirt

Have you been taking part in Me-Made-May 2018? As it's coming to a close I've been reflecting on how I'll take what I have learned into my sewing practice to keep my motivation and happy feels going. It's Louise here, the sales and communications manager at TATB, and I'm going to share what I learnt this May. I focused on what drives my sewing, how my me-mades turn into outfits and what I hope to achieve going forward from this wonderful sewing obsession of mine : )

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Freya sweater + Mila dungarees, Agnes top + Arielle skirt, Frankie tshirt + Dominique skirt, Frankie tshirt + Cleo pinafore
Me-Made-May was started 8 years ago by our lovely friend and collaborator Zoe Edwards to encourage sewers to wear their makes with pride. MMM is all about celebrating being a DIY dressmaker and building a great relationship with your handmade wardrobe. The idea is to wear handmade items throughout the month of May and share pictures with like-minded makers if you fancy. Anyone can take part - whether you have one me-made or a wardrobe full, you can get involved.

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Coco dress, Francoise dress, Orla shift top + Miette skirt , Mimi blouse + Arielle skirt

23 May 2018

Five Nursing-Friendly Sewing Patterns

Five Nursing-Friendly Sewing Patterns - lovely options for breastfeeding mamas!

Now that I'm a mama, my life has changed a lot. But one of the things that remains constant is that I want to be able to express myself through the clothes that I wear, and show my love of making by wearing things I've sewn myself. Even if somedays that just means yet another Breton top, hehe!

One of the questions that pops up in our inbox every so often is what sewing patterns to make if you're breastfeeding your baby. With a hungry newborn, you'll want to be able to pull your boobs out quickly and easily, while not necessarily flashing the rest of your body to the other customers in that parent-friendly cafe that's become your second home.

Comfort and ease are also key. Bra sizes can fluctuate wildly through pregnancy, nursing and beyond, so it's a good idea to avoid anything too fitted. And in the early months postpartum, particularly if you've had a caesarean, you probably won't want anything tight against your tum.

With these factors in mind, here's a list of Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns that are great options for nursing mamas: