1 July 2020

10 Design Hack Ideas for the Dominique Skirt

10 design hack ideas for the Dominique skirt

Our easy-peasy Dominique skirt has had a makeover and now comes with two extra sizes - yippee!

The pattern now comes in sizes 1-10, which translates to UK 6-24, US 2-20 and EUR 34-52. It's available as a printed pattern on durable paper sheets or as a PDF pattern for immediate download in both print-at-home (A4 or US letter) and copyshop formats (A0).

Tilly designed this pattern with complete novices in mind as it's so simple to sew. If you're a more confident stitcher, Dominique makes the perfect blank canvas for hacking and adding your own design touches. It actually includes not one but two skirts - a straight skirt and a bias-cut flared skirt, each in two lengths. The patch pocket is also one of our favourite details and you can use that pattern piece to add cute pockets to many more me-mades.
10 design hacks for the Dominique skirt

I started working on pattern hack ideas for Dominique last year when the ideas came flooding into my head (and Pinterest board), and I am very pleased to see that the first one I'm going to show you couldn't be more on-trend at the mo'. I can also see some of these ideas pairing really well with a handmade top in matching fabric - that way you can wear the co-ordinating pieces together or separately to get even more wear out of them!

Most of these ideas would be pretty simple to do, but if you're using particularly precious cloth it would be worth making a toile first to check the measurements on you. I have linked a couple of TATB videos from our YouTube channel that might help with some of the techniques you would use.

So, let's get into it... ten design hack ideas for Dominique coming right up!

10 design hack ideas for the Dominique skirt
Images: Top row - 1 / 2 / 3 Middle row - 1 / 2 / 3 / Bottom row - 1 / 2 / 3
My favourite idea of the bunch is to hack the Dominique skirt into a wonderfully floaty tiered summer skirt. Three is the magic number, so I think that number of tiers is just right for me. You could whip up a mini, midi, or maxi skirt - you probably won't stop at one!

To do this you can use the straight skirt pattern piece and create a new cutting line for your second tier to attach to. I think somewhere around your hip line would be nice for the second tier to join the main skirt, and don't forget to add 1.5cm (5/8in) for your seam allowance to join the next tier. The skirt has a seam down the centre front and centre back, but you could eliminate this if you like by making it 1.5cm (5/8in) narrower.

You will need to draft rectangles for the second and third tiers. I would make each tier approximately 30% wider than the bottom hem of the skirt above. Bear in mind how wide your fabric is when working out your tier measurements - if you've eliminated the centre seams, your fabric will need to be on the wider side for the lower tier if you're making one of the larger sizes.

That decides the width, but the length will vary depending on your height and whether you want to make a mini, midi or maxi skirt. Sewing a vertical strip of your tiers to test out whether you are happy with where the length hits is a good idea before gathering all the fabric. And/or try the skirt on before adding each tier.

Once you have your pieces cut out, you will need to gather them to make them fit the above tier - this video on how to sew gathers is a handy tool for getting them nice and even. Then hem your skirt and you're ready to swish, swish, swish around in me-made style!

10 design hack ideas for the Dominique skirt

24 June 2020

Tilly's Indigo Midi Dress of Dreams

Tilly's Indigo midi dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's Indigo midi dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

It's official... I've joined the Indigo Midi Dress Club... and I'm obsessed!At 5'1" with curvy hips, I always thought a midi dress would look unflattering on me, especially a looser fitting shape like this. But I tried one on in H&M and was pleasantly surprised. And of course I left the shop empty-handed thanks to the stitcher's refrain, "I could make that!".Tilly's Indigo midi dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the ButtonsTilly's Indigo midi dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
So make it I did. This is of course our popular Indigo dress sewing pattern, with the short sleeves and midi tier extra pieces from the Indigo add-on pattern. (You can buy them together at a discount with this PDF bundle.) I love love LOVE this dress - it's so floaty and whimsical, comfy yet pretty, breezy for summer days with a bit of extra leg coverage for cooler evenings.
And it turns out I really like the silhouette on me. It just goes to show, never say never when it comes to your style or what is supposed to suit your body shape.

19 June 2020

Fitting the Jaimie Pyjama Bottoms and Shorts

Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Jaimie pyjama bottoms or shorts and want some advice on getting a good fit? Well, that's lucky - you've come to the right place!

The great news is the Jaimie PJs are easy-peasy (lemon squeezy) to fit thanks to the loose, loungewear style and waistline cinched in with elastic or a drawstring. Yay! And, as they are pyjamas, the only people who will see you wearing them are the people you live with, your pets, and anyone you're showing them off to on your Zoom meetings, so there's no need to worry if you don't nail the perfect fit on the first try.

For more involved projects we often recommend you make a toile or wearable toile (a practice version made in cheap fabric to test the fit) but it's not necessary here. Sure, if you have your eye on some expensive and stunningly beautiful, one-of-a-kind fabric, you might want to make a practice pair in cheaper fabric so you're not devastated if they need a bit of tweaking. Otherwise, just go for it!

If you're new to sewing I'd like you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to say: your pyjamas don't need to be perfect. So what if they turn out a bit wonky or baggy? You made them. How amazing is that?!

In this post we're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening 
  • How to combine different waist and hip pattern sizes
  • Full booty adjustment
Fitting the Jaimie pyjamas sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Choosing your size

17 June 2020

Fabric Shopping for the Jaimie Pyjamas

Fabric shopping for the Jaimie pyjamas - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Jaimie pyjamas? Wondering what fabric to choose? I'm going to take you through some fabric suggestions for our latest sewing pattern - the good news is that these fabrics are easy-to-sew, easy-to-find and come in lots of lovely prints!

If you haven't yet seen the latest sewing pattern to join our collection, the Jaimie pyjamas are an ideal sewing project for beginners, and a satisfyingly speedy make for more experienced stitchers. Super comfy, they're perfect for sleeping, lounging, and working from home - just throw on a smart blouse and you’re ready for your Zoom meeting! 

If you're a new stitcher and are nervous about getting stuck into your first project, Jaimie is designed to be the perfect first make. It is easy to sew and fit, plus there is an accompanying free video tutorial where Tilly takes you through making the Jaimie pyjama bottoms from start to finish. 

It's also a great pattern for teaching people to sew and, as we often get requests for patterns for teens and tweens, we've added an extra small size to this pattern - equivalent to UK size 4 / US size 0 / EUR size 32.

Fabric shopping for the Jaimie pyjamas - Tilly and the Buttons

Jaimie is designed for light- to medium-weight woven fabrics such as cotton lawn, shirting, “quilting cotton”, flannel, double gauze and viscose (rayon). The first four of these options are great for beginners as they're to cut and sew. If you have a few projects under your belt, you might want to pick a more floaty viscose or crinkly double gauze for a luxury pair of pyjama bottoms or shorts.

We reckon anything goes when it comes to pyjama prints, so you can have so much fun choosing your fabric! Pick that doughnut print, show your love of cats in what you're wearing, or go for a bold floral that you wish you had as wallpaper. The opportunities to play with print are endless!

We haven't seen these fabrics IRL, so do request a sample if you want to check it's exactly what you are looking for before making your purchase. If you are completely new to shopping online for fabric, check out Tilly's tips.

Fabric shopping for the Jaimie pyjamas - Tilly and the Buttons