21 June 2023

How To Do A Full Tummy Adjustment on Trousers or Shorts

How to do a full tummy adjustment on trousers or shorts

Do you often feel as though you need a bit more room in the stomach area in your trousers or shorts? If you're nodding your head in agreement, you may benefit from doing a full tummy adjustment to your me-made garments.

A full tummy adjustment adds width and length to the stomach area on a pair of shorts or trousers (or pants if you're one of our North American friends). It's a handy adjustment to do if you need a little bit more room across the tummy, but the rest of the trousers fit well and feel comfortable.  

But how do you know if you need a full tummy adjustment? If you often get drag lines across the stomach, a tight front crotch or if the side seams are pulled forward in line with the tummy area, this can indicate that you could benefit from a bit more room across the front. Even a small full tummy adjustment can make all the difference to how your shorts and trousers fit, and is a great adjustment to keep up your sleeve, or should we say down your leg (sorry). 

We've made a video which explains how to do a full tummy adjustment from start to finish. If you prefer to learn via diagrams and text, then keep on reading. 

Flat lay showing paper, tape, scissors, pattern master ruler, pen, pattern piece

For this tutorial you’ll need your front leg pattern piece, a pen or pencil, a ruler, some scissors, some tape, and a bit of paper. 

So, once you’ve got those handy, let’s get started.

16 June 2023

Sewing Inspiration & Fabric Picks for Esti

Tilly and the Buttons - Sewing Inspiration & Fabric Picks for Esti

If you're sewing up an Esti co-ord or two this summer, you're in the right place for a healthy dose of fabric and high-street inspiration for your makes!

Ideal for all your favourite spring/summer fabrics, Esti is designed for light- to medium-weight woven fabrics. Try linen or chambray for a more structured silhouette, or viscose (rayon) or Tencel (lyocell) for a drapier look.

First, let's have a peek at the lovely Esti samples...

A collage of Esti model pictures featuring rayon fabric

We're obsessed with the faux jumpsuit potential of Esti and just had to get this look on the cover!

14 June 2023

Fitting the Esti Top and Trousers or Shorts Co-ord

Fitting the Esti Co-ord
Thinking of making the Esti top and trousers or shorts and want some extra tips on how to get a great fit for your unique body shape? Then keep on reading as this post is for you.

Esti is a simple to sew and incredibly versatile top-and-trouser or top-and-shorts co-ord that you can wear all year round!

Since we're all different shapes, we sometimes need to make adjustments to sewing patterns to get a fit that we're happy with. Here, I'm going to talk you through the most common fitting adjustments you might want to consider making to your Esti Co-ord. 

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Making a toile 
  • Choosing your size 
  • Full bust and small bust adjustments
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • How to adjust the neckline 
  • Full tummy adjustment
  • Lengthening or shortening the crotch

Making a toile

A toile - or a "muslin"- is an initial mock-up of your garment in fabric you don't mind using for testing purposes - pick something with similar weight and drape to the fabric you have in mind for your final project. Making a toile is a great opportunity to test the fit of a sewing pattern or practise a technique on sacrificial fabric before you cut into the nice fabric you have lovingly chosen and purchased for your project.

We have a comprehensive blog post about toile making. Go check it out if you want to find out more!

Body form with bust, waist and hip areas highlighted

Choosing your size

Esti includes all 15 sizes in our range. Pattern sizes 1-6 (UK 6-16) and 7-15 (UK 18-34) have been drafted, fitted and graded separately to create a better fit. For this reason, you may notice the proportions change in the measurements chart and the shaping is slightly different on the pattern pieces – differences for sizes 7-15 include room for a larger bust (10cm/4in difference between high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm/2in difference on sizes 1-6), more room at the waist, plus a longer front crotch curve.

To find your size, using a flexible tape measure, measure 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 - it can help to turn to the side and look in a mirror to check. 

7 June 2023

Say Hello to Esti - the Ultimate Summer Co-ord!

Photo collage of two models wearing trouser and top sets, made using the Esti co-ord sewing pattern
Say hello to simple summer sewing with our Esti Co-ord sewing pattern!

Our Esti top-and-trouser co-ord sewing pattern makes an instant outfit, staple separates for layering, or even a chic faux jumpsuit. It's an easy sewing project that's great for beginners, and a speedy, satisfying make for more experienced stitchers. 


Model wearing a summery matching gingham shorts and top set, made using the Esti co-ord sewing pattern
Plus size model wearing matching top and trouser co-ord in a pastel lilac. The set was made using the Esti co-ord sewing patternModel wearing a faux jumpsuit in a bold brushstroke print. The look was created with a matching top and trouser set, made using the Esti co-ord sewing pattern.
Technical drawing of the Tilly and the Buttons Esti co-ord sewing pattern in sizes UK 6-34


Esti is a two-piece set comprising a strappy top and trousers or shorts, which you can make to be worn together or separately.

The top has:

  • Chic square neckline
  • Straps wide enough to cover a bra
  • Diagonal bust darts for shaping
  • Two lengths - finishing at the waist or high hip
  • Finished with an easy-to-sew facing on the inside

The bottoms have:

  • Wide, slightly flared legs
  • Choice of three hem lengths - shorts, cropped or full length trousers
  • Elasticated waist all the way around, finished with topstitching
  • Optional large patch pockets on the bum
If you know the Safiya trousers from my book Make It Simple, you may be wondering how the trousers compare to those. The Esti trousers have wider, more flared legs (Safiya legs are straighter), a higher rise at the back, the waistline is elasticated all the way around (Safiya has a flat front) and finished with topstitching, they come in three lengths (Safiya trousers are cropped), plus they're available in 15 sizes from UK 6-34 as a separate pattern to the book.