25 May 2022

Let's Sew With Knits!

Tilly and the Buttons Let's Sew With Knits

Want to start sewing with knit fabrics but don't know where to begin? Well, you've come to the right place! Whether you've yet to dip your toe into the wonderful world of sewing with stretch fabrics, or you've got a few projects under your belt but you want to take it to the next level, this master blog post with our tips for sewing with knit fabric will have you well on your way to the comfiest handmade wardrobe possible. 

Sewing knit fabrics on a regular sewing machine

Can I sew knit fabrics on a regular sewing machine?

Absolutely! While overlockers or sergers are great for handling stretch fabrics and creating a professional-looking finish (keep reading for more on this!), you don’t necessarily need one to sew with knits - hurrah! If you’ve got an adjustable zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine, you can use that instead.

For more, check out Tilly's tips for sewing knit fabrics on a regular sewing machine.

Tilly and the Buttons Stitcher's Favourites sewing pattern bundle featuring Erin, Coco and Billie

What sewing patterns to use

Lucky for you, we can recommend a wide range of stretch sewing projects using our award-winning, jargon-busting sewing patterns! But we're not just talking about basic tops (although we do love the basics!), we've also got gorgeous designs for a wide range of garments and abilities including our Erin dungarees, the Iris knickers and our simple to sew Lotta dress. But don't just take our word for it, explore our collection of stretch sewing projects in our knits edit...

18 May 2022

Five Tips For Sewing With Interfacing (with Video!)

Five Tips For Interfacing

If you’ve got a couple of sewing projects under your belt, you’ve likely come across interfacing. Let's look at what interfacing is, how to use it, and our top tips for sewing with it.

What is interfacing?

Interfacing is a stiffening material used in sewing to add extra structure or firmness to certain areas of a garment – such as cuffs, button plackets, collars and waistbands. 

It is applied to the wrong side of the fabric (it’s usually the first step in sewing pattern instructions) and isn’t visible on the finished garment.

What type of interfacing should I buy?

You can get lots of different types of interfacing – iron-on or stitch-in; woven, non-woven or knit; black or white; light-weight to heavy-weight; designed for stretch or woven fabrics; in pre-cut packs or sold by the metre or yard. 

Which one you choose will depend on what fabric you’re using for your project – the main thing is to ensure is that the interfacing is a similar weight to the fabric you’re using so that it adds firmness but doesn't make it too stiff. 

Hunt around for variety of interfacings that you like – they’re always useful to have to hand. I generally keep a stash of light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight interfacing so I’ve always got something to match what I’m making. It's also useful to have some stretch interfacing if you regularly make garments in knit fabrics.

Iron-on - or "fusible" - interfacing is the easiest to use, unless the fabric that you're using is more suited to a sew-in material. If you’re using sheer fabrics, which interfacing would show through, you can attach a layer of fine fabric such as organza instead.

Five Tips For Interfacing - interfaced pattern pieces

How do I apply interfacing?

To apply iron-on or fusible interfacing:

  1. Cut the interfacing to the shape of the pattern piece. (Aim to not make it any bigger, or the glue could end up on your ironing board.)
  2. Place your fabric piece on an ironing board, with the wrong side facing up. Position the interfacing piece on top of it, with the glue side (rough side) facing down. 
  3. Gently press down onto the fabric with a hot, dry iron for a few seconds to allow the sticky side to melt and adhere to the fabric.

Now you know what interfacing is and how to use it, here are five tips for interfacing like a pro...

Five Tips For Interfacing - press up and down

1. Press up and down

With a hot, dry iron, when applying the interfacing, try not to move the iron back and forth - instead use an up-down motion so you don't squidge up the interfacing while the glue is melting. 

11 May 2022

Does It Have Pockets? Add In-seam Pockets To These Patterns!

Does It Have Pockets? Add In-seam Pockets To These Patterns!

The age-old sewing question... does it have pockets? 

We're big lovers of pockets here at Tilly and the Buttons, but what if the pattern you've picked out doesn't include them? Where are you supposed to hide your snacks, or how can you pose nonchalantly with your hands? Don't worry, sewists, we've got you covered with our free in-seam pocket pattern download which you can add to any suitable sewing project with a side seam!

Download the free pocket pattern

Open the pattern in Adobe Reader and print the pattern piece actual size / 100% scale on A4 or Letter size paper. Make sure you bookmark the video below or follow along with the steps in our blog post to sew yours.

Insert these pockets into your garment before you start sewing the pieces together. To decide where you want the pockets to sit – hold up the front fabric piece of your sewing project to your body, imagine putting your hands in the pockets, and mark with pins where the top of the pocket openings will fall on the side seams. Mark the same position on the back fabric piece. Simple!

Here's a round-up of inspiration for using your new best friend of a pattern piece...

Tilly and the Buttons Jaimie PJs sewing pattern

Jaimie PJs

PJs are a great place for pockets - fact! To keep the construction of these pyjama bottoms as simple as possible for newbie sewists, our Jaimie PJs sewing pattern doesn't include pockets. But if you're practising your sewing and fancy tackling pockets, it's nice and easy to add them to Jaimie. 


4 May 2022

Tilly's Number One Tip for Speedy Sewing (with Video!)

Tilly's Number One Tip for Speedy Sewing (with Video!)

Sewing to a deadline? Practising for the Sewing Bee?! Or maybe you just don't have much free time to sew and want to see quick progress with your projects...

I know the feeling for all of the above! So I'm a fan of time-saving techniques when it comes to sewing.

Want to know my NUMBER ONE tip for speedy sewing? Find out in the video...

In the video, I'm wearing my needlecord Erin dungarees, AKA our unofficial TATB uniform - at least half the team have an almost identical pair now!