21 May 2020

Tilly's Nautical Chic Alexa Jumpsuit

Tilly's Nautical Chic Alexa Jumpsuit - sewing pattern by Tilly and the ButtonsTilly's Nautical Chic Alexa Jumpsuit - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Serving up naval officer realness with my latest make - the Alexa jumpsuit sewing pattern.

Inspired by the simplicity of the black version we made for our gorgeous real gal model Selena (as seen on the shop page - linked above), I was originally going to make exactly the same jumpsuit, but at last minute I pivoted and settled on navy instead.

The fabric is a linen viscose blend that I bought from Lamazi Fabrics. I found the gold buttons in my stash - they are flat-topped with little shanks, and were perfect for the look I had in mind.

Tilly's Nautical Chic Alexa Jumpsuit - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

17 May 2020

Fitting the Alexa Jumpsuit or Playsuit

Fitting Alexa jumpsuit playsuit romper - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Alexa jumpsuit or playsuit and want some extra tips on how to get a good fit? Well, look no further. This blog post is going to cover some of the most common fitting adjustments you might want to make to this sewing pattern.

Please don't feel like you need to do many of these adjustments, or even any at all! Our bodies are wonderfully unique and you'll probably find that only a few (or none) of the following adjustments will apply to you. We've covered the most common adjustments so they're there to help you if you need it.

In this post we're going to cover:
  • Making a (wearable) toile - or not! 
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces
  • How to combine pattern sizes
  • Bust adjustments
  • Trouser fitting adjustments
Fitting Alexa jumpsuit playsuit romper - Tilly and the Buttons

15 May 2020

Common Trouser Fitting Adjustments

Common fitting adjustments for trousers, pants or shorts - Tilly and the Buttons

Do you like the idea of making trousers or pants, but feel a little nervous about the prospect of fitting them? Well, fear not, as help is here! This blog post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you may need to do when sewing trousers.

We've covered a few different fitting adjustments here, but don't feel like you have to try them all! You may not need to make any alterations to your pattern, or perhaps you feel you need to do just one or two tweaks.

If you're not sure whether you'll need to make some alterations, or even what adjustments you might need, it's a good idea to make a "toile" - a mock-up garment in a similar weight fabric you don't mind using to test the fit - so you can see how a particular pattern works on you. It's more important if you're making something with a close-fitting crotch and bum area, like the Jessa trousers and shorts, but not as vital if you're making a looser fitting garment, such as the Alexa jumpsuit or playsuit, Marigold jumpsuit or Safiya trousers. Looser fitting trousers have more ease and often lower crotches, making them more forgiving when it comes to fitting - yay! For these types of trousers, you might want to make a "wearable toile", perhaps in an inexpensive but pretty fabric that you won't mind wearing if it all works out beautifully.

Ready to dive in and learn how to do some common trouser fitting adjustments? Sure you are! Let's go...

Lengthening the front crotch
Common fitting adjustments for trousers, pants or shorts - Tilly and the Buttons

13 May 2020

Inspiration and Fabrics for Making Alexa

Inspiration and fabrics for making the Alexa jumpsuit + playsuit - Tilly and the Buttons

Do you want to join the jumpsuit trend but haven't quite found the right one to stitch up yet? Say hello to Alexa, a jumpsuit or playsuit (romper) with utility-inspired details that is easy to fit and wear!

If you haven't already been introduced to Alexa, then make sure you read all the juicy deets, including the fabric requirements in our previous post.

The beauty of this pattern is that you can make a jumpsuit or a playsuit, so it will see you through spring, summer and early Autumn. As with so many of our patterns, the fabric really changes the look and feel of the finished garment. You can pick a linen that will give it a lovely summery feel, a Tencel that's packed with drape which will look oh so smart and chic, or a crisp chambray that is perfect for picnics.

Alexa is a stylish pattern that will have you as feeling as cool as a cucumber when you wear it. We have a LOT of inspiration for you to kick start your project planning.

We have not seen these gorgeous fabrics up close, so it's worth requesting a sample from the lovely independent fabrics shops we have been window shopping at.

Grab a cocktail or mocktail and enjoy this fun selection!
Inspiration and fabrics for making the Alexa jumpsuit + playsuit - Tilly and the Buttons
Clockwise L-R: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 56 / 7

Nothing makes you feel fresher in summer than a bright white. A pretty white playsuit in a linen, lyocell (Tencel), or even lined eyelet would be so nice and breezy for the hottest summer days. The great think about such a stark colour is you can have fun with accessories to accentuate your look, or keep it clean for a modern look.

11 May 2020

Full Bust Adjustment on a Dartless Bodice


Do you ever find that your clothes are tight across the bust, with excess fabric pooling above? If so, you may benefit from doing a full bust adjustment when you make your own clothes.

This blog post is going to cover how to do a bust adjustment on a dartless bodice. I'm going to show you how to add shaping, without having to create a dart.

You can use these steps to alter dartless bodices on patterns such as our Alexa jumpsuitStevie tunicBettine dress, Suki dress or Safiya wrap playsuit. You name it! We've previously covered how to do a bust adjustment for a darted bodice which is definitely worth checking out too.

If you're new to sewing or fitting adjustments it can seem a bit daunting. However, don't worry too much and take it step by step. Trust me, you've got this!

Fitting Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

How do I know if I need a full bust adjustment? 

Generally speaking, dartless garments are less fitted as they don't have darts which would ordinarily be used to add shaping. Because of this, you might be able to get away with not doing a full bust adjustment on these types of garments, even if you normally do them on other patterns, as there's a bit more leeway in the bust area than on a more fitted garment.

But if your boobs are on the larger side and you usually find that even easy-fitting garments are either too tight in the bust area, or fit across the bust but have a lot of excess fabric pooling above, then you probably need to make a full bust adjustment.

I'm going to briefly cover how you would work out how much to add or subtract from your bust in the adjustment, but do remember this is just a rough framework, and you might not need to do it at all.

Measure your high bust (your upper chest, just under your armpits) and add 5cm (2in). Choose the pattern size with that bust measurement – this is the size you’ll do your bust adjustment on.

Now measure your full bust (fullest part, around the nipples) and compare it to the bust measurement on the pattern size you just selected.

If your full bust is 5cm (2in) bigger than the pattern, you’ll be adding 5cm (2in) from the pattern; if it’s 7.5cm (3in) bigger, you’ll be adding 7.5cm (3in) and so on.

Since the front bodice pattern represents one half of the top, as the fabric is cut on the fold - or one boob - you'll be adding half of that difference to the front bodice pattern piece. So, if you want to do a 5cm (2in) full bust adjustment, you'll need to add 2.5cm (1in) to the pattern piece.

To do a bust adjustment you will need: a ruler (or pattern master if you have one) glue stick and/or sticky tape pencil paper scissors extra paper.

As you'll be merrily snipping into your pattern piece with wild abandon for these adjustments, I thoroughly suggest tracing off the front bodice pattern piece so you can keep the original one intact in case you need to make any further adjustments. Make sure you trace all the notches, the dart and 'lengthen or shorten here' lines onto the new pattern piece.

Got your scissors and ruler at the ready? Ok, let's go!

Full bust adjustment

7 May 2020

Meet the Alexa Jumpsuit or Playsuit!

Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

We're so excited for you to meet our latest sewing pattern - and it's a goodie! Photographed before lockdown and available as an instant digital download, we're delighted to introduce the Alexa jumpsuit or playsuit.

With modern details and a flattering shape, you'll feel cool as a cucumber in the Alexa jumpsuit or playsuit. We've had our sights on releasing a new jumpsuit pattern for a while now because they're fuss-free and super stylish at the same time. And we think Alexa is no exception!

With optional flap pockets, two different sleeve finishes and leg lengths, there are loads of options available for you to make the jumpsuit or playsuit of your dreams.

We know you're going to love her just as much as we do. Read on to find out more...

Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons



Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

THE DESIGN

5 May 2020

How to Make a DIY Face Mask (with Video!)

DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to make your own face mask or covering?

Update: The UK government currently recommends that adults wear face coverings when in enclosed public spaces, such as on public transport or at the supermarket. 

In anticipation of such an announcement, I made a video tutorial on how to sew your own reusable fabric face mask. I hope it is helpful.

This mask fastens with ties since elastic is in short supply at the time of making, plus it has a pocket for a disposable filter and optional nose wire for a closer fit. Please be sure to wash the mask at a high temperature between uses.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT designed to be a medical grade mask, it is for personal use, and is not intended to replace social distancing or hand washing. Advice about wearing masks and their possible effectiveness in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is changing all the time and is different from country to country, so please check current guidelines where you are and make up your own mind.


DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

You will need:
  • 22cm x 40cm (8 1/2in x 16in) rectangle of fabric for the mask - preferably a tightly woven cotton - I’m using a quilting cotton bought from the Village Haberdashery
  • 4 strips of fabric for the ties – mine are 45cm x 4cm (18in x 1 1/2in)
  • Optional wire – I’m using a folded out paper clip, you could also use a pipe cleaner or a twisty sandwich bag tie.
  • Plus a sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, tape measure or ruler and an iron.
This is designed to be a unisex adult face covering. If you'd like to make it for a child, you could either try making the main dimensions about 6cm (2 1/4in) smaller, or try this mask on the child to work out how much smaller to make it to fit their particular face. Please note that UK guidelines don't recommend face coverings for young children, and it would be a good idea to replace the ties with elastic if you can find it to avoid the ties getting trapped in something.

If you would like to attach elastic instead of ties, measure the area you would like the elastic to go around (your ears, or back of your head), then take off 10-15% for stretch.

DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons
DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

I made this video on my phone at home during lockdown, without my usual trusty filmmaker Jenny, so apologies for the shakey cam and tatty ironing board ;)

Stay safe!