6 November 2019

Make It Simple: The inspiration behind my forthcoming book

Make It Simple: Easy, Speedy Sewing Projects to Stitch Up in an Afternoon - Tilly and the Buttons

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I’d love to sew, but I don’t have time”?

Me too. As a business owner and mum to a toddler, I don’t have big chunks of free time to sew. My week is divided between being in the office and being at home playing with my energetic little boy, and, once he’s in bed, quite frankly I’m wiped out! After he was born, I went through a spell of not sewing at all. But I soon missed my hobby and passion, so I decided to question the story I was telling myself about not having time to sew and reframe my thinking to make it achievable.

This was the inspiration behind my new book. I’m excited to be able to share the cover with you today!

Make It Simple will be out in February 2020, published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant). You can order it now from Amazon. As you may know, pre-orders are so important for a book as they show potential stockists that the demand is there – and, in turn, help keep the book in stock so it’s available to more people. If you are able to pre-order my book, I’d be extremely grateful :)

Pitch over, let’s talk about what the book is all about and what you’re going to get out of it…

Make It Simple: Easy, Speedy Sewing Projects to Stitch Up in an Afternoon - Tilly and the Buttons

My goal in writing Make It Simple was to help you fit more creativity into your life, no matter what you’ve got going on.

The book is jam-packed full of my trusted time-saving tactics and secret shortcuts to make it easier for you to get your sewing fix.

Moreover, it features 24 gorgeous garment projects that you can whip up in a few hours, from a classic T shirt to a pretty playsuit, a cosy cardigan to an office-ready shift dress, comfy PJs to a stylish pinafore. They’re all easy to make, simple to fit, with no fiddly bits, and extremely wearable. I am obsessed with these patterns and hope you’ll love them too! I can't wait to share some sneaks of the patterns with you a bit nearer the launch.

30 October 2019

Ten Tips for Sewing Gathers - With Video!

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten tips for sewing gathers

Want some top tips on how to sew beautiful, even gathers? Well, look no further, we've got you covered. This post is jam-packed with hints and tricks on how to create and sew gathers which can be used for tonnes of sewing projects. We've also made a step-by-step tutorial video to show you how it's done :)

Gathering is a sewing technique that pops up in loads of different sewing projects. Put simply, gathering involves reducing the width of one piece of fabric so it can be joined to another piece. You'll often see this in skirts and dresses where flowy skirts are gathered to join a waistband or bodice. In the case of our Indigo smock pattern, you can also use gathers to attach the flounce sleeve option. 

Before we get stuck into the tips, if you want to learn the basics of sewing gathers, check out our how-to video to see how it's done:


Onto Team Tilly's ten tips for sewing gathers...

23 October 2019

Team Buttons' Indigo Smock Obsession

Team Buttons Indigo Smock Top and Dress Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Smock lovers unite! Since we released the Indigo smock top and dress pattern, it has become a firm favourite here at TATB HQ. We heart this pattern!

You’ll see here why our team loves this pattern so much - it's pretty, comfortable, and versatile. With a wide range of fabric options, Indigo looks different depending on which one you choose. What's not to love?

Team Buttons Indigo Smock Top and Dress Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsTeam Buttons Indigo Smock Top and Dress Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Kate's first Indigo dress is made in soft drapey viscose from Pin and Sew. She lengthened the skirt pattern piece by 5cm (2in), keeping the dipped hem, and shortened the bracelet sleeves to elbow length.

The icing on the cake was the extra gathered tier she added to the bottom of the skirt for that seventies swooshy dream dress - it reminds us of THAT Zara dress. We've seen a few versions like this - and longer - popping up on Insta. If you make your own, do share with us :)

16 October 2019

How to Stitch in the Ditch - With Video!

Tilly and the Buttons - How to Stitch in the Ditch

Do you ever find that your facings pop out of your clothes and you wished you knew of a way to keep them in place? It's Nikki here, and I'm going to talk you through a sewing technique which will help with just that - stitching in the ditch.

"Stitching in the ditch" is a technique which involves sewing down the channel of an existing seam (the "ditch") to secure pieces of a garment in place without the stitches being seen on the outside. By sewing down the seam line in matching thread to your fabric, the stitches are hidden and invisible to the outside. It really is sewing wizardry!

Tilly and the Buttons - How to Stitch in the Ditch

This technique is usually used to secure facings to the inside of garments, although you can sometimes do it to keep an outside piece in place, like a cuff. There are a few different places on a garment you can do this; securing a neckline facing through the shoulder seams or stitching a waistband facing to a waistband instead of topstitching are common examples.

For those of you that prefer to learn visually, we've made a short video showing how you stitch in the ditch. Hooray! The example in the video shows stitching in the ditch to secure a facing to a shoulder seam, however you can apply this method to any project which requires this technique.



So, we've covered what the "ditch" is, but how do you "stitch" it?