29 December 2016

Behind the Scenes... Plans and Schemes for 2017

Behind the scenes at Tilly and the Buttons
Behind the scenes at Tilly and the Buttons

In two days time, it'll be the seven year anniversary of when I started this blog - or the "seven year stitch", if you will.

On the one hand, it seems like only yesterday that I opened up Blogspot and started typing, not really expecting anyone other than my mum to read my blog, and certainly never dreaming that a few years later it would be the launchpad of my own business.

On the other hand, it definitely feels like sooooo much hard work to get us where we are now! Seven years of consistently working to create blog posts - and later products - that I thought you'd enjoy. Hard work is worth it when it's something as lovely and rewarding as helping people make their own clothes :)

The last year has been another busy one for us, releasing five patterns, three online workshops, doing lots of events... and working hard on things to come! So what do we have up our homemade sleeves for 2017?

26 December 2016

Ten Favourite Posts of 2016

Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly and the Buttons

With the year drawing to a close, it's time to take a walk down memory lane. Here are the most popular blog posts from the year in case you missed any (not counting finished sewing projects - a round up of those coming soon!). Hope you find something interesting or helpful here... enjoy!

Kick-start your sewing mojo! - Tilly and the Buttons

Kick-Start Your Sewing Mojo

Start your year as you mean to go on, with a thoroughly boosted sew-jo!

22 December 2016

Merry Stitchmas!

Merry Stitchmas from Tilly and the Buttons!

Wishing you a very happy holiday, whatever you're up to. I hope you'll have some time to rest up - and hopefully some sewing time too!

Our team is taking a week off between Christmas and New Year so we can spend some time with our families, eat our body weight in mince pies and cheese (not together... just next to each other) and gear up for an amazing 2017.

We're still taking orders through our online shop - just be aware that if you order a printed pattern or book between 10am GMT on 23 December and 2 January (which is a bank holiday), your order will be posted to you on Tuesday 3 January. Digital patterns and online workshop access are sent out automatically by email, so you can pick those up straight away in your inbox (check your spam folder if you can't see the email). If you email us, we'll get back to you in early January too :)

Thanks so much for supporting us this year. We really appreciate our lovely readers and customers and couldn't do this without you.

Have a good one!

Tilly, Vanessa, Lexy and Joanne

19 December 2016

What we got up to in 2016

Can you believe 2016 is almost over? It's been a tough year in many ways, but there are always good things to be grateful for. In the past year, our team have been busy sewing bees, launching new goodies, getting out and about to shows, and running workshops. If you're into reminiscing posts, here's a look back at what Tilly and the Buttons got up to in 2016...

14 December 2016

Sewing Space Tours... Jen's Seriously Stylish Sewing Space!

Sewing Space Tours - Jen's Stylish Space!

Lexy here to introduce the last Sewing Space Tour of 2016, where someone throws open the door to where the (sewing) magic happens. To round the year out in style, here's Jen to share her organised and extremely stylish sewing space with us...

Hello sewing fans, I’m Jen, aka The Gingerthread Girl – and this is my sewing room! I am found here at any spare minute when I’m not at the day job, usually accompanied by my fluffy cat, Frankenstein. 

9 December 2016

We Need Your Help!

Tilly and the Buttons need you vote!

We're super excited to have been nominated in the British Sewing Awards and the British Craft Awards!

These nominations mean so much to us - and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has already voted! If you can take 2 minutes to vote for us we'd be so grateful - we'd love your help to win.

In the British Sewing Awards 2016 we've been nominated in three categories - 'Best Pattern House', 'Best Sewing Blog' and 'Favourite Sewing Personality'.

The British Craft Awards 2016 have nominated us for 'Sewing Designer of the Year'. Click 'sewing' and then vote in as many categories as you like!

Tilly and the Buttons need you vote!

7 December 2016

Our Christmas Gift Guide!

Sewing Goodies for Christmas!
Everyday Essentials Sewing Pattern Bundle from Tilly and the Buttons £30.00
Set of 10 Handmade Macaron Sewing Weights from Oh Sew Quaint £19.99

The time of goodwill and cheer (not to mention mince pies and the almighty chocolate selection box) is fast approaching. Do you know what you're getting for your nearest and dearest? Here's our roundup of some of the best goodies for the crafty folk in your life - and perhaps a little something for you, too!

Sewing Goodies for Christmas!
Cleo Dungaree Dress Kit from Tilly and the Buttons £39.00

Sewing Goodies for Christmas!
Learn to Sew Jersey Tops Online Workshop from Tilly and the Buttons £45 *

30 November 2016

Five Tips for Sewing Cleo

Five Tips for Sewing the Cleo Pinafore - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress? This sewing pattern has become our new bestseller! While the dungaree clips may make it look fiddly, it's actually quick and easy to make - it's a great pattern for beginners, or more experienced stitchers looking for a speedy project. Today I thought I'd share some bonus tips for sewing Cleo...

Five Tips for Sewing the Cleo Pinafore - Tilly and the Buttons

24 November 2016

Black Friday sale!

25% off sewing patterns

It's time to stock up on sewing patterns - get 25% off in our Black Friday sale. Hooray!

If you fancy treating yourself to those patterns you've been coveting or you need gifts for your crafty friends, grab them now!

Visit the shop and enter code BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout

Happy shopping! xxx


Offer ends Sunday 27 November midnight GMT. The discount code is not valid on pattern bundles, Cleo sewing kit, books, bags or workshops.

21 November 2016

Your Makes!

Your Makes with Tilly and the Buttons sewing patternsHello everyone! It’s Kate, currently interning at Tilly and the Buttons. As the colder winter months approach I’ve had the pleasure of looking at all your autumnal makes. I've picked out a few of my favourites to show you - prepare to be inspired!

17 November 2016

A Cleo Dress for Every Day... (and a Giveaway!)

You know when you make something and you just want to wear it every single day? You miss it when it's in the laundry basket, and can't remember what you used to wear before you had it?

This is the outfit for me. I've got four Cleo dungaree dresses now, and this is the first version I made back in the Summer - and where it all began. I started off drafting the pattern for myself, then cut it out and stitched it together in an afternoon. When I couldn't wait to wear it again, when people kept asking where it was from, and when the ladies in the office wanted to make one too, I decided we should make it into a Tilly and the Buttons pattern to share with you guys.

14 November 2016

Cleo Sewing Party - You're Invited!

Guys! Do you fancy spending a day sewing a Cleo pinafore with likeminded sewing lovers? Sound good? Join our Cleo sewing party... on Instagram!

I thought it would be fun to have a few pals who love Cleo over to our studio so we could spend a day sewing, chatting and generally having the best time. And then I thought it would be even better if you could come to - as there's only so many sewing machines in my studio, and it's not easy for everyone to get to London, we're going to have the sewing party on Instagram as well!

Saturday 26 November, from 11am GMT onwards (or earlier if you're keen!)

On Instagram and Instagram Stories - tag us @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingCleo

How do I take part?
Make a Cleo dress on the day, and share pics and vids of your work in progress and finished makes on Instagram and Instagram Stories. I'm going to be posting updates throughout the day - you can ask me questions if you get stuck on any steps. Ooh and you could also have your own Cleo sewing party at your house and invite friends - that would be so fun to see what you're up to and say hi!

Hope you can make it!

In other news, we've been nominated for 'Sewing Designer of the Year' in the British Craft Awards. OMG! It's the first time there has been a sewing category in these awards (!) so we're particularly excited to be in the running. It would be amazing if you'd like to vote for us - click 'sewing' and then vote in as many categories as you like. You can also enter the prize draw to win a £100 Amazon gift voucher :)

This is different to the British Sewing Awards (potentially confusing, I know!), for which we're up for Best Pattern House, Best Blog and Favourite Sewing Personality. If you'd like to vote for us in both, that would be incredible!

I really appreciate your support in helping us to do what we do and keep creating sewing goodies for you to enjoy. Thank you! x x x

11 November 2016

Sewing Cleo: Sizing + Fitting

Sewing the Cleo dungaree dress - Sizing and fitting

Making the Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress? Vanessa here today – let’s talk about choosing your size and fitting the dress.

The relaxed, loose-fitting design of dungaree dresses makes Cleo easy to fit - yay! This style of dress doesn't have any darts or close-fitting seam lines that need to mould to your curves, and it hangs straight down, so don't worry about trying to get it to fit a sway back.

What you might want to do though is lengthen or shorten the dress, combine different waist and hip sizes to fit your proportions, and make a couple of small adjustments as you sew. So that's what I'm going to show you how to do...

9 November 2016

Inspiration for Sewing the Cleo Pinafore

Inspiration for making the Cleo dungaree dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Thinking of making the Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress? Today we wanted to share with you some of the gorgeous inspiration we fell in love with when developing this pattern - hopefully it will inspire and delight you too! Short or long, cosy and layered or light-weight and lovely - this pattern is a pleasure to wear year-round, as well as being quick and easy to sew up. Have a scroll through our picks and let the dungaree joy wash over you!

7 November 2016

Introducing the Cleo Sewing Pattern!

 Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Get excited – it’s here! Our new sewing pattern is the super cute and utterly wearable Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress (AKA jumper or overall dress)! Cleo is speedy to sew and easy to wear – I hope you love it as much as we do.

Aaaaaand for the very first time, we’re offering sewing kits with everything you need to make it!


2 November 2016

Five Ways to Use a Dress Form

Five Ways to Use a Dress Form - Tilly and the Buttons

Do you own a dress form? Also known as a dressmaker’s dummy or mannequin. One of the questions I’m asked a lot is whether to buy a dress form and which one I’d recommend. So today I thought I’d show you mine and talk you through some reasons you might want to get one.

Five Ways to Use a Dress Form - Tilly and the Buttons

While a dress form isn’t an essential, it’s definitely nice to have – one of those tools like an overlocker that you can certainly live without when you’re just starting out, but will put to good use when you get one. I’ve had my Lady Valet Adjustoform for six years now, and it’s still going strong. The soft cover looks nice and is easy to pin, and the solid wooden top and base look smart – in fact, it looks as good as new six years down the line! As an Adjustoform fan, I'm excited to partner with them for this post to show you five ways you can use your dress form...

26 October 2016

Free Pattern Bonus! Rosa Shirt Long Sleeve and Cuff

Free Pattern Bonus! Rosa Shirt Long Sleeve and Cuff Variation

Fancy making a Rosa shirt or dress with long sleeves and cuff opening for the colder months? We’ve created a bonus pattern for the full length sleeves, cuffs and facings, which you can download for free, plus step-by-step instructions (below) on how to sew them together. You're welcome!

(The pattern prints on 9 sheets of A4 or Letter paper)

Rosa Shirt Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

19 October 2016

Nautical Cascade Anorak

Tilly's nautical Cascade anorakTilly's nautical Cascade anorak

Meet my new anorak! This is the Cascade pattern by Grainline - lovely lady Jen gave it to me when I met up with her in Chicago a while back, and I finally got around to making it this September. I love it!

I made it in a soft blue cotton twill from Goldhawk Road, and lined it in a navy striped jersey (I can't remember where I got that from, sorry). It's a cropped jacket with the hemline around the high hip. I didn't quite realise this until I'd cut it out - I had it in my head that it would look like a Seasalt anorak I have, and didn't bother look at the finished measurements. Good job I didn't shorten it like I usually do on bodices, as it's already pretty short! I do really like it though, and there's another variation in the pattern to add a lower panel if you want it to be longer.

14 October 2016

We need your help!

We're over the moon to have been nominated in three categories in the British Sewing Awards 2016 - 'Best Pattern House', 'Best Sewing Blog' and 'Favourite Sewing Personality'!

We'd be soooo grateful if you'd take 2 minutes to vote for Tilly and the Buttons.

In the 'Best Pattern House' category we're the only independent label up against the big, long-established brands, so we really need your help to win.

12 October 2016

Sewing Space Tours... Ashley's Sewing Sanctuary!

Ashley's beautiful sewing space!

Hello! Lexy at the keys once again, to introduce a rather lovely sewing space as part of our Sewing Space Tours series. We're all in love with the colour of that filing cabinet - it would look right at home over at Tilly Towers! Here's Ashley to show us around her space...

Hello! I'm Ashley, and I'm the face behind Lazy Daisy Jones, where I blog about living creatively and colourfully. I'm here to share with you my favourite room in the house - my sewing room. I live with my family and a menagerie of pets, in the glorious rural county of Dorset, in the South West of the UK.

Ashley's beautiful sewing space!

5 October 2016

How to Sew Piping to a Collar or Corner

How to Sew Piping to a Collar or Corner - Tilly and the Buttons

Stitching piping to the seams of your handmade clothes is a lovely way to highlight interesting style lines, particularly if they’d otherwise be hidden by a darker fabric or busy print.

While I’ve written about piping before, I expect some of you may be wondering how to pipe the corners on the Rosa shirt and dress – on the pointed yoke and corners of the collar. So today I’m going to take you through the steps to pipe a seam with a corner.

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

29 September 2016

Kitty Print Rosa Shirt

Kitty Rosa shirt - Tilly and the Buttons
Kitty Rosa shirt - Tilly and the Buttons

One can never have enough kitty print handmade clothing IMHO.

Remember my cat print Carolyn PJs? When I bought the lovely cotton lawn fabric on my Japan trip in January, I couldn't resist getting the same print in black and white too. Before I made the PJs, I'd already put the B&W fabric to good use for this shirt version of the Rosa sewing pattern.

The pattern is a great showcase for a cute print like this, and I've been wearing the shirt to death these past few months with jeans and dungaree dresses (you can see me wearing it in the Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress workshop videos). I love it!

26 September 2016

Fitting the Rosa Shirt and Dress

Rosa shirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Rosa shirt or dress sewing pattern? Vanessa here to take you through fitting your handmade creation to your unique figure.

One of the wonderful things about making your own clothes is that you can get them to fit your shape much better than most shop clothing. You can add or remove length where you need it, take the shoulders in or out, adjust for larger or smaller boobs... It does take a bit of extra work, but it's worth it to have a lovely outfit tailored just for you!

We’re going to look at how to:
  • Choose your size
  • Pin fit the princess seams and side seams
  • Lengthen or shorten the torso or overall length
  • Combine pattern sizes
  • Make adjustments for wide or narrow shoulders
  • Adjust for a sway back
  • Make full or small bust adjustments

Bear in mind you almost certainly won’t need to make all of these changes, you might not need to make any at all!

23 September 2016

Fabric Shopping for the Rosa Shirt + Dress

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Rosa shirt or dress? Let's talk fabrics!

This pattern works well in so many easy-to-find fabrics. Look for a medium- or light-weight woven material - cotton lawn, chambray, lighter weight denim (including denims with a bit of stretch), linen blends (less prone to wrinkling than pure linen!), viscose / rayon (although it's not the easiest fabric to sew the collar in if you're not that confident), double gauze, shirting cotton (of course!), even fine needlecord.

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

For our shirt sample, we used a floaty flamingo viscose from Dragonfly Fabrics (now sold out - sorry!). On the dress version, we used a lightweight denim courtesy of Fabrics Galore. We used contrast fabric on the inner collar stand and button stand facing - Ciara B cotton lawn, courtesy of Liberty.

21 September 2016

Inspiration for Making Your Rosa Shirt or Dress

Inspiration for making the Rosa sewing pattern

One of the (many) lovely things about the Rosa sewing pattern is that it can look so different depending on what fabric, styling and embellishments you go for. We've got another post coming up next on fabric suggestions (look out for that), but first I wanted to share some inspiration for different looks that you can create.

20 September 2016

New Sewing Pattern... and Online Workshop!

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I am so excited to finally introduce you to our latest crush - the Rosa sewing pattern!

Even more exciting, we've made a brand new online workshop to go with it - Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress.

So much goodness to share with you today - let's start with the pattern design...

14 September 2016

Behind the Scenes...

Behind the scenes
Hello everyone!

Lexy here, with a little roundup of what’s been going on here at Tilly Towers as of late, include a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in these here parts!

7 September 2016

Your Makes!

Your Makes!

Hello! It’s Hannah, the intern at Tilly Towers, here to bring you our selection of what you’ve been busy sewing over the summer. We love seeing your beautiful creations, and it can be hard to pick our favourites, but this month I have burdened that difficult task especially for you!

31 August 2016

Sewing Space Tours...Lucy's Factory Studio!

Hello! Lexy here with another Sewing Space Tour for your viewing pleasure! Come and have a snoop around a quirky and colourful sewing space, with a big heart - here's Lucy to give us the guided tour...

Lucy's Sewing Space

Hello, I’m Lucy! I live in Staffordshire and get crafty at my studio in a converted pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, and I blog at Smile and Make. I’m an all-round crafter and I enjoy sewing and making anything I can try my hand at, but my current obsession is dressmaking.

Sewing is a real therapy for me - I lost my wonderful husband Michael to a brain tumour in February this year, and sewing has helped to provide a focus and an escape at a time when my world has been turned upside down.

24 August 2016

The Cat's Pyjamas

The Cat's Pyjamas: Tilly's Carolyn PJsThe Cat's Pyjamas: Tilly's Carolyn PJs
My Instagram followers can take full credit for the title of this post after I showed them a work-in-progress peek the other day - thanks guys! 

This is my second version of the Closet Case Files Carolyn pyjamas. I made my first pair in a snuggly stripe double gauze, with long sleeves and full length trouser legs. The pattern also includes this short sleeve, short shorts version, which I thought would be really cute for the Summer sewn in this lovely lightweight kitty print cotton lawn.