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...

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


I really wanted to make a shirt that had some shaping to it, rather than a flat front.

At the same time I was dreaming of a casual shirt dress, with sleeves, that wasn't too tight on the waist because, you know, lunch.

Plus it's no secret that I love seventies style denim, and I've become particularly obsessed with denim shirt dresses recently, particularly those with interesting seams and contrast topstitching.

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

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

So that's how the idea for Rosa started - a button-down shirt or shirt dress with lots of interesting details:
  • Princess seams give a flattering, semi-fitted shape to the front as well as the back
  • A pointed back yoke which looks stunning highlighted with topstitching or piping
  • Separate button stand facing so you can make a feature with contrast fabric
  • Casual three quarter length sleeves with turn-up cuffs held up with narrow tabs
  • Gently curved hem on both the shirt and dress (not so curved that it looks like you've forgotten to put your trousers on, if you know what I mean!)
  • Optional pointed patch pockets
  • Mock felled seams on the inside, with optional contrast topstitching on the outside


As much as I love easy-peasy speedy sewing projects, sometimes I want to get stuck into a more complex project - Rosa is definitely one of those. It's a treat for confident stitchers and those who want to take their sewing to the next level.

What if you've never sewn a shirt before? Or if you have but it didn't quite work out? ;) Don't worry, we've created a brand new workshop - taught online through video lessons - to guide you through every step of its construction. You'll learn how to:
  • Construct a neat two-piece collar
  • Stitch buttonholes with confidence
  • Make a stunning pointed yoke
  • Attach sleeves easily with the flat insertion method
  • Finish with mock felled seams
  • Learn top tips for tidy topstitching
  • and lots more!

These are all really useful techniques to have in your sewing armoury, and will set you up to make lots more projects in the future.

How do online workshops work?

By signing up for the workshop, you'll be able to access a structured sewing course on a dedicated website. The workshop is taught mainly through bitesize video lessons (just the good stuff, not the boring bits!), supported by extra written tuition and downloadable course materials. Plus you'll get the Rosa sewing pattern included - choose from a print-at-home download or a printed pattern sent to you in the post.

It's just like taking a sewing class... but unlike a regular sewing class, you can take it whenever it suits you, at your own pace, however many times you like, from your own home, wherever you live, in your PJs if you like! It's a great way to fit learning and creativity around the rest of your life.

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Just want the pattern?

No problem. The instructions take you through the steps, with colour photos showing what your shirt or shirt dress should look like on your sewing table at each stage of the make.

Order a printed pattern and we'll send you a gorgeous package in the post, printed on proper paper (not scrunchy, flyaway tissue). Prefer to print and assemble your patterns at home? Order the digital version and you'll get an email with your pattern to download instantly.

Rosa is also available from lots of fabric shops around the world. If your favourite shop doesn't stock it, ask them to order it!

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Fabrics and sizing

The pattern includes eight sizes, similar to UK 6 – 20 - you can see the measurements on the sizing chart. We've got a blog post coming up on choosing your size and adjusting to your shape, including lengthening, shortening and bust adjustments. Just a little note - since photographing the shirt dress on our lovely model, we lengthened it slightly so the hem falls just above the knee :)

You can make it in a wide range of medium- and light-weight woven fabrics - cotton lawn, chambray, lighter weight denim, linen blends, shirting cotton, viscose (rayon), double gauze, even fine needlecord. Take a look at the pattern page to find out how much fabric you need.

For the dress, we used a light denim from Fabrics Galore, with a contrast floral Liberty lawn on the inner collar stand and facing. Our sample shirt was made in a floaty flamingo viscose from Dragonfly Fabrics (now sold out, sorry). We'll talk more about fabrics soon - I've been having way too much fun imaginary fabric shopping for you!

Rosa sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I hope you love Rosa as much as we do. It will look so lovely in so many different fabrics. I can't wait to see your creations - please share them with us on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingRosa so we can all admire what you've made!

(and get Rosa included!)

Photographer: Fanni Williams / Hair and make up: Katie for Natalie Guest / Model: Rosabella Riddington
Fabric: light denim c/o Fabrics Galore / Ciara B cotton lawn c/o Liberty (used on inner collar stand and button stand facing - now sold out) / flamingo viscose from Dragonfly Fabrics (now sold out)
Shoes & accessories: model's own (I've always wanted to write that!)
Special thanks to our amazing pattern testers for your help! x x x