31 October 2018

How to Sew a Zip Fly - with Video!

How to Sew a Zip Fly - really useful video!

Want to learn a great method for sewing a zip fly?

Zip flies on trousers and skirts can be a little fiddly, but our awesome pattern cutter Serefina, who has worked for many years for couture and high street fashion designers alike, showed me a brilliant approach which is relatively easy to do and creates a neat finish.

Ness skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
How to Sew a Zip Fly - really useful video!

We’ve outlined this method in full, with detailed text and step-by-step photos, in the instructions that accompany our Ness skirt pattern. To make it even easier for you to understand how to sew it, we’ve made a video so you can see the process in moving pictures :)

You can also use this video tutorial for many other sewing projects, not just the Ness skirt. But if you are making Ness, it’s a good idea to watch the video in tandem with referencing the instructions, as the instructions have more a few more details included in the text.

25 October 2018

Fitting the Ness skirt

Fitting the Ness skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Ness skirt? If you need any help choosing your size or fitting the skirt, you've come to the right place. It's Serefina here, the Sewing Pattern Developer at Tilly and the Buttons, to talk you through what you need to know.

So versatile, our latest skirt pattern can be worn all year round, and works in so many different fabrics. Dress it up, keep it casual or make it in a traffic-stopping print - if you get the fit of this down, you’ll be able to reuse the pattern again and again.

The good news is the Ness pattern only has a few areas that are crucial to the fit. It’s a good idea to make your first one as a sort of work-in-progress. If you only do one thing, tack (baste) together the side seams before you sew them together, trying it on and taking it in or letting it out where needed. Check it's comfy to sit down in as well as stand up in! If you want to make any further alterations, read on...

Fitting the Ness skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

In this post I'm going to take you through the most common adjustments that you might need to make to your pattern - if you are already aware of which alterations you’ll need to make, go ahead and adjust the pattern before you make your toile or tack together your real fabric. Or if you're not sure, make your skirt first and adjust the pattern based on how that fits.

We're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening and shortening
  • Combining waist and hip sizes
  • Fitting the back yoke

22 October 2018

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Ness skirt

Inspiration for making the Ness skirt - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Have you fallen for the oh-so-stylish new pattern on the block yet? If you haven't, by the end of this post I guarantee our latest pattern, the Ness skirt, will have your heart skipping a beat!

Ness will slot into any wardrobe seamlessly. Make her in autumn-friendly fabrics, such as corduroy, gobelin, jacquard, or wool - or select a denim for a multi-seasonal piece! With to-die-for denim-inspired details, Ness is sure to build your dressmaking skills and have you creating me mades that look like they just walked out of a shop!

19 October 2018

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora top

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons

If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new knit top in town that is destined to become one of your favourite things to make! Just like our popular Coco pattern, Nora is quick and easy to sew and will slot into your wardrobe like it’s always been there.

You can make Nora from a multitude of knit fabrics - from single jersey, to sweater knits, double knits, and stretch velvet – there are so many lovely options to choose from. The best part is the fabric can transform the shape, from being more structured, to floatier and fluid.

16 October 2018

NEW PATTERNS! Introducing the Ness skirt

Ness skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsNess skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsNess skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsNess skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Today is one of those days that just keeps on getting better as we have a second brand new sewing pattern for you! Check out my previous post to read all about the Nora top if you missed it - and read on to find out about Ness.

The Ness skirt is a timeless design that also happens to be all over the high street at the moment. If you're wondering what to wear this autumn/winter season, Ness is the answer, with a Freya sweater or Rosa shirt tucked in... plus it's versatile enough for when the weather warms up next year too - hooray!

Ness skirt sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

NEW PATTERNS! Meet the Nora Top

Nora sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Nora sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

It's an exciting day as we have two gorgeous new sewing patterns to introduce you to! Nora and Ness are modern, stylish and effortlessly wearable. Our team has already made multiple versions of each patterns - we're officially obsessed!

First, let me tell you all about Nora...

Nora sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Nora sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you like Coco, you'll love Nora. Quick and simple to make, easy to fit, extremely wearable and oh so versatile - what's not to like? Whip up Nora as a high neck sweater, top or t-shirt in a range of stretch knit fabrics, from sweater knits to jersey.

10 October 2018

Sewing Space Tours... New Craft House's Snazzy Studio

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

For today's Sewing Space Tour, where we peek behind the closed doors at a crafter's inspiring sewing space, we're in East London with Hannah and Rosie, the talented sewists and business partners behind the sewing studio and workshop haven The New Craft House.

Hannah and Rosie are well known for their variety of interesting workshops and of course their excellent sewing parties! Over to the ladies...

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

Hello! We’re Hannah and Rosie and we run The New Craft House. We have a studio in a railway arch in Hackney, London where we run lots of sewing workshops. We also host Pop Up fabric stores, organise our famous sewist parties and teach private classes. As well as teaching our own classes like Bra Making, Learn to Sew Swimwear and Jeans Making we also host other well-known sewists and businesses like Heather Lou from Closet Case Patterns, Elisalex from By Hand London, and Saara and Laura from Named Clothing to run workshops. Our studio gets a LOT of use!

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

We’re very lucky to have a studio where we can surround ourselves with all of our sewing supplies. We both love East London so knew we wanted to be based around here and the studio is super light and spacious - great for sewing! We both live on narrowboats and there are lots of waterways out East for us to call home, so we’re often moored really close to the studio.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

We run our business from the studio and spend most of our time listing new workshops, sorting out upcoming classes, sewing workshop samples or posting out orders, but we also manage to sneak in a bit of selfish sewing time! Rosie has been sewing some maternity things lately and Hannah has made lots of merino turtlenecks ready for Autumn.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

As we both run off solar on our narrowboats, we don’t use our sewing machines there. We use our evenings to knit, do English Paper Piecing, embroider and prep pattern pieces. Bra pieces are made for narrowboats because they’re so small you can easily cut them at your dinner table. Bra Making is still one of our most popular classes and we love teaching people how to make their own well-fitting bras - it’s really empowering.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

West Elm kindly offered to furnish our studio for us which was amazing! Having a nice desk and a comfortable chair is essential for productivity, especially when you’re sewing a lot. We also got some of their ceramic planters, big tables for workshops and an amazing sideboard where we serve drinks and snacks in classes. To go alongside our West Elm furniture we picked up some pieces from IKEA to pull everything together, including some peg boards which are super handy AND pretty.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

We’re still in the process of finishing decorating and we’d like more prints to hang and a lot more plants. I think we have quite a similar style to each other and we’re both set on creating an inspiring, creative space where workshop attendees feel welcome. We spend a lot of time in here so it’s so important to make it a nice place for us to spend time too.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

We’re not the most organised people! The peg boards have really helped with storing scissors and other sewing supplies and of course we’ve got one of those IKEA trolleys for wheeling out when we’re sewing! How could you have a sewing room without one?!

We have a very established sewing ritual. We make tea, get a nice sweet treat and then put on some trashy TV - and we’re talking seriously trashy reality shows. We’re also big podcast listeners - Stitcher’s Brew and Love To Sew are our favourites. Hannah’s dog Twigs is our studio companion although she spends most of her time asleep in the corner.

Sewing Space Tours The New Craft House

We love our studio and we love welcoming lots of different people from all over the world into our space. Have a look at all of our upcoming classes and perhaps we’ll see you here soon too!

Thank you Hannah and Rosie for showing us around your bright and brilliant sewing studio!

We've loved seeing behind the scenes at the New Craft House and we can't wait to see what workshops will be announced next :) Our Louise and Jenny have attended the bra making and the swim wear classes and loved them and Tilly has been to the jeans making workshop with Heather Lou!

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

3 October 2018

Tips for Sewing with Sequin Fabrics

Tips for Sewing Sequin Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're thinking about making a dress for the festive season, you might be pondering how to make it a showstopper. May I suggest adding some head-turning sparkle with sequins? Sequin fabrics can definitely be time-consuming to sew, but just think of the wow factor as you swan into that soirée!

Tips for Sewing Sequin Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons
Tips for Sewing Sequin Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

For one of the versions of the Joni dress pattern from my book Stretch! I used a sequin knit on the skirt part. (I didn't use sequins on the bodice as the twist front would be a bit bulky and scratchy against your skin.) Sequin knit fabrics have sequins sewn onto a knitted base material, such as mesh. They work well with simple styles with few seams. The stretch factor makes them easy to fit and relatively comfortable to wear.

Tips for Sewing Sequin Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

Here are my tips for sewing with sequin fabrics...