24 April 2019

Louise's Nora Dress with Cuffs Hack

Louise's Nora Dress with Cuffs Hack - Tilly and the Buttons Louise's Nora Dress with Cuffs Hack - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're anything like me, making a pattern once is never enough. I am not satisfied until I have tried the pattern in a number of fabrics and attempted a hack. Can you relate?

It's Louise here, the Sales and Communications Manager at Tilly and the Buttons, sharing a Nora dress hack I made recently with added cuffs (fabric bought from Stoff and Stil). I am a serial hacker who just loves working with perfectly constructed simple designs so that I can have some fun putting my own spin on it. I'm not a pattern cutter, so find using my favourite patterns like the Freya pattern from Stretch! and the Stevie tunic make experimenting easy.

Louise's Nora Dress with Cuffs Hack - Tilly and the Buttons

When Nora was being developed, I had loads of fun looking for design inspo and dreaming up all the ways this wonderful pattern could be made. As a result I have a wardrobe full of Nora tops (see just a few in this team blog post). I have tried it in sweater knits, viscose jersey, interlock, sweat shirting... but found myself wanting a dress version of this wonderful pattern.

17 April 2019

How to Thread Your Sewing Machine with Video!

Threading your sewing machine is a quick and easy process once you know how. Yes, it can seem long and complicated the first few times you do it, but keep practising and you'll soon be threading up in seconds, I promise :)

Machines vary, so some of the parts on my machine (a Janome DKS100) may be in different positions to yours, but nothing will be that different that you won't be able to work it out.

Ready to sew? Let's go!

This is an extract from our 'Make Friends with a Sewing Machine' online video workshop.

See below for picture steps if that's more your thing!

1) Wind the bobbin

A sewing machine uses two sources of thread – the spool (or reel) of thread that sits on top of the machine and the bobbin of thread that comes up from below. You buy the spools of thread in the shops and the bobbins come empty – so before threading the machine, you need to get some of your chosen thread off the spool and onto the bobbin.

Place the spool of thread onto the spool pin (the prong sticking out the top of your machine). Some spool pins stick upwards, others stick out towards the left and have a plastic cover to hold the spool in place. The thread should be coming out from behind towards the left if the spool pin is sticking up, or over the top towards the back if the spool pin is on its side.

10 April 2019

5 Tips for Stress-Free Snaps

Who doesn't love that satisfying "pop" sound as they close a snap on a beloved piece of clothing? I know it can't just be me. However, the prospect of inserting snaps can be a little daunting and intimidating as there are a few elements and tools involved to get a nice finish. It's Nikki here, Product Manager at Tilly Towers, and I'm here with some top tips to assist with stress-free snap insertion. So without any further ado, let's talk snaps.

A "snap" is a type of fastener which connects two pieces of fabric together by connecting two interlocking discs. They are also known as studs or poppers and can be made in either metal or plastic. If you want a bit more info about the different types of snaps out there, Closet Case Patterns have written an excellent post which explains the difference between "ring" and "spring" snaps.

The pictures I have included here are of spring snaps, specifically Prym 15mm anorak snaps (this is an affiliate link). They are my favourite kind of snaps and I've used them on both jackets and skirts. Our latest pattern, the Eden coat or jacket, has the option of using snaps, and I love how they look on a bright jacket. And, they're fun to insert once you know how!

So without further ado, read on for my top tips for stress-free snaps.

5 Tips for Stress Free Snaps - Tilly and the Buttons

5 Tips for Stress Free Snaps - Tilly and the Buttons

1) Tools

You can install snaps in a few different ways - either with a good old fashion hammer or a specialist snap tool. Both methods will get the job done and it's not necessary to buy a special tool if you don't think you'll be inserting snaps often into your projects, or if your budget doesn't allow it.

However, it is significantly easier to use a snaps tool and I'd thoroughly recommend investing in one if you see a moderate amount of snaps installation in your future. It also has the benefit of being a lot quieter. In the studio, we use the Prym Vario Pliers, which can be used for attaching both snaps and jeans buttons - win!

3 April 2019

Nikki's Whatever the Weather Eden Jacket

Nikki's Eden Jacket - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Nikki's Eden jacket - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Do you ever make something that you love so much you can’t stop showing it off to every person you meet? It’s Nikki here, Product Manager at Team Buttons, and that’s how I feel about my Eden jacket. I finished mine a couple of weeks ago and I’ve worn it nearly every day since. It’s true love.

I knew I wanted to make a short Eden version in something water resistant, so chose a beautiful sage green dry oilskin from Merchant and Mills for the outer fabric. When I first bought it the fabric felt really stiff, almost a bit like cardboard, and I’d certainly not handled anything like it before on my previous sewing adventures. I was a bit nervous about how my machine would cope with such an unusual fabric, however, I needn’t have worried as it was a dream to sew with. I followed Tilly's advice and used a microtex needle and used fabric clips instead of pins and the whole experience was rather enjoyable. I’m so impressed with it!

Nikki's Eden Jacket - Sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Nikki's Eden Jacket - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Nikki's Eden Jacket - Sewing Pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I love how you get a little peek of lining at the cuffs and inside the hood on the Eden so I wanted to line it with something a bit jazzy. I am obsessed with gingham at the moment (I mean literally obsessed) so I lined it with a black and white cotton gingham from Bloomsbury Square Fabrics. I also chose to line the main part of the sleeves in a black acetate lining fabric to make them slippy enough to get my arms in easily.