30 September 2020

Five Ideas for Making Lotta Love Children

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons

Have you ever looked at your fave sewing patterns and wondered what would happen if you mixed them together? Kind of like a science experiment, creating a pattern mash-up can be a winning idea as you are taking the best bits of your most-loved styles. You can create a "pattern love child" or "Frankenpattern", that is whatever you want it to be.

If you've never heard the above terms before, let me explain. The idea is to mix and match different pieces from different patterns to create something unique and maximise the usage of every pattern you own. When designing Lotta, Tilly had a lightbulb moment - the simplicity of the Lotta dress sewing pattern would merge so perfectly with some of our other well-loved patterns. Woah! 

There are a few things you have to consider when approaching a style merge. Will the pieces fit together or do I need to make some small tweaks to make them slot into place like a puzzle? Do I need to add a fastening to get in and out of the garment? Plus, collecting a little inspiration can help you get an idea of how the final garment will look.

You'll be happy to hear that we've done some of this work for you :) Here are five ways to make a Lotta love child...

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
Top image / Bottom image

We love utility vibes and our Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit is full of them. It gives your garment an achingly cool feel, without looking like you tried too hard. It is the understated details of utility-inspired garments that make them feel so luxe.

For this experiment, you need one part Lotta and one part Alexa. You can sew the Alexa bodice on the Lotta skirt if you take 5mm (1/4in) off the front and back bodice side seams. This would look particularly fancy in a Tencel (lyocell), sandwashed silk or cupro. 

If you wanted to omit the buttons, you could fold the front bodice along the buttonhole line, then place this fold on the fabric fold.

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
Top image / Bottom image

23 September 2020

How to Sew a Jersey Neckband (with Video!)

How to sew a jersey neckband (with video!) - Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing a jersey neckband is arguably the fiddliest part of making a T-shirt, sweatshirt, jersey top or dress. But once you get to grips with this technique, you’ll love the freedom of making stretchy clothes you can pull on over your head, without the need for zips or buttonholes.

In this post I'm going to show you how to successfully sew a jersey neckband. We also made a video so you can see the steps in action :)

I’m demonstrating on our Tabitha T-shirt and dress pattern, which you can find in my book Make It Simple. You can use the same technique to sew the jersey neckband on our Lotta dressAgnes topNora top and lots more sewing patterns.

How to sew a jersey neckband (with video!) - Tilly and the Buttons

I’m using a jersey ribbing for the neckband, which is extra stretchy so perfect for squeezing your head through a smaller neckline. If the neckline on your pattern is wider and the pattern doesn’t tell you to use ribbing, you should be able to use the same fabric as the rest of the garment.

Let's do this...

17 September 2020

Nikki and Tilly's Lotta dresses

Nikki's Lotta dress - easy sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
Nikki's Lotta dress - easy sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

Our latest sewing pattern, the Lotta dress, is out and about in the world - woohoo! Today we thought we'd show you three dresses made by Nikki and Tilly to give you an idea of how it looks in different fabrics, styled in different ways and on different bodies.

First up, over to our Product Manager Nikki:

"For my first version of Lotta, I wanted something classic and wearable. The fabric is a ditsy polka dot print viscose from Minerva Crafts. This is the style of dress I wear all the time, and the elasticated waistline makes it extra comfy.

I went with the knee-length version of the dress, with longer sleeves and the optional patch pockets - because who doesn't love pockets?! I made this during the development stage of the pattern, and the sleeves on the final pattern are actually a bit shorter than this, they finish just above the wrist.

Nikki's Lotta dress - easy sewing pattern from Tilly and the ButtonsNikki's Lotta dress - easy sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

At the moment while the weather is still balmy, I've been loving wearing my Lotta dress with Converse and bare legs. I am looking forward to the weather turning though (anyone else just LOVE Autumn?) so I can layer it up with a chunky cardigan, tights and black ankle boots."

14 September 2020

Fitting the Lotta dress

Fitting the Lotta dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Lotta dress and want a few extra fitting hints and tips? Well, this is great timing, as this post is packed full of info about some fitting adjustments you might want to make to your Lotta dress pattern pieces.

The Lotta dress is suitable for stitching newbies as it’s easy to sew and fit – high-five! This post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you might want to consider for your Lotta dress. However, don’t feel like you need to do them all, or even any at all!

We sometimes recommend that you make a "toile" (or "muslin") - a practice garment in cheap or spare fabric in a similar weight to the fabric you're going to use for the final garment to test the fit - however, it's not strictly necessary here. If you're unsure about your sizing and have some expensive fabric lined up to make the dress in, you could make a quick toile of the bodice to check the fit, leaving off the skirt. However, if you don't feel overly precious about your fabric, then go for it!
 In this post we're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size 
  • Lengthening or shortening the bodice, sleeve or skirt
  • How to combine different bust, waist and/or hip sizes 
  • Bust adjustments 
Fitting the Lotta dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Choosing your size

Using a flexible tape measure, find the circumference of your:
- Bust - take the measurement at the fullest point i.e. around your nipples
- Waist - where you bend at the side
- Hips - the fullest part - it helps to turn to the side and look in a mirror to see where this is

Check the tape measure is sitting level with the floor all the way around. It can help to turn to the side and look in a mirror to check.

Fitting the Lotta dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

11 September 2020

Inspiration and Fabrics for Making Lotta

Inspiration and fabrics for making Lotta

Have you got Lotta on your sewing list yet? This swishy dress is beginner-friendly and requires minimal fit adjustments so you can get on with the fun part of choosing material for your perfect make!

The Lotta dress can be made up in woven AND knit fabrics, which opens up so many opportunities. Lotta is not just versatile with the fabrics you can make it in, you'll also find this chameleon transforms with your choice. You can make an everyday Lotta in comfy plain jersey, sew one for the weekend in a fun animal print, channel the season with an autumnal floral, or even go for a party Lotta dress in stretch velvet! 

Once you have made one, you will be sure to fill your wardrobe with this sewing pattern that ticks all the boxes. So, with that in mind, I have gathered a few fabric and inspo suggestions together focusing on some of the most popular trends in the sewing community at the moment. Animal print, florals and autumnal hues are all popping up on our IG feed. 

If you are a complete beginner, you might want to start with a more stable fabric like cotton lawn or chambray as it won't shift around too much when you're sewing. More experienced stitchers can make Lotta in a drapey jersey, stretch velvet or lightweight French terry.

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.

Inspiration and fabrics for making Lotta
*AD/GIFTED FABRIC* Did you love the Lotta on our pattern cover? This splodge style print is really modern and cool and gives some interest without dominating your outfit. We had this gorgeous Flint peachskin in teal gifted to us from Fabric Godmother to make up the cover sample. You can also find it in a black colourway which would make a great base for a statement necklace to finish off the look.

Inspiration and fabrics for making Lotta

We are SO excited about the Lotta dress working for both woven and knit fabrics as it is something we are often asked about. If you are planning on making a Lotta dress in a knit fabric you want to look out for something with drape to it so you can swish, swish, swish your skirt!

Why not choose one of the Tilly and the Buttons x Craft Cotton Co. organic cotton jerseys? Tilly picked one of her favourites from the collection for the Lotta sample - the Love Your Nails design. It has just the right amount of drape for Lotta and the prints are very cute. Unfortunately, we have sold out of the fabric on our own shop, but you can find the collection in a number of haberdasheries.

9 September 2020

NEW Lotta Sewing Pattern and Online Workshop!

Tilly and the Buttons - Lotta dress sewing patternTilly and the Buttons - Lotta dress sewing patternTilly and the Buttons - Lotta dress sewing pattern

What time is it? Why, it's new pattern o'clock!

Eeesh, please excuse the cheesy intro but you'll forgive us when you meet the newest member of the Tilly and the Buttons family - say hello to the Lotta dress, available as a stand-alone pattern or complete with a step-by-step online workshop!

If you like comfy dresses, roomy pockets and fuss-free sewing, then you'll love Lotta. With no fiddly fastenings, no set-in sleeves, and an easy-to-fit elasticated waist, this pattern is simple enough for even complete beginners to sew.

Aside from her swishy shape and gorgeous details (optional sleeves! Pockets!), her extra star quality is you can make her in both jersey and woven. Say what?! So many of our lovely customers have requested a pattern that can be made with both jersey and woven fabrics and we thought you guys were on to a winner :)

Got lots of love for Lotta? Us too! Read on to find out more...

Tilly and the Buttons - Lotta dress sewing pattern

2 September 2020

Tilly's Home Sewing Space Tour (with Video!)

Tilly's home sewing space tour

Want to take a peek around my home sewing space? Seeing as we’ve all been spending more time at home recently, I thought I’d give you a tour of the place I've been spending a lot of time in. We even made a little video!

If you're a long time reader, you may have seen some of my previous sewing space tours. My latest space is in the house we moved to two years ago now. We're lucky enough to have a spare room, which is a multifunctional space - we use it as our home office (for both me and my partner), my sewing room, there's a futon for guests, plus this is where we hang up the laundry to dry, do the ironing, and even have a little play table for our son. 

Yes, there's a lot going on in here - so organisation is key. And no, it's not always this tidy!

Tilly's home sewing space tourTilly's home sewing space tour