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.

It’s Louise here, and I am going to give you a flavour of what you can do with this dreamy pattern. There’s something about Nora and I have caught the bug for making them, already racking up five of these beauties. I chose different fabrics and variations for each and was amazed at how each one has a different feel to it – from casual to smart, or layering piece, to a standout sweater. I am in love : )

Do you fancy some inspo to make your own? I’ve pulled together some ideas that will make your heart flutter and have scoured our favourite fabric shops to find some suggestions perfect for making your own Nora.

Please bear in mind that we haven't handled these fabrics ourselves so it’s best to order a swatch if you want to check how they look and feel IRL.

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

Love pulling on a snuggly slouchy jumper in the cooler months? Sweater knits may be just the thing your handmade wardrobe is missing and you may not realise it’s something you can make yourself! Sweater knits generally have a looser weave than other knit fabrics and tend to have more texture to them. They are easy to work with, but make sure you test your stitches on a swatch (if you don't already do this for all projects) to make sure you get the right tension.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1  / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Rows L-R: 1. Rib knit 2. Glitter sweater knit 3. Metallic rib knit 4. Jersey knit 5. Jersey knit 6. Sweater knit 7. Viscose poly knit 8. Sweater knit 9. Sweater knit
We used a gorgeous glitter sweater knit for our cover sample (other colours available from our shop), which works so well with the high neck and long sleeves. Check out this gorgeous selection of cosy sweater knits perfect for recreating the sweater girl look.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Photographer: Jane Looker / Model: Harriet Hutton / Hair & makeup: Natalie @ the Bridal Stylists
We all live in jersey, don’t we? You can find a wide array of jersey, from cotton, to viscose or linen blends, in prints, plains and patterns. If you want a crisper shape, opt for  a cotton jersey. We picked an icicle blue shade for our t shirt variation and added NORA in letter patches.

Or maybe you want your garment to look a little more floaty? Look out for silk, viscose or linen blend jersey, as they will give your garment drape and fluidity. If you want a slouchy high neck, pick a fabric like this and it will hang nicely and feel really comfy to wear.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Rows L-R: 1. Knit fabric 2. Cotton jersey 3. Cotton jersey 4. Organic cotton jersey 5. Cotton jersey 6. Cotton jersey 7. Knit jersey 8. Cotton jersey 9. Cotton jersey
This gorgeous selection of cotton jersey prints would make fun Nora t shirts that would look lovely as a standout top, or create interest layered under something like a Cleo dungaree dress or Mila dungarees.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Rows L-R: 1. Viscose jersey 2. Viscose jersey 3. Wool + viscose jersey 4. Cotton/modal jersey 5. Ribbed viscose jersey 6. Viscose jersey 7. Jersey with drape  8. Viscose jersey 9. Viscose jersey
I love wearing clothes that float when I walk and this selection of jersey is blended with viscose, wool, or linen which gives the fabric drape.

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

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
These knits are super cosy and perfect for beginner sewers as they tend to behave themselves on the cutting table (no frustrating slipping and sliding around!). They are easy to cut and having a lower stretch perrcentage, makes them more stable. First up is ponte, which you may find has many names, such as ponte roma, ponte, roma jersey – they are all the same thing. Ponte knits will showcase the stepped hem really well as the weight of the knit will help in stand in place.

You can also shop for another double knit fabric, interlock jersey. It is comfortable to wear and has just enough stretch in it to work for Nora. A double knit is perfect for cooler months or as something warm enough to wear on its own during those transitional months.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Rows L-R: 1. Ponte roma 2. Ponte roma 3. Ponte roma 4. Jacquard knit 5. Interlock jersey 6. Wool jersey 7. Textured ponte 8. Viscose ponte roma 9. Crepe ponte roma
I'm lusting over this to-die-for selection of ponte and interlock knits. I am planning to make a long sleeved Nora with the step hem and round neckline in our red striped interlock. We all love stripes, and going with red stripes is a great option as it contrasts so well with blue, which is a large chunk of many wardrobes (aka - the denim stash)! It will also hold the shape of the step hem really well and be super comfy. I'll wear it with neck scarves and brooches to feel oh so Parisian : )

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

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Mmmm, velvet has to be one of the most gorgeous fabrics to wear, especially with party season on the way. Stitch up your Nora in stretch velvet to take yourself from the desk to dinner with ease. It is very important to buy stretch velvet (with at least 10% crosswise stretch) rather than woven velvet, as you need to be able to pull it over your head!

Velvet can be a little trickier to handle as it likes to move around quite a bit, so try cutting out as a single layer (rather than folded) to make sure you are accurate. Another tip is to make sure you lay the Nora pattern pieces out as suggested when cutting out and ensure the pile is running in the same direction on each piece (stroke it up or down to see which way you prefer before cutting out). For more tips on sewing with velvet and all other knits, grab a copy of Stretch! - our book that will get you comfortable sewing with knit fabrics.

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Rows L-R: 1. Stretch velvet 2. Panne velvet 3. Stretch velvet 4. Velvet jersey 5. Velvet jersey 6. Stretch velvet 7. Velvet jersey 8. Stretch velvet 9. Crushed velvet jersey
I feel like this little selection of dreamy stretch velvet fabrics doesn't need much explaining... they are stunning! These rich jewel tones are perfect for the party season and the crushed pink velvet looks just like the t shirt in my inspo grid : )

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

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

Inspiration and fabrics for making your Nora - by Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

If that little lot wasn't enough, why not get inspired to customise your project with iron on/sew on patches, turn your hand to embroidery with your own cute phrase on your top, or have fun with mix and match sleeves? And those hearts elbow patches... my Nora needs them!

I told you there's something about Nora! Are you with me? Share your Nora makes with us on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingNora - we can't wait to see what you make!

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