30 January 2019

How to Use Digital Sewing Patterns

How to use digital sewing patterns

If you’re new to digital 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. Whether you're up for tackling printing & assembly at home, or would rather leave it to the professionals - we've got you covered and will have you stitching up a storm in no time at all - wahoo!

While assembling a digital pattern does add an extra step to your sewing project, there are soooo many benefits to using them, including:
  • They’re cheaper to buy than hard copy patterns
  • If you accidentally cut the wrong size or spill your tea all over it, you can reprint the file
  • You can print them again and again if you've used your pattern so much that it's falling apart
  • You can get your hands of them instantly as soon as you get that urge to sew!
You will need:

For A4 or (US) Letter
  • Small scale printer at home / office / copyshop
  • A4 or (US) Letter size paper
  • Paper scissors or guillotine 
  • Glue stick or tape
For A0
  • Large format printer - find one at a local copyshop or online pattern printing service who will post back the pattern to you
  • A0 paper
  • Or alternatively, visit the end of this blog post for our list of international recommendations for printers who can print your pattern in A0 for you. Saving you time and it requires little to no technical know-how as they'll take care of that for you - win win!

For both A0 and A4/Letter, it's very important that you immediately download your pattern and save it to your computer. You get five attempts to download your files. Make sure to do this on your computer and file your precious pattern somewhere safe where you will find it easily.

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 small percentage out and your garment could end up annoyingly tight or loose.

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