30 November 2022

A Look Inside Our Sewing Patterns

Tilly and the Buttons - A Look Inside Our Sewing Patterns

At Tilly and the Buttons, we love nothing more than hearing our customers say they had a great experience with our sewing patterns – whether we got them started sewing in the first place, helped them get over their fear, gave them a lightbulb moment, or took their existing sewing skills up a level.

I started making patterns after hearing friends and blog readers saying that they found traditional sewing patterns confusing and intimidating. This was so sad to hear, as I wanted everyone to discover the joy of sewing! So, blending my professional experience in developing learning resources with my personal passion for DIY fashion, I set out to rethink sewing patterns for the new wave of makers – with refreshingly clear instructions that translate the jargon and show you what each step looks like in colour photos.

Our patterns have come a long way since I first started making them in my kitchen at home! A decade on, we have a team of amazing professionals working on them. We are so proud that our patterns regularly win awards and are often recommended for their user-friendliness.

You may have seen our current patterns on the shelves of your local fabric store, on your Instagram feed, or maybe sitting unopened in your own stash at home. So I thought I’d give you a look inside to show you what you get once you open that magical envelope…

But first, the cover! Rather than using professional models, we prefer to hire inspiring-yet-relatable people from the crafting community to showcase our designs, on a range of body shapes.

16 November 2022

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Do you have a particularly long or short torso, legs or arms? If this sounds like you, you might want to consider lengthening or shortening your sewing patterns to get a better fit.

It's Nikki here, and today I'm going to talk you through lengthening or shortening pattern pieces. The first set of diagrams below show a bodice, which you can adjust if you have a long or short upper body, but you can use the same technique on loads of pattern pieces - trouser legs or skirts if you have long or short legs, sleeves if you have long or short arms, you name it. I’ll also talk you through how to lengthen or shorten the rise on trouser and shorts patterns. This is one of the great things about sewing - you can adjust just the parts you need to get a garment to fit your unique shape.

If you are lengthening a pattern piece that has a matching pair or facing that will be affected by the length - for example, a front bodice will often join a back bodice and sometimes a front opening facing - make the same adjustment to the matching pattern pieces, else you'll end up with a wonky garment (not cool).

Ready? Let's get stuck in to...

How to lengthen a sewing pattern

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you want to lengthen your pattern piece, cut along the bottom "lengthen or shorten" line, to separate your pattern pieces into two.

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

4 November 2022

How to Apply Heat Transfers to Clothing (with video!)

How to Apply Heat Transfers to Clothing (with video!)

Are you looking for an easy way to customise your garments and your latest sewing projects to make them even more unique to you? Heat transfers are a fun way to update your clothing with motifs, names, graphics prints, quotes and more! But be warned, they can be seriously addictive once you know how to apply them!

For our recently released Billie sweatshirt sewing kits, we included the cutest heat transfer drawn by award-winning graphic designer and colour queen Liz Harry. Whether you're looking for extra help applying these transfers or are using something different to embellish your garments, keep reading for a step-by-step guide and video...

What is a heat or iron-on transfer?

Iron-on or heat transfers are ink-printed designs that can be applied to clothing and fabric with the application of heat. Think motifs on sweatshirts, quotes on t-shirts and much more! This can take your simple me-made clothing or RTW styles from plain and simple to totally unique. 

Unlike iron-on vinyl, the soft finish of the transfer makes it feel like part of the garment, and it stretches and rebounds without cracking!

How to apply a heat transfer

Heat transfers can easily be applied at home - yay! You don't need any fancy equipment, just an iron, an ironing board and some baking (parchment) paper or release paper.