18 July 2018

Behind the Scenes at the Stevie and Seren Photoshoot



Hi everyone, it’s Jenny here and I’m so excited to show you the behind the scenes from our latest photoshoot! If you’re anything like me and you love seeing the workings of a creative business, then you’re in for a treat with our first behind the scenes video as well :)

The build-up to a photoshoot always creates a fresh buzz in the office, we get so excited to work with everyone again and I would be lying if I said it isn’t always as fun as it looks! I had a great time making this video and filming our day, I hope you enjoy seeing just what it's like on a photoshoot here at TATB HQ.



12 July 2018

How To Print Fabric - with a Parsnip!

How To Print Fabric... with a Parsnip! - Tilly and the Buttons


We've had lots of questions about this gorgeous pink fabric featured in our Stevie tunic pattern shoot. Where did we find it? Well, the model, Zeena Shah, hand-printed it herself - using a parsnip!

As you may know, rather than using model-models for our patterns, we like to hire non-professional models with other creative talents, most of whom we know personally. Zeena is a designer, print maker and author, as well as creator of the most inspiring Insta account - and today we have a special treat for you as she's going to show you how to print your own fabric. With root vegetables. As you do...

How To Print Fabric... with a Parsnip! - Tilly and the Buttons

Hi guys, it’s Zeena Shah here for a special guest post celebrating the launch of Tilly’s newest patterns!

If you don’t already know me, I’m a London based print designer, maker, illustrator and author of the book How to Print Fabric and illustrator of Scandia, a colouring in book journey.  I’m a trained print designer and teach creative workshops in print and pattern design. I love sharing my skills and getting everyone making!

I was lucky enough to be asked to model these dreamy dresses and had such a fun day shooting in the studio with the team. I’m super excited to share with you a simple printmaking technique to create your own printed fabric at home that you can turn into this gorgeous Stevie dress I’m wearing!

How To Print Fabric... with a Parsnip! - Tilly and the Buttons

9 July 2018

Fitting the Seren Dress

Seren dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Itching to get your Seren sundress off your cutting table and into your nearest field of flowers? Before you get sewing, let's talk fitting.

As the bodice on this dress is fitted, it's worth taking the time to make a toile (AKA "muslin") - a mock up in cheap fabric with similar qualities to your final fabric - so you can make any alterations needed to get it to match your unique body shape. I wouldn't worry about toiling the skirt part.

Alternatively what you could do is make your first version of the whole thing as a "wearable toile", a version in nice-enough-but-not-expensive fabric so you can wear it if it does fit you first time, or if it needs altering it's not the end of the world.

Seren dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

In this post I'm going to go through the most common fitting alterations that you might want to make to your pattern - if you already know you usually need to make any of these alterations, go ahead and adjust the pattern before you make your toile. Or if you're not sure, make your toile first and adjust the pattern based on what you need to add or take out of your toile.

We're going to cover:

  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening the bodice or skirt
  • Shortening the bodice or skirt
  • Combining pattern sizes
  • Bust adjustments
  • Adjusting the dart position
  • Altering the strap length
  • What to do if the neckline gapes
  • What to do if the front opening gapes at the bust


Please bear in mind that, depending on your shape, you may not need to make any changes, or only one or two, so please don't feel intimidated by this list! It's worth putting a bit of effort into fitting to get clothes that are tailored to your unique set of curves - after all, that's one of the benefits of making them yourself - but equally it's important not to over-fit. Remember, this isn't a couture gown, it's more summer picnic or wedding disco attire, so it's going to move with you :)

7 July 2018

Fabric Shopping for Seren

Fabric shopping for Seren

Have you been swooning over our latest pattern Seren while making the very tough choice of which gorgeous fabric to use for your project? It’s Louise here, and I have a confession… I am a fabric shopaholic! I wanted to share my picks from online window shopping to help inspire your make. I am certain this flirty sundress is going to be your favourite me-made for many years to come.

Fabric shopping for Seren


Seren can be made in a multitude of fabrics and has some stunning details choose from (the tie-waist is my fave!). By using different fabrics, you can take Seren from picnics in the park to cocktails under the stars. If you opt for the flounce detail, choose a drapey fabric to keep it soft and flowy.

When selecting your fabric, think about how you want your dress to look and where you might be wearing it. Pick something with drape, like viscose (rayon) or crepe, if you want something more appropriate for the evening or just fancy something flowy.  Cotton fabrics are perfect for day wear and will also hold the shape of the skirt beautifully.

Please bear in mind that we haven't handled these fabrics ourselves (I have one or two in my Seren stash!) so order a swatch if you want to check how they look and feel IRL.

Fabric shopping for Seren

5 July 2018

Inspiration for making Seren

Inspiration for making Seren

Are you swooning over Seren and ready to make your own? This flirty button-down dress will keep you feeling cool during picnics in the park all summer long and is just perfect for a party. If you’re looking for a little style inspo we have a round-up of ideas to get you started.

It’s Louise here, and I have been pinning plenty of suggestions to make your own creation. Seren has some really pretty options to choose from, whether you opt for the flounce neckline or tie-front bodice, you will find yourself cinched in with a flattering waistband aaand the straps are wide enough to cover bra straps (yay!). I predict this will become your favourite summer dress : )

Inspiration for making Seren
Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


3 July 2018

Fabric Shopping for Stevie

Fabric shopping inspiration for Stevie - beginner friendly sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Stevie top or tunic dress? If you're thinking about what fabric to pair it with then I am here to help! It's Louise here from Team Buttons and I have been scouting dreamy supplies to make my Stevie (there has been some purchasing and some fantasy shopping where the cart never quite makes it to the payment page!), so I thought I’d share some of my favourite finds.

This way, the Stevie’s I’ve dreamt up can be stitched and showcased by one of you lovely DIY dressmakers : )
Fabric shopping inspiration for Stevie - beginner friendly sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Stevie can be made in a multitude of fabrics (great for fabric in your stash that has been waiting for the right thing to come along), and by using different fabrics you can take Stevie from relaxed casual vibes to bossing it office wear. Fabrics with body, such as linen and chambray will give your garment a more structured shape, while opting for a drapey viscose or silk will give it a more flowy style.

Please bear in mind that we haven't handled these fabrics ourselves (even though I'd love to own them aaaall!), so order a swatch if you want to check how they look and feel IRL.

Fabric shopping inspiration for Stevie - beginner friendly sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

LOVELY LINENS
Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

1 July 2018

Inspiration for making Stevie

Inspiration for making Stevie

If you can’t wait to get stuck into our latest pattern Stevie, a speedy-to-sew and addictive-to-wear project, you may be looking for a little style inspo to get you started.

It’s Louise here, and I am going to share some inspiration, as well as ideas for making it unique to you. This gorgeous, modern tunic is beginner-friendly (yippee!), and satisfyingly quick to sew, which means you can create plenty of every day outfits to take you through the summer.

Inspiration for making Stevie
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3  / 4 / 5


29 June 2018

Meet the Seren sewing pattern!

Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Our office has been so high pitched these past few weeks, we've been so ridiculously excited to share not one but TWO brand new sewing patterns with you!

Get the deets on Stevie and read on to find out all about Seren.

Okay without further ado, let's meet Seren...


Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Seren sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're looking for THE dress this summer - you know, the one you're dreaming about wearing as you shimmy under the stars with a sangria in your hand - then you've come to the right place. A pattern with multiple variations, make it as a classic button-down or add a contemporary twist with the flirty neckline flounce or pretty waist tie detail.

Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern!

Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

What's better than a new sewing pattern? TWO new sewing patterns!

That's right, today we're launching two brand spanking new patterns - available in both printed and PDF versions.

First up, let me introduce you to Stevie...



Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Introducing the Stevie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I don't know about you but I love having simple, modern pieces in my wardrobe that I can throw on in the morning and feel effortlessly stylish. Stevie is a contemporary top and a tunic dress that's as easy to make as it is to wear - it's destined to be one of those patterns you become addicted to!

27 June 2018

Louise’s Purrrfect Frankie Tee!


Hi everyone, it’s Louise here to talk about an adorable adaptation you can make to your sewing projects this summer!

Frankie Tee - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons


Here at Tilly HQ we have been so inspired by some of the cute garments you can currently buy which include patches featuring almost anything you could think of. It seems that if you have an obsession – animals, TV shows, food – you can now find a patch to express that love!

When I saw this top from Paul and Joe I knew I had to recreate it using one of our patterns, and luckily I had the ideal pattern with the Frankie Tee from our book Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable Sewing with Knit Fabrics. I found a gorgeous cat patch from Boho Haberdashery - which looks a lot like my own fur baby Maisie! - and I was ready to start this purrrfect project. Sadly the exact patch I picked is no longer available, but they have plenty of other cat patches on offer :)

20 June 2018

Sewing Space Tours... Evie la Lùve's Pastel Daydream!

Evie la Luve Sewing Space Tour
For today's sewing space tour, where we peek behind the closed doors at a crafter's inspiring sewing room, we're in the Derbyshire countryside with Hannah the pastel queen and sewing pattern designer behind Evie La Lùve.

We've been admiring Hannah's beautiful lingerie kits and weren't surprised to see her sewing room is equally gorgeous...

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space Tour



Hello, my name is Hannah and this is my happy place! I have been running my lingerie sewing pattern/made-to-order business Evie la Lùve from this little space for nearly three years. I live in the Derbyshire countryside and have taken over the largest bedroom in our house where I live with my husband and two kitty cats, who are not allowed in my sewing room unless under strict supervision! (The cats that is, not my husband!)

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space TourMy business is made up of so many different elements and this space has to work for everything. I design, draft and digitise multi sized lingerie sewing patterns for PDF download and reconfigure these patterns so they work as printed versions too. This process alone requires a lot of space to assemble pattern envelopes, cut and fold the pattern pieces and assemble instruction sheets.

I film YouTube tutorials here also for my channel. Anything from a fabric haul to a tutorial for assembling adjustable bra straps or a full step by step tutorial for one of my sewing patterns.

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space Tour

I stock a lot of lingerie sewing supplies here as well as assembling sewing kits for my patterns, which is tricky sometimes with the space that I have! This involves packing a lot of customer orders on a daily basis along with my recently launched made-to-order collections which are all handmade by me in this small space too.

So basically what I’m saying is, my sewing room has a lot going on and can get out of hand very quickly if I don’t keep on top of things. Don’t be fooled by these photos, this is my sewing room at it’s best! I regularly can’t see the floor, not to mention my desk…


As my business has grown, this space has changed and evolved with me to accommodate whatever new venture I've dreamt up. I love the light, airy feel it has so I’ve really tried to maintain that while also making use of every inch of this room, to create some kind of organisation and work flow.

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space Tour
Along one wall I have heavy duty shelving which holds most of my fabric stash, printed patterns and kits sold in my Etsy shop. My under table storage (thank you Ikea) holds the laces I stock in my shop and the fabric I use daily for my made to order collections. This all needs to be accessible in a hurry as I like to work fast!

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space TourMy sewing space has a lot of DIYs. I like to customise everything, even if that just means I spray paint it. This includes my lilac trolley and my giant peg board! That was an organisation revolution! I incorporated curtain rail holders with dowels that hold a lot of the elastics I sell, this makes them really easy to measure when I’m packing customer orders. It also stores a lot of the equipment I use when pattern drafting so that I can use and tidy as I go along, without breaking my work flow.

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space Tour
I developed my ‘clipboard organisation system’ about a year ago and it changed everything! After spending days searching around my room (mostly on the floor) trying to track down crotch pattern pieces of new designs I was working on, I came up with this system to keep all the pieces together.

Each pattern in development has its own clipboard on the wall. I tend to work on several patterns at once, so this system keeps everything in order while still being easily accessible. It’s also a gentle reminder to get on and finish them when all the clipboards are full, and not to start working on something new until there is a free clipboard! I tend to get carried away…

Evie La Lùve Sewing Space Tour

I think my sewing room really became the 3D mood board for my business. It’s full of all my favourite pastel colours, full of flowers and pretty things that inspire me. I have personal touches everywhere, like my wedding polaroids above my desk and other decorations from our DIY wedding. 

Evie La Luve Sewing Space Tours
Working around my husband's work schedule means I am often still in my sewing room into the early hours of the morning, so I have made this space as cosy and comfortable a possible. I have fairy lights, which serve no purpose other than to make me feel good, flowers everywhere and blankets and cushions so I can get comfy and cosy when I’m still sat at my computer at 1am! Working from home means I am often in my PJs well into the afternoon and have many a time answered the door to a delivery person in my dressing gown, silently hoping they realise that I’m simply too busy to get dressed and I’m not just being lazy!



I really just created a place where I wanted to be. I feel like my sewing room is what the inside of my head would look like. It’s bright and full of pastel colours and flowers, and loads of pretty things. It’s chaotic most of the time and always has 1001 things going on at once, but I couldn't love it more!

Thank you for showing us around your dreamy sewing space, Hannah! We've loved seeing behind the scenes at Evie La Lùve and we're lusting over all the sewing goodies in your shop.

Have you seen the rest of our Sewing Space Tours? Head over and check them out!

Fancy submitting your lovely sewing space to be considered for a Tour? Read the guidelines here.

Until next time!

13 June 2018

Troubleshooting Overlocker Stitches

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

Overlockers (AKA "sergers") are wonderful machines... most of the time! Great for stitching knit fabrics or finishing the seams on woven garments, once you get the hang of them they're super speedy to use.

However, they do need adjusting so the settings match the fabric and seam that you're sewing. Whenever you start a new project, take some time to sew a test swatch and adjust the knobs if you need to.

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

This is what you're aiming for - perfectly balanced stitches. (This picture shows four threads - you may have three instead if you're sewing lightweight fabric or seams that aren't going to come under too much strain.) I've used different coloured thread for each looper and needles so you can easily see how the stitches link together.

If your seam doesn't look quite right, here's a quick reference guide for seven common issues and how to fix them...

How to fix overlocker or serger stitch problems - Tilly and the Buttons

The loops from the right side are peeping out on the wrong side!
If the upper looper thread loops are visible on the wrong side, they’re either too loose or the lower looper thread is pulling them too tight. So you can either turn the lower looper tension dial down or turn the upper looper tension dial up. Adjust them one at a time, a little at a time, sewing a test swatch each time until the loops are staying on their own side.

6 June 2018

Free Hip Pockets Pattern for the Mila Dungarees!

How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons

What's better than three pockets on your Mila dungarees? FIVE pockets on your Mila dungarees!

You asked for more pockets, so we've created a free downloadable pattern for a hip patch pocket that you can add to your Milas, plus instructions below for how to sew it. The pockets make a simple addition and are large enough to slip your phone, snacks or idle hands into. You are welcome :)



How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons
How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons


Get your Mila dungarees pattern
if you don't already have it

If your fabric is 150cm (60in) wide, you’ll need 0.25m (3/8yd) extra for the pockets. If it’s more like 115cm (45in) wide, you’ll need 0.35m (1/2yd) extra fabric.

How to add hip pockets to your Mila dungarees! - Tilly and the Buttons