26 February 2016

Introducing our Bow Blouse Pattern for Simply Sewing!

Do you subscribe to Simply Sewing magazine? Well you should, because it's fab. I write a column for the mag every other month, plus it includes lots of lovely sewing goodness from our indie pattern friends such as By Hand London, Megan Nielsen and Sew Over It. Aaaand in the latest issue, there's a lovely Tilly and the Buttons bow blouse pattern and sewalong!

23 February 2016

Sewing Dominique: Choosing and Adjusting Your Size

Sewing the Dominique skirt? If you're not sure which size to pick, or you think you might need to adjust it, read on...

First, I've got some good news. Dominique is seriously easy to fit - hooray! We designed it to be super simple so that even first-time stitchers could enjoy making it, without the head-scratching that more complicated patterns can sometimes entail when it comes to fitting it to your unique body shape. The elasticated waistline will fit to your waist with minimal effort, and also means that you don't need any darts or other more complex kinds of shaping.

19 February 2016

Inspiration + Fabric Shopping for the Dominique Skirt

Sewing yourself a Dominique skirt? Vanessa here today to talk fabric choices with y'all!

Dominique works well in a wide variety of fabrics. We've been compiling some Pinspiration to give you a sense of just how different it can look depending on what kind of material you choose - from chic black crepe to florals through solid colour cottons to a sparkly sparkly party time skirt!

17 February 2016

Introducing the Dominique Sewing Pattern!

 If you read yesterday's blog post about our online sewing workshops, you may have spotted mention of a new pattern used in Learn to Sew Skirts.

Good news! You can get your hands on the new pattern even if you don't take the workshop...


Dominique is actually two skirts in one - ideal for novice stitchers, or a super satisfying one hour make for more experienced dressmakers.

We designed the straight skirt to be the perfect first project for a beginner. With simple construction, no-fuss fitting, no fiddly bits - and of course our beginner-friendly instructions - it's seriously easy to make!

We then added the flared skirt pattern as a slightly more challenging project to progress onto. With bias-cut pieces, a different hemming method, plus optional turnover top pockets and elegant sash, it'll take your skills up a notch.

Wear the skirt year round - with an Agnes top and bare legs when it's warm, knitwear and boots when it's not so warm!

  • Start with the super simple straight skirt, progress to the bias-cut flared skirt
  • Practise your stitching with easy-to-sew straight panelled seams
  • Elasticated waistline is simple to make - no fiddly zips or buttonholes
  • Easy to fit - the elastic cinches it in at the waist for a modern-casual style, with no darts needed
  • Versatile design - choose from above-the-knee, knee-length or midi hemlines
  • Make it your own with optional turnover top pockets, belt loops or elegant sash

Like all Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, Dominique comes with a gorgeous instruction booklet written in plain English, with helpful tips and colour photos demonstrating each step.

It's available as a beautiful printed pattern sent in the post with full size sheets and colour booklet, or a digital version which will be emailed instantly for you to print and assemble at home.

Patterns are also winging its way to stockists across the world. If your favourite local haberdashery doesn't have it in stock, you can ask them to order it!

The pattern comes in eight sizes, from UK 6 - 20. The simplicity of its shape makes this pattern easy to grade up to larger plus sizes - we've got a blog post coming up to help you choose your size and create a bigger size if needed.

Need some extra guidance? Wish you could join a class to make the skirt? Well now you can!

Watch the steps in video lessons with our online workshop, Learn to Sew Skirts. The print-at-home version of the pattern is included as part of the course materials.

Photographer: Fanni Williams / Hair and make up: Elbie van Eeden / Model: Sara Cudicio
Fabric: Chambray anchors fabric c/o M is for MakeCoral crepe de chine c/o Sew Over It
The model is also wearing the Agnes top pattern from our shop / narrow stripe jersey fabric c/o Dragonfly Fabrics
Special thanks to our pattern testers for your helpful feedback x x x

16 February 2016

Two New Online Sewing Workshops!

Always fancied coming to one of our sewing workshop but couldn't make the date or travel to London? After numerous requests, we've created two new online video workshops!

This workshop will get you feeling comfortable and confident with your machine - whether you've never touched a sewing machine before or feel you need a refresher.

What you'll learn:

  • Get to know the main parts of the sewing machine - we'll cover both mechanical and digital models
  • How to set up your machine, change the needle and attach the presser foot
  • Change the stitch type, length, speed and tension, and sew backwards
  • How to thread your machine up properly – both front-loading or top-loading models
  • Techniques for sewing straight lines, curves, corners and seams
  • How to make an easy scarf project, from cutting and pinning the fabric to pressing the seams
  • How to fix mistakes and avoid them in future so you can get on with your sewing
  • Diagnose and solve common sewing machine issues, such as jams, knots and uneven stitching
  • Questions to ask yourself when choosing a sewing machine
  • Essential tools you'll need to start sewing
  • Clean the inside of your machine to keep it in tip top condition

Make Friends with a Sewing Machine is based on the popular class we teach in London, with bonus content such as troubleshooting common issues and taking care of your machine.

Our follow on workshop teaches you the essentials of clothes-making. It's not just the theory - you'll learn lots of skills while making your own easy skirts. This class is perfect for you if you can use a sewing machine and want some help to start sewing your own clothes.

You will learn to:

  • Start using sewing patterns and understand their markings
  • Take your measurements and choose your size
  • Mark and cut fabric accurately, without messing up the pattern
  • Pin and stitch seams to construct a skirt
  • Insert an easy-to-fit elasticated waistband
  • Neaten seams using zigzag stitch
  • Hem a straight skirt and flared skirt - two different methods
  • Create turnover top pockets, which you can add to a multitude of projects
  • Make DIY belt loops
  • Sew an elegant sash to tie around your waist

You'll also get a free PDF version of our brand new Dominique sewing pattern - more on that to follow!

Our gorgeous new workshops website lets you watch the video lessons from your laptop, tablet or phone, whenever you're in the mood, with no deadlines. Your sofa = your classroom!

Another great thing about online workshops is that they're a fraction of the price of attending a face-to-face class.

PS. Already know how to sew? Perhaps you'd be so kind to tell a wannabe stitcher friend about the workshops. If these ones prove popular, we'd love to create more advanced classes in the future. (Have you seen our other online class, Learn to Sew Jersey Tops?)

Thank you so much for your support! xxx

12 February 2016

Coming Soon...

We've got some shiny new sewing goodies launching next week! I'm head down putting the finishing touches to everything, and looking forward to sharing details with you when they're ready.

If you want to be one of the first people to see them, become an email list member. If you're on the list, you'll get first word about new stuff, as well as exclusive discount codes every so often :)

Can't wait to share... until then, it's back to work!

10 February 2016

Sewing Space Tours... Katie's Den of Zen!

In the second instalment of our new feature, Sewing Space Tours, we're nosing around a room that's a breath of fresh air to those of us trying to strike a balance between clear, calm, and uncluttered on the one hand, and stylish, inspiring, and cosy on the other. Katie has hit the spot with her spare room in North London! Let's hear more from the lady herself...

Hello, I’m Katie, I’m a digital product designer at a startup by day and a sewist by any other time I can find. I’ve been sewing on and off since I was a teenager but in the last three years I’ve really made it a mission to sew nearly everything I wear. I really like making super-wearable everyday clothing: jeans, tops, dresses and the odd coat are my usual projects.

I live in North London with my boyfriend and two cats, in a flat which we bought five years ago. I’m extremely lucky to have a dedicated sewing room - something I’ve never taken for granted! My boyfriend is a homebrewer himself so neither of us can complain about hobbies taking over the flat as we’re as bad as each other.

My room used to be really tiny but a year ago we knocked down a wall that separated it from a bit of corridor leading to our back door. The extra 12 or so square feet made a world of difference, and while having the back door lead right into a room isn’t ideal, it did have the benefit of adding another natural light source to the space. It means I have frequent sewing room visits from the cats coming and going too!

When it came to renovating the room after the building work, I was determined to get in as much storage as possible to house all those bits and pieces that the hobby makes you accumulate: fabric, notions, tools etc. I did a lot of shopping in Ikea and Muji and had a custom desk and shelving unit made by a local carpenter. He built a long desk to my specifications, so that I can have both my machines out together – before I would be lifting one out of the way to work with the other, all on a much smaller desk.

He put in matching shelves above the desk which use up some awkward alcove space and hold my main fabric stash. All my fabric is wrapped onto mini ‘bolts’ made from cardboard comic book backing boards. I’m fastidious about pre-washing and folding my fabric and seeing it all tidy and unwrinkled when I want to use it is a big motivator to keep things ship-shape. I don’t consider my stash huge and only keep what I plan to use fairly soon - having regular clear-outs is one of my tips for a happy sewing space.

The room’s style reflects my personal taste for interiors, which is generally quite clean and bright with dashes of vintage and a bit of Scandi influence too in the white and pale wood. I harbour minimalist ideals and don’t really like a lot of clutter, but I do like to have just enough going on to feel at home.

I’ve got some vintage spools that I found at a market in New York which are great for wrapping trims around. My friend gave me the contents of her grandmother’s old sewing box and I framed up some of the packaging as wall art as it’s so pretty and colourful. I save old spools to store bias binding on and use foam toe separators to store full bobbins!

One of my other top tips for a functional space is to try to keep your main sewing surface as clear as possible. I find that stuff has a habit of flying off the sides as you’re moving fabric around and losing your unpicker all the time is really not fun.

So I use a lot of wall shelving instead plus my trusty sewer’s friend, the Ikea Raskog trolley. I love my pegboard too for hanging up scissors and tape measures. My favourite bit of storage are the Muji vertical files to hold frequently used PDF patterns, sorted by garment type. It works so well for bulky paper pieces!

Since everything has its own home I find it quite easy to tidy up and keep everything organised. I hate the stressful feeling of leaving my room in a mess, so always tidy up between sessions.

The room actually does double as on occasional guest room, so there’s a daybed which, as well as trundling out to a double size, also has very handy large drawers underneath. They’re stuffed full of bulky stuff like quilt wadding, plus those boring alterations projects I keep putting off.

One of my favourite items in the room is the window blind, which my mum made from Nani Iro fabric. I like to sneak into bed in here early in the morning sometimes to read a sewing mag while surrounded by my fabrics to get some inspiration. It’s a nice feeling to know that when I do find time to sew, that everything is always here waiting for me.

It’s definitely my happy place.

Thank you Katie for sharing your lovely space with us, you have reached Sewing Space Nirvana, and for this we salute you.

Did you catch the first in our series of Sewing Space tours? Check out Lisa's sewing wonderland (#yurtlife).

Fancy having your sewing space featured on our blog? Find out how to submit. Can't wait to see it!

3 February 2016

Dates for Your Diary!

Do you fancy improving your sewing skills in 2016? How about coming and saying "hey!" at an event? You're in luck! Further workshop dates have just been announced (including an exciting new Bettine Dress workshop!), and Team Tilly are going to be out and about over the next few months at various events. We'd love to meet you!


Saturday 13 February 2016, from 2.30pm 
Liberty, Regent Street - 3rd floor haberdashery 

Fancy sewing your own boudoir set this Valentine's? Our very own Vanessa will be making up the Fifi sewing pattern at Liberty of London on the afternoon of Saturday 13 Feb. Come say hi, browse our sewing patterns and gain inspiration from Liberty's dreamy haberdashery. 

 Can't make it? SEW FIFI AT HOME

3 - 6 March 2016 
Olympia, London 

For the first time, we'll be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London! Come and meet us at stand E80, where you'll be able to see our full range of sewing patterns (including a new one!) and chat all things sewing. Already made one of our patterns? Please wear it on the day, we'd love to see! 

21 - 23 February 2016 
NEC, Birmingham 

Do you work in the creative or craft industry? We'll be exhibiting at the trade show CHSI Stitches this year, at stand L25. Whether you're already a Tilly and the Buttons stockist or would like to find out more, we'd love to meet you! 


All our workshops take place at our sunny studio in South London, near West Norwood and West Dulwich stations. Apart from Learn to Sew Jersey Tops, which is taught chez vous! :)

Sunday 22 May 2016

New for the Spring - start making your own dresses with help from this beginner-friendly workshop, at our London studio. If you can use a sewing machine and have made a couple of simple projects, this is a great next step into dressmaking. You'll learn how to start using sewing patterns, take accurate measurements, and construct a cute dress with elasticated waistband and turn-up cuffs. The bestselling Bettine dress sewing pattern is yours to keep after the class.


By popular demand, we've scheduled two more classes with Sophia Palmer of Jessali Handmade. Use your sewing machine like never before, learning techniques to mix free-motion thread 'drawing' with appliqué. A fun and expressive way to create custom art pieces or to embellish your sewing projects! 


Learn tips and tricks to cut, stabilise and sew low-stretch knit fabrics on your regular sewing machine, while making the popular Coco top or dress pattern. Once you've sewn your first of these comfy garments, you'll never look back! 

Want to start sewing or in need of a refresher? This novice-friendly class will help you get to grips with threading a sewing machine and essential stitching techniques. You'll also learn to make a simple scarf to tie around your head, neck or bag. 


 If you can use a sewing machine for basic stitching and want to start making your own clothes, this workshop offers the perfect introduction. You'll learn how to make the easy-peasy pyjama bottoms project using the Margot sewing pattern, and get a copy of our award-winning book, Love at First Stitch, to take away with you. 

Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 May 2016

Save £15 by booking both Make Friends with a Sewing Machine and Make Pyjamas workshops on the same weekend. This is a great way of plunging head first into the wonderful world of sewing. Come along on Saturday with no experience, and by Sunday night you'll be wearing pyjamas that you've made yourself!

Online video workshop 

 Nowhere near London, can't make these dates, or just can't be bothered to leave the house? No problemo! Take our online workshop from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. Watch the video lessons to follow along with Tilly's stress-free approach to sewing stretchy jersey fabric on a regular sewing machine (no overlocker or serger needed!). The class includes a free PDF download of the versatile Agnes sewing pattern - destined to become your new favourite top. Once you've got to grips with sewing jersey, you'll never look back! 

We hope to see you at an event or workshop soon!