1 April 2020

Tilly's Gold Potato-Printed Safiya Dungarees

Tilly's Gold Potato-Printed Safiya Dungarees - sewing pattern in Make It Simple
[post contains gifted product]

What do you get if you cross a crafter with linen fabric, gold paint and a potato?

Gold potato-printed linen Safiya dungarees, that's what!

Harking back to more carefree times, I made these Safiya dungarees to wear to the launch of my new book Make It Simple. The pattern, which is included in the book, is a variation on the Safiya wide-legged trousers. For this version, I lengthened them slightly from cropped-above-the-ankle to full-length, partly because it was cold when I made them, and partly because I thought they looked nice like that when I tried them on mid-make.

25 March 2020

Six Free Sewing Projects

Six free mini projects
  
If you are looking for a quick and easy mini project to keep you busy, then we've got you covered.

These projects can be completed in an hour or so and could even make use of the fabric scraps you have lying around. We've got six free projects to have a go at and three of them will spruce up your sewing tools - winning!

Six free mini projects

If you're looking for a small pick-me-up project, we have three free projects in mind that will pep you up when you pop them on!
 
Six free mini projects

18 March 2020

Seven Steps to Perfect Thread Tension (with video!)

Seven steps to perfect thread tension - Tilly and the Buttons

Thread tension giving you neck tension? Ever thrown a wobbly because of wobbled stitches?

When the thread tension is off on your sewing machine, it can really throw you. Stitches that are too tight, too loose, or uneven can be particularly disheartening for sewing newbies who aren’t yet comfortable with their sewing machine – but, let’s be honest, thread tension troubles can plague more experienced stitchers too. In fact, it’s surprisingly often that I hear someone saying the reason they don’t sew is that they can’t get the tension right on their machine.

Needle thread tension
Bobbin thread tension

What you’re aiming for is stitches that look evenly balanced on both sides of the fabric, with no loose loops, tight knots or thread bunching.

If the tension is too tight, the fabric can pucker and the bobbin thread may be visible on the top side of the fabric.

If the tension is too loose, you may see visible loops on the top side of the fabric and the spool thread might be visible on the underside.

The good news is that, more often than not, it’s a very simple fix to get your stitching back on track. And very often it doesn’t even involve adjusting the tension dials! So before you spend this month’s fabric budget on getting your machine serviced, work your way through the following steps, in the following order. And some of these steps may surprise you…

Plus there's a video at the end if you'd like to see these steps in action!

11 March 2020

Tilly's vintage blue Indigo

Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I know I say this every time, but this is my new favourite outfit. This is my fourth Indigo dress now and certainly not my last.

The fabric is a vintage brushed cotton from Olive Road, who specialise in sourcing beautiful fabrics from the 1950s to the 1990s (yes, 90s is vintage now!). Sarah, who runs Olive Road, was our neighbour when exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show last Autumn and I became a little bit obsessed with this one-of-a-kind piece of fabric. When she suggested swapping it for some patterns, of course I couldn't say no!

Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

The material is a brushed cotton. It's lovely and soft but still has a bit of structure, so holds the shape of the dress nicely without feeling at all stiff. I bought some delicate laundry detergent especially and have been surprised at how well this dress has washed (I have worn it loads).

One thing to bear in mind when buying vintage fabric is that it can be very narrow, so you may need lots of it, as I did, and to play around with the cutting layout to make get the most out of it.

Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

For this version of Indigo, I went with "all the trimmings", in other words, the fluted sleeve variation with exposed frill seams. I made the hem halfway between the top and dress version, which is perfect for wearing with thick tights or leggings (I've been living in thermal M&S leggings with Indigo smocks this winter).

Tilly's vintage blue Indigo smock - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Have you fallen for Indigo yet?

*****
Photos: Jane Looker
Sewing pattern: Indigo
Fabric: one of a kind piece from Olive Road