19 September 2018

Sewing For The Season - Autumn

Want some drool-worthy inspo for sewing all the cosy, autumnal things? It’s Louise here and I have been planning my autumn wardrobe for quite some time (I can’t wait to get into corduroy and french terry!) – so I thought I’d share some project ideas.

I think it may be one of the most satisfying times to sew for, as you can layer up your me-mades and feel oh so snuggly. So grab a cuppa and enjoy this little lot : )
Autumn sewing inspiration
Clockwise L-R : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
Autumn sewing inspiration
Clockwise L-R : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

12 September 2018

Ten Tips for Tip Top Topstitching

Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons

Have you ever struggled with topstitching? All topstitching is is stitching that shows on the right side (outside) of your clothes, which sounds simple enough... However it can be fiddly to get the stitches looking neat and, if you're using dedicated topstitch thread, you may have experienced skipped stitches, unbalanced thread tension and clumpy thread knots.

Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons
Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons

The simplest way to avoid topstitching woes is to use regular thread that matches the colour of your fabric, so it's only visible up close. No, that's not cheating! 

But if you want to make a feature of contrast topstitch thread, I'm here to share a video with my top ten tips for getting your topstitching looking top notch. I hope this will help make your topstitching a breeze. These little tricks definitely make it easier to get it looking neat :)

This video is an extract from my online workshop, Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress, in which I guide you step-by-step through making the Rosa pattern. The tips should be useful for whatever you're topstitching though - you can also use them for making the Cleo dungaree dress, Mila dungarees, or a pattern we have coming this Autumn ;)

Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons
Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons

To summarise the video:

  1. Try a topstitch or embroidery needle in your machine, and make sure it’s sharp.
  2. Use topstitch thread as your spool only (on top of your machine), with regular thread that matches your fabric in the bobbin.
  3. Lengthen the stitches to 3 or 3.5mm to create a straighter-looking line.
  4. Press well before topstitching to flatten out the seams.
  5. Sew with the garment right sides up so the topstitch thread ends up on the outside!
  6. Stabilise lightweight or drapey fabrics with spray starch or by sewing with a layer of tissue paper under the seam.
  7. Try using an edgestitch foot to sew (edgestitch) the row closest to the seam. Or shift the needle to one side if you can do that on your machine, and keep the seam lined up with the centre of the presser foot.
  8. Avoid back tacking. On seams that won’t be crossed, leave loose tails of thread. Then tug the bobbin thread to pull a loop of topstitch thread to the wrong side, and tie the threads in a double knot by hand.
  9. If you need to unpick, rip out the bobbin thread on the wrong side and pull the thicker topstitch thread out as a single thread.
  10. Finish with a good steamy press!
Ten Tips for Topstitching - Tilly and the Buttons

I hope this helps. As always, if you have your own tips to add, do share them in the comments below. There's always more to learn!


5 September 2018

Your Makes!

Tilly and the Buttons Your Makes Joni
It's time again to be dazzled by all of the gorgeous makes from the lovely sewing community. It's Jenny here, as summer is drawing to a close I thought I’d round up all of the fabulous inspirational sewing you have been up to.

Lilac has been a very popular colour in our office lately and this Joni dress by Carrie is fulfilling all of our lilac-y dreams. We’re loving the watermelon print Carmen has used for her Joni, it’s perfect for summer. Find Joni in our book Stretch!

Tilly and the Buttons Your Makes Stevie

Stevie has been the dream outfit for summer, its boxy shape means you can feel breezy and cool whilst still looking effortlessly chic. Holly’s hibiscus print Stevie dress is eye-catching and gorgeous! The beautiful pineapple print on green background that Bonnie has used for her Stevie dress will be perfect for transitioning to autumn months and layering.

Tilly and the Buttons Your Makes Bibi

29 August 2018

Evolution of our Pattern Envelopes

Evolution of our Pattern Envelopes - Tilly and the Buttons

Bit of a trip down memory lane today... You may have seen that we recently gave our sewing pattern covers a makeover, which got me reminiscing about how the artwork has changed over the years. I had a dig around and found different versions of the covers - I thought you might like to see how far we've come!

But first, our amazing assistant Jenny made a little video to showcase our new envelopes... isn't it cute?

You might find today's post particularly helpful if you're starting your own venture and are stuck on trying to make everything perfect from the outset. Launching and growing a business involves starting where you can and iterating regularly to improve over time. I definitely started small with Tilly and the Buttons, and it's still a work in progress every single day. I've written more about this in a couple of posts before - tips for turning your hobby into a business and achieving your goals.