8 June 2024

Fitting the Nell Blouse + Dress

Fitting the Nell blouse and dress

Ready to make our new Nell blouse + dress pattern and want to know how to get a great fit? Well, you're in the right place!

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

Nell is designed to be loose-ish fitting, with bust darts to give some shaping to the bodice, quite a bit of ease at the waist, and a swishy, gathered skirt. All of this means that the pattern is pretty simple to fit, and so you might find you only need to make a couple of adjustments, or perhaps none at all!

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

A smiling model wears a v-neck peplum blouse with flutter sleeves. The blouse is made in a dark green viscose fabric with a pink geometric print.

5 June 2024


One model wears a v-neck button-front peplum blouse with flutter sleeves in green and pink viscose. The other model wears a v-neck button-front midi dress in pink and yellow gingham linen.

Are you ready to meet your new favourite sewing pattern? Introducing the Nell blouse + dress pattern, a mix 'n' match design that has so many views you could literally wear it all summer long! 

But wait, that's not all! We’ve also created a brand new online workshop to accompany the pattern – Learn to Sew a Button-Front Dress or Blouse. The course covers a whole load of garment-sewing essentials, so it's perfect for budding sewists, or anyone in need of a refresher. 

With so much to tell you about Nell, we'd better get going...

15 March 2024

How to Sew Welt Pockets

How to sew welt pockets

Welt pockets look neat, chic and impressive - as well as being functional, of course! They have a reputation for being a bit tricky to sew, but take your time and you will be amazed at the finished result. 

Welt pockets are an optional feature on the Tilly and the Buttons Thea trousers sewing pattern. The pattern instructions take you through each step with annotated photos. As we know some of you prefer to see sewing in motion, we've created a video to show you the process of making the welt pockets too.

Hand inserted into welt pocket

What are welt pockets?

Welt pockets (sometimes known as "jetted pockets") are sleek internal pockets created by cutting though the fabric of a garment. You often see them on tailored trousers, skirts, jackets or coats. 

Pulling out corners on a welt pocket with tweezers

How do you sew a welt pocket?

Watch our step-by-step video tutorial on how to sew a welt pocket.

Remember, we are demonstrating on the Thea trousers pattern - if you're using a different pattern, the piece names and markings may be a bit different, but you should be able to use the same technique.

12 March 2024

Fitting the Thea trousers

Fitting the Thea trousers

Are you planning on making the Thea trousers and want some extra help on how to get a great fit? Then look no further as this post is for you.

Thea is a pair of high waisted, wide leg trousers with a choice of two lengths and multiple pocket variations. As we're all different shapes and sizes, there are various adjustments we can do to improve the fit of our me-mades. In this blog post we're going to cover the most common adjustments you may want to consider making to your Thea trousers, but bear in mind you probably won't need to do all of them, or even any at all!

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Making a toile 
  • Choosing your size 
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • Other common trouser fitting adjustments

8 March 2024

How to Use Layered PDF Sewing Patterns

How to use layered PDF sewing patterns

We have recently started adding layered sizes to our PDF sewing patterns - hooray! This has been a regularly requested feature from the PDF pattern aficionados amongst you - thank you for your patience while we changed our processes to allow this feature. The Thea trousers is our first sewing pattern with layers, and future patterns - including those in our forthcoming book Mini Makes - will also feature layered sizes.

If you're new to using layered PDF sewing patterns, this post will show you how to use this snazzy feature. It's very simple, I promise!

What is a layered PDF sewing pattern?

Layered PDF sewing patterns are set up with each size placed on its own individual layer, kind of like pieces of tracing paper all stacked one on top of the other. This allows you to hide the sizes you don’t need and print just the ones you do. There are two main benefits to printing patterns in this way:
  1. You'll save ink by printing just the sizes you need
  2. It makes it easier to see your size line more clearly, making cutting out your pattern a smoother and more straightforward process.

How do I use layered PDF sewing patterns?

The process of using layered PDF patterns is satisfyingly simple!

7 March 2024

Common Trouser Fitting Adjustments

Header image showing a model wearing pink wide-legged trousers with a blue t-shirt. The text above the model reads "how to make common trouser fitting adjustments"

Do you like the idea of making trousers or pants, but feel a little nervous about the prospect of fitting them? Well, fear not, as help is here! This blog post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you may need to make when sewing trousers.

Now, before we go any further, please shake off any ideas you may have about making a perfect, crease-free pair of trousers. They simply don’t exist. Well-fitting trousers allow you room to sit down comfortably, breathe, eat, and to live your best life. They will crease where you bend and move, and will allow you space to do so. Basically, don’t get hung up on eliminating every crease and line – it’s impossible!

With that in mind, we've covered a few different fitting adjustments here, but don't feel like you have to try them all! You may not need to make any alterations to your pattern, or perhaps you feel you need to do just one or two tweaks.

Do I need to make a toile?

If you're not sure whether you'll need to make some alterations, or even what adjustments you might need, it's a good idea to make a "toile" - a mock-up garment in a similar weight fabric you don't mind using to test the fit - so you can see how a particular pattern works on you. We have a comprehensive blog post about toile making. Go check it out if you want to find out more!

Making a toile is more important if you're making something with a close-fitting crotch and bum area, like the Thea trousers, but not always essential if you're making a looser fitting garment, such as the Esti trousers or shorts or the Safiya trousers - unless you know you usually need to make lots of adjustments. For looser fitting trousers, you might want to make a "wearable toile", perhaps in an inexpensive but pretty fabric that you won't mind wearing if it all works out beautifully. 

Ready to dive in and learn how to do some common trouser fitting adjustments? Let's go...

How do I add more room to the stomach area? AKA a full tummy adjustment

Line drawing showing drag lines radiating from stomach to side seams. Next to this is a diagram showing how to do a full tummy adjustment.

6 March 2024

NEW PATTERN! Meet the Thea trousers

Two models wear wide leg trousers in pink cotton and white corduroy

There's a new sewing pattern on the block, and Team Buttons is obsessed!

The Thea trousers are a pair of wide leg pants that will be on regular rotation in your wardrobe. With multiple pocket options, two hemline lengths, and a wide range of suitable fabrics to choose from, this is a pattern to sew again and again.

Read on to find more about Thea…

Model wears white corduroy cropped wide leg trousers
Back view of white corduroy cropped wide leg trousers with patch pockets
Model wears hot pink wide leg trousers
Welt pockets on back of pink trousers

14 February 2024

Tilly's next book Mini Makes is coming soon!

Mini Makes book - Sewing Patterns to Make for Kids Aged 0-12 Years - Tilly and the Buttons

I'm excited to let you know that my fourth book is coming this spring, and it's all about sewing for little ones!

Mini Makes will be published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant) on 25 April 2024 – and you can pre-order it now!

Sew-in woven labels for kids' clothes

If you pre-order directly from us by 25th March 2024, we'll send you a signed copy of the book plus an exclusive free gift when the book is released. This pair of woven sew-in labels have been designed by us and aren't available anywhere else. Perfect for adding the finishing touch to your mini makes!

(Offer ends 25th March 2024. Your book and gift - along with any other items in the same order - will be dispatched when the book is launched in late April - so if you would like to order other items to arrive sooner, please place a separate order. Offer exclusively available for pre-orders from shop.tillyandthebuttons.com. Gift subject to availability.)

Young boy wears stripe leggings with strawberry knee patches