Tag: Tilly and The Buttons

Tilly and The Buttons Frankie Baseball Tshirt Review

Green baseball top

Completed Frankie Baseball top + awkward expression!

This pattern is from Tilly’s book ‘Stretch’ and was the one that really made me excited about my preordered book arriving. I’m a bit in love with raglan tops recently: I like how colour blocking the arms make them look sporty and they have a  nostalgic, 70’s vibe that appeals to me.

There were a few things that made me nervous about sewing this for the first time:

  1. I have a large bust, and the sort of fit this top has could easily make a tent below my bust – something that is really annoying to wear as cold air gets in under the loose fabric!
  2. Sewing the neck in place: easing in the neckline along four seams (instead of the two that I am used to doing) made me worry I would stretch or pucker the neckline.

I’d bought some beautiful jersey to make the top from, however because of my concerns I picked up some super cheap poly jersey from Fabricland in Bristol for £2.99 a meter to use as a toile. Its surprisingly nice to wear and sew with – I’d have thought a polyester jersey would be rank (too hot, itchy etc) but its really not too bad. Anyway, down to the sewing:

I cut out the size 5, and made no changes to the pattern at all. It sewed up very quickly, just with a few smallish niggles. First of all, when I attached the sleeves, I realised how much wear the raglan seams would need to take. One row of zig zag stitches to hold them on seemed to be a little light, well that’s what I convinced myself, so I decided to top stitch them using a twin needle. This also captured the seam allowance in place either side of the seam, rather than in one direction – which could cause bulk. I really love this finish and will definitely do it on the next Frankies I have planned. I love sewing with twin needles so its any excuse really!

Top stitching on neckline and sleeves

Twin needle top stitching on the neckline & raglan seams

The neckline was a wee bit tricky: the neckband seemed very small and I wondered how on earth it would fit, to the point where I almost recut it longer. Glad I didn’t and I trusted the pattern as its fine. My neckline does appear to be higher than the one on the model in the book. I don’t know why – perhaps its the fabric? There is a bit of light puckering around the front of the neckband which I think I could get rid of with a bit more pressing.

Selfie photo of raglan top with puckering on neckline

Fresh off the sewing machine with no pressing: puckering on the neckline

The instructions were straightforward and easy to follow, and there are only four pattern pieces so its quick to trace and cut out too. The curves in the pattern are designed for women’s bodies, plus it sews up true to the size it says it will (if only all patterns were like this!).

Sewing toiles is really boring and something I never want to do – but – I think doing this one has made me a bit more likely to bother in future – it took a load of pressure off knowing it was cheap fabric, and that it was just a test run. The garment itself is wearable, and it has made me sure I do want to use precious fabric on another version. Next time I am going to lengthen the bodice by about an inch as the hips sit closer to my waist and are a bit flappy, and I’ll try the 3/4 sleeves.

All in all, another great and wearable pattern from Tilly!


2018 Make Nine

In which I make plans I am not sure I can keep, but have the best of intentions.

1. Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic

Hollyburn skirt sewing pattern
Inspiration from Rue des Renard’s grey tweed Hollyburn and Sylkotwist’s denim Hollyburn.

I have a long-standing love for this skirt pattern, and it’s vintage-esq 1970’s shape. I love the length and how it looks like something a old-fashioned librarian might wear. I can see myself wearing this sort of skirt a lot, as it looks so good with tights (which I wear all year round). Its got an autumn-winter feeling to it, especially the ones I’ve seen sewn up with tweed fabric. I’m considering making this from tartan, however the pattern matching needed on the front could be beyond my abilities.


Pattern: ✅
Fabric: ❓
Made: ❌

2. Moneta Dress by Collette

Collette's Moneta Dress pattern
Inspiration from Collette and Little Home by Hand

I love all the Moneta dresses on Instagram and know its something I would enjoy wearing – in many colours and prints! I’ll be making the sleeved version with plain neckline. I like how this look is simple and unfussy but something I don’t think I can get on the high street. Also, the simple shape looks like it would work for a whole host of different looks, all depending on the fabric. I’m not just planning one Moneta dress either: I know I will be making at least two (one with parrots and one out of the most beautiful dark navy crushed velvet ready for Christmas – planning ahead or what?!).

I was impatient to get started on this dress, so much so I decided to wing it and try making one by using the Tilly and The Buttons Agnes top and adding a gathered skirt. Its not come out the best. There are a whole host of reasons and I might post about my experience doing that as it taught me quite a lot of about the perils of winging it with very drapey viscose jersey that doesn’t want to play ball. Cut a long story short, my itch for a comfy jersey dress is still there!


Pattern: ✅
Fabric: ✅ Black and white parrot print viscose jersey from eBay, and, navy crushed velvet from Heathcotes in Tiverton
Made: ❌

3. Miette Skirt by Tilly and The Buttons

Miette Skirt sewing pattern
Inspiration from Tilly and The Buttons and Eeks Boutique’s green corduroy Miette.

I didn’t look twice at this pattern until I saw it being worn live at the Great British Sewing Bee by one of the ladies on Tilly’s stand. It is so flattering and simple! I want to make this in denim just like the Tilly one to begin with, and then who knows? I am very tempted by a green one. It looks so easy to wear and comfortable. I love the 70’s shape too.


Pattern: ✅ (Bought in Wells on a little holiday before Christmas)
Fabric: ❌ I don’t think I have enough denim left – need to check
Made: ❌

4. Tulip Skirt by Sew Over It

Sew Over It Tulip Skirt pattern
Inspiration from Sew Over It and Caroline CJ Made on The Fold Line.

Years ago I had a black crepe tulip skirt with a pair of ties that would knot at the front. It was from Joy (probably made by Louche) and it was my favourite ever skirt. I lent it to a friend and the seams got stretched out, and it began to bobble. I wish I had kept it and worked out a pattern from it, but instead I got rid of it in a big clean out last year. That skirt was so useful, I wore it to many different places and it held really happy memories and I know I would wear one like it a lot still.

This pattern isn’t quite the same as the one I had, but its the best one I have found so far. I want to make it in black textured crepe – still got to find it that too.


Pattern: ✅ PDF downloaded from the Sew Over It PDF club in January
Fabric: ❌ Maybe the triple crepe rio from Sew Over It?
Made: ❌

5. Cleo Pinafore Dress by Tilly and The Buttons

Cleo Pinafore Dress by Tilly and The Buttons
Inspiration from So Zo What Do You Know’s black Cleo and Sew Dainty’s floral Cleo.


Pattern: ✅
Fabric: ❓I started making one in some lovely denim last year, got half way through and my sewing machine refuses to sew it anymore. I have some black needlecord to try another one as its a bit thinner to sew through.
Made: ❌

6. Erin Skirt by Sew Over It

Sew Over It Erin Skirt
Inspiration from Athina Kakou’s long Erin and @ladymissel on Instagram.

I love this neat button up skirt – it looks smart and casual and easy to wear. The navy blue ones look particularly neat and wearable!


Pattern: ✅ The PDF book was a gift from Alex
Fabric: ✅ Flowery needlecord from Shepherds Bush Market
Made: ✅ Review coming soon

7. Kimono by Sew Caroline

Sew Caroline Kimono
Inspiration from Sew Caroline, and Sewaholic.


Pattern: ✅
Fabric: ✅ Yes: black viscose with white birds on it from eBay and some plain bright blue viscose from Fabricland in Bristol.
Made: ❌

8. Button up gathered skirt

Button Up Gathered Skirts
Inspiration from Collette’s Zinnia Skirt, Tilly and The Button’s Lobster skirt and House of Pinheiro.


Pattern: ❓ I might just make a gathered skirt with placket front, or get the Zinnia pattern from Collette
Fabric: ✅ Yes: black viscose from Fabricland in Bristol
Made: ❌

9. Pinafore Dress – TBC

Pinafore Dresses
Trying to decide between the Kwick Sew K4138 and the Simply Sewing Sunday Set. I have a dark navy needlecord with an orange and mustard little geometric pattern on it that I want to make this from. It was about £12 from Heathcote Fabrics in Tiverton.


Pattern: ❓ I have the Sunday Set but not the Kwick Sew
Fabric: ✅ Yes: geometric needlecord
Made: ❌

Tilly and The Buttons Agnes and Clemence

Tilly and The Buttons Agnes in red jersey
Last week I managed to sew and complete two garments: another Tilly and The Buttons Agnes top, and a gathered chambray skirt made using her Clemence pattern from Love at First Stitch as a starting point.

Agnes is so easy!

Making a second Agnes top was very quick and easy. Being able to sew it up with only a few checks of the instructions made the process so much faster and enjoyable. Have a look at my first Agnes top here. I used up some thin red jersey from my old sewing stash to make this. I think it will have been a remnant I picked up from Heathocoat’s, maybe four years ago?(!). Nice to finally get it used up. Because its quite thin, sewing the neckband in was a little tricky but fine in the end.

I love the fit and the look of this top – I don’t have any other red tops like this and I have already been wearing this straight from the sewing machine. Is there anything more satisfying than making something and getting to use it straight away?

Tilly and The Buttons Agnes top in red and Clemence skirt

I like to accessorize my makes with cats and novelty socks

I used the Clemence ‘recipe’ from Love at First Stitch to start making this gathered skirt, however, I found the instructions confusing, so I finished it off using what I have learned from making other gathered skirts in the past. I used the lovely soft chambray I picked up in Malbers Fabrics and I love how it looks – its exactly what I wanted.

A hat trick of firsts

I added pockets using the template in Love at First Stitch, and they are the perfect size. These were my first ever in-seam pockets. I also did my first ever invisible zipper (it could be a bit more invisible than what it is) and my first ever buttonholes!

ZIp and button closures on Clemence skirt

Yes, the zip could be hidden better, but I am happy to have got it to work!

Buttonholes! Buttonholes! BUTTON. HOLES.

I’ve been scared of trying to sew button holes for as long as I can remember – it just looked like it was going to be so difficult to make them work, and my fear has been that I would mess up my final garment and ruin hours of work. I decided to knuckle down and try them with this skirt as I had my heart set on having some wooden buttons on it. It turned out to be totally OK! I need to learn from this, and just give things a go.


Some of my practice buttonholes – can you see where I realised I needed to change the width and it magically worked?

It took me a few YouTube videos to finally work out how my buttonhole foot worked and a bit of twiddling with the stitch width, then suddenly it magically worked and I was sewing buttonholes!

The chambray frays a lot. I’d have liked to have French seamed it, however because I added the pockets, I had no idea how to do that with pockets and my little brain couldn’t work it out. I’ve folded the seams inside and zig-zagged them to try and keep the fraying under control, but I’m expecting a lot of bits once it goes through the washing machine. I need to do some research into French seams and pockets before I make another one of these.

Tilly and The Buttons Agnes in black jersey

Agnes sewing pattern cover

Such a simple but wearable top!

The Agnes sewing pattern by Tilly and The Buttons makes a simple, but very wearable jersey top. It comes with several options to make it more versatile, with different arm lengths and ruched details. I am coming late to this party though after my sewing hiatus, I think every sewing blogger under the sun has made stacks of these by now!

I opted to buy the PDF pattern and download it and print it myself which cost £9.50. You can download the Agnes pattern here. The printed pattern costs £12.50. It took me a whole evening to cut out and assemble the pattern pieces, which makes me wonder how long I would take to assemble and cut out a dress or bigger project like this. It was easy to assemble though and felt a little like a brain training exercise!

Sewing pattern instructions

The instructions were clear and easy to follow

I bought some inexpensive jersey fabric from Fabric Land in Bristol for this make. It is very soft, with some stretch, and isn’t see through despite being black (yay!). It is covered in a very fine random polka dot pattern in silver. It was a bargain at £3.99 per meter. I bought 1.5 meters for this project and I have a fair bit left I could use for something-or-other.

Cat sitting on sewing

Kiki the cat modelling the black jersey I made the Agnes with

I used my normal sewing machine for this project and opted to do the super easy route of just using zig zag stitch and it has worked very well. I bought ball point needles for this project and they have worked well. I will try using a twin needle on a future project.

The sizing is straight forward and it does seem to come up very true to what the patten says which is a huge surprise for me after lots of dubious sizing problems with commercial sewing patterns. I have a large bust and most clothes are a bit annoying to wear because I end up having pulling across the bust and loose fabric elsewhere like the shoulders, but not on this top! Its quite a miracle.

The instructions are clear and quite easy to follow. I only had one small head-scratching moment and I think that’s because the instruction photos feature a bright striped fabric that I got confused by (stripe directions). I was nervous about sewing the neckband in, but it was surprisingly simple and I’m very impressed with the results, even when using zig zag stitch.

In total, I think this took me four hours to cut out the fabric and sew together. I am sure if/when I make another one, it will be faster though.

Close up of Agnes neckband

Excuse the cat hair – that’s what happens when you have a kitty assistant!

Black polka dot Agnes top

Completed Agnes top, with shorter sleeve option (needs a bit of an iron)

Agnes top

A poor quality selfie taken hot off the sewing machine!


Will I make this again? Yes, definitely. I just need some nice jersey!
Any tips? Read all the instructions before starting. Use a ball point (jersey) needle. Try using stretch interfacing to secure the shoulder seams.
Overall verdict: A great pattern – simple but very wearable

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