28 April 2021

How To Sew On A Button (+ Video!)

How to sew on a buttons with video by Tilly and the Buttons

Hand sewing on a button is one of those pleasing sewing tasks that everyone should have in their dressmaking skill set. At one point or another almost everyone will need to sew on a button, right? Whether that's replacing a long lost button on a ready-to-wear garment, or adding a sprinkle of colourful buttons to your latest make, this tutorial will show you step by step (with a helpful video too!) how to sew on a button by hand.

But wait, if there's a button, there must be a buttonhole! Fear, not sewists, we've already got you covered when it comes to stitching up perfect, stress-free buttonholes. Check out THIS post for automatic one-step buttonholes and THIS post for four-step ones. We promise they aren't as scary as you might think, and can actually be a really satisfying part of sewing!

Let's get back to buttons...

In this tutorial, I'm sewing a colour pop of bright pink, heart-shaped buttons onto a floaty viscose Lyra shirt dress. The perfect pattern for nailing your buttonholes and buttons! You can also find buttons on our Indigo Add-on pattern for a cool button-up back dress, on our classic Rosa shirt, the simple Arielle skirt, our swishy Seren, and our trendy Alexa jumpsuit.

How to sew on a buttons with video by Tilly and the Buttons

21 April 2021

Ten Tips for Sewing a Neat Shirt Collar

Ten tips for sewing a neat shirt collar - Tilly and the Buttons

When you advance your sewing beyond the basics, making a shirt or shirt dress can make you feel like a sewing ninja! And there's something particularly satisfying about the intricate steps involved in crafting the perfect shirt collar. Sure, it may be one of the fiddlier aspects of making your own clothes, but it's also super rewarding to put on that collar and know that you made it yourself.

I'm going to share my top ten tips with you for how to get great results when sewing a shirt collar. You can use these tips when making our Lyra shirt dress pattern, Rosa shirt and dress pattern, or basically any other shirt with a two-piece pointed collar and stand. 

Ten tips for sewing a neat shirt collar - Tilly and the Buttons
Rosa shirt dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you'd like more help with shirtmaking in general, I recommend our Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress online workshop, in which I take you through every step of making the Rosa shirt and dress, with video lessons giving you a front row seat in the class.

Anatomy of a sewing collar

Before we get stuck into the tips, let's get our heads around which pieces of the collar are which, and what direction they are cut and whether they are interfaced in our sewing patterns:
  • Top collar = the outside part of the collar that's on view when you wear it. Cut on the straight grain and interfaced to give it structure.
  • Under collar = the inside part of the collar that's folded under when you wear it. Cut on the bias grain so it sits nicely around your neck, and not interfaced (in our patterns at least - it can be interfaced sometimes).
  • Outer collar stand = band that sits under the collar, and which is visible from the outside. Cut on the straight grain, and interfaced for structure.
  • Inner collar stand = inside of this band which sits against your neck. Cut on the bias grain so it curves nicely around your neck, and not interfaced.
Got it? Okay! Now onto my tips...

Trimmed under collar and inner stand curves

1) Trim the under collar and inner stand to hide the seams

When you've been to all the trouble to sew your own shirt, the last thing you want is the collar seams to be visible when you wear your finished creation. 

To stop them peeping out, start by trimming a teensy bit off the short ends and long outer edge of the under collar, as well as the curved ends of the inner collar stand (remember - these are the uninterfaced, bias-cut ones). Trim by 2mm (1/16in), tapering to 0mm at corners. This will encourage the seams to roll towards the underside. 

When you pin the top collar to the under collar and the outer stand to the inner stand, just be sure to  bring the raw edges together to make your trimming worthwhile, rather than laying them flat against each other.

14 April 2021

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Lyra shirt dress and want a helping hand on how to get a great fit? Well then, this post is right up your street! 

Lyra is available in printed and PDF formats sizes UK 6-34 / US 2-30 / EUR 34-62 / AUS 6-34.

Lyra has an oversized, blousy bodice with bust darts, quite a bit of ease at the waist, and a flowy, gathered skirt. This means it not only looks ultra-cool (if we do say so ourselves) but is also relatively simple to fit - yay! 

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Making a toile 
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • How to do bust adjustments for a bust darted bodice 
  • How to do wide and narrow shoulder adjustments

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Making a toile

12 April 2021

Inspiration & Fabric Picks For Lyra

Let's get into Lyra! By now we hope you're as obsessed with our newest sewing pattern Lyra as we are! If you're yet to meet her, then check out this blog post which will give you all the deets, including the expansion of our size range. Lyra might just be one of our most fabric versatile sewing patterns yet, which makes her a winner for all seasons. So hopefully, this blog post will provide you with lots of inspiration to sew a Lyra for every month of the year... 

This ultra-cool shirt dress has an oversized, blousy bodice with bust darts, button front opening, two-piece collar and stand, and, of course, side seam pockets (how could we not?!). The gathered skirt can be hemmed just above the knee, or add the midi panel for a trendy tiered look. Choose between short sleeves for easy-breezy summer style or full-length billowy sleeves with elasticated cuffs. Wear Lyra loose and floaty, or add an optional narrow tie to cinch you in at the waist. I wasn't lying when I said 'versatile'!

Get your copy of our new Lyra shirt dress sewing pattern HERE


Dresses:  yellow, pink/purple, bluegreenyellow
Fabrics: yellowlilacblackgreen/multi

Lyra is destined to be sewn in a floaty floral viscose, and luckily the fabric shops are full of options all year round! Go bold with an oversized floral print, or pick an easy to wear ditsy print. Style your floral Lyra with sandals and a straw bag in the summer, then with boots and an on-trend knitted vest in cooler months to get maximum wears out of your gorgeous dress. You could even go all-in with the floral theme and opt for adorable flower-shaped buttons, check out this amazing selection (I've got a few on order...).

7 April 2021

Meet the Lyra Dress - Our First UK 6-34 Sewing Pattern!

 Lyra dress - UK 6-34 sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Are you ready for a new swoonsome addition to the TATB collection? Say hello to the romantic yet comfy Lyra shirt dress which is the first pattern available in both our new UK 16-34 size range and our existing UK 6-24 size range - yay! 

Packed with beautiful details, Lyra is sure to capture your heart - especially those billowy long sleeves. With two sleeve and hem lengths to choose from, Lyra can be made at any time of the year, no matter what hemisphere you're in. Lyra is a great pattern to build your skills as you'll be tackling sewing a collar and beautiful buttonholes - you'll be so proud to say you made it yourself! 

Lyra dress - UK 6-34 sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons


The Lyra shirt dress is available in our new UK 16-34 size range, which has a whole new size chart, going up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip, with different proportions to get the best fit. The most noticeable difference in the proportions from our current patterns is that the tummy is slightly fuller and the bust is curvier (a 10cm/4in difference between high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm/2in difference in our current chart). 

Want a little more help picking which size range is best for you? Check out this blog post which guides you through the differences.

6 April 2021

Choosing Your Tilly and the Buttons Size Band

Choosing your size band - Tilly and the Buttons
We're thrilled to announce the launch of our new UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62) size band! 

All patterns that are released in this new size band will also be available in our current UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) sizes too. This blog post will explain the difference between the two size bands, and provide more information about our sizing in general.

So if you're wondering what size band to pick, or want to find out more info about our new sizes, then read on! 

Ok, let's start at the beginning. What's a size band?

You're going to see the term 'size band' used a lot in this post, so let me answer this first! The size band indicates the range of pattern sizes included with your pattern purchase. 

What this means is when you purchase a pattern available up to a size UK 34 (US 30 / EUR 62), you will choose at checkout the size band which best fits your measurements - one that fits a UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) OR one that fits UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62). 

What sizes are included in the new size band?

The patterns in our new size band are available in sizes UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62). In our size chart, this will go up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip. 

Why are the sizes split into two separate size bands?

Simply put, they are two different patterns of the same design.

At the development stage, the pattern design is drafted in two different sizes. These are both tried on by fit models, and both patterns are analysed for fit and adjusted accordingly. When we're happy with the patterns, they are sent for grading in their respective size bands separately. One becomes a size UK 6-24 pattern, and the other a UK 16-34 size pattern. Both patterns are the same design - with some slight tweaks here and there - but are drafted and graded with a particular size range in mind for an optimum fit! Both size bands are tested separately and adjusted according to feedback. 

What are the differences between the UK 16-34 and UK 6-24 size bands?

First and foremost, the size UK 16-34 size band has five additional sizes to our current UK 6-24 size band. Take a look at our body measurements charts for more details for each size. 

Also, the two size bands are drafted with different proportions in mind. The new UK 16-34 size band has a slightly fuller tummy, and has more room across the bust compared to the UK 6-24 size band - with a 10cm/4in difference between the high bust and full bust as opposed to 5cm/2in difference. 

This is great news for those of you who have been telling us you have a larger bust, including those of you in the upper half of our existing size chart – five of the sizes overlap, so you can choose which one to buy depending on your shape. 

As with any size, bear in mind that a pattern is only a template, so we would always recommend you make any fitting tweaks needed to match your own unique shape – for example, if you’re more pear-shaped than the proportions in the size chart.

My size falls in both of the size bands - what pattern should I buy?

It's completely up to you! There is an overlap of 5 pattern sizes (sizes UK 16-24) on both size bands, to ensure that people whose measurements span several sizes are catered for in each size band. It's worth having a look at our body measurement charts and choosing the size that best suits your proportions. 

If you often find that you need more room in the bust and waist area, then the UK16-34 size range is for you, as there is a 10cm (4inch) difference between the high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm (2in) for the 6-24 size band. 

If you don't usually need more room in the bust, or you feel like there's usually a bit too much room in that area, then go for the UK 6-24 size band. 

What happens if I'm between sizes?

Again, take a look at our body measurement charts and choosing the size that best suits your proportions. If your body measurements mostly match, for example, a size UK16, but you're a size UK 14 at the hips for example and you don't usually need more room across the bust, then our UK 6-24 range will fit you best. 

If your measurements mostly match a size UK 16, but you feel your clothes often pull across the bust and waist, or you often do a full bust adjustment to your front bodices, the UK 16-34 size band will provide a better fit. 

What are the other benefits of the UK 16-34 size band?

To develop our UK 16-34 patterns, we've been working with an amazing pattern cutter who has extensive experience working with well-known UK fashion brands to analyse body shapes, develop size charts and draft patterns for plus sizes. Plus we’ve enlisted the expertise of a new-to-us grader who has specialist knowledge of extended pattern sizing and grading.

Practically, this means that our UK 16-34 patterns have been drafted and graded with this size range in mind, especially in places like the bicep, neck, wrist and shoulders. 

What format are the UK 16-34 patterns available in?

Currently, the size UK 16-34 patterns are available as PDFs to print either at home on A4 or Letter size paper, or at a copy shop or pattern printing service on A0.

Choosing your size band - Tilly and the Buttons
Choosing your size band - Tilly and the Buttons

Will you release more patterns in the UK 16-34 size range?

Yes! We are continuing to release all new designs in the new size band, along with relaunching some of our best-selling designs from our back catalogue to include the UK 16-34 size band.

I already own a pattern in the UK 6-24 size range that I see you've released in the new size band too. Can I have it in sizes UK 16-34 too?

Yes! If you email hello@tillyandthebuttons.com with your order number, we'll send you the same pattern in the UK 16-34 band free of charge



Author: Nikki Hoar

Models: Sarah Baillie and Marcela Solarte

Photographer: Jane Looker