18 March 2019

Ten Tips for Sewing Rainwear Fabrics

Ten Tips for Sewing Rainwear Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons
Ten Tips for Sewing Rainwear Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to get stuck into sewing a raincoat? There are more and more amazing water repellent fabrics coming onto the market for home sewists to get the hands on. And our Eden coat sewing pattern is the perfect accompaniment, taking you through the steps to making a gorgeous raincoat or jacket.

If you’ve never sewn with waterproof or water repellent fabrics before, here are some tips on what to look out for, how to handle the materials, and stitching tips to get a great result.

Ten Tips for Sewing Rainwear Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

1) Choosing your fabric

There are lots of different types of rainwear fabrics on the market, and more and more of them are becoming available to home sewists to buy. Which is great! However, be aware that they can vary wildly in weight, content, feel and how they behave when you cut and sew them.

How they perform in the rain will be one of the main factors to consider when choosing what to buy. If you want to sew something that will keep you dry in a full-on downpour, take a look at waterproof fabrics such as PUL and Goretex. They are proper performance fabrics that won’t let rain through the fibres… but on the downside they can feel very synthetic and aren’t breathable – so you may get a little sticky!

If you’re not planning on wearing your handmade raincoat on a mountaineering expedition and just want something cute that will wear well on a short rainy walk, try a fabric that is “water resistant” or “water repellent” rather than “waterproof”. The waxed cotton in our Eden sewing kits is one such fabric – it may not withstand a tropical storm but will keep the rain off you on your commute to work or a gentle country walk.

Knowing what all the different rainwear fabric names mean can certainly feel a little confusing. If you’re buying online and aren’t sure what to get, see if you can order a couple of sample swatches to get a feel for what you like before buying.

Ten Tips for Sewing Rainwear Fabrics - Tilly and the Buttons

14 March 2019

Fitting the Eden Coat or Jacket

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

Making the Eden coat or jacket and need a helping hand on fitting and choosing a size? It's Nikki here with some hints and tips on what you will need to know.

The good news is Eden's casual, boxy and easy-fitting style means it doesn't require much, well, fitting. Hooray! Having said that, you're probably going to be investing in some lovely fabric, not to mention the time it takes to make it, so it's worth planning a few fitting adjustments if you need them.

When you're choosing your size and fitting the Eden coat or jacket, bear in mind that it's an outerwear garment and is designed to be roomy. Don't over-fit it as you'll most likely be wearing layers underneath, which makes fitting Eden a lot easier (yay!).

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

We're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Combining pattern sizes
  • Lengthening the bodice, sleeve or hood
  • Shortening the bodice, sleeve or hood
  • Making a toile

12 March 2019

Fabric shopping for Eden

Fabric Shopping for Eden

Want to make our brand new sewing pattern, the Eden coat or jacket, and need a helping hand deciding on fabrics? It's Nikki here, and I'm bringing you a dose of drool-worthy coat and jacket fabric inspiration from some of our favourite online shops.

What we love most about the Eden coat or jacket is that it's so versatile. Make it in a wool coating for a snuggly winter duffle coat, or in a cotton drill or raincoat fabric for a lighter jacket. When deciding on what fabric you want to buy, have a think about what activities you want to do whilst wearing your Eden, or the climate you live in - or are visiting on holiday, you lucky thing - as this will guide your fabric choices.

Please bear in mind that we haven't handled these gorgeous fabrics ourselves (booooo), so we recommend ordering a swatch to check how they feel and handle in real life.

Fabric Shopping for Eden

7 March 2019

Inspo for making your Eden coat or jacket

Inspo for making your Eden coat or jacket

Have you heard the news? Team Buttons launched our first ever coat pattern - Eden! She's not only gorgeous, she's incredibly versatile too. This will be a me-made garment that you will wear again and again and treasure for many years to come.

It’s Louise here, and I am going to give you a little inspo for making your dream coat. Eden is a chameleon and can look so different depending on what fabric, style, fastenings, and lining you opt for. I have spent many hours lusting over the possibilities on Pinterest, so thought I'd share some ideas for what you can do with this perfectly practical coat.

Inspo for making your Eden coat or jacket
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

5 March 2019

Meet the Eden raincoat and coat pattern!

Eden raincoat sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsEden raincoat sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsEden raincoat sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

After months of prepping behind the scenes we are unbelievably excited to share our newest favourite sewing pattern with you – meet Eden!

The Eden raincoat or coat is particularly special for us as it’s our first outerwear pattern. Our lovely customers have been asking for us to release a jacket or coat pattern for a loooong time and we think this raincoat and duffle is the perfect addition to the Tilly and the Buttons family.

We wanted to create a pattern that you'll get a lot of wear out of in different seasons. Make it in a lighter weight fabric to see you through the milder months, or in a cosy coating for chilly weather. Oh, and did we mention it's fully lined? The beauty of the Eden coat is that it’s so versatile and looks totally different depending on the fabric choice and optional features you go for. Raincoats are on trend right now and, let’s face it, these classic designs never go out of style. Whatever the season, you’re going to look (and feel) fab!

Want to find out more? Let’s dive straight in.

27 February 2019

Rifle Paper Co Ness Skirt

Tilly's Rifle Paper Co Ness Skirt - Tilly and the Buttons

Are you more of a prints or solids kinda person? Do you like your fabrics to be one colour or do you think the whole point of sewing your own clothes is to use the brightest, boldest print you can find?

I've definitely become more of a solids gal in recent years, not counting stripes of course, which for me is a neutral, hehe. It's been a long time since I've bought a fabric with a designer print on it, but I just couldn't stop thinking about this Rifle Paper Co design for Cotton + Steel, the Juliet print. 

Tilly's Rifle Paper Co Ness Skirt - Tilly and the Buttons

20 February 2019

Five Design Hacks for the Coco Pattern

Five Design Hacks for Coco - Sewing Pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

We always knew our Coco sewing pattern was versatile but now we've seen all of the personalisations and hacks you've made with it, we may be falling in love all over again!

Four years after its first release, it's still one of our bestselling patterns. Coco is speedy to make, comfy to wear and easy to adapt to your personal style. Here are some ideas for hacking the pattern courtesy of some of our lovely customers...

Five Design Hacks for Coco - Sewing Pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

13 February 2019

Your Makes!

Tilly And The Buttons Your Makes
Ready for a spot of dressmaking inspo? It's Margot here today - I've been interning at Tilly HQ since the beginning of the year and have been loving scrolling through your fabulous makes on Insta and Pinterest. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favourites...

Because of the classic British winter weather we've been having lately, we’ve been living in our Mila dungarees. I love how Sophia spiced up her dungas with some cute iron-on patches - such a simple way to customise your clothes. We’re definitely stealing this idea! And jus look at these bright and bold Milas made by Ari - there's no such thing as too much colour in my eyes.

Tilly And The Buttons Your Makes
As you may have noticed on our Insta Stories, our team is obsessed with the Nora top pattern. Mainly because it’s very comfy and oh so versatile. Juliet made a glamorous version in a shiny sequin fabric - we can't get enough of this! Did you spot her on the Sewing Bee last night? So exciting! And animal print fabrics are all over the high street at the moment - Mel’s Nora is very on-trend.

Tilly And The Buttons Your Makes

6 February 2019

Nora Cardigan Pattern Hack

Nora Cardigan Pattern Hack - Tilly and the ButtonsNora Cardigan Pattern Hack - Tilly and the Buttons

Do you buy fabric with a pattern in mind, or do you figure out what to do with it afterwards? Sometimes working out what to do with a piece of material can set a lightbulb off in your mind.

I came up with the idea of hacking the Nora top pattern into a cardigan came when I was mulling over what to do with an unusual piece of fabric I’d bought from Fabrics Galore. It's a very low stretch knit that is very structured and feels almost like a wool or felt, but softer. I couldn't resist the colour, but didn’t want to make a regular Nora top as the fabric would feel scratchy around my neck, plus it’s such low stretch that I wasn’t sure it’d go over my head. So I decided to take out the neckline and turn it into a slouchy, boxy cardigan instead.

Nora Cardigan Pattern Hack - Tilly and the Buttons
Nora Cardigan Pattern Hack - Tilly and the Buttons

It took me a total of two hours to hack the pattern, cut out the fabric and sew the cardigan together. It seriously is a speedy make – so no excuses for putting it off! If you fancy making a Nora cardigan yourself, here's how I hacked the pattern...

30 January 2019

How to Use Digital Sewing Patterns

How to use digital sewing patterns

If you’re new to digital print-at-home PDF sewing patterns, this post will guide you through the simple steps to turn the file on your computer into a full-size paper pattern.

While assembling a digital pattern does add an extra step to your sewing project, there are soooo many benefits to using them:

  • They’re cheaper to buy than hard copy patterns, as you’re not paying for professional printing, packaging or postage
  • If you accidentally cut the wrong size or spill your tea all over it, you can reprint the file
  • You can support independent designers who can’t afford the costs or minimum print numbers involved in hard copy patterns
  • You can get your hands of them instantly as soon as you get that urge to sew!

If video tutorials are more your thing - we've made a how to video linked below!

You will need:

For A0
  • Home / office / copy shop printer
  • A0 paper
For A4 or US Letter
  • Home / office / copy shop printer
  • A4 or US letter paper
  • Paper scissors or guillotine 
  • Glue stick or tape

For both A0 and A4/US Letter, download your pattern and save to your computer files. Open the file in a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader, which you can download for free. Other PDF readers are available, but you may find that some scale the pattern to the wrong size (see below).

Scaling is super important! You need to ensure that the pattern is printed at full scale so your garment turns out the size it was intended to be. Just a few % out and your garment could end up annoyingly tight.

23 January 2019

Sewing Space Tours... Kate Tabor's Costume Design Studio

Sewing Space Tour Kate Tabor Costume Designer

For today's sewing space tour where we peek behind the closed doors at a maker's inspiring sewing space, we're in London with Kate Tabor, the extraordinary costume designer, stylist, and maker.

Kate's impressive work is well known for being in music videos for artists such as David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, The Chemical Brothers and many more. Her work has also been featured in films and commercials and she just so happens to work in the same building as us! Her studio is awe-inspiring and original, we've admired her space for years and feel privileged to share her fascinating studio with you.

Sewing Space Tour Kate Tabor Costume Designer
 I made this piece for The Chemical Brothers world tour visuals, it is one of four that was worn by dancers for the track 'Keep on Mak'in Me High'. This piece is made from Plasterzote which I cut into rings and threaded together to form the bodies.

I'm a Costume Designer living and working in South East London. I work in music and film, designing and making weird and wacky costumes. I specialise in using unusual fabrics and fabric manipulation to create unique pieces for each project.

16 January 2019

How to Sew a Plait Detail

How to sew a plait detail - Tilly and the Buttons

Did you see Tilly's Ness skirt with the plaited belt detail? If you fancy making your own, you're in luck! It's Serefina here, sewing pattern developer at TATB, and I'm going to take you step-by-step through how to sew this seventies-inspired detail.

How to sew a plait detail - Tilly and the Buttons
How to sew a plait detail - Tilly and the Buttons

It's pretty straightforward to do once you know how, and will add a super cool detail to your me-mades. We attached the plait to the waistband on the Ness skirt. You could also stitch it around the pocket openings, or make it into extra fancy belt loops. Louise even has plans to make plaited braces for her next Ness skirt!

9 January 2019

Plait's the Way A-ha A-ha I Like It

Plait detail Ness skirt - Tilly and the Buttons
Plait detail Ness skirt - Tilly and the Buttons

Blame Louise for the title of this post - I asked for suggestions and her joke was waaay more interesting than the holding title. So there we go!

We shared a sneak peek of this denim skirt with added plaited belt detail in our coin pocket tutorial, and had a lot of Qs on social media about it. So here it is in all its glory. The skirt was made with our Ness sewing pattern. I got the idea for the plait detail a few years ago while browsing ready-to-wear garments, and have been dreaming of adding to a me-made outfit ever since. The seventies vibe of the Ness skirt seemed like the perfect garment to add it to - and I'm absolutely in love with the result.

Plait detail Ness skirt - Tilly and the Buttons

2 January 2019

Six Steps to Starting Sewing

Six Steps to Starting Sewing - How to get into making your own clothes

Fancy sewing your own clothes but don't know where to start?

If you've stumbled upon this site while researching how to get into sewing - in which case, welcome! - you may have spotted that we offer lots of resources aimed at stitchers, including complete novices, from step-by-step patterns and award-winning books through video workshops and free tutorials.

It can all still be a bit of a maze of information though when you're just starting out and don't know what you don't know. So I thought I'd break it down into six simple steps to get started sewing. You're welcome!

Six Steps to Starting Sewing - How to get into making your own clothes

1) Get a sewing machine

Whether you buy, thrift, rent or borrow it, you'll obviously need to get your hands on a sewing machine. Shopping for a machine can feel a bit overwhelming, but all you really need is a machine that has a straight stitch (for most stitching) and an adjustable zigzag stitch (for finishing edges and sewing knits). Full size machines (rather than those cute half size models) are best for garment sewing. If you want to try before you buy, go to a specialist sewing machine shop or large department store such as John Lewis if you're in the UK. Or keep it easy by buying online. I always say that the best machine is the one you have, so don't sweat the decision too much!

Read more about choosing a sewing machine