2 December 2020

Team Buttons’ Secret Santa Christmas Jumpers

Billie Secret Santa Christmas Jumper

Is it just us, or has Christmas started early this year? Here at Tilly Towers, one of our favourite festive events is our annual staff Secret Santa gift swap, but this year (in true 2020 style) we decided to do things a little differently.

To celebrate the launch of our latest sewing pattern, the Billie sweatshirt and sweater dress, we decided to make Christmas sweatshirts for each other using the Billie pattern.

The rules were simple – each of us was randomly allocated another member of the team for whom we made a Billie sweatshirt featuring a personalised, festive design. We also submitted a wish list, which included our size, favourite colours and Christmas styles, to give our Secret Santa some clues to help her out.

Now we all know fabric shopping is one of the best bits of a project, but fabric shopping for someone else can be a whole different ball game! Luckily, Minerva came to our rescue and supplied us with all the fabrics we needed. From snuggly fleece-back sweatshirting to smart French terry and glittery ribbing – Minerva had it all, so a huge thank you to them!

Almost all of us used Happy Fabric’s iron-on vinyls to decorate our Billie sweatshirts too. They come in a huge range of colours and finishes, they’re super easy to use and produce such amazing results!

As most of the team are working from home at the moment, once the sweatshirts were finished Santa’s elves sent them by express delivery to their lucky recipients and we organised a Billie sweatshirt swap over video call. It was so fun to get together (if only virtually) and open our gifts with one another. And of course, we filmed it all so you could join in on the fun too!

27 November 2020

Team Makes - The Billie Sweatshirt Edition

Billie Sweatshirt Team Makes - Tilly and the Buttons

Our latest sewing pattern release, the Billie sweatshirt and sweater dress, has been super popular with our lovely customers. And it's been highly coveted by Team Buttons too! 

The Billie sweatshirt is the perfect thing to wear when you want to look on-trend and feel comfortable at the same time. Better yet, Billie is endlessly versatile, with loads of different design details and opportunities to add your unique twist. Choose between making a sweatshirt or sweater dress, add regular or balloon sleeves, and if you fancy it, go wild by adding with pre-made patterned cuffs and vinyl motifs. Suffice to say, the Buttons have opted for all of these options for their Billies :)

Kate, Frances and I (Nikki) have each stitched up a very different Billie and want to show them off to the world. Carry on reading to see what we've been making...

Billie Sweatshirt Team Makes - Tilly and the Buttons

I don't know about you but when I saw Frances's Billie sweatshirt I was blown away! Our Office and Wholesale Assistant had the initial idea for it over a year ago, long before Billie came into being. 

Billie Sweatshirt Team Makes - Tilly and the Buttons

She was inspired by the sweatshirts worn by the dancers in a scene from the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and couldn’t get the sweatshirts out of her head! She became obsessed and, with the help of Hayley from Happy Fabric, hunted down the perfect shade of orange iron-on vinyl for the “Hullabaloo” slogan. She also found the snuggliest fleece-back sweatshirting with matching ribbing from Etsy. Isn't it so satisfying when a great sewing plan comes together?

The only change Frances made to the pattern was to shorten the bodice by 5cm (2in) for a more cropped length. This was the first time she'd used iron-on vinyl and, although hand-cutting the lettering took a bit of time and patience, she's so pleased with the result! Her sweatshirt has quickly become one of her most worn makes and she loves pairing it with high-waisted, flared jeans for a full 70s look. It also looks super cute worn with her black cord Bobbi skirt.

24 November 2020

Black Friday Sewing Pattern Sale

Black Friday sewing pattern sale

Get your me-made wardrobe ready for some new arrivals as our Black Friday sale is here, and we are taking 25% off sewing patterns* - yippee!

This very special offer applies to printed and digital sewing patterns* (exclusions apply, see the bottom of this post for all the deets) so you can build your stash, or give the gift of sewing to somebody else this Christmas - you decide :)

Whether you want to sew up a comfy pair of PJs, gorgeous button up skirt, or snuggly knit dress, you'll find the pattern you need to slot into your stylish handmade wardrobe. The discount is automatic, so just add your faves to your basket, check out and watch the price drop down - yesssss!

The Black Friday sewing pattern sale must end Sunday 29th November midnight GMT, so don't miss out! 

If you need a little help choosing the right pattern for you, here are a few of our top picks...

Bobbi pinafore and skirt sewing pattern

Got a thing for pretty buttons? Well, the Bobbi skirt and pinafore sewing pattern gives you plenty of opportunities to make buttons star of the handmade show and maybe make a dent in that tin of buttons you've been hoarding! 

Bobbi is a gorgeous button down skirt or pinafore with a choice of three styles of pockets, so you get to play designer when plotting your make. It features a curved waistband, princess seams and a slim-look bib if you are making the pinafore. You will make Bobbi again and again as it's so versatile and will look different every time you stitch it up.

Is Bobbi the one? You can grab the printed pattern here or the digital version here. These blog posts come might in handy when you are making it up :)

Lotta sewing pattern

18 November 2020

Tips for Sewing with Sweatshirt Fabrics

Tips for Sewing with Sweatshirt Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

When the weather gets cooler, sweatshirt fabric is one of my favourite materials to sew with. Not only does it make for the comfiest clothes, it’s also pretty easy to sew – woohoo! Sweatshirt fabrics – by which I mean sweatshirt fleece, loopback or French terry – generally have a low stretch percentage so, unlike many other knit fabrics, they are easy to cut, handle and stitch without stretching out of shape or creating rippled seams.

If you’re tempted to dive into the wonderful world of sweatshirt fabrics, I’m going to share my top tips for sewing with them. We also made a video summary of the main tips if you’d like a quickie version ;)

Tips for Sewing with Sweatshirt Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons
1) Choose an appropriate project and type of fabric

Sweatshirt fabrics are ideal for making casual clothes, loungewear and activewear. They trap warm air, so will keep you toasty in the winter, plus they are moisture-wicking, so perfect for your workout.

They usually have little stretch (although the amount does vary), so match them with a looser-fitting garment pattern that you can get on and off easily – maybe it has a zip opening, or you could make the neckband in a stretchier jersey ribbing.

There are a few different types of sweatshirt fabrics available. When shopping for them, it’s common to find fabric labelled as one of the following:

Stella hoodie and joggers - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons