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!

27 April 2022

Five Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Fabric Stash

Five Tips For Spring Clean Your Fabric Stash

With blossoming trees and lighter, longer days at this time of year, many of us feel the urge to give our homes a good spring clean. And there's no reason to leave out our sewing spaces, as we sewists can certainly gather a wide variety of bits and bobs that are due a seasonal sort out... Yes, we're looking at you, fabric stash.

Five Tips For Spring Clean Your Fabric Stash - pile of fabrics

Acquiring a large collection of fabrics can be part and parcel of dressmaking, and fabric shopping is a separate hobby in itself, right? So it's no surprise our once humble fabric storage solutions quickly become overwhelmed. Not to mention the bags of scraps we hoard in case they come in handy someday (spoiler: they rarely do).

Sometimes a quick tidy isn't always the solution, sometimes you need to face facts and declare a destash! Whilst toying with the idea of simply buying another shelving unit for the overspill might sound like a plan, we understand that this quick fix won’t get to the root of the problem. Let's face it, for a lot of us, there are not enough days in the week to work our way through our fabric stash at a reasonable rate. 

It's time to take action! If you're feeling overwhelmed and uninspired by your fabric stash, here are five tips to spring clean your fabric stash...

Five Tips For Spring Clean Your Fabric Stash - pile of fabrics


A “capsule stash” is in the spirit of the “less is more” wardrobe principle. Our taste in fabrics can certainly change over the years, so weed out any pieces that don't match your current style - they deserve to be loved by someone, after all. Or, if you've discovered certain colours don't suit your skin tone as well as others, set those pieces aside because we want our fabrics to bring out the best in us!