22 February 2023

How to Sew with a Twin Needle

Tilly and the Buttons - How to Sew with a Twin Needle

Sewing with a twin needle can be a great way of creating professional-looking hems and other finishes on your me-mades. It's one of those techniques that can seem tricky at first, so I'm here to show you how it's done!

Examples of twin needes

What is a twin needle used for?

A twin needle (sometimes called a double needle) is composed of two needles connected by one shank at the top.

The twin needle creates two parallel lines of straight stitches on the top side, with a small zigzag stitch connecting them on the underside.

You can use it to topstitch the hems on garments made in stretch fabrics, like the Agnes jersey top or Billie sweatshirt, as well as topstitching on non-stretch garments such as the Jessa jeans or Rosa shirt.

Here's how to sew with your twin needle...

Twin needle sewing supplies laid out.

What supplies do I need to sew with a twin needle?

To sew with a twin needle, you will need:

  • Twin needle (see below)
  • Second spool pin if your machine came with one (don't worry if it doesn't have one)
  • Presser foot with a hole wide enough to fit the twin needle (if your regular presser foot isn't wide enough, try a zigzag or walking foot)
  • Two spools of good quality thread in the same colour, with one bobbin
  • Scrap of your garment fabric to test your stitches on

8 February 2023

Ten Years of Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns!

Tilly a white woman with cropped hair, a lilac blouse and tape measure around her neck places a sewing pattern on a shelf

In 2013, I took the plunge and shared a self-drafted sewing pattern to this blog, unsure whether anyone would buy it. Little did I know that I'd still be making sewing patterns ten years later - now as my actual job, with a team of people helping me! 

43 patterns, 3 books, 9 online workshops, 2 babies, 1 global pandemic and 57,000 cups of coffee later, Tilly and the Buttons is still going strong.

A red haired model wears a teal polka dot Mathilde blouse with puffed sleeves and tucks down the bodice

That first pattern was the Mathilde blouse. Originally it was a PDF file to print at home, with simple text instructions supported by an in-depth sewalong on the blog. I did almost everything myself, from drafting the pattern, creating technical drawings, "modelling" in my kitchen with the camera on timer, to customer service... The only thing I outsourced was grading the pattern into different sizes, for which I have always hired a professional fashion industry grader.

A range of colourful Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns are shown on a turquoise background with sewing tools around them

Our patterns have evolved - and improved - a lot over the years. They now include our signature full colour photo instructions. Many are available in print as well as PDF version. Lots of our patterns now have a much more inclusive size range, from UK 6-34. And it's no longer just me working from my kitchen table - we have a team of amazing people working on the patterns, from drafting through to answering your emails.

Throughout these changes, the intention has remained the same. To inspire more people to sew, with gorgeous designs, refreshingly clear instructions, and an encouraging attitude.

Tilly smiles while sewing a floral blouse

To celebrate ten years of Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns, we thought it would be fun to give you a peek inside my sewing box, which may just contain a few memorable items from the last ten years...

3 February 2023

Fitting the Agnes sewing pattern

Fitting the Agnes Jersey Top - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Agnes top and want some extra tips on fitting? This post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you may need when sewing Agnes.

Agnes is now available in printed and PDF formats sizes UK 6-34 / US 2-30 / EUR 34-62 / AUS 6-34. As it's designed to be made in stretchy jersey, it's relatively simple to fit. 

In this post we're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening the bodice or sleeve
  • Combining sizes or resizing the bust
  • Widening or narrowing the shoulder
  • Changing the neckline
  • Narrowing or widening the sleeve
However, don't think you have to make all of these adjustments - you may need one or two, or maybe none at all!

Model wearing a blue and withe striped Agnes top, with ruched sleeve details

1 February 2023

Reintroducing Agnes! Back in print in sizes UK 6-34

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top sewing pattern

Exciting news, sewists! By popular demand, our Agnes jersey top sewing pattern is back in print, with our new-and-improved size range which includes 15 sizes, from UK 6 to 34 (US 2-30 / EUR 34-62 / AUS 6-34), and with the addition of sewist and disability advocate Samantha (@PurpleSewingCloud) modelling (yes, you may have previously spied her in Tilly's Make It Simple book too!).

Originally launched in 2015, we thought it was high time we brought this popular design back into print. Why? 

Because it's a wardrobe staple that you will wear again and again - whether layered or solo. 

Because THAT statement ruched sleeve option (swoon).

And because it's a perfect introduction to sewing with stretchy jersey fabrics. You don't even need an overlocker or serger - the instructions will take you step-by-step through sewing the whole thing on a regular sewing machine. And, if you fancy extra help, you can follow Tilly's video lessons in the accompanying online workshop, Learn to Sew Jersey Tops.



Model with sunglasses wears blue stripe jersey top with ruched sleevesModel with brunette curly hair holding mobility aid walker wears purple long sleeve jersey top with sweetheart necklineModel with curly brunette hair wears short sleeve rainbow stripe Agnes top

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes jersey top sewing pattern in sizes UK 6-34
Tilly and the Buttons Agnes jersey top sewing pattern in sizes UK 6-34


Irresistibly wearable all year round, Agnes is a versatile addition to your wardrobe that you'll want to sew again and again. But don't just take our word for it - check out the 5000+ makers who have tagged their gorgeous #SewingAgnes makes on Instagram. 

  • Close fitting silhouette
  • Choice of scoop neckline or ruched sweetheart neckline, both finished with a narrow neckband
  • Choice of sleeve lengths - full length or cropped above the elbow
  • Optional on-trend ruching at the shoulders
  • Can be sewn on a regular sewing machine - no overlocker or serger needed!