Tag Archive: Sewing Pattern

Black Friday Sale – 25% off!

It’s time for our biggest sale of the year! Grab a bargain in our Black Friday sale with a massive 25% off our printed and digital sewing patterns – woohoo!

Stock up on Christmas presents for crafty friends or treat yourself.

Visit the shop and e…

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October Indie Pattern Update!

Hey guys! Sorry that this month’s update is a little late this month. I had a BIG day at work yesterday which has meant not much sleep for me for the last couple of weeks. No matter how little time I have for sewing I just can’t resist the lure of a bit of inspiration for further down the line so have still been fairly obsessively checking my blog roll and Instagram feed for new pattern releases and news and have got a bumper update for you! I’m looking forward to tackling my sewing queue over the next few weeks…a queue thats got a little longer after writing this!

New Pattern Companies!

  • Octavia Patterns launched with Jodie’s very first pattern, Pomegranate! Pomegranate is a simple blouse with self faced cowl neck and short kimono sleeves which would be perfect to showcase a special piece of silk. The clean, contemporary lines of this style seem to sum up Jodie’s aim to create modern, fashionable styles that will stand the test of time.

New Patterns

  • Nana from How to Do Fashion released pattern No.12 Aalborg. This is a beauty of a wrap dress or peplum shirt inspired by the 1970s with voluminous sleeves and the option to add a collar and tie belt.
  • I feel like every month for about the last two years I’ve resolved to do something about my goal of sewing lingerie. When I eventually do I want to try out basically every bar in the Orange Lingerie collection and the new release, the Berkeley Bra is no exception.
  • The new patterns from Style Arc in October included the Dorothy Woven Jacket (one of the freebies with any purchase), the Indigo Maxi Skirt and Lara Jane Dress. The latter has a cold shoulder feature with frill and I particularly love the version with the long sleeve.
  • Released with this month’s edition of Seamwork Magazine were the Piedra Shift Dress and Lilliana Box Jacket. The simple tent style dress made up in merino could be an absolute winter wardrobe staple.
  • A pattern freebie is such a great way to test out a company you haven’t tried before and see how it works for your body shape, style and skill set without too much investment. The Avid Seamstress is offering newsletter subscribers the Drop Sleeve Top as a a free download. Alternatively you can purchase a printed version for just £4.
  • New from The Maker’s Atelier is the Swing Jacket. This design looks super classy in the neutral colours of their samples and I think could be a great wardrobe addition made up in boiled wool to wear over festive party and formal dresses.
  • Designer Stitch released the Frida Top, Tunic and Dress which pays homage to Frida Kahlo. The various combinations of sleeve, yoke and flounce provide you with a great canvas to play around with mixing prints, colours and trims.
  • Tessuti are knocking it out of the park with dress releases at the moment. I love my Lois Dress and their new Milenda Dress has certainly caught my eye with it’s relaxed pull on fit and stitched down pleat detail. I had such a good experience with Lois that I’ve actually got one of their coat patterns in progress.
  • New from Friday Pattern Company are the Avenir Jumpsuit and Lucida Dress. I love both of these knit designs. Particularly the off-shoulder jumpsuit with it’s billowing sleeves and legs for lounging about the house and feeling glamorous! 
  • There is a lot to love about the new Claudette Dress from Colette Patterns. Its a fitted sheath dress with loads of options; among them I particularly like the ruffle at the waistline and cowl neck. Sizing and fit has been careful thought through with curvy sizes including an additional waist dart.
  • Kommatia Patterns’ new fall collection has gone sports luxe and includes the TR811 Jogger Pants and SW604 Sweatshirt which has some lovely features such as a classic v detail at the neckline and zip pocket on the sleeve.
  • Sew Over It‘s PDF release for October was the Chic Cape which features a rounded collar and armhole slits. They also released a new paper pattern this month. The 1940s Wrap Dress has been much in demand since it was launched as a class and I can see why with its flattering fit, collar and sweet shoulder pleats.
  • Greenstyle Creations released the Chelsea Pants. These have really intrigued me as the design sounds quite unusual. They should be made in a stable knit or super stretchy woven and feature a centre front seam and wide waistband which dips down in the back.
  • The Indie Sew fall/winter collection has just come out and includes a new pattern from Allie Olsen, the Coram Top & Dress. This is a boxy woven tee or dress with cuffed short sleeves.
  • New from Mimi G is the PDF Lexi Jumpsuit. Its a relaxed fitting style with elasticated waist and cuffed voluminous sleeves and legs. A great winter jumpsuit option that looks ace styled with boots.
  • I spotted two new releases from DG Patterns in October. The Cadence Pants and Lily Hoodie. The hoodie has interested me the most with its long-line option and curved hem.
  • The new République du Chiffon collection has just launched and features six really inspiring designs. Each has really lovely interesting details like the shaped panels on the skirt of the Victorie Dress. The collection also includes the Marcelle Jacket, Elisabeth Blouse, Frankie Skirt, Jose Coat and (probably my favourite) the Diego Trousers.
  • Made for Mermaids released the Mama Kourtney pattern to accompany their girls Kourtney Knot. This is a simple knit top but with a whole heap of sleeve, length and knot detail options to play with.
  • New from Zierstoff Patterns is the Lilia Jacket. Designed to be sewn in fleece it features a curved front edge, hood and decorative flower and is also available in children’s and plus sizes.
  • Wardrobe by Me released the Aurora Blouse and Dress. I owned a dress similar to this years back which had the same swinging fit and gathered into a yoke at the neck. I might have to recreate the bohemian dress of my dreams!
  • The Claire Cardigan from Seamingly Smitten is a longer length with patch pockets. Perfect for making up in a snuggly knit to wrap yourself in this season!
  • The latest release from Itch to Stitch is the Hvar Jacket. I’ve seen a lot of interest in this pattern already on Instagram and I can see why. Again Kennis has designed something well proportioned and effortlessly wearable and that waterfall collar combined with pointed front hem is a stunning feature.
  • Sure to be another popular knit design from Jenny at Cashmerette is the Rivermont Dress and Top. Its a pattern for a sheath dress or peplum top, designed for ponte or similar stable knits.
  • Striped Swallow Designs released the Hideaway. I love the idea of a relaxed off shoulder top designed for snuggly knits and could see me layered up in french terry versions of this with skinny jeans all winter!
  • The Wingspan Wrap is the latest release from Sew Knit Love. It’s a billowing semicircular wrap with a deep collar which would be gorgeous in my winter favourite merino. What could be cosier than literally wrapping yourself in such lovely wool!
  • Just a few days ago Straight Stitch Designs released Leschi; a relaxed fit woven blouse with a deep v-neck collar. The perfect thing to throw on over skinny jeans but still feel stylish and pulled together.
  • Released just this morning is the third pattern from Half Moon Atelier; the Anegada Top. Its a semi-fitted basic with boat neck, deep waistband and cuffs. It looks very Parisian chic in the striped samples and I love the finish of the neckline.

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs



  • Victory Patterns have a new design in the works which is set to be released soon! Really excited about this one as I love Kristiann’s dramatic design aesthetic and attention to detail.
  • Style Arc have released a few sneaky peaks of an aviator style jacket which looks like it could be a knockout and a great project to get your winter sewing teeth stuck into.
  • Another knock out piece of outwear soon to hit the internet is the Rumana Coat from By Hand London. A classic piece of timeless ladies tailoring.
  • Sew Different gave us a look at their upcoming Tulip Dress on Instagram.

Other Exciting News

Well I for one now can’t wait to get sewing! As usual here’s a little bit on indie sewing inspiration from the online sewing community to get your November sewing off to a good start.
  • Emmauelle from Zoubi Zoubisou made the most stunning Etta Dress. To elevate it from simple little black dress she added embroidered mesh around the neckline and hem and her placement of this is absolutely spot on.
  • I have been pretty much living in my linen Turia Dungarees since I finished them and Jasika has totally gone one better with her choice of sunshine yellow for hers! I also really like her additions of belt loops and larger back pockets. Beautiful sewing.
  • Katie’s ombre Fremantle Coat is incredible and something I totally wish I owned. The way she’s used that amazing ombre wool combined with beautiful welt pockets and giant snaps…perfection!
  • Helen looks absolutely gorgeous in her Appleton Wrap Dress. The fit is amazing along with the  vivid red and choice to go sleeveless. Making me wish for warmer weather!
  • April has made the most beautiful camel Bamboo Coat from Waffle Patterns. Head on over to her Instagram for some more detailed shots of some brilliant sewing.
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September Indie Pattern Update!

I said last month that it seemed like a quiet one and perhaps the indie pattern design community was ramping up to some big Autumn releases and that certainly seems to be the case. This month’s post is a whopper, packed with some stunning new designs f…

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August Indie Pattern Update!

I hardly dare say it but it feels like August was a slightly slower month in the indie pattern community as designers ramp up to releasing their autumn/winter patterns. Although I have an uneasy feeling that perhaps a combination of too much work and t…

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Introducing Sewing Patterns for Mamas-to-Be!

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Exciting news for stitchers with a bun in the oven – we’ve created two maternity sewing patterns!

Currently pregnant while writing this, I (Tilly) have struggled to buy maternity clothes in the shops. Brands with maternity lines are few and far between, and when you do find a store that stocks them, the range is disappointingly limited, the colours bland, and finding the right size is near impossible!

So I decided we should develop a couple of patterns with multiple variations so you (and I!) can build a stylish wardrobe to show off your bump. They’re based on our popular Bettine and Agnes patterns, redrafted for a curvalicious pregnant shape and size, and redesigned with the needs of baby mamas in mind.

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Crucially, these patterns are:

  • Comfortable to wear – essential when you’re growing a little one and have enough aches and pains to deal with, amirite?
  • Quick and easy to make – so you can get on with curating your nursery Pinspiration board!
  • Versatile – multiple variations mean you can get a wardrobe full of garments out of each pattern
  • Easy fitting – to accommodate a range of bump shapes, and to continue to fit you as you grow


Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsMaternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsMaternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Show off your curvalicious mama-to-be shape in this close-fitting top or dress. Designed for stretchy jersey fabric, it’s speedy to sew, simple to fit, and comfortable to wear.

  • Pattern created for pregnant body shapes, with extra ease for curvy boobs and hips
  • Stretchy, ruched front bodice creates space for your growing bump throughout pregnancy
  • Choose from knee-length dress or long-line top that won’t ride up over your bump
  • Classic scoop neckline, or add elastic to create a ruched sweetheart shape
  • Cropped, three-quarter or full length sleeves for year-round wear
  • Add the optional adjustable drawstrings to the top version to gather or loosen the fabric as your shape changes

Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

We recommend making Agnes in light- to medium-weight stretch knit fabrics, such as cotton jersey, viscose jersey or wool jersey. Check that the fabric can be stretched crosswise at least 25% wider than its original width.

Need some help sewing stretchy jersey? Take our popular video workshop – Learn to Sew Jersey Tops!

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsMaternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


This easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress will make you feel stylish and comfortable throughout your pregnancy. Make it in woven drapey fabric, or make the plain bodice version in jersey for ultimate comfort!

  • Pattern created for pregnant body shapes, with extra ease for curvy boobs and hips
  • Blousy bodice with scoop neckline
  • Optional button front version is perfect for breastfeeding once baby has arrived
  • Easy-to-sew kimono sleeves with turn-up cuffs and optional cuff tabs
  • Narrow elasticated empire waist channel sits under the bust, with optional waist tie to define your bump even more
  • Knee-length skirt that will hang nicely throughout your pregnancy
  • Optional neckband for making the plain bodice version in jersey

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

We suggest making Bettine in a light- to medium-weight drapey woven fabric, such as viscose (rayon), chambray, cotton voile, double gauze, or crepe. Or make the plain bodice version in lightweight drapey jersey with any amount of stretch.

 Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


These two patterns are available as digital patterns to print at home. You’ll get an email immediately after purchase with PDFs of the patterns and instructions to download, print on either A4 or US Letter, and assemble at home with glue or tape.

Our award-winning sewing patterns are refreshingly clear to use, with jargon-busting instructions and full colour photos of each step, so you can see what your project is supposed to look like as you’re making it.

In case you’re wondering, we don’t have plans to produce printed versions of these two patterns at the moment. As maternity sewing patterns appeal to a niche audience only, we don’t expect to sell enough patterns to cover the costs associated with a print run. I hope you find our digital patterns easy to use – plus they’re cheaper for you than printed patterns 😉

Maternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


The patterns include eight sizes – from UK 6-20, US 2-16 or EUR 34-48. We’ve developed a new maternity sizing chart especially for these patterns to account for expanding boobs and hips, and redrafted the patterns for a pregnant body shape.

Measure your full bust and the widest part of your hips to pick your size on the measurements chart included in the pattern (you can also see it at the bottom of the pattern pages). If, like me, you’ve struggled to buy the right size of ready-to-wear maternity clothes, you’ll find it such a relief to make your own maternity clothes based on your actual measurements!

The patterns are designed to fit from around 4 months to 9 months of pregnancy. I’ve worn these samples throughout – I’m currently 8 months pregnant and can see myself wearing them until the end! Bumps do vary a lot in shape, size and position, so the pattern designs are easy fitting to accommodate a variety of silhouettes.

Maternity and nursing Bettine sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsMaternity Agnes sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you’re pregnant, I really hope you enjoy making and wearing these patterns as much as I do! I’d absolutely love to see what you make – share your creations with us on Instagram with the hashtags #SewingMamaAgnes or #SewingMamaBettine and tag us in @TillyButtons.

Photographer: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Elbie van Eeden
Model: Tilly Walnes (34 weeks pregnant when the photos were taken)

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July Indie Pattern Update! (and giveaway winners!)

Hey guys! Well it has been another whopper of a month for new pattern releases and I’ve been really enjoying all the seasonal sewing inspiration you’ve been giving me on both your blogs and Instagram over the last few weeks. I’m currently wishing someone would grant me the gift of an extra week slotted into my life when time stands still and all I have to do is sew!

New Patterns

  • The two new patterns released with this month’s edition of Seamwork Magazine were the Veronica and Georgia Dresses. I really like the clean, contemporary feel of both of these and the chambray version of Veronica is just like an image I’ve been coming back to on Pinterest for years!
  • Style Arc released the Quinn Woven Top & Quinn Woven Skirt which can either be bought separately or together as part of a discounted bundle. The new Lacey Dress is also a breezy summer delight with panelling to play with. One of their July freebies was also new; the Sia Knit Dress.
  • Seamstress Erin released the Ultraviolet Tee. It’s an oversized shirt with short grown on sleeves that comes with two cup size options. The larger size is darted/gathered for a little extra shape.
  • If you’re after a speedy and fun summer sew the new Wardrobe By Me Hera Top could be just the thing. Best of all it’s a free PDF download! The faux wrap top combined with small flutter sleeve and peplum created by the elasticated waistline makes for a sweet feminine style.
  • Savvy Patterns released the Grace Tankini. It’s a vintage inspired, modest two piece swimwear option with two top versions and four bottoms to choose from including a flippy little circle skirt.
  • The patterns launched with the 4th edition of Sew Sew Def were the Reese and Wooster. Reese is a tie-up dress featuring eyelets down the front and Wooster is a pair of mens cargo shorts with dropped crotch. Both come free when you by the downloadable July/August issue. 
  • New from Evie La Luve is the Mimi Bikini. I’m really interested in making one of these. I love the cut out look created by the double back straps of the top and waistband of the briefs.
  • Lisa from the Avid Seamstress added the Shift Dress pattern to her collection of classic designs for timeless wardrobe staples. The low back adds a touch of elegance and the pencil style skirt with vent is a nice detail.
  • Sew Over It‘s PDF release of the month was the Juliette Blouse which features an on-trend ruffle front. They also released a new paper pattern this month, the Elsie Dress, which is a gorgeous full skirted 1950s inspired design with a fitted bodice. I’m wondering if I’ve got time to sew one up before a friend’s wedding in a couple of weeks!
  • Christine Haynes released the Varda Dress and Top. It’s a shift style garment which has a curved shape to flatter the lines of the body and three sleeve options. A lovely blank canvas for special fabrics.
  • Schnittchen had a flurry of new releases this month. The first was the Marta Dress and Skirt which is the first in a series of four patterns designed by the winners of the Maker’s Wish competition. The combination of pieced cups, button front and flared skirt is gorgeous. Also released were the Amanda TopChari Dress & Top and just yesterday they sneaked in a fourth with the Carla Jumpsuit! LOVE the cut of this one. It’s just the sort of thing I’ve been wearing all summer
  • Fairly new to the block, French Navy Now released their second PDF pattern this month. The Forsythe Dress has a breezy silhouette and short cuffed kimono sleeves. The curved panels on the bodice provide opportunity to play with colours, prints and stripes and I can imagine it making up beautifully in lightweight crinkly cottons and linens. 
  • The Raglan Blouse and Sasha Skirt are new from Friday Pattern Company. The volume of the blouse which is elasticated at the cuff and waist has a beautiful seventies vibe and I love the clever design of the wrap skirt with ruffle.
  • Always offering a new challenge up to the sewing community, Scroop Patterns released the Rilla Corset. It’s a WW1 era style under-bust corset which comes down over the hips. The two views feature slightly different neck and hemlines. A great introduction to corsetry for anyone with a bit of sewing under their belt.
  • Hey June Handmade released the Sandbridge Skirt; a pattern for a classic straight cut denim skirt with raw hem. It features all the classic jeans style details with five pockets, back yoke and belt loops.
  • The big summer release from Colette is the Penny Shirtdress. Shirt dresses seem to be this year’s big thing and this one comes with a classic view but also a second variation which includes a wrap over waist belt which I adore! The kind of little detail that elevates a garment into something special and interesting.
  • Pattern Fantastique released the Glacial Tee which is a classic t-shirt base layer but with a contemporary feel which I appeals to me. I like the close fit, slightly shaped hemline and high neckline.
  • I Am Patterns launched their I Am In Africa collection which includes three new patterns as well as updated versions and samples of their previous patterns. The Jain Top & Dress features batwing sleeves and a slightly raised waistline, the Joy Top is a simple style with elasticated full sleeves and my favourite of the bunch the Celeste Dress & Top features a heart shape neckline and back yoke.
  • I’m really drawn to interesting wrap styles at the moment so the new Designer Stitch Ravanna Faux Wrap Pants certainly grabbed my attention. The high low hemline is unusual on a trouser.
  • Ready To Sew released the Jazz Jumpsuit & Dress which has already proven pretty popular on my Instagram feed. The loose fit is bang on trend and certainly appealing for the muggy London weather of late.
  • Pauline Alice launched two new patterns for summer in the form of the Mirambell Skirt and Lliria Dress. The topstitching on the skirt really accentuates the shaped waistband and pockets beautifully and I adore the 1940s feel of the wrap dress with asymmetrical buttoning front.
  • The Suki Kimono is new from Helen’s Closet. It’s a pattern for a classic, comfortable robe which can be kept practical and straightforward in a simple cotton or made glamorous in a beautiful silk.
  • New from Made for Mermaids is the Mama Tara Twist Top which accompanies the release of the Tara girls pattern. The twist front to this basic tee is unique but simple to achieve.

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs



  • Deer & Doe have a new collection coming at the end of August. It looks like it will include an updated version of their Bluet Dress, two new patterns and a surprise!
  • Pier and Palace are a new indie pattern company on the block and were looking for testers for their first patterns. I’m super excited to see what they have to offer and what their design aesthetic will be. Eyes peeled guys!
  • The Tailoress is soon to launch a small range of menswear patterns plus has another pattern for a ladies jumpsuit up her sleeve.
  • Itch to Stitch are currently testing the Chai Shirt and Dress which is inspired by vintage wasp waist dresses. I love a shirtdress with a waistband.
  • The new pattern from Grainline Studio is coming tomorrow!

Other Exciting News

  • Wendy Ward from MIY Collection‘s next book will be ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics’. I’m really exited to see what this will include as I have been wearing my merino Longley Cardigan so much that I had to make myself a second to wear when that one is in the wash!
  • Colette launched a new look for their paper patterns. At the moment just Zinnia and Violet feature the new package design, including full colour photo booklets and fit guides, but as patterns are reprinted they will be updated. The new patterns come in misses or curvy size ranges and if you purchase a paper pattern direct from Colette you will get a digital copy including all sizes.
  • I know a fair few of you were disappointed when some of Trend Patterns‘ first collection of paper patterns sold out and were not set to be reprinted. Well the good news is the whole of their TPC collection is now available in downloadable PDF format!
  • Christine Haynes is discontinuing her printed patterns to focus on PDF downloads. There was a huge sale to finish up the printed stock but all sold out just yesterday.
  • Jennifer Lauren Handmade is trying out a new idea and putting together a group of pattern reviewers to honestly review and spread the word about her patterns. Each month around ten people will be selected to receive the Pattern of the Month and post a review about it.
  • French pattern company Mouna Sew are now offering their PDF patterns in English and their accompanying You Tube tutorials feature English subtitles. English paper patterns will be coming towards the end of the year!
There’s certainly lots to look forward to over the next few months, not that my sewing queue needs to get any bigger! As usual feel free to add any news I may have missed into the comments and I’ll finish up with some indie sewing inspiration from the online community!

  • Charlotte’s Liberty Print Inari Tee Dress has made me rethink my restraint in the Liberty sale last month…it’s so good to know that you can squeeze this dress out of just a metre! Great combination of pattern and print.
  • Rachel from The Foldline made a maxi length Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns which is simply scrumptious.
  • I would never have though to use broderie anglais to make the Kalle shirt but Helen has used in to perfection! It’s the perfect layering piece and the thickness of the embroidery adds structure to the style.
  • Pauline blew my mind with her hack of the Papercut Bowline Sweater into a dress. I must own one immediately!
  • Melissa made an outstanding fabric choice and then used it to it’s fullest potential with her cityscape version of the Gabrielle Dress. It has totally made me rethink this pattern.
Finally as promised I have the winners of the tickets to the Great British Sewing Bee Live to announce! Selected by random number generator the lucky ladies are:

  • Crazyrina
  • Sarah Guthrie
  • Roo
  • Emmie
  • Astrid Breel

Congratulations! You should each be receiving an email from me shortly so I can get hold of your contact details and arrange for your pair of tickets to be sent out to you. Hope to see you there!
All those of you not so lucky don’t forget you can still get £1.50 off the entry ticket price using the code DCS at the checkout.

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June Indie Pattern Update!

Hi guys! I warned you that this month’s post might be a little late and brief…so here I am three days late but I think I did better than I thought keeping up with the news. What can I say…I addicted to hunting down the new patterns! I’ve been working on three shows at once for the last few weeks and definitely haven’t been as focused as usual so please feel free to add in anything I’ve missed and you’d like to share in the comments below. Although with the length of the list I find it hard to believe there can be more! Make sure to check out Kate and Rachel’s post over at The Foldline too for a more detailed look at some of the new releases. 
Just before I plunge into the June news I wanted to bring your attention to a new campaign by the British Heart Foundation which launched on Saturday called The Big Stitch. For the whole month of July they are encouraging us to pop into our closest BHF shop and find an item to up-cycle and give a new lease of life to no matter what your level of sewing skill. I think it’s a fantastic idea supporting the slow fashion movement and a brilliant charity in the process and if you upload photos of your creations you’re in for the chance of winning a prize! More info on The Big Stitch can be found here. For inspiration on customising and reinventing your charity shop finds make sure to check out Sally’s blog Charity Shop Chic.

New Patterns

  • Opian Patterns kicked off the month with the release of two new one-piece swimsuit patterns. I’m so wishing I had a beach holiday booked as I love the simplicity of both the Jamanota and Säntis designs. The patterns are available in both French and English.
  • Seamingly Smitten released the Royal Street Top which is very on trend for summer with ruffles and the ability to wear the style off the shoulder, on the shoulder or on one shoulder.
  • New releases from Style Arc this month included the Roslyn Tunic Dress and the Lennie Overshirt plus the new Dimity Woven Top and Terry Tie Cardigan are July’s freebie patterns with any purchase.
  • The Malaga Pleated Hem Top is new from Waffle Patterns and features two neckline options, two sleeve lengths and two back length options to choose from.
  • Not technically indie but still worth including for any lingerie sewing fans…Madalynne released her next three patterns in collaboration with Simplicity. She’s given us a lot to play with including a strapless bra, plunge bra and knit bodysuit
  • The new patterns released with June’s issue of Seamwork Magazine were the Loretta Top and Patsy Skirt. I love the way they’ve used the gingham and stripes on the Patsy samples to make the most out of the panelled design.
  • Hey June Handmade released the Key Largo Top which is a casual boxy woven tee with a bias cut front and option for an on trend tie front hem.
  • Ohhh Lulu treated us to two new lingerie patterns with the Kate Camisole and Anouk Bodysuit. There’s also a free downloadable add-on tutorial available for Anouk to turn it into a fully lined swimsuit.
  • Trend Patterns launched their summer collection which is comprised of six patterns including the TPC7 Pleated Shoulder Dress, TPC8 Trench Jacket, TPC9 Drawstring Dress and TPC12 Utility Trouser plus two additions to their basics range, TPC11 Knot Front Dress and TPC10 Wide Legged Flares. If you’re after unique design features and bold shapes this is the collection for you!
  • After a little lull in new releases By Hand London had two new PDF pattern launches in June! The Poppy Dress and Top is their first foray into designs for knit fabrics and the relaxed style includes a box pleat detail along the raglan sleeve seam. The Orsola Dress and Skirt is an absolute stunner of a classy wrap style which I’ve already posted about here. I did actually test both patterns but haven’t gotten around to photographing Poppy yet!
  • New from On The Cutting Floor are the Alice Top, Tunic and Dress and Marsella Top and Dress patterns. I love the combo of wrap front and butterfly sleeves on the knit Marsella but am equally taken with the cut out back neckline on Alice.
  • I was really excited about the new Sakura collection from Papercut Patterns and it did not disappoint! I’ve already made the Aomori Twist Top in a beautiful merino knit and have got my eye on the Nagoya Pants or Kobi Dress/Top next. The collection also includes the Kyoto Sweater/Tee, Kochi Kimono, Otsu Jeans, Mito Cami/Dress, Himeji Bag and Sapporo Coat which has been getting a lot of love on social media.
  • The Laneway Dress is new from Jennifer Lauren Handmade. It has a distinctive 1940s silhouette with a-line skirt and collar detail which exposes a contrast facing.
  • Itch to Stitch released both the Beausoliel Top & Dress and Oceanside Dress. There’s a real elegance to the fit of the Beausoliel Dress variation whilst the latter has a more youthful fun to it.
  • Causing a real storm of interest on social media is the new Charlie Kaftan from Closet Case Patterns. I’ve already seen a handful of these pop up less than a week after the release! It’s a great style to showcase a bold summer weight fabric.
  • A real queue jumper for me this month was the Burnside Bibs pattern from Sew House Seven. I’ve been eyeing up various dungaree and overall patterns with a relaxed fit to pair with some beautiful teal linen I’ve got and the unique details of these might be just the ticket.
  • Hot Patterns released the HP1218 Weekender St Parts Tunic-Dress and Blouse pattern. They’re also having a huge summer clearance sale so get over there quick!
  • Ready to Sew released Joanne which is a pattern for a wide legged cropped culotte or short and has the option for a classic or ‘paper bag’ waistband. I really like the way the slightly curved hem mirrors the shape of the big overlapping patch pockets.
  • There are two new summer patterns available over at Wardrobe By Me; the Summer Breeze Tunic and Summer Tulip Top. I like the contemporary feel of the high, slightly gathered neckline on the Tulip Top.
  • New from Sew This Pattern is the Gypsy Swing Top which is just the addition my summer wardrobe needs for pairing with jeans or shorts. I’ve love a halter neckline and it balances the ruffle hem really nicely.
  • With a similar ruffle hemline is the Designer Stitch Ella Cami Set, but this time with classic spaghetti style straps. This pattern also comes with elasticated shorts or trousers and is currently included in their sale. Now I’m really torn between the two!
  • Evie La Luve released the Jamie Bodysuit & Separates. The cut out design and strap around the waist joining the two parts mean you can combine any size bra with any size pant easily. The bra portion is also available to buy separately.
  • The latest pattern from Jenny over at Cashmerette is the Webster Top & Dress. The semi fitted style makes it perfect for summer whilst still flattering on curves. I love the scrappy back v neckline detail.
  • I love the new Linda Wrap Dress from Just Patterns. It’s a classy, slightly more advanced design with beautiful belt and collar details. I’m yet to find time to try a pattern from this fairly new company and this could be the one to tempt me.
  • New from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chic are the Gina Shorts; a classic wardrobe staple with jeans style details and faux cuffs. The proportions are designed to suit a petite frame.
  • The PDF pattern release from Sew Over It for June was the Penny Dress. The kind of simple shirtdress that every wardrobe needs with a 1950s feel. If you’re yet to tackle a shirt or shirtdress this could be a great place to start as the elasticated waist and flat collar make it straightforward to fit and sew.
  • Kommatia released a pattern for Short Jeans Overalls including multiple pockets and classic dungaree straps. The shaping and piecing of the back bib is my favourite feature.
  • New from Chalk and Notch is the Pony Tank and Dress; an easy to sew and wear knit top or dress with an a-line shape and curved hem. 
  • I’d somehow missed that Pattern Review had been releasing a line of exclusive patterns! New in June was the Claire Wrap Dress. Designed for stable knit fabrics it’s a true wardrobe classic with wide bands, close fit and collar.
  • Decades of Style released the 1930s Last Resort Beach Pyjamas; such a great glamorous style! My favourite features are the v back which plunges to the waist (optional modesty panel included) and that the pattern includes the instructions for the diamond appliqué trim on hem and cuffs.
  • The Chari Dress & Shirt and Amanda Shirt are new from Schnittchen. They’ve obviously got ruffles as on the brain as I have and have used them in two different creative ways on these designs.
  • And last but by no means least the new Megan Nielsen Matilda Shirtdress is a real stunner. The combination of including a waistband, full length front placket, princess seams and yoke remind me a little of my all time favourite M6696 shirtdress pattern but the full skirt gives it a feminine twist and the patch breast pockets add a utility feel. All those details will make for a really lovely challenging sew. 

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs

  • The Tailoress has been busy with the pattern updates this month. The new version of the Barbara Monokini includes the addition of a tie under the bust and the Jersey Bra and French Knicker PDF patterns have been improved too.
  • Ohhh Lulu launched the Prism add-on for her Jasmine Bra to enable you to create a sheer mesh insert or scalloped lace insert at the centre front.
  • The Fehr Trade XYT Workout Top pattern is now a layered PDF meaning you can choose to look at and print just the size(s) you want and also just the language you want too as it is now available in Dutch and French as well as English.


  • Megan Nielsen has been running a sew-along for her Rowan Bodysuit and Tee focusing on the more challenging aspects of construction and including hacks for a snap crotch, scoop neck and dress version.
  • Victory Patterns have just started a sew-along for their last pattern; the Jackie Dress. I’ll be following along with this one as it’s a style I’ve got my eye on for winter.
  • The sew-along for By Hand London‘s new Orsola Dress starts on 5th July. The pattern has a few fiddly construction aspects which I’m sure a photographic tutorial will be really useful for.
  • Love Notions posted a sew-along for their Rhapsody Blouse throughout June which included a dress hack and tips for inserting a lace trim which is a great addition to the boho vibe of this style.
  • Jenny from Cashmerette is part way through a sew-along for her new Webster Top & Dress over on her blog. Sometimes I love a read through a sew-along as it highlights clever construction details I’d initially missed about a pattern!


  • As well as all her pattern updates and expansions The Tailoress has a new swimsuit pattern with cut out back coming soon!
  • The next pattern from The Avid Seamstress is for a Shift Dress and will be with us on 8th July.

Other Exciting News

  • Sew Over It launched their Intro to Sewing with Knit Fabrics online course earlier in the month. I tested the course which was a new experience for me and one I really enjoyed. You get patterns for and guided through the construction of both a top and a dress as part of the course and I very much recommend it for anyone new to sewing knits or anyone who wants some extra guidance or tips. 
  • The Deer & Doe Belladone Dress is the next of their patterns to get the PDF treatment and is available to download now.
  • Style Arc launched their new website which I love the clean simplicity of. They are now selling PDF downloads on their own site rather than through third parties and this means their free pattern of the month offer is now available with PDF purchases!
  • Also with a new website launching was Grainline Studio. Their website has the same lovely minimal aesthetic but is now more cohesive with everything easy to find in one place rather than add ons to the original blog.
  • By Hand London released a downloadable sewing planner including pages for project planning, stash organisation and croquis of six body types for you to sketch out ideas on. I love that it’s printable so you’ll never run out of the pages you need and you can keep to the pages most useful to you.
I think that’s about it for the news from June. There have been a few new releases I’ve already spotted in the first few days of July but I’m going to save them for next month’s post as usual. Here’s your monthly dose of indie inspiration from the online sewing community to get you inspired at the start of a new week!

  • Carolyn has been sewing up some really beautiful underwear of late and I think this Liberty print set may be my favourite. She used a MakeBra pattern and the briefs from the Watson. I love the combination of vivid print and contrast binding and straps.
  • The Farrow Dress didn’t grab me enough to make it onto the sewing queue when it was first released but Dixie has completely changed my mind with her beautiful textured chambray version.
  • I spotted Lindsay’s stunning La Sylphide Blouse on Instagram a couple of months back and have been obsessed with finding as pretty a print to make my own ever since. She also made those Ginger Jeans!
  • Karen’s first version (yes she’d already made two!) of the Charlie Kaftan is joyous. Great combo of fabric and style; it’s a design made for Ikat!
  • My eyes honed straight in on Allie’s pink Papercut Adrift Dress when I opened my blog feed one morning. I’d not clocked how lovely the ruffle details are before and in that hot pink delicate rayon they are exquisite! 


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May Indie Pattern Update!

And we’re at the end of May already! Where is this year disappearing to? We’ve seen the first hint of summer in London and the days are flying past yet my sewing queue doesn’t seem to be diminishing…in fact after compiling this list I’m pretty sure i…

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Vogue 1027: a faux wrap dress

At some point, I must have decided that I needed more Summer neutrals in my closet. What better than a DKNY jersey dress in the most beautiful, weighty viscose. I’ve used several different shades of this viscose jersey over the years. It always sews up really nicely. I’m also quite fond of Vogue patterns. I find […]

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NEW Etta Sewing Pattern! And Online Dressmaking Workshop!

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

There’s a new sewing pattern on the block… she’s called Etta, and she’s a head-turner!

If that wasn’t exciting enough, I’ll take you through all the steps to make it in my brand new online workshop – Sew Your Own Knockout Dress.

Plus you can easily get hold of all the bits and bobs you need to make the dress with our limited edition Etta sewing kits.

So many good things to tell you about today! Let’s start with the design of the dress…

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Etta is a classic, sixties-inspired fitted dress that everyone needs in their wardrobe.

The kind of dress you can wear to a fancy party of wedding and lap up the compliments (“Why thank you, I made it myself!”).

Or impress your colleagues by wearing it to the office when you’ve got an important meeting or presentation… and pretend you’re in the cast of Mad Men, hehe 😉

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsAbsolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

  • Darts at the bust, waist, shoulders and elbow create a sleek, flattering silhouette
  • Invisible zip closure at the back
  • Choose from darted three-quarter length sleeves or self-lined cap sleeves with bias bound armholes
  • Make it with a high-back or V-back neckline, with optional striking V-back collar
  • Add the optional faux pockets at the waistline
  • The elegant hemline hits the bottom of the knee, with a kick pleat for easy movement

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsAbsolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsAbsolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsTilly Walnes - online sewing workshop


If you want some help making your Etta dress, sign up to my online workshop, Sew Your Own Knockout Dress.

Through video lessons, I’ll show you all the steps to sew the dress. I’ll also share with you a wealth of dressmaking tips, tricks and techniques that you can use again and again on future sewing projects – from setting in sleeves to inserting a tidy invisible zip.

Sew Your Own Knockout Dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Haven’t taken an online workshop before? It’s like participating in a structured sewing course, but even better!

Firstly because you can see the sewing up close, and pause and rewind the videos anytime you need to.

And secondly because it’s so convenient – you can take it whenever it’s a good time for you, using your own sewing machine, and you don’t even have to leave the house.

Plus it’s only a fraction of the price of attending a face-to-face class!

There are no deadlines for the workshop, so you can watch and rewatch the lessons whenever you fancy, and anytime you need a refresher. Yessssss!

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Our sewing patterns are award-winning, and our customers frequently tell us they’re refreshingly clear to use. The pieces are clearly labelled so you can see how they fit together. The instructions translate the sewing jargon and show you each step in colour photos so you can see what the project is supposed to look like as you’re making it. Plus the instruction booklet looks as pretty as the fabric and notions on your sewing table 🙂

If you sign up to the workshop, you’ll get the PDF pattern included in the course materials – or you can choose to get the printed pattern delivered to you with a 20% discount and free shipping!

When you order the kit, you’ll get the fabric and notions to make the dress, plus you can choose whether to include a printed pattern or not, again with a 20% discount. So if you’ve bought the pattern with the workshop, you can leave it out. See below for details of the kits.

Confident making dresses like this and want to choose your own fabric? Order just the printed sewing pattern and we’ll send you a gorgeous package in the post, printed on durable paper which you can use again and again without it tearing or scrunching up (yesss!).

Prefer to print and assemble your pattern at home?  Buy the digital pattern and you’ll get an email in an instant with a PDF to download.

Etta is also available from fabric shops and departments stores around the world. If your favourite shop doesn’t stock it, please do ask them to!

Etta sewing kit - Tilly and the Buttons


To make it easy for you to get your hands on everything you need to make the dress, we’ve put together limited edition Etta sewing kits.

Choose from four different colourways of amazing quality stretch cotton sateen fabric. This fabric is really easy to sew, with a subtle surface sheen for glamour, and a little bit of stretch making the finished dress comfortable to wear – hooray!

The kits also include matching thread, my favourite brand of YKK invisible zip, woven iron-on interfacing, hooks and eyes, and bias binding to finish the armholes on the cap sleeve version. There’s enough fabric in each kit to make either the cap sleeve dress with the collar or the three-quarter sleeve version without the collar.

And you can choose whether to include the printed sewing pattern in the kit – or leave it out if you’ve already got it with the workshop.

Our sewing kits sell out quickly, so if you want one, grab it before it’s gone!

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


The pattern includes eight sizes – from UK 6 – 20, US 2 – 16, or EUR 34 – 48. You can see the exact body measurements on the sizing chart. We’ve got a blog post coming up on choosing your size and making fitting adjustments if you need some extra help in that department.

If you want to choose your own fabric, pick a medium weight, non-drapey fabric – preferably with a bit of stretch for comfort. Try stretch woven cotton, sateen, triple crepe, crepe-back satin, ponte di roma or jacquard knits. The cap sleeve version would also work nicely in brocade.

Find out how much fabric and other supplies you’ll need for each version on the shop page.

Absolutely gorgeous! Etta sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I’m soooo excited to see you on the Sew Your Own Knockout Dress workshop, and our team is all prepped to send out your patterns and sewing kits!

We’re also itching to see what you make – please share your makes with us on Instagram, tagging @TillyButtons and using the hashtag #SewingEtta so we can see. Can’t wait!

SIGN UP TO THE WORKSHOP (pattern included)

GRAB YOUR SEWING KIT (optional pattern)

Photographer: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Lynn for Natalie Guest
Model: Vissolela Lucas
Huge thanks to our awesome pattern testers for your help! x x x

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April Indie Pattern Update

I love it when the end of the month falls on a Sunday as it’s the perfect day to relax with a cuppa, browse through this month’s releases and get inspired to spend the rest of the day sewing! Plus if you’re in the UK like me it’s a bank holiday tomorrow and you’ve got two whole days to enjoy it! I know I’ve got plenty of sewing planned, it’s deciding where to start that’s the problem…There’s been a real focus on summer styles in the patterns launched this month with breezy boxy cotton tops aplenty and handful of contemporary updates to the classic shirtdress. The summer wardrobe of my dreams is growing by the minute inside my head. I just to find the time to sew it!

New Pattern Companies

  • Workroom Social introduced the first pattern in their Drape collection. Drape 1001 features a wide boat neck and yoke and loose fitting sleeves with tailored cuffs. I found their behind the scenes post about the pattern instructions really interesting and am keen to see more! I like the look of lots of the well thought out little details in their booklets including checklists, finished garment measurements laid out right next to the body measurements and pattern pieces drawn out in the order they come together which makes the construction process easier to understand at a glance. They seem to have eliminated lots of the little niggles I sometimes encounter following a pattern, like clearly laying out the seam allowance size at the start of each step.

New Patterns

  • I’m absolutely starting off this list shamelessly with the pattern I designed for Tribe Patterns by The Foldline which was released earlier this month (after almost forgetting to include it altogether!) The Parker Dress and Top has a seventies inspired boho vibe with a panelled skirt and bodice lending itself to embroidery and mixing colours and prints. You can read more about the design and inspiration behind it here.
  • The new releases from Style Arc this month included the Maisie Designer Dress, Keely Knit Top (one of this month’s freebies with on trend ruffles) and the Trudy Tunic and Pant. The trousers have a really cool tie front and despite having the comfort and practicality of a pull on elasticated back they look super chic. I also like the look of the pieced front yoke of their new Sage Stretch Pant.
  • I’m a little bit obsessed with every sample I’ve seen of the new Fenway Bra from Orange Lingerie. It looks to be so versatile in terms of what you can do with lace and sheer panels and I absolutely love the shape which is baseball inspired, hence the name!
  • Released with this month’s edition of Seamwork Magazine were the Gretta Top and Leonora Skirt. I adore the skirt which has all the traditional features of a denim garment with flat felled seams, a back yoke and jeans style stitching and hardware. I’m hopeful that this is a sign of good things to come from their new approach and that future patterns will continue to have this level of detail.
  • New from True Bias is the Lodo Dress; a chic and grown up t-shirt dress with a subtle cocoon shape and my favourite grown on cap sleeves. 
  • The Piper Top is the latest pattern from Christine Haynes. I love how it is inspired by tops of the 1960s a definitely retains that vibe but is so bang on trend and contemporary at the same time especially with the mid bicep sleeve length. 
  • Wardrobe by Me released the Blixen Blazer which is designed for knit fabrics. This classic style features a two piece sleeve and welt pockets and I like the variation which includes a waist seam across the back creating a peplum.
  • Itch to Stitch have been busy with two new patterns launched this month. The La Paz Jacket is a cracker with princess seams and separate cup sizes providing the opportunity to a chief a perfect fit. The Anza Jumpsuit and Dress has a button front, patch breast pockets and drawstring waist; an elegant casual style.
  • Also with two new pattern releases are Sew Over It. Their PDF pattern this month is the elegant kimono sleeved Ella Blouse and also in the wrap style the paper and PDF pattern release of their much anticipated Eve Dress. I had the pleasure of testing this gorgeous romantic style and can vouch for how lovely it is to sew and wear.
  • Allie Olsen from Indie Sew released the Highlands Wrap Dress as part of the Spring/Summer Collection from various designers. I’ll really like the straight cut of the skirt and wide belt and can see it working really well in crisp cottons.
  • The Farrah Blouse & Dress is new from Chalk & Notch. It’s a sleeveless style with feminine ruffle details running either around the armhole in a wide loop or across the front yoke seam. I’m a sucker for a split hem at the moment too.
  • Patterns for Pirates released their Favourite Tee pattern of which there is also a youth version available. It’s a figure skimming style with v-neck or scoop neck options as well as different sleeve lengths. It’s refreshing to see so many hem style options too, including side vents, curved hems and a banded version with knot tie.
  • A big hit on social media this month was the release of the Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress from Closet Case Patterns. The pattern was inspired by a self drafted dress Heather Lou made herself last year and includes top, tunic and dress variations all featuring short cuffed kimono sleeves, a curved yoke and shaped hem.
  • New from The Maker’s Atelier is the Flip Collar Shirtdress. It’s an oversized pull-on style with the variations uniquely focusing on the back of the skirt with pleated, plain or button-up options.
  • I have a feeling the new Collins Top from In The Folds could prove to be very popular for summer. The panelling is really interesting and beautifully highlighted by the crisp stripes chosen for their sample. I’d have a hard time deciding whether to go sleeveless or with the three piece short raglan sleeves.
  • New from Tessuti is the Bella Dress. This simple, long-sleeved, a-line style is made for beautiful fabrics that you want to show off like the lovely soft linen they’ve used for their sample.
  • Di Nuvole Di Cuori released the Atena Blouse. It has billowing raglan sleeves, gathered around the wrist and a peplum created by a tie around the waist.
  • New from On The Cutting Floor is the downloadable High Low Skater Dress. It’s designed for knits and I like that there is no waist seam. It has a real natural simplicity to it.
  • Republique du Chiffon launched their Spring-Summer 2017 collection earlier this month. It features six new patterns including a dress, jacket, trousers, blouse, skirt and shorts and I think those gorgeous pleated Allister Shorts with the pocket detail are my favourite! 
  • Another French company who released their Spring-Summer collection this month are Louis Antoinette with their Heroines Collection. The three piece collection includes the Simone Dress, Joséphine Skirt and Janis Jacket. I’d kind of love all three in my wardrobe but am most taken with the shoulders and big pockets on the long length jacket.
  • Kommatia released a patterns for a jersey dress with choker style neck and  relaxed fit v-neck t-shirt with curved hem and cuffed sleeves. It’s a really great wardrobe staple that is like so many of the RTW tees I own. I can see myself making a pile of handmade replacements soon.
  • 5 Out Of 4 Patterns have just released the Escapade Top and Dress pattern which you can make up as a bikini, tank, tankini, swim dress and summer dress thanks to it’s shelf bra with optional removable cups. Its even got a maternity option!
  • New from Hot Patterns are the HP1216 Garden Party Tees and the HP1217 Utility Cargo Pants. The tees are designed for slouchy knits and have some interesting panelling going on as well as tips for braid insertions and embroidery while the trousers have princess seams for perfect fit and optional pockets.
  • The Waimea Ranch Shirt is the latest release from Victoria Jones Collection. It’s a shaped shirt with all the classic western styling built in including that pointed saddle yoke. I’ve got some amazing cactus print viscose in may stash which I was going to hack the yoke of a Sewaholic Granville for but now I have no need!
  • Designer Stitch released Eleni which is a hugely versatile pattern for an off the shoulder top, tunic, dress or maxi dress. The variations include four different on trend voluminous sleeve styles plus optional straps, flounces, neck and waist ties. One to have fun with for summer.
  • Vanessa Pouzet has released a free pattern download for the Magnum Sleep Mask which includes three sizes including kids. She is running a competition on Facebook and Instagram to win three of her patterns; to enter make and post your own version of the sleep mask (added challenge it closes at the end of the day today!).
  • New from French pattern company On Dirait Des Vraies is the very elegant Slowly Jacket. It has a feminine tailored cut and I love the shape of the neckline, the curved edge of which highlights the collar bone.

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs

  • Grainline Studio released two downloadable expansion packs for their Lark Tee pattern; the first includes everything you need to turn your tee into a spring cardigan and the second a dress of two lengths which combined with all the neckline and sleeve options of the original pattern gives you enough choice to make a whole wardrobe! 
  • Printed versions of the Arccos Undies and Euler Bralette are now available from Sophie Hines at All the Underwear. I love the long line version of the Euler with that second under bust band.


  • The sew-along for Megan Nielsen‘s recently released Flint Pants & Shorts has just concluded over on her blog. I’ll let you in on the fact that I’ve made one pair which I’ll be blogging about soon and love them so much that I’ve already cut another out. Get on it guys!
  • Accompanying the release of her new Lodo Dress Kelli from True Bias has a sew-along for it up on her blog. I always enjoy taking a look at sew-along posts whether I’m making the garment or not as it gives a further insight into clever construction details that you might miss in the sample photos or line drawings. In this case it’s the fact that there is a woven facing for stability providing opportunity to use a fun constructing print.
  • Over on the Jennifer Lauren Handmade blog a sew-along is running for the Juniper Cardigan which she released last month. Following along with these detailed posts would make this a great project for a knit newbie.
  • Closet Case Patterns are going to be running a thorough sew-along for their new Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress including lots of tips for future shirt-making projects. Definitely going to be bookmarking that one.


  • Jen from Grainline Studio teased us with the news that her next printed pattern will be coming early in June but has given us no hint as to what it might be!
  • I’m really excited to see that there’s a new collection coming from Papercut Patterns soon! I always find their designs so inventive and unusual, there’s bound to be at least one or two to love. 
  • Straight Stitch Designs are currently testing the Eastlake Dress
  • The Marama Jacket is to be the next release from Pearl Red Moon at Boho Banjo. Her designs aren’t really what I like to wear but I’m quite taken with the four exposed back darts and uneven  length of the front and neck bands on this.
  • Maven Patterns are all set to release the Rochester Top & Dress soon. That deep faced curved hem is lovely and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
  • By Hand London have two new patterns coming very soon. One of which is the Orsola Dress and Skirt and the other I might have had a little play with during pattern testing. Cait wait to show you all!
  • The Belvedere Waistcoat PDF pattern from Thread Theory is set to be released next week. It looks like it will be a great addition to their increasing range of menswear patterns. 
  • Look out for the new pattern from The Avid Seamstress on 5th May! The A-Line dress is sure to be another great addition to her collection of classic wardrobe staples.

Other Exciting News

Feel free to leave any news I may have missed in the comments below. If all that hasn’t inspired you to get behind the machine enough then as usual here’s a little motivation from the online sewing community to get you going! I’m off to sew the rest of the day away!
  • I can’t stop looking at and saving embroidery inspiration at the moment and wishing I had the time for it. Marcy used embroidery perfectly on her amazing Birkin Flared Jeans!
  • I like the emerging trend for gingham but have been struggling with how to work it into my wardrobe. Carolyn has done amazing work choosing this flowing gingham for her Kalle Shirtdress.
  • Rachel’s Kelly Anorak is ace and has inspired me to crack on with mine this week. I really like the little aglets on the ends of her drawstring and soft-shell was an excellent fabric choice!
  • I fought against it but had to include Marcy twice this month! This might be my favourite ever garment using the Negroni pattern. The pattern was made for hemp and made to be worn by her Dad and she’s done such a gorgeous job on it.
  • She hasn’t blogged about it yet but Helena from Gray All Day made a wonderful version of the new Anza Jumpsuit pattern. The combination of dark solid colour and gold buttons is so classy.
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The Parker Collection Dress – and bonus fluted cuff pattern piece!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I am so excited to be writing this post today! Some of you may have already spotted the latest release from Tribe Patterns (the pattern line from the ladies at The Foldline); The Parker Collection. The line is designed by members of the sewing community and as the name gives away, this on has been designed by me! It is the second Tribe Pattern (the first being the Billie Collection designed by Rachel from House of Pinheiro). Rachel and Kate got in touch with me back in the autumn last year to see if I would be interested in working with them and of course I jumped at the chance! Designing my own pattern line has never been an ambition of mine and this remains a total one off but when the opportunity presented itself to work with two incredibly talented ladies offering to bring my design idea to life I’d have been silly to say no. It has been an amazing experience and is such a thrill to see the finished pattern. Rachel and Kate have done a fantastically thorough job and I can’t wait to see what you guys make with it!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

There is so much to say about the design I don’t really know where to start. I was keen to come up with a garment that I would be excited to sew and wear and provided a canvas for creativity so everyone could have some fun with making it their own. The bohemian, seventies style has always appealed to me and I’m delighted that it’s so on trend at the moment. I was inspired by both contemporary designs and the lines of some of the late 1960s/early 1970s patterns in my vintage collection. I gathered up all of my favourite elements and had some fun drawing out different combinations. After pinging some ideas back and forth with the Foldline ladies we settled on a combination of dress and top which I adore. The panelled design provides opportunity for mixing prints, colours and textures and the pattern comes with the option for a plain sleeve or additional lantern cuff. Sleeves are huge this season (in some cases literally!) and one of my favourite elements of seventies style is the dramatic swoosh of a wide cuff so Rachel has drafted a bonus fluted cuff pattern piece which you can download for free here!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I wanted the design to provide a little bit of a challenge in the sewing as the projects I can get my teeth stuck into are the ones I enjoy the most. None of the steps should prove too tricky for anyone with a bit of sewing under their belt but the variety of techniques should keep more experienced sewers entertained. It’s not a quick sew as there are quite a few pattern pieces involved but if you can sew a princess seam, an invisible zip and set in a sleeve you can keep it quite straightforward. You can also opt to make the design more complex by adding embroidery to the centre front and back panels or including the lace insertion and trim. The instructions include step by step guidance on how to add lace into the seam between the lantern cuff and sleeve pieces on your machine and I think this may be my favourite thing about the pattern. It’s a feature that came up again and again in my inspiration pictures and I’m so delighted that we were able to include it. I’d love to play around with inserting lace into the seams between skirt and bodice panels and even maybe the waist seam.

Parker Collection Top from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

You can recreate Rachel’s amazing embroidered version of the top with the embroidery template which is free to download from the Foldline pattern page or get creative and freestyle your own. The centre front and back panels are faced which not only provides a lovely clean finish to the dress but also makes them ideal to embroider as the back of your stitching is completely enclosed and protected. There are also ‘colour me in’ line drawings of both variations available to download which I’m definitely going to be playing with to plan future print mixed and colour blocked versions.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I wanted the design to be versatile and am really happy that I can see it being worn in every season. As I first came up with the idea in the autumn I was imagining it in rich, dark florals but now all I can think about is mixed pastel prints for spring. I’d love one in a fresh white breezy cheesecloth for summer and in winter I’d wear it in a bold solid colour layered with warm tights. Made up in different fabrics the lines of the design I hope will remain somewhat timeless and the dress in particular is something I can see myself making various iterations of for years to come as it is the kind of dress that has remained a staple in my wardrobe since my teens.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

The dress I’m wearing here is actually my very first test of the dress (so please excuse the horrible pattern matching around the waist and slightly mismatched seams!). When collecting inspiration for the design at the very start of the process something I was continually drawn to was the mixing of two or more prints in one garment. It can be tricky to do but I started safe with both of these small prints on a black base and love how it has turned out. Both fabrics I bought ages ago from Maggie’s fabric stall in Lewisham who stocks end of roll high street dressmaking fabrics at the bargain price of £1-3/m. Perfect for testing. It’s almost a shame I’ve fallen so in love with the mixture of prints on this dress as they are the particularly nasty type of lightweight poly georgettes that I tend to run away from! The floral is slightly softer with a texture to it but the other is not so nice. I turned a blind eye to the quality and poly content at the time as I thought they would be ideal to test how the print mixing worked but now wish I’d held out for a viscose! However, worn with a cotton slip they’re not unpleasant to wear and as I knew from previous experience that these fabrics would pretty much melt when touched with a hot iron I kept it cool and actually had surprisingly little trouble handling either of them.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I recommend reasonably lightweight fabrics with a nice drape for this design. You want some nice movement in the panels of the skirt and top as well as the sleeves and the cut of the bodice is quite relaxed so doesn’t require a fabric that will provide structure. Viscose challis, crepes, soft linens, cotton lawns and voiles are all great choices as would be light to mid-weight silks if you want a more luxurious feel. As long as you keep in mind the movement of the dress the world is your oyster really! If you are going to do some embroidery you’ll want something fairly tightly woven and not super lightweight for those panels to make your life a bit easier and also support the weight of the floss.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I used some black cotton lace I bought in John Lewis to insert in my cuff seams and also trim the hem. My lace had one straight edge and one scalloped which I made use of on the hem but whether yours has straight of scalloped edges is entirely your preference. The pattern recommends 40mm wide lace as this is the most straightforward way to keep your inserted pieces at an even width following the technique in the instructions (leaving you with about 1cm of visible lace) but if you’re happy to get a little creative you can use whatever width lace you like. Mine was just 2cm as I only wanted a hint of it around the hem and I simply used a very small seam allowance when attaching it to the cuffs. As this dress was a test of the pattern the method I used is actually different to the final instructions and you will end up with just one line of stitching visible just above and below the lace rather the two lines you can see in my photos.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I cut a size 8 which is pretty much spot on my measurements and am really delighted with the fit. I usually like quite a close fit around the waist and this has 4″ of ease but having that room in the bodice provides that that relaxed, bohemian, seventies feel whilst the princess seams still flatter the curves of the body. I like the shape through the back and bust and the shoulders fit neatly. It’s very comfortable and I absolutely have that seventies vibe of feeling free in a glamorous way while wearing it! I did shorten the skirt by about 3″. I’m 5ft3″ so usually end up taking a little off but I wanted more of a mini vibe with these prints. I also shortened the sleeve slightly, which is again a normal alteration for me but I know the instructions for the lace insertion have changed since then so the amount might well be different next time.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I love the height and shape of the neckline; I think it’s really flattering exposing the collar bone. The slit of the dress is slightly longer than the top and you have the option to add in a tie to hold this together or just for added decoration. I’ve used just two narrow pieces of ribbon on this version but will definitely be trying out some tassels on the next. You can either make your own from embroidery floss or if you live in London I’ve spotted a great variety of colours in just the right size in both Fan New Trimmings and Kleins. I had initially envisioned it with short tassels but the long ones on this dress are ace!

Being more creative with my sewing and trying out adding trims, unique details and mixing fabrics was one of my goals for 2017 and creating this design has inspired me to do just that. There are a whole host of ideas I want to play around with; I’ve had to start a Pinterest board to keep track of them all! First up is an embroidered cheesecloth version of the top but I’m interested in trying a version with sheer sleeves and also think it would be delicious in a rich silk/viscose velvet…perhaps lengthened to a maxi for some serious seventies glamour. If I can muster up the patience I might try a hand-sewn fagoted seam rather than the lace insertion technique. I can foresee a summer wardrobe with enough Parkers to wear every day of the week.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I hope the design inspires you to get sewing as much as it does me and that you enjoy making your own Parkers! Thanks so much to Rachel and Kate for the hard work they put into getting the pattern just right and for giving me the opportunity to work with them. It’s a dream I didn’t even know I had come true and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out! 

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March Indie Pattern Update

Another month of 2017 has flown by and the steady stream of beautiful and inventive new pattern releases shows no sign of letting up! I’ve got a list as long as my arm of projects I want to sew for my spring/summer wardrobe and a pile of fabric waiting to be cut. I always feel more excited about sewing for the warmer months but this year have a couple of jackets and trousers in the works too. Let’s take a look at the new releases and news from the indie sewing pattern community in March and see what you’ll be adding to your sewing queue!

New Pattern Companies

New Patterns

  • Kommatia had a busy month releasing, amongst others, PDF patterns for a boxy hooded sweatshirt, palazzo trousers and some high waisted skinny jeans. I’d love to build myself a wardrobe of their kind of basics.
  • One of my favourite pattern releases of the month, purely because it’s such a unique idea, is the Leverett Hook and Eye Closure pattern from Orange Lingerie. Being able to make your own hook and eye sets for the backs of you bra eliminates one of the limitations you may encounter in making your perfect lingerie set. The pattern includes fully illustrated instructions for creating one, two, three or seven hook high sets…perfect for Norma’s recently released Esplanade Bra.
  • Style Arc‘s March releases included the Elani Tunic and Lux Coat which is really appealing to me. It’s an almost cape-like sleeveless cocoon shape with shawl collar. I’m also quite taken with their new Autumn Dress which is a shirt dress without the fuss; the cross over pleat at the back reminds me of the Victory Patterns Hannah.
  • Seamwork released one pattern with three variations this month instead of their usual two speedy basics. The Sonya shift dress is drafted from Colette’s new block with various panelling and sleeve options. As I reported last month their format has changed slightly and now bonus pattern add ons are available in the members only area.
  • Named have yet again inspired me with the release of their Playground collection. It consists of eight patterns, two of which are two in one and I’m having a hard time picking which to buy! I think my favourites are the Helga Wrap Playsuit and Ronja Dungarees…what are yours?
  • Jeni Smith released the Hepworth Apron. It’s a big practical design and I like the old fashioned workwear feel of the tabard style with wide straps crossing at the back.
  • I spotted the new release from Til the Sun Goes Down at the Knitting and Stitching Show a few weeks ago and am hoping I can find the time to make myself one for summer after seeing the samples made up in their beautiful viscose prints. The Beach Pyjama and Holiday Dress is inspired by designs from the 1930s and features a cross over front with curved bound edge which I fell in love with.
  • Kennis from Itch to Stitch released the Tierras Woven Joggers and Newport Top patterns. I spotted a tutorial she posted earlier this week for adding ankle zips to the joggers which is a lovely feature to make these a little more luxurious looking.
  • A big hit on Instagram, Victory Patterns released the Jackie Dress. My favourite part of this design, aside from the combo of fitted bodice and flowing skirt, is the high neckline fastening at the back with three buttons and rouleau loops.
  • After launching their first patterns a couple of months back Trend Patterns released the first in their basics line. TPC5 is a frilled hem top and TPC6 is a pleated front trouser which I have seen modelled in person and absolutely love the fashion forward and contemporary shape of.
  • Sew Different released a FREE pattern for an Artist’s Smock. The wide funnel neck is really cool. It’s only available in a size 12 and has no instructions as it’s quite a basic shape but there is a page the website explaining how to adjust it.
  • New from Sophie Hines are the Arccos Undies. They are a simple and classic hip hugger style panty with forward sides seams perfect for showing off interesting combinations of contrasting fabrics.
  • The latest In The Folds pattern to be released as a free download with Peppermint Magazine is for a pleated skirt. A mainstay of any summer wardrobe.
  • Mimi G released a PDF Jumpsuit pattern which has a fab seventies feel with its patch pockets and collar with centre front invisible zip. You can choose to make it with a flared leg or slim cuffed trousers.
  • Made for Mermaids released the Mama Isabel Wrap Top, Mini, Dress and Maxi which is the adult version of their children’s pattern of the same name. It’s designed for knits and includes two bodice options, three sleeves and no less than six skirt styles to choose from!
  • One pattern which secured an immediate place in my pattern collection this month was Flint from Megan Nielsen. This pattern for wide legged cropped trousers or shorts is just the shape I have been looking to add to my wardrobe. I can’t wait to figure out how the clever side tie or button fastening on the waistband works. She also launched the Rowan fitted tee or bodysuit which should cover every eventuality with three neckline options and sleeve lengths. 
  • Jenny from Cashmerette released the Dartmouth Top. This cross over jersey style is super flattering on all body shapes and the banded neckline is carefully drafted and constructed to prevent the dreaded gape.
  • New from Straight Stitch Designs is the Bryant; a bias cut knit dolman top with boatneck and two sleeve options. Perfect for lightweight knits the bias cut gives the style extra drape and I’m enjoying the dropped shoulder.
  • Deer & Doe launched their spring/summer collection comprising of three new designs. The Hoya Blouse, Goji Skirt and Shorts and Luzerne Trench Coat are all available in PDF as well as paper form for the first time. All the PDF patterns are available up to size 52.
  • Another lovely French release this month is the Austen Blouse and Dress from Dessine Moi Un Patron. The scalloped collar combined with drawstring waist is super cute and they’ve chosen some lovely fabrics for the samples.
  • Clearly another month when the blossoming French pattern industry hits it out of the park. Ready to Sew released the Jolene Dress and Blouse which is a classic shirt dress with gathering into the princess seams and lightly gathered skirt or peplum.
  • Pinda is a new pattern for slim utility style tapered pants from Waffle Patterns. I can see these styled well for casual or a more dressy look making use of the various pocket options.
  • This month’s PDF release from Sew Over It is the Kimono Jacket. A great layering piece for the warmer months the expanse of fabric is a lovely way to showcase a beautiful bold print.
  • I love the flowing, floaty nature created by the gores in the new Daintree Skirt from Blank Slate Patterns. It’s a half circle wrap skirt in a number of lengths and the curved front edge really adds to its romantic feel. They’ve also released the Fairelith Top which has a ballet neckline and raglan sleeves; the instructions even advise on how to adjust the neckline to cover your bra straps which is a great touch.
  • Sew This Pattern released the Daphne Day Dress which is a lovely fit and flare dress with some slightly more challenging features that would be great for an improving seamstress. the cut out back and exposed zip are great unexpected touches.
  • New from Sew Caroline is the Coffee Shop Dress; a shift style for knits. You can get its for free at the moment if you pre-order a copy of her book ‘Sew Caroline Weekend Style‘ which is coming in April.
  • Hey June Handmade launched the Trevi Top and Dress which is a button back trapeze shape with high cut out shoulders. I’m really drawn to breezy swinging viscose styles for this summer so I’ve got my eye on this.
  • I was excited to discover Alina Sewing & Design Co. this month and was doubly excited when I spotted their latest release, the Hampton Jacket. It’s a great pattern for a classic denim jacket and has been released alongside a full online sew-along.
  • Another new discovery for me in March is On The Cutting Floor. They just released the Cut Out Cardigan, Tank and Leggings set and as I’m really getting in to my activewear at the moment the unique design of the pull on top with deep v back and panelled leggings are really appealing to me. Also new from them just a few days ago is the Victoria Top and Dress.
  • Jennifer Lauren Handmade released the Juniper Cardigan. I’ve been enjoying a new found love for jumpers, sweaters and high necklines over the last few months but perhaps spring is a good time to turn back to the classic cardigan and this pattern provides plenty of scope for great layering pieces.
  • The new season patterns from Liesl & Co are the Classic Shirt and Soho Shorts & Skirt. Both satisfying projects and true wardrobe staples.
  • I’ve been meaning to try a Wear Lemonade pattern for a long while and how can I possibly resist the new Fiona Dungarees when we share a name?! I recently purchased a pattern for a classic pair of denim dungarees but would also love to make a softer version in a fabric with drape and this pattern with it’s modern long slim straps and wide legs could be just the ticket.
  • I’m always impressed with the thought Pauline Alice puts into her designs so was eagerly anticipating her new collection of three patterns. The Botanic Trousers and Denia Blouse do not disappoint but I think my favourite of the lot is the Tello Jacket with its old workwear feel.
  • Tessuti released the Yuki Dress. It’s a tunic dress with the main feature being the funnel collar with drawstring which hangs around the neck like a cowl.
  • A trend I’m keen on at the moment is mixing and matching clashing prints within a garment which is just what I’d like to try on the new 1306 dress from Iconic Patterns. This simple panelled a-line dress is the perfect canvas.
  • Sew Liberated released the Matcha Top. I really like the way the mandarin collar and gathered neckline highlight the collar bones in such a flattering fashion.
  • The Olympia Dress from Love Notions has a beautiful v shaped reverse shawl neckline and the flattering cut designed for jersey gives you a lot to play with with different lengths and weights of knit fabric.
  • Released just yesterday is the new Lily Dress and Blouse from CocoWawa Crafts. Available in both English and Spanish it’s a cocoon style dress with raglan sleeves and cute sailor collar.
  • Last but by no means least the lovely ladies at The Foldline designed the Jenny Dress and Top to be released with this month’s edition of Simply Sewing Magazine. Snap up your copy quick before it’s too late!

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs

  • The Janice and Jordan men’s and ladies hoodies patterns from Patty Doo are now available in English with accompanying online video tutorial.
  • Paprika Patterns are now offering some of their range with French & German translations. The Jasper Sweater & Dress has both, the Jade Skirt and Zircon Sweater are available in French and the Opal Cardigan in German. They additional set(s) of instructions come as part of the pattern so if you already own them you can simply download the updated version.
  • Colette re-released their free Sorbetto Top pattern. It’s now been drafted with their new blocks and is available in two new size ranges as well as including two new variations. The tunic features side seam vents and a high-low faced hem and another includes a new scoop neckline and short sleeves.
  • Also looking back across their older patterns to make improvements is Deer & Doe who have updated their free Plantain Tee pattern download. The fit has been improved with less flare as well as being updated to match the new PDF format and size range. More to follow!
  • Pattern Fantastique launched a free downloadable hack for their Celestial Dress pattern to make the design sleeveless. All you need is this one new pattern piece.
  • Sarah from Ohhh Lulu Lingerie has updated both her Lola and Jane pants patterns with additional sizes and improved instructions. The new Lola includes the option for cut outs over the hip and Jane now has fun add ons for hip ruffles, a rear keyhole openings and animal ear appliqué designs.


  • Not technically an indie pattern but I’m a big Gertie fan and love her designs for Butterick; she’s running a sew-along on her blog for B6453 until mid April. If you’d like to get involved you can join the Facebook group here.
  • There is a sew-along happening at the moment over on the Cashmerette blog for the recently released Dartmouth Top.
  • Helen is running a sew-along for the new Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan pattern. I’ve been following along out of interest and has extremely through fitting information as well as tips on working with knits.
  • To celebrate the re-release of their Sorbetto pattern Colette are running a sew-along over on sew-alongs.com. This was one of the very first things I made so I’d be quite interested to revisit the pattern now!
  • Sew House Seven are set to begin a sew-along tomorrow (1st April) for their Bridgetown Backless Dress to accompany the #sewmystyle challenge.


  • Heather Lou’s announcement that she has a lining expansion pack for her Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak pattern coming soon has got me all indecisive as I was planning on underling mine but might now hold out and go for a lining instead!
  • I was very excited by the call for testers for the latest Itch to Stitch pattern as Kennis is looking specifically for more advanced sewers. I’m looking forward to checking out the details of the La Paz Jacket when it’s released soon.
  • Thread Theory are currently testing their next menswear release. The new waistcoat pattern will fill an important gap in their collection of mens’ wardrobe staples.
  • Designer Stitch put out a tester call for their Eleni Top, Tunic and Dress. It’s an off the shoulder style with optional ruffles, flounces and sleeve styles. Very on trend for this coming summer.
  • I’m eagerly anticipating the release of Republic du Chiffon‘s next pattern; the Arlene Dress.
  • The Jermyn Street Shirtdress will be released by Hot Patterns in a couple of weeks and is a cracker of a design with all the classic features but interesting twisted front.

Other Exciting News

  • Something that really caught my eye this month was the launch of freesewing.org. The brainchild of Joost from Make My Pattern the site offers free patterns drafted to your measurements and is also open to contributions from the sewing community. A wonderful sharing platform.
  • The popular Avid Seamstress Day Dress, Sheath Dress and Raglan Adult patterns are all now available as PDF downloads as well as their original paper form.
  • I must wear my Megan Nielsen Dove Blouse at least once a week and am therefore very happy to report that it’s now available to purchase in paper form. Her new look packaging is lush.
  • Melissa from Fehr Trade is writing a book all about sewing activewear which is set to release early in 2018. I can’t think of a better person to write a book on this subject and as I’ve been getting really into my running again recently can’t wait to get my hands on it!
  • The Bistro Dress is an old staple from Liesl & Co and has recently been released in paper format.
Phew I swear these get longer every month! As always feel free to add your contributions in the comments below. I’m hoping to squeeze a bit of sewing into my weekend and I’m sure you are too so I’ll leave you with a bit of inspiration from the sewing community to get you off to a good start!
  • Lauren’s amazing leather jacket is a modified version of the Closet Case Files Clare Coat pattern and made my jaw drop when I saw it! Such imagination and great sewing.
  • Devon’s floral maxi BHL Kim Dress put me right in the mood for some summer sewing! I can’t wait to wear bright flowing skirts again. She’s put the perfect amount of volume in the skirt and I love the ties around the waist.
  • It’s taking me forever to decide on my perfect combination of fabric and pattern for dungarees but Katie knocked it out of the park first time with the new Ronja’s from Named. Such a great modern look on her.
  • Rachel’s version of the new Luzerne Trench Coat is ace. I would never have thought to use denim for it but it gives great shape and keeps the look modern and interesting.
  • Lara’s beautiful version of the True Bias Colfax Dress reminded me how much I liked the pattern when it was released. Isn’t it great in a large scale print like this.


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New pattern: the Aldaia Dress

I’m so glad to finally introduce the new pattern: the Aldaia dress! I’ve been working on it for the past 3 months and was waiting for the Paris fair to…

The post New pattern: the Aldaia Dress appeared first on Patrones de costura, tutoriales e ideas | Pauline Alice.

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February Indie Pattern Update!

Well it has been another whirlwind of a month with an awful lot going on in the indie sewing pattern community and it looks like a lot more to come in March! I’m heading to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia at the weekend and am hoping to di…

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Sewing Zadie: Make the Front Dress

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Zadie dress? Today I’m going to show you how to put together the pieces to make the front of the dress.

Not started your dress yet? Order your Zadie sewing pattern and catch up on the sewalong!

I’m including lots of photos so you can see which pieces and seams I’m referring to, but if you’re still not sure which bit I’m asking you to pin or sew, have a look at the seam labels on the pattern sheets.

Our patterns include a 15mm (5/8in) seam allowance – so sew with the raw edges lined up with the 15 or 5/8 guide on your needle plate, unless the step says otherwise. And back tack at each end of the stitching to secure it in place.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

We’re going to start by sewing together the front bodice and the front skirt – so place these pieces right side up on your sewing table.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Flip the front bodice over the front skirt at the waistline, so they’re right sides together. Pin them together along the waistline, matching up the pivot points and the extra notches that you snipped at the centres.

If you’re using a printed version of the pattern or a digital pattern downloaded before 24 March 2017, little corners of the front skirt waistline seam allowance may peep out by 0.5cm (1/4in) – just ignore them or snip them off! Unfortunately this discrepancy slipped through our proofing process at the last minute – I’m so sorry. The good news is it’s only teeny and won’t make a difference to your finished dress.

Using a narrow zigzag stitch (about 1-1.5mm wide x 2.2-2.5mm long), sew between the pivot points marked on the fabric, back tacking at each pivot point.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Leave each end of the waistline seam beyond the pivot points unstitched.

If you want to use an overlocker or serger to finish the seam allowances, don’t do that just yet – we need to see the raw edges to be able to line up the pockets accurately and fold the ends out of the way. I’ll tell you when you can get your overlocker out 🙂

(And if you don’t have one, don’t worry – you can leave the edges of knit fabrics unfinished as they won’t unravel – yay!)

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

With the front skirt right sides up and the bodice still folded towards the skirt, lay the pocket facings over the skirt, right sides together. Pin them together along the diagonal pocket opening edges, matching notches.

Line up the short top edges of the pocket facings with the raw edges of the waistline seam allowances on the skirt – but fold the bodice out of the way so you’re only pinning the pocket facings to the skirt.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Holding the bodice out of the way at the waistline so it doesn’t get caught in the stitching, narrow zigzag stitch the pocket facings to the skirt – stitch down from the waistline seam, pivot at the pivot point, and then stitch along the diagonal pocket opening edges.

Grade the seam allowances on the seams you’ve just sewn – in this context, grading just means trimming one seam allowance layer more than the other to make the layers less bulky. Be careful not to trim through the stitching that’s attaching the stabiliser to the skirt.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Press the pocket facings and seam allowances away from the skirt on both wrong and right sides of the fabric. (If you used clear elastic as stabilising tape, be careful not to touch it with the hot iron when pressing as it’ll probably melt!)

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Holding the fabric taut either side away from the seam line, and sewing with a narrow zigzag stitch, understitch the pocket facings to the seam allowances close to the pocket opening seam line. “Understitching” just means stitching a facing to seam allowances to help keep it on the inside of the garment. I’m demonstrating from the wrong side of the fabric so you can see which bits I’m stitching together – but you may prefer to understitch with the right side facing up so you can keep the fabric pulled flat away from the seam line.

You just need to understitch along the diagonal pocket seam – don’t understitch the top bit of the pocket facing above the waistline seam.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

This is what the understitching should look like when it’s done. Do this on both pocket facings.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Press the pocket facings to the wrong side of the skirt, rolling the seam lines in by 1-2mm (1/16in) so they won’t be visible from the right side.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Lay the front dress out wrong side up, with the bodice folded up and with the pocket facings still pressed to the wrong side (so, right side up). Get out your side front panels.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Place a side front panel on top of each pocket facing, right sides together. Pin the bottom half of the panel to the pocket facing at the pocket curve seams, matching notches – this is the lower half of the long curved edge, below the pivot point (which should be directly on top of the waistline seam).

Narrow zigzag stitch between the pivot point and the bottom of the pocket curve – you’re just sewing the side front panel to the pocket facing, so don’t sew through the skirt or bodice. Folding the bodice and waistline seam allowances up and out of the way, lower the needle on your machine through the pivot point – you can then raise the presser foot and check with your fingers that the seam allowance flaps are still folded out the way before you start sewing.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

The pivot point that you’re sewing from should also be the exact point where the pocket opening stitching meets the waistline stitching. Check your stitching goes right up to this point on the waistline seam so you don’t leave any holes in your dress.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Pin the front bodice to the side front panel along the bodice seam, right sides together, matching notches.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Folding the waistline seam allowances down and out of the way, narrow zigzag stitch between the top of the seam and the pivot point, back tacking securely.

The pivot points on all the pieces that make up the front dress should be directly on top of each other, and each line of stitching should end exactly on the pivot point. This is probably one of the most crucial steps if you want to get a nice, neat corner at the waist seam – so take your time with it, and stitch over any gaps if you need to. Here’s a little video to show you that the stitching should end at the pivot point on each seam…

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Trim the waistline seam allowances, without cutting through the stitching that’s attaching the stabilising tape to the bodice. If you have an overlocker or serger, now’s the time you can overlock the seam allowances together (or you can leave them raw). Press the waistline seam allowances up towards the bodice. Trim the bodice and pocket curve seam allowances, and overlock them together if you want to. Press the bodice seam allowances towards the bodice.

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

This is what the front dress should look like from the right side. So far so gorgeous!

Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons
Sewing Zadie: Make the front dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Pin the side front panels and pocket facings to the skirt at the side seams, matching the hip notches. Tack (baste) them in place with a long straight stitch (about 4mm), 10mm (3/8in) from the raw edges. (There’s no need to use a zigzag stitch here as the flared side seams don’t need to stretch.)

And that’s it for today! Constructing the front dress is definitely the most challenging part of sewing Zadie – so take your time, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not 100% perfect first time, and look forward to an easier ride for the rest of the project 🙂

I’d love to see how you’re getting on with your Zadie dress – do share pics of your work in progress (and finished dress!) on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingZadie so we can all see.

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Sewing Zadie: Stabilise Seams and Sew Pleats

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

Ready to start making your Zadie dress? Today I’m going to walk you through the first steps – exciting!

Getting started

First things first – take your measurements, choose your size and make any initial adjustments to the pattern. Go back a couple of posts to read up on sizing and fitting for the Zadie dress.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

If you haven’t yet cut out your fabric, do that now, and add the markings as explained on the ‘Cut Your Fabric’ page of the instructions. Be sure to mark the pivot points on carefully to all the pieces that need them – these will be really helpful later for getting neat corners on those Z-shaped seams.

Have a read of this post I wrote on how to cut knit fabric if you haven’t done it before.

There are cutting layout diagrams in the Zadie instructions that show you how to cut the pattern without wasting fabric. If you’re making a colour blocked version, you can download extra cutting layouts at the bottom of the Zadie page on our shop.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

You can sew Zadie either entirely on a regular sewing machine, or partly on a regular machine and partly on an overlocker or serger if you have one. The instructions booklet includes some tips on sewing knit fabrics. If you need extra help, take a look at my online video workshop Learn to Sew Jersey Tops – it takes you through cutting and stitching techniques for stretchy jersey on a regular home sewing machine.

If you do have an overlocker or serger, I don’t recommend making the whole thing on it – there are lots of seams involved, and in some places you are stitching between two points rather than edge to edge. The overlocker can make it difficult to stitch precisely between points as it will cut through or stitch over bits it’s not meant to. So use your regular machine for most of the sewing – the instructions say when you can overlock or serge if you want to.

One more tip before we start sewing – the unusual style lines on this pattern mean that it may not be immediately obvious to you which seam is which. We always label the seams on our sewing patterns so you can see what’s what – so if you can’t work out which seam I’m telling you to pin or stitch in this sewalong, take a look at the pattern sheets. One of our pattern testers also found it helpful to mark the initial of the seam on the wrong side of the fabric in chalk pencil. Hopefully you won’t need to do that as I’m going to show you looooads of photos to explain the steps, but something to consider if you get lost!

Ready to sew? Let’s go!

Let’s get sewing! We’re going to start by stabilising some of the seams that will come under strain when you wear your dress, to help stop them stretching out of shape and drooping with the weight of the skirt over time. You can use stay tape, clear elastic, ribbon or strips of knit interfacing as stabiliser – basically, something that will hold its shape, preferably about 6-8mm (1/4in) wide. I like to use satin ribbon as it’s easy to get hold of and adds a pretty detail to the inside of the dress.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

We’re going to attach your chosen stabiliser to the following seams:

• front bodice waistline
• back bodice waistline
• front skirt pocket openings

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

Pin the stabiliser to the wrong side of the fabric, lining it up so it’s a little less than 15mm (5/8in) from the fabric edge – so it’s close to the seam you’ll be stitching later, but not so close that it will overlap the seam line and be bulky.

Snip off the short ends of the stabiliser so they’re about 15mm (5/8in) from each end – this will avoid the seam allowances of the other seams so the layers don’t get too cumbersome later.

Attach the stabiliser using a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine – or press it on with a dry iron if you’re using fusible tape.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

Now we’re going to make the pleats on the skirts. You should have marked four pairs of pleat lines on both the front skirt and back skirt. Bring each pair of pleat lines directly on top of each other by folding the fabric right sides together between them. Pin each pair of pleat lines together along the lines.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

To make accurate pleats, check the pins are exactly on the lines on both sides of the pleat.

Stitch together the lines of each pleat using a straight stitch on your sewing machine – sew from the inside of the fabric towards the raw edge, and back tack (reverse stitch) securely at each end. (If you try to sew from the raw edge of the fabric inwards, it’s likely the fabric will get sucked into your machine or the threads knotted up.)

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

Press the pleats towards the side seams. To hold them in place, tack (baste) horizontally across the top with a long zigzag stitch (about 2.5mm wide by 4mm long), 10mm (3/8in) from the edge.

Sewing Zadie: Stabilise seams and sew pleats - Tilly and the Buttons

And that’s it for today! In the next post, I’ll show you how to put together the pieces to create the front of the dress…

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My Teal and Stripes Zadie Dress

The Zadie sewing pattern was a labour of love for us. The unusual style lines meant it was a complicated pattern to draft, fit and format, as any teensy change to one pattern piece had a knock-on effect on nearly every other piece. We took our ti…

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Zadie Colouring Sheets… Free Download!

Zadie colouring sheets - free download to plan your dress designs!
Zadie colouring sheets - free download to plan your dress designs!

Planning to make a Zadie dress? I’ve created a colouring sheet to help you plan the design of your dress:

Print off as many copies of the colouring sheet as you like on A4 or Letter size paper. Then grab some coloured pencils and start having some fun!

Zadie colouring sheets - free download to plan your dress designs!

Play around with a bunch of dress designs and see which you like the best. Try it all in one colour, a mix of contrasting or toning colours, or mix and match solids and prints.

Zadie dress idea (so cute!) - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Another way you could use the colouring sheets is as templates for cutting out fabric that you’ve already got to play around with colour-blocking combinations. I did this myself when deciding what fabrics to use for our Zadie sewing kits.

Zadie dress idea (so cute!) - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie dress idea (so cute!) - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Cut out the shapes for the sleeves, bodice, skirt etc. Don’t worry about cutting them absolutely accurately or it’ll be a fuss to cut the fabric – just get the general shape. Then use these shapes as templates to cut out itty bitty fabric pieces. Put them together to get an idea of what your dress design will look like when it’s finished.

I love how cute these miniature dresses look!

Zadie dress idea (so cute!) - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

In the next post I’ll share my top tips on colour blocking your handmade dresses, if that’s something you’re interested in doing. In the meantime, you can find out how much fabric you’ll need for colour-blocked Zadies at the bottom of the shop page (we’ve even created a colour-blocked cutting layout for you).

I’d love to see what designs you come up with for your Zadie dress. Do share your coloured-in sheets or mini fabric dresses on Instagram with us @TillyButtons with the hashtag #SewingZadie. Can’t wait to see!

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Meet the Zadie dress pattern!

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Today’s a good day – a brand new sewing pattern is here, and it’s a beauty!

Zadie is my favourite kind of dress – one of those dream outfits that make it easy to get dressed in the morning. Designed for knit fabrics such as ponte and jersey, Zadie is stylish and comfortable at the same time. Throw it over your head at the weekend to curl up on the sofa, or dress it up a necklace and heels for a meeting or date.

Grab the sewing pattern – or get one of our limited edition kits with the fabric, thread and stabiliser included!


Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

My favourite feature of the Zadie dress is the striking Z-shaped seams – flowing from raglan sleeves, along the bodice, and into the skirt, on both the front and the back. The icing on the cake is that the diagonal seams on the front skirt conceal every stitcher’s favourite detail – pockets!

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

The bodice is close fitting, with a round neckline finished with a neckband, and an empire waistline designed to sit between your high waist and the bottom of your bust. The dress then flares out into a flattering (waist-skimming!), feminine, semi-pleated skirt that ends at the knee. You can wear Zadie in all weathers thanks to the choice of long, three-quarter length or cap raglan sleeves.

Make it all in one colour, or get creative with colour blocking! It looks particularly flattering with darker side panels and sleeves. Look out for a forthcoming blog post full of tips for colour blocking your dresses.

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Making Zadie is a bit like piecing together a puzzle – in a good way! The unusual style lines come together to form a satisfying project that will take your garment construction skills beyond the basics.

If you’re a fan of the Coco or Agnes sewing patterns, Zadie is a great next step to develop your experience sewing with knit fabrics. You can make it on a regular sewing machine – an overlocker or serger is completely optional. If you haven’t sewn knit fabrics before, I’d recommend taking my video workshop, Learn to Sew Jersey Tops, to get to grips with stitching techniques and pick up tips and tricks.

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


We’ve put together limited edition Zadie sewing kits with everything you need to make the dress – lovely ponte di roma fabric, matching thread and satin ribbon to stabilise the seams. Kits are a great option if you’re not sure what fabric to choose or if you just want to make your life that bit easier! Kits are also very cost effective if you want to make a colour-block version but don’t want to have to buy each colour by the metre or yard.

I’ve chosen colourways that I think look particularly gorgeous. Choose from a nautical red, navy and stripes version; a cerise, teal and stripes dress which is similar to the one I demonstrate in the pattern instructions; navy and stripes for a bit more of a classic style; and solid teal that would look great worn with a bright necklace.

These kits won’t be around forever – we’ve only got a limited amount of the fabric and won’t be able to get more for a little while. So if you want one, get it before it’s gone!

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


We pride ourselves on making great patterns with easy-to-follow instructions that are a pleasure to use. (In fact, we won an award for it!) Each pattern comes with a full colour booklet with step-by-step photos showing you how to sew each part.

Order the printed pattern and we’ll send you a gorgeous package in the post, printed on durable paper that doesn’t fly around the kitchen when you cut it out or scrunch up when you try to get it back into the envelope.

Prefer to print and assemble your pattern at home? Order the digital pattern and you’ll get an email in an instant with a PDF to download.

Zadie is also available from fabric shops and departments stores around the world. If your favourite shop doesn’t stock it, remember you can always ask them to!

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsZadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


The pattern includes eight sizes – from UK 6 – 20, US 2 – 16, or EUR 34 – 48. You can see the exact body measurements on the sizing chart. We’ve got a blog post coming up on choosing your size and making fitting adjustments – stay tuned for that one if you need help.

If you want to choose your own fabric, look out for a medium weight stretch knit fabric such as ponte di roma, double knit, interlock, jersey. Check the fabric can be stretched crosswise at least 20% wider than its original width, and that it pings back down to size after stretching.

Take a look at how much fabric you need and other supplies on the shop page – and scroll to the bottom of the page for amounts of fabric you’ll need for colour blocked versions.

You can make the dress entirely on your regular sewing machine, as long as it has an adjustable zigzag stitch. If you have an overlocker or serger, you can use this when stated in the pattern instructions (don’t worry if you don’t have one, it’s not essential!).

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Extra good news – we’re having a sewalong!

The unusual style lines on this pattern mean that you may not immediately recognise which seam is which and how the pieces go together. We always label the seams on our pattern sheets to help you see what’s what, and we include colour photos in the instructions so you can see what it’s supposed to look like as you’re making it. Nonetheless I thought it would be extra helpful if I take you through the construction with even more photos and tips – so that’s what I’m going to do in the sewalong posts coming soon to this blog.

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

We’re going to cover:

9 Feb – Tips for colour blocking
13 Feb – Fitting your dress
20 Feb – Stabilising seams and making the darts
23 Feb – Making the front dress
27 Feb – Making the back dress
2 March – Attaching the sleeves
6 March – Attaching the neckband
9 March – Sewing the side seams and hem

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I thought it would be most helpful to focus on construction for this sewalong. If you need help cutting knit fabric, take a look at this blog post I shared previously, alongside the cutting layout diagrams and instructions in the booklet. You can also download cutting layout diagrams for colour-blocked versions at the bottom of the shop page.

If you need help stitching knit fabrics, I’ve included some tips in the instructions that come with the pattern. You could also take my online video workshop, Learn to Sew Jersey Tops, to get up to speed on the techniques.

Zadie sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I hope you love Zadie as much as we do! It’s so lovely for us to connect with you guys and see what you’re making with our patterns, so please do share pictures of your Zadie plans, work in progress and finished dresses on Instagram – tag us @TillyButtons and use the hashtag #SewingZadie so we can see 🙂

Happy sewing! x x x

Photographer: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Lynn for Natalie Guest
Models: Emily Pettiford and Lora Hristova
Special thanks to our pattern testers for your help! x x x

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January Indie Pattern Update!

I can’t believe that its already time for the first of these posts for 2017. And boy is it a whopper for you. I hope you put the kettle on before you sat down and started on this one as its going to take a while! Not only has there been a huge amount going on within the independent pattern design community there have been some truly beautiful releases this month. Let’s hope that this is a sign of things to come for the rest of the year. Enjoy!

New Patterns

  • This month’s releases with Seamwork Magazine from Colette were the Jane Crew Neck T-Shirt (a real classic) and Margo Pencil Skirt which features on trend side slits.
  • Style Arc‘s first wave of January releases were all about tops. The patterns included the Fran Knit Top, Isabella Top, Juliet Woven Shirt and Annika Top. Later in the month they also releases the Alissa Knit Dress which features a lovely draped swag to the skirt and the Natasha Woven Pants which might be just what I need to make some cropped culottes. 
  • Boho Banjo released the A Couple of Loopholes pattern. So in keeping with the unique style of the rest of her designs this is a draped dress with two clever tubes or holes at the waistline creating a sculptural effect. I’m so intrigued by the construction of this one!
  • Itch to Stitch released the Paro Cardigan. Its a lovely thigh length flowing style which is super flattering because of the fitted waist, the flare being created by small pleats.
  • Jenny from Cashmerette launched the Harrison Shirtdress pattern which is actually a development of her popular Harrison Shirt as there were so many requests for a similar shirtdress. I can see this being a hugely popular classic for plus sized ladies.
  • New from Wear Lemonade is the Simona Blouse. I love that combination of little collar and optional pussy bow; a style I might have to try out this season.
  • Wardrobe By Me had a busy month releasing not only the Daisy Dropped Shoulder Blouse for curvy sizes and the men’s Bram Raglan T-Shirt but also the Aster Jersey Dress; I love the boat necked variation of this but it comes with two heights of turtleneck too.
  • Sarah from OhhhLulu Lingerie released the Mina Garter Belt pattern and also the Cora Elastic Strap Garter Belt which is a tutorial on how to make five styles of garter out of elastic. If you fancy giving it a try the v shaped lace style is actually free!
  • Paddleboat Studio released the Mitchell Dress and Jumpsuit. Its a wrap style, with two wide side panels which wrap to the front. I particularly like this on the jumpsuit and the wide cropped leg look.
  • The Sybil Robe is the latest pattern from Greenstyle Creations. It looks to be a very versatile pattern which can be used to make a really cute robe or actually even dresses in the wrap style. I love being able to see all the tester versions on the listing.
  • There were three new patterns from Opian Patterns in January; the Makalu Dress and Top (which looks great styled with a big necklace), Ortles Snood and Surimani Turban. They’re all suited to beginners and I love the idea of making your own accessories too!
  • Chalk and Notch released the Women’s Waterfall Raglan pattern. Its a relaxed knit top or dress with a gathered peplum.
  • Kommatia Patterns added a couple of new patterns to their growing collection of youthful and on trend styles. January’s additions included a midi length jersey dress and the Pinafore Skirt with zip pockets; I love the shape of the back bib on this.
  • Style Sew Me released the Janelle Skirt; a faux wrap, below knee style with a dramatic thigh high split! I like it sewn in a more casual fabric like the denim which looks great on the model.
  • The new release from Orange Lingerie has got me wishing I had some lingerie sewing experience under my belt already. The Esplanade Bra is a longline strapless style and I have a newfound motivation to work up to sewing something that beautiful! 
  • For those of you who might be interested in a bit of bag sewing Noodlehead have just released the Explorer Tote. It has lots of pockets (which is my favourite thing in a bag) yet still maintains a clean look with flap top, two sizes and optional long detachable strap.
  • Hot Patterns released the HP1213 Deco Vibe Gatsby Cardigan-Jacket and Gilet. Designed for stable knits its a semi fitted wrap style packed with lovely design details including a two piece sleeve and optional faux fur collar.
  • I love it when patterns have a good number of variations or ways to make them your own and the new Designer Stitch Bridget Top excels at that with seven different statement sleeves. They can be bought in sets of long or short sleeves.
  • Decades of Style have just launched a trio of stunning 1920s inspired patterns; the 2005 Baltimore Dress, 2006 Sugar Coat and 2007 Isabella Dress. I am absolutely mesmerised by the way the coat moves; described as a fabric petal ‘fringe’ all those half circles make for a stunning effect. 
  • New from Hey June Handmade is the Tallinn Sweater. It features an asymmetrical cross over front with either a cowl or turtleneck. I love the front edge trimmed with leather on the pattern sample.
  • Sew Over It released their first PDF pattern of the year. The Nancy Dress is a 1960s inspired swing dress with three quarter length sleeves and lovely single button fastening at the nape of the neck. I want to live in dresses like this and will admit to already having fabric bought and pre-washed for my first one!
  • Closet Case Files launched the Ebony T-Shirt & Dress Pattern. Its a basic knit top and dress with a swingy, fluid shape which would be ideally suited to using some gorgeous viscose and bamboo jerseys for!
  • The Slouchy Beanie is the new Blank Slate Patterns design that can work for anyone from baby to fully grown men! I made a couple of beanie hats on new years day and they are such satisfying project when you’re not in the mood to get into anything too complex or lengthy.
  • See Kate Sew released her first pattern in a while that has been designed for women. The Rachel Babydoll Top/Tunic/Dress is gathered onto a flat yoke and features ruffled bell sleeves.
  • One of the last releases of the month was the Wanted T-Shirt from Vanessa Pouzet. To be honest I would have thought there was nothing more a t-shirt pattern could offer as there are such a plethora of knit top patterns available online but this is a stunner that has absolutely earned a place on my wish list. That deep square neckline is super sexy. Currently only available in French.

Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs


  • Over the course of the last month Jennifer Lauren posted a tutorial series for her Auden Cardigan pattern, thoroughly covering common fitting adjustments for this men’s garment.
  • Sarah from OhhhLulu has been running a fantastic sew-long over on her blog for sewing a three piece lingerie set. It’s packed with tips on handling all those unusual lingerie components like elastics and lace and is set to round up in time for Valentine’s Day.
  • Jenny from Cashmerette posted about adding sleeves to the Harrison Shirtdress. Its not quite as straightforward as using the sleeves from the shirt pattern as the dress has been drafted with a smaller sleeveless armhole but the post guides you through how to make that work.
  • To accompany their new trio of patterns Decades of Style have just started a sew-along for the Baltimore Dress. All those classic 1902s diagonal seam lines mean a lot of working on the bias so I’m sure all tips will be appreciated!  


  • The first release of the year from Tilly and the Buttons is named Zadie and should be with us in the next week.
  • Tessuti also have a pattern on the way this week in the form of the Iris Dress. All I could tell from the Instagram sneak peak was that there’s a maxi length and potential colour blocking involved!
  • The next pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade will be the Juniper Cardigan. Its currently being tested.
  • Pearl Red Moon over at Boho Banjo patterns has the Two Pegs Dress coming soon. Its a shift dress with squared or rounded colour blocked panels down one side and a pegged hem.
  • Megan Nielsen also has a new pattern in the works called Rowan. I’ve loved her last two so can’t wait to see this one!
  • The next release from new pattern company Trend Patterns will be the first in their basics range including a pleat front trouser and top with frilled hem.
  • There’s a new underwired bra pattern coming from Cloth Habit soon. After the success of there Watson Bra I’ve got high hopes for this one and really need to get my act together and get some lingerie sewing supplies together!
  • Waffle Patterns are working on a pattern for slim tapered pants with various pocket options.
  • In The Folds is currently testing their next pattern; the Collins Top. It looks like next month is going to a be a big one for pattern releases too doesn’t it!
  • Lisa from Sew Over It gave us a fab little look at what the coming year might hold for the company on her vlog. We should be seeing their Eve Dress, Elsie Dress and 1940s Wrap Dress released as paper patterns throughout the year!
  • Jenni Smith will be releasing her very first pattern in March. The Hepworth Apron is currently being taught as a class in her studio and will be available as both a PDF and paper pattern.

Other Exciting News

  • Sally from Capital Chic Patterns launched a new feature on her website which I’m absolutely in love with! Called the Outfit Designer it offers up templates of all the Capital Chic patterns so you can play around with colour and even upload an image of the fabric print you are thinking of using. You can change hair style, colour and skin colour and even play around with colour blocking too!
  • The Moneta Party is running until February 22nd on Instagram. Celebrating sewing with knits and in particular the Colette Moneta Dress pattern, you can win prizes for making and posting your own version!
  • Sew Over It launched their PDF Club. As they are planning to release lots of PDF designs this year you can now get membership to the club which offers you early access to each new design plus 10% off. At £5 for the year including a free choice of pattern when you sign up you can’t go wrong. They also have a new ‘Intro to Coats’ online class coming next month.
  • Heather Lou from Closet Case Files launched a new online workshop called ‘Sew Your Dream Jeans‘. I adore both pairs of jeans I’ve made so far (the Ginger and Mia patterns) but I do feel like I’ve started on a whole new long winded adventure of making my perfect pair! Perhaps this course will help. The workshop officially launches on February 20th but is on pre-sale at 15% off now.
  • The Maker’s Atelier is releasing a book! Called The Essential Collection it will be released on February 9th. I’m a huge fan of their simple, well cut silhouettes so can’t wait to see what patterns are included.
  • In House Patterns is soon to launch the next in their line of courses on how to draft your own blocks. This one focuses on making your own Custom Stretch Knit Bodice.
Phew! That’s a lot to take in and I’m sure both my sewing queue and pattern wish list have doubled in length since I started writing it! As always feel free to leave any news I may have missed in the comments below and I’ll leave you with a handful of the indie sewing projects that have caught my eye in the online sewing community over the last month.
  • There were Toaster Sweaters popping up all over the place in January but I think my favourite of the lots was Sara’s. She combined elements of the two variations and used a lightweight knit resulting in a totally different look.
  • Heather Lou’s dreamy Liberty print Bolyston Bra has reignited my desire to get on with my own lingerie making. Why buy shop bought bras when you can make such beautiful ones that fit right?!
  • London has been going through a bit of a cold snap and Sonja’s Plaid Farrow Dress is what I want to be living in right now! Amazing pattern matching (you can’t even see those pockets!) and it suits her down to the ground.
  • Helen’s version of the Style Arc Blaire Shirtdress is delicious! I love the fabric that she chose and the way she used the direction of those stripes to their absolutely best advantage.
  • The combination of vivid floral print and the drama of the off the shoulder ruffle on MJ’s Mama Daphne top is stunning. She definitely made some excellent choices with this one!
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Five Tips for Sewing with Corduroy

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

I love corduroy. And judging by the popularity of our needlecord Cleo dungaree dress kits, so do lots of people! (They’re back in stock, by the way!) Today I thought I’d share a few tips on sewing with corduroy to get a great result.

Corduroy – which is made of cotton, sometimes blended with polyester – has visible ribs or “wales” running vertically down its lengthwise grain. The width of the ribs can vary, from jumbo cord which has wide wales – if you see it labelled as “3 wale”, this means it has 3 ribs per inch – to finer needlecord or pincord, which is more like 16 wales per inch).

As well as dungaree dresses, corduroy is great for making skirts, trousers (corduroy flares, anyone?) and jackets. Finer needlecord is also lovely for shirts and dresses (take a look at Rosa’s needlecord Rosa dress!).

So what do you need to know when cutting and sewing with corduroy?

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

1) Decide what direction you want the nap to lie

Rub your hand along corduroy’s ribs – the pile will feel smooth one way, slightly rough the other way (a bit like stroking a cat). It will also look slightly different from each direction. So decide which way you want the pile to lie before cutting out the pattern, and then cut all the pieces pointing in the same direction.

I found this interesting nugget on the subject in Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book (I highly recommend this book if you want to get to know fabrics better and avoid buying the wrong thing online – that’s my affiliate link in case you fancy it):

“Traditionally corduroy is cut with the pile brushing in an upward direction, which gives the fabric a better sheen. In the late 1960s, to give the fabric a more contemporary feeling, many designers reversed the pile direction.”

Of course, it’s up to you if you prefer the pile running up or down. Personally I like it running down as that’s the way I’d stroke it!

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons
Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

2) Keep the ribs straight when cutting

Take extra care when cutting out corduroy to keep it on grain. More specifically, make sure the grainline arrows on the pattern are exactly parallel to the fabric wales (ribs).

I find it helps to cut out the fabric with the right side facing up so I can see the ribs. Rather than lining up the grainline arrow on the pattern with the fabric selvedges, line it up with the ribs. Do the same with any fold lines and any edges that are exactly vertical (such as the side seams below the hips on the Cleo pattern). The ribs are pretty helpful in this way 🙂

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

3) … and keep the ribs straight when sewing!

While the visibility of the wales can be helpful for cutting the fabric straight, if you sew the fabric slightly off-grain on a vertical seam, it can look glaringly obvious! Take a look at the two straps in the photo above. The top one was sewn slightly off-grain – you can see that the strap is twisted. The bottom one was sewn dead-straight and looks a lot neater.

Stitching exactly parallel to the ribs is easier said than done when the fabric is wrong side up and you can’t see them as you’re sewing. What I do on pieces with vertical seams like the Cleo straps is press them wrong sides together first so I can line up the fold with the wales, before refolding them right sides together along the pressed line and pressing again.

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

When you’re topstitching a vertical seam, such as on the sides of the Cleo pockets, you can sew with the right side of the fabric facing up and keep the needle lined up with a channel between the ribs. Keep your eye on this channel as you’re sewing to keep it straight.

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

4) Avoid squishing the fabric

The pile on corduroy can squish up while you’re sewing and pressing it. To avoid this, lower the presser foot pressure (if your sewing machine lets you), and lower the thread tension slightly too. If you’re using a wider wale corduroy, such as jumbo cord, you can also lengthen the stitches to about 3mm.

Try to avoid pressing the fabric too much, as the iron can crush the ribs. Try using a square of the same fabric as a pressing cloth – place it right sides together with the garment, so the wales will cushion each other and soften the impact of the iron.

Use a light touch, or just use steam where you can without touching the face of the iron to the fabric. You can also use the tip of the iron to press just the bits you need to, such as when pressing seam allowances open. Try not to press the edges of the seam allowances against the garment as they can leave an impression on the right side of the fabric.

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

5) Be prepared to make a mess!

Corduroy is one of those fabrics that tends to shed itself all over the place. We’re constantly finding little bits of aubergine threads in the TATB studio from our Cleo kits cutting sessions!

Keep a lint roller handy when cutting and sewing corduroy, so you can quickly clean yourself up afterwards. A lint roller is also handy when wearing your finished outfit, as fluff and threads tend to stick to it! Finish the seam allowances with zigzag stitch or an overlocker to stop them fraying, trimming off any loose threads first if you need to. And give your sewing machine a good clean inside and out after sewing!

Tips for Sewing with Corduroy or Needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo dungaree dress in needlecord - Tilly and the Buttons

So those are my top tips for sewing with corduroy – and here’s one of my finished Cleo dungaree dresses in our vanilla needlecord. Have you made anything in cord? Do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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December Indie Pattern Update!

Well here we are with the final Indie Pattern Update of 2016! I had intended on blogging some of my backlog of completed projects over the festive period but I fell into enjoying a proper break and bit of downtime. I’ve been indulging in reading, movie…

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November Indie Pattern Update!

I can’t believe I’m writing the second to last update of this year already! I spent part of November on holiday and wasn’t on the internet much of the time I was away so I’m fairly sure there will be a few holes in my info this month. Please feel free …

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Black Friday Sewing Sales!

The sewing world seems to have gone mad with Black Friday Sales this year! My Instagram and inbox are full of them! I’m trying to show some restraint this time around but thought I’d share what I found for those of you who are on the hunt for a bargain…

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New pattern: the Aldaia Dress

I’m so glad to finally introduce the new pattern: the Aldaia dress! I’ve been working on it for the past 3 months and was waiting for the Paris fair to release it.

View A: cotton spandex jersey – Girl Charlee Fabrics UK

View B: knit fabric – Henry & Henriette (not available – similar here)

View C: ponte milano – local shop (similar to Cousette)

Inside the Aldaia dress

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A Cleo Dress for Every Day… (and a Giveaway!)

You know when you make something and you just want to wear it every single day? You miss it when it’s in the laundry basket, and can’t remember what you used to wear before you had it?

This is the outfit for me. I’ve got four Cleo dungaree d…

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Cleo Sewing Party – You’re Invited!

Guys! Do you fancy spending a day sewing a Cleo pinafore with likeminded sewing lovers? Sound good? Join our Cleo sewing party… on Instagram!

I thought it would be fun to have a few pals who love Cleo over to our studio so we could spend a day sewing, chatting and generally having the best time. And then I thought it would be even better if you could come to – as there’s only so many sewing machines in my studio, and it’s not easy for everyone to get to London, we’re going to have the sewing party on Instagram as well!

Saturday 26 November, from 11am GMT onwards (or earlier if you’re keen!)

On Instagram and Instagram Stories – tag us @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingCleo

How do I take part?
Make a Cleo dress on the day, and share pics and vids of your work in progress and finished makes on Instagram and Instagram Stories. I’m going to be posting updates throughout the day – you can ask me questions if you get stuck on any steps. Ooh and you could also have your own Cleo sewing party at your house and invite friends – that would be so fun to see what you’re up to and say hi!

Hope you can make it!

In other news, we’ve been nominated for ‘Sewing Designer of the Year’ in the British Craft Awards. OMG! It’s the first time there has been a sewing category in these awards (!) so we’re particularly excited to be in the running. It would be amazing if you’d like to vote for us – click ‘sewing’ and then vote in as many categories as you like. You can also enter the prize draw to win a £100 Amazon gift voucher 🙂

This is different to the British Sewing Awards (potentially confusing, I know!), for which we’re up for Best Pattern House, Best Blog and Favourite Sewing Personality. If you’d like to vote for us in both, that would be incredible!

I really appreciate your support in helping us to do what we do and keep creating sewing goodies for you to enjoy. Thank you! x x x

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Inspiration for Sewing the Cleo Pinafore

Thinking of making the Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress? Today we wanted to share with you some of the gorgeous inspiration we fell in love with when developing this pattern – hopefully it will inspire and delight you too! Short or long, cosy and laye…

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Introducing the Cleo Sewing Pattern!

 Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Get excited – it’s here! Our new sewing pattern is the super cute and utterly wearable Cleo pinafore or dungaree dress (AKA jumper or overall dress)! Cleo is speedy to sew and easy to wear – I hope you love it as much as we do.

Aaaaaand for the very first time, we’re offering sewing kits with everything you need to make it!


Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsCleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


If you haven’t worn a pinafore like this before, you’re in for a treat. It’s sooooo comfortable, you’ll want to wear it all the time! Layer Cleo over a snuggly sweater or turtleneck and knitted tights when it’s cold, or over a shirt or t-shirt when it’s warm.

Cleo is one of those projects that’s refreshingly quick and easy to make – so it’s great for beginners as well as more confident stitchers looking for a speedy project. It has no fiddly zips – just throw it over your head! – and the casual style means minimal fitting is required. But it still looks impressive – every time I’ve worn one of my (many) Cleo pinafores, someone has commented on how it looks difficult to sew… but it’s honestly one of our easiest sewing patterns. Hooray!

Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the ButtonsCleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

The pattern has a few variations. Make it:

  • Dungaree-style with buckles and no-sew buttons or pinafore-style with buttons and buttonholes
  • Mini-length or knee-length
  • With or without a front split on the knee-length version
  • One large or two small patch pockets on the front, and/or two small patch pockets on the back
  • With or without contrast topstitching

Lots of options!

Cleo dungaree dress sewing kit! - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


We’ve put together Cleo sewing kits so it’s simple for you to get your hands on the bits and bobs you need to make it. We’ve sourced lurrrvely quality needlecord and denim (with just a teeny bit of stretch) in delicious colours, and great quality dungaree buckles and no-sew buttons that are really easy to attach – just press them on with your fingers!

Each kit includes the Cleo sewing pattern, colour photo instruction booklet, gorgeous denim or needlecord fabric, pair of dungaree buckles and no-sew buttons, interfacing and thread. They’d make a perfect prezzie for a crafty friend (maybe you know someone who wants to get into sewing?). And you have our full permission to buy one for yourself too 🙂

Just to warn you, we have a limited number of each kit – if you love one of the colours, grab it now!

Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons
Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Like all Tilly and the Buttons patterns, Cleo includes super clear instructions with photos of each step so you can see what it’s supposed to look like as you’re making it.

Order the printed pattern and we’ll send you a gorgeous package in the post, printed on durable paper that doesn’t fly around the kitchen when you cut it out or scrunch up when you try to get it back into the envelope 😉

Prefer to print and assemble your pattern at home? Order the digital pattern and you’ll get an email in an instant with a PDF to download.

Cleo is also available from fabric shops and departments stores around the world. If your favourite shop doesn’t stock it, please ask them to order it 🙂

Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


The pattern includes eight sizes – from UK 6 – 20, US 2 – 16, or EUR 34 – 48. You can see the body measurements on the sizing chart. We’ve got a blog post coming up on choosing your size, combining sizes and lengthening and shortening – stay tuned if you need help. As dungaree dresses have a relaxed style, you won’t need to do much fitting 🙂

If you want to choose your own fabric, go for a medium- to heavy-weight woven material that holds its shape, such as denim, corduroy, cotton drill, gabardine, canvas or wool. One of our testers even made it in a ponte and it turned out lovely!

If you want to make it dungaree-style (overall-style), you’ll need two 30-35mm (1¼in – 1½in) dungaree buckles and two no-sew jeans buttons. We’ve sourced some great buckles with no-sew buttons that are really easy to attach – just press them on with your fingers, no tools required. Alternatively you can make it pinafore-style with two 15-20mm (5/8in – 7/8in) buttons. You’ll also need matching thread, interfacing and optional contrast topstitching thread.

Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


And finally, if you fancy some teacher guidance to make your first Cleo dungaree dress, come to our brand new workshop at our London studio! On Saturday 3 December 2016, the lovely Hannah from The New Craft House will take you through all the steps to make it, from choosing your size and cutting out fabric, to creating a neat finish.
This is a great sewing class for beginners who’ve made a couple of simple projects before and want to get into making clothes. It’ll be fun! Book your place now.

Cleo pinafore sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I really hope you enjoy making Cleo as much as I do. We always love to see what you’re making, so share your work-in-progress and finished creations on Instagram – tag us @TillyButtons using the hashtag #SewingCleo so we don’t miss it.

Enjoy! x x x

Photographer: Fanni Williams
Hair and make up: Lynn for Natalie Guest
Models: Emily Pettiford and Lora Hristova
Fabric: Kits from Tilly and the Buttons
Lora’s clogs c/o Lotta from Stockholm
Special thanks to our pattern testers for your help! x x x

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