24 December 2019

Tilly and the Buttons Turns Ten! The Story So Far...

Tilly and the Buttons turns ten! The story so far...

On 1st January 2010, my ex-boyfriend dared me to start a sewing blog.

And then he double-dared me, and of course no one can resist a double-dare so I opened up Blogger and typed in the first blog name I thought of. “Tilly” as it’s my name, and “the Buttons” as it gave a nod to both sewing and typing a blog – plus it sounded like they could be my sixties girl group backing band.

That blog is now turning the ripe old age of ten years old next week and, a decade on, I’m typing this from my studio in London, surrounded by a team of awesome women, with our own line of sewing patterns up on the shelves, our third book currently at the printers and our first fabric collection about to hit the shops :)

Back to ten years ago, I really had no idea that any of this was on the cards. Least of all because I was hungover after a new year’s eve party the night before. I had a career I loved in the world of indie cinemas, and never imagined I would ever want to own my own business, let alone leave the film industry. I thought this blogging thing could be a bit of fun but in all honesty didn’t know how long it would last and didn’t think anyone would read it apart from my mum.

So why did I start? I’d recently got into dressmaking in my spare time and had stumbled upon a few blogs written by other women around the world who made their own clothes. As none of my IRL friends shared my hobby, I thought it could be fun to chat to people who understood my interest in seam techniques and love of fabric, and document my own makes to keep me motivated to carry on sewing.

Tilly's first dress - Tilly and the Buttons

For my debut post, I shared some photos of the first thing I’d made, a shift dress from a McCalls pattern in a yellow floral cotton bought from The Cloth House. Back then, there wasn’t the thriving indie pattern scene which we are lucky to have now, and I wouldn’t have known where to find fabric online. On the plus side, the sewing bloggers I “met” online were so kind, creative and resourceful, and we banded together to navigate the sewing scene and help each other to keep making stuff.

18 December 2019

Five Sewing Resolutions for 2020

Five sewing resolutions for 2020

Can you believe we are nearly in the year 2020? Nope? We can't either! As the year draws to a close, your mind naturally wanders over the one that has past and the brand spanking new year that's creeping ever closer to you. A new year signifies fresh beginnings and of course, more sewing projects - hurrah! 

As a DIY dressmaker, you might want to start 2020 off with a focus that helps you achieve your sewing goals and stay productive with the little time you have available. Whether you like setting resolutions or not, you could find setting a small goal for the year very satisfying. We have a few ideas for the kind of resolutions you could set for yourself. Even ticking off teeny-tiny challenges can feel so good. 

So, before this year runs away, here are five ideas for sewing resolutions!

Five sewing resolutions for 2020
If you've found yourself staying away from bigger projects that feel a little too challenging, why not bite the bullet and make that your goal for 2020? Whether you've been daydreaming about sewing your first pair of jeans, a gorgeous coat that you made yourself or getting stuck into jersey and making your own t-shirt, a big project is a great goal to have.

If tackling it all in one go feels a little overwhelming, you could work up to the final garment. Maybe starting by breaking the goal down and doing one small thing each week or month, such as researching the sewing techniques you will be using or shopping for the fabric and notions? Before you know it you will be ticking off the smaller jobs and a whole lot closer to the big project. Think of the pride when you manage to sew something you have never sewn before. It will totally be worth all the effort in slowing down and taking your time.

We have some great big projects to tackle:
Eden - make a coat or raincoat
Jessa - sew your own wide-leg jeans (if trousers aren't your thing you could go for the Ness skirt which is packed with denim-inspired details that will challenge you in a similar way)
Nora - become totally obsessed with t-shirt making
Rosa - make your own collared shirt or shirt dress

Five sewing resolutions for 2020

11 December 2019

Ten favourite Posts of 2019

Ten favourite posts of 2019 at Tilly and the Buttons

In just a few weeks this blog is celebrating TEN, yes TEN years since it was released into the blogosphere. Can you believe it? There will be more on that soon, but now is 2019's time to shine!

It has been a wonderful, jam-packed year at Tilly HQ, with lots of behind-the-scenes work going on with the third book, Make It Simple, in the works, as well as pattern launches and our first fabric line being developed. Phew, we have been busy! The blog continues to be our special place to share sewing tips, inspo and anything we think you might enjoy. Here are some of the most popular blog posts from the last 12 months in case you've missed them or just want to take another look : )

Six steps to start sewing by Tilly and the Buttons

Six steps to starting sewing

Always wanting to make things easier and turn more people into DIY dressmakers, Tilly shares her tips on getting your sewing journey off to a good start. This is a must-read for anybody who wants to give this wonderful hobby a go and doesn't want to sift through mountains of information before you can get stitching! 

Five design hacks for the Coco pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Five design hacks for the Coco pattern

Coco is one of our most-loved patterns and has been made over and over again by those that adore it. We pulled together some wonderful design hack ideas to get Coco fans inspired, courtesy of our super-talented customers.

Five ways to use up your scraps by Tilly and the Buttons

Five ways to use up your scraps

6 December 2019

Introducing the Nora Cardigan Add-On Pattern!

Nora cardigan sewing pattern add-on - Tilly and the Buttons

We're thrilled to launch something a bit different for you today - meet the Nora cardigan add-on pattern!

The Nora cardigan add-on is a digital download of bonus pattern pieces and instructions to turn our Nora top pattern into a cosy, casual cardigan. The Nora top is already one of our most popular and versatile patterns so we're delighted to breathe some new life into it to make it go even further.

Tilly shared a post earlier this year showing how she hacked the Nora top pattern into a snuggly cardigan. Lots of people got in touch to say they'd love to make it but didn't feel confident hacking the pattern themselves, so we thought we'd do the hard work so you don't have to :)

Team Tilly were already addicted to the Nora top and now they are absolutely in love with the cardigan version. It's a lovely me-made that you can throw on when it gets chilly. Plus it's so quick to make you can go from cutting out the fabric to wearing your brand new cardi within a couple of hours. What's better than that?!

As this is an add-on pattern,  you'll also need the original Nora top pattern to make the cardigan. If you don't have it yet, grab the Nora top and cardigan bundle.

Nora cardigan sewing pattern add-on - Tilly and the ButtonsNora cardigan sewing pattern add-on - Tilly and the Buttons
Nora cardigan sewing pattern add-on - Tilly and the Buttons
Nora cardigan sewing pattern add-on - Tilly and the Buttons


2 December 2019

Show Your Me-Mades Some Love With A Nominette Woven Label (AD)

Have you fallen in love with the sew-on label trend that's everywhere in the sewing community right now? I have! One of my favourite things is to add a secret message on the inside of my me-mades to make them feel even more unique. It makes me smile every time I put them on.

I've been searching for the perfect label manufacturer to design some myself, so when the lovely people from Nominette got in touch I was really excited to try them out and create something bespoke for my cherished handmade clothes. If you're interested in creating your own, keep reading for a special discount code from them too :)

Nominette Sew in Labels - Tilly and the Buttons