14 February 2024

Tilly's next book Mini Makes is coming soon!

Mini Makes book - Sewing Patterns to Make for Kids Aged 0-12 Years - Tilly and the Buttons

I'm excited to let you know that my fourth book is coming this spring, and it's all about sewing for little ones!

Mini Makes will be published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant) on 25 April 2024 – and you can pre-order it now!

Sew-in woven labels for kids' clothes

If you pre-order directly from us by 25th March 2024, we'll send you a signed copy of the book plus an exclusive free gift when the book is released. This pair of woven sew-in labels have been designed by us and aren't available anywhere else. Perfect for adding the finishing touch to your mini makes!

(Offer ends 25th March 2024. Your book and gift - along with any other items in the same order - will be dispatched when the book is launched in late April - so if you would like to order other items to arrive sooner, please place a separate order. Offer exclusively available for pre-orders from shop.tillyandthebuttons.com. Gift subject to availability.)

Young boy wears stripe leggings with strawberry knee patches
Boy pulls a funny face wearing lilac stripe t-shirt with green pocket
Girl holds a watering can wearing lilac Sonny jacket with oversized frill collar

Mini Makes is packed full of 24 (mostly unisex) projects to sew for children aged 0-12 years.

The garments are all cute, comfortable and practical – the kinds of clothes kids will want to wear every day. The main version of each pattern is a classic wardrobe staple - mostly mini versions of popular Tilly and the Buttons womenswear designs - while the variations include the most adorable embellishments and twists. I can’t wait for you to see them!

Yellow stripe t-shirt with lilac ribbing and matching dress version
Hand sewing polar bear face sweatshirt bodice

Each chapter takes you step-by-step through making the projects in our signature user-friendly style. The book also features practical tips and inspiration on topics such as choosing fabrics for childrenswear, embellishment ideas, involving kids in sewing, and more, to give you a rounded knowledge of sewing for little ones.

Young boy wears blue polar bear face sweatshirt
Girl smiles at the camera wearing green apple print jersey pyjamas
Boy wears colour block corduroy jacket in pink, blue and cream

The patterns are printed double-sided in the back of the book ready to trace off, or you will be able to download layered PDF patterns to print on A4/Letter or A0 paper if you prefer.

We are so proud of this book and cannot WAIT for you to see it and start sewing with it, whether you’re sewing for friends’ kids, your own kids, grandkids, a bump…

Author: Tilly Walnes
Published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant)
Photography: Jane Looker, assisted by Emily Lavarello
Styling: Clare Nicolson
Art Director + Designer: Claire Rochford

16 October 2023

Fitting the Sonny jacket

Fitting the Sonny Jacket

If you're thinking of making the Sonny jacket and have a few questions about how to get a great fit, you've come to the right place.

Sonny is an ultra-versatile jacket with a relaxed, boxy fit, making it simple to fit. Good stuff! However, as we are all wonderfully unique in shape and size, you might want to make a few changes to your pattern pieces to make it suit your body better. Here, I'm going to talk you through the most common fitting adjustments you might want to consider making to your Sonny jacket. 

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Making a toile 
  • Choosing your size 
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 

Making a toile

A toile - or a "muslin"- is an initial mock-up of your garment in fabric you don't mind using for testing purposes. A toile is a great opportunity to test the fit of a sewing pattern or practice a technique, like inserting a collar, before you cut into your nice fabric. 

The Sonny jacket is a relaxed fit, meaning you don't necessarily need to make a toile for fitting purposes. If you're planning on wearing your favourite chunky knit under your Sonny and want to check it will be comfortable, we recommend making a quick toile of the front and back bodice pieces and sleeves to check the fit. Pick a fabric with a similar weight and drape to the fabric you have in mind for your final project. 

We have a comprehensive blog post about toile making. Go check it out if you want to find out more!

Body form with bust, waist and hip areas highlighted

Choosing your size

11 October 2023

NEW! Meet the Sonny jacket and lining add-on patterns

Tilly and the Buttons Sonny Jacket sewing pattern in sizes UK 6-34

Sewists, are you ready to meet the jacket of your dreams? We're thrilled to introduce you to the Sonny jacket sewing pattern and the Sonny lining add-on pattern!

Ultra versatile, you can make it as a classic jacket that will never go out of style, or try the on-trend prairie collar for Ganni-esque vibes. Sonny can be made as a casual unlined jacket, but if you do want to line it, we have created a separate lining add-on PDF pattern for a polished inside finish. 

Read on to find out more about Sonny...


Plus size model wearing corduroy jacket made using Sonny jacket sewing pattern
Model wearing a lined denim jacket with oversized prairie collar - made using the Sonny jacket pattern

Technical drawing for Sonny jacket pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


One of the things we love the best about Sonny is how different it can look depending on which version you make and what fabric you use. You can go utility style with a classic pointed collar, or make a designer-style jacket with the on-trend frill prairie collar. Let's take a look at Sonny's details:

  • Boxy fit bodice with drop shoulders and princess seams creating gentle shaping at the bust 
  • Choice of pointed collar or oversized frill collar 
  • Separate yokes, forward shoulder seams and front panels 
  • Optional chest pockets and flaps 
  • Easy-to-sew straight sleeves 
  • Choice of hip-length or cropped hemlines 
  • Mock flat felled seams create a durable finish
The Sonny lining add-on pattern includes bodice and sleeve lining pattern pieces to compliment all versions of the Sonny jacket, as well as a hanging loop so you can display your gorgeous creation with pride.  

Plus size model wearing corduory jacket made from Sonny jacket patternBack view of plus size model wearing corduroy jacket - made using Sonny jacket sewing pattern


Both the Sonny jacket and lining are available in sizes UK 6-34 / US 2-30 / EUR 34-62. The full size range is included in each pattern. Sizes UK 6-16 and 18-34 are created and graded for a different set of proportions, so you will notice there is more shaping on the larger pattern sizes to account for a fuller bust.

The Sonny jacket pattern is available either printed or PDF, and the lining add-on is available as a PDF download only

Order the Sonny jacket printed sewing pattern and we'll send you a beautiful package in the post, with a full-colour instruction booklet. Made in the UK, our patterns are printed on durable paper which you can use again and again without it tearing or scrunching up. 

The Sonny lining add-on pattern and Sonny jacket are available as an instant PDF download. You'll get an email straight after purchase with a PDF to either print and assemble at home on A4 or Letter size paper or send to a copyshop or pattern printer to print full scale on A0. Need further help? Read our guide to using PDFs.

Whichever format you choose, the pattern will be accompanied by our award-winning instructions with step-by-step colour photos to guide you through the project. The pattern pieces themselves are clearly labelled so you can see which seam is which and how they go together. 


Close up of model wearing jacket with oversized prairie collar made using Sonny jacket sewing patternHand holding denim jacket with oversized prairie collar on a hanger, made using the Sonny jacket pattern


Sonny works best with medium- to heavy-weight fabrics that hold their shape. Think denim, twill, corduroy, jacquard or wool.

If you're making the prairie collar version with collar frill, make sure the fabric is light enough to gather - ideally you will be gathering up two layers of frill fabric at once, but if the fabric is struggling you could sew gather stitches on each layer separately. Another option is to use a different fabric for the collar frill, allowing you to experiment with different textures and patterns. 

If you're lining your jacket using the Sonny add-on pattern, use slippery lining fabrics such as cupro (Bemberg), viscose (rayon), acetate or polyester lining. Alternatively, you can line the sleeves in lining  fabric and use a cotton lawn, viscose or teddy/sherpa fleece for the bodice lining.

We know some makers are planning to make Sonny as a blouse instead of a jacket - we are excited to see it! If you want to try this, use something like a cotton lawn or even a more drapey viscose, lengthen the pattern, and add an elastic channel to the ends of the sleeves.

Hand holding lined jacket up, made using Sonny jacket and lining add-on patternsFlat lay of lined denim jacket with oversized prairie collar on pink background


We have labelled Sonny as suitable for "confident beginners". While making a jacket may seem daunting, it's actually just a series of relatively simple steps. The trickiest bit is sewing buttonholes, but we have lots of tips for that! You will be supported all the way with our clear instructions, and if there are any techniques you aren't sure about, you'll find lots of extra help on a dedicated space on the blog.

If you're yet to line any outerwear on your sewing journey, the Sonny lining add-on is the perfect place to start. We did a lot of research and development to hone our instructions and you'll be amazed at the final result! 

Plus size model wearing corduroy jacket made using the Sonny sewing patternModel flicking her hair wearing denim jacket made using Sonny jacket sewing pattern

We are looking forward to seeing your Sonny jackets - both in-progress shots and finished makes. Don't forget to tag us on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingSonny so we can swoon over what you're making. Happy sewing! 


Models: Averil de Souza & Sophie Prat
Photographer: Jane Looker
MUAH: Simone @ The Bridal Stylists
Samples: Sewn by Deborah Wilkins

Blue denim - Minerva
Corduroy - Lullabee Fabrics

19 July 2023

Sewing with Disabilities: Five Accessible Tools (Guest Post by Samantha Purple Sewing Cloud)

Flatlay of pink cutting mat with sewing tools laid out and title text Sewing with Disabilities: Five Accessible Tools

There’s a whole world of amazing sewing tools out there that have been designed to make your crafting easier. To celebrate Disability Pride Month, we’ve commissioned Samantha Waude from @PurpleSewingCloud – who you may recognise as a Tilly and the Buttons model from Make It Simple and Agnes – to share her top five accessible sewing tools. 

Whether you consider yourself to have disabilities or not, you will want to get yourself some of these! Over to Sam…

Samantha is a white woman with curly dark hair smiling at the camera and posing with accessible sewing tools

“Hi, I’m Samantha, I’m feel very excited to be invited by Tilly to write this guest blog post about my top five sewing tools. 

As a sewist with disabilities, my sewing tools are very important to me. Over the years I’ve curated a collection that works best for my needs and disabilities - without them I wouldn’t be able to sew and create a beautiful wardrobe of clothes that make me smile.

I’ve chosen my top five tools that I use every time I sew and are essential to me. These tools will work for everybody too, not just for people with disabilities - so keep reading or watch my video!