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