Sewing · Tilly and the Buttons

Tilly, Megan, Lilou and Bettine.

Sew… This post was written at the beginning of the month but time has just flown by and I completely forgot about posting it. So here it finally is.

I want to share with you my sewing achievements for June. I’ve made four dresses and a tie. I’m new to clothes sewing and seeing everyone’s #MMMay on Instagram and watching The Great British Sewing Bee I have been really inspired to make more clothes.

I had signed up to the lovely Kitchen Table Sewing Megan dress course which started in May. Over four weeks, 2 hours a week, Janet taught us to make the dress. First we made a toile. I’m so glad we spent the time doing this as I always struggle to get dresses to fit me properly. I only had to make a few adjustments but they were definitely worth it. I lengthened the bodice by 7cm and lowered the bust darts by 1cm. My big boobs mean that bodices are never long enough to sit under my bust. I also shortened the skirt by 7cm as it came to below my knee which I wasn’t a fan of.


I would definitly recommend making a toile.


With Janet’s guidance we followed Tilys instructions in Love at First Stitch. Tilys instructions are so clear and easy to follow. The more detailed sections about inserting sleeves and invisible zips were great as I had never sewn either of these techniques before and they worked first time!

The fabric I used was from a fabric swap and I have no idea where it is from but as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make it into a dress. The scenery detail along the selvedge edge has made a perfect hem line. I didn’t have enough of the daisy print to make the sleeves but I actually really like the scenery detail in the sleeve. I also had to completely line the dress as it was slightly see through. I was worried about doing this as this was the first dress I had made but glad that I had Janet to guide me though and now I feel I would be able to line future projects should they need.


I love the detail on the hem line.


So pleased with the lining and sleeves.


Teeny tiny hand stitching.


Finished off with a personalised label.


I have worn the dress a lot since finishing it at the beginning of June and will definitely be make more Megan dresses, I may have already bought fabric to make the next one!





Feeling confident about sewing after completing my first dress I had a rare day off with no plans so I decided to make the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress. I already had some washed fabric that was just about big enough to make the version with no pockets. I didn’t make a toile this time as it is a loose fitting style. I did add 7cm to the length of the top as I would rather this be extra loose over the bust than tight. The skirt was also shortened due to the amount of fabric I had but this was fine as I would have had to shorten it anyway.


Flowers not leopard print.


Again another brilliant easy to follow pattern by Tily. I finished the dress in a day and it fits! This is another dress I have worn lots in June and will keep wearing it and most likely make more of. I do need to get some lighter weight interfacing as I think the one I used is a bit heavy but it still looks and hangs fine.


Im not very photogenic.


…and another one.


Wonky leg!


I had planned on making the Lilou dress for a wedding we are going to in July (this weekend, see I wrote it so long ago the times are out of sink!) but I was lucky enough to win tickets to Royal Ascot and decided five days before we were going to make the dress now! I did make a toile for this, well part made as I was running out of time. I had read in Love at First Stitch about wearable toiles so thought I would give it a go. I had kept my old bedding to practice sewing with and then it doesn’t matter if it isn’t wearable as I hadn’t spent money on fabric to go in the bin. As I had already made two of Tilys dresses I traced the bodice pieces and added on the 7cm in length and lowered the bust dart by 1cm. After sewing this together and pinning it on it filtered fine. I then made the skirt to practice at pleats, another the new skill learnt using more amazing instructions from Tily.


I love pleats! Will definitly be making more pleated items!


After attaching the bodice to the skirt and trying it on it didn’t fit! We pinned and unpinned and repinned but no it was too small across my lower back on the bodice. I unpicked the bodice and skirt, cut the added 7cm off of the bodice and sewed them together. I don’t know what made me do this but I just kept thinking where am I going to find a dress for Saturday! I tried it on again and it fit perfect! I didn’t need the added 7cm and for some reason adding it made the proportions wrong. Thank god for toiles! Due to running out of time I didn’t finish the toile and got stuck into making the actual dress!
I used amazing Liberty Tana Lawn from Alice Caroline.


So scary cutting into this.


Although the top is lined I also lined the skirt to give it some body. I asked Janet for some advice and she said to treat the skirt pieces and lining as one and not make a separate. This also saved me loads of time. Janet also provided me with the pattern and wadding for the tie. She is super. After finally plucking up the courage to cut into the amazing fabric I soon finished the dress. I loved the method for lining the bodice and I was so pleased with my invisible zip.

I had also decided to make Mr C a matching tie, why do I do this to myself when I am a beginner sewer with not much time! On the Friday night with 12 hours to go I made the tie. I expected this to be a bit of a challenge as I remember of the Sewing Bee a few years ago they struggled with this but I found it quite straight forward. I used the pattern and instructions from a Sew Over It tie kit I borrowed from Janet, how would I survive without her!




We had a great day at Royal Ascot, although I was a bit dissappointed that Gok didn’t ask me where my one off dress was from and Mr C decided that the tie didn’t match his suit so didn’t wear it!


Pretty in pink.


The dress.


How well do these shoes match?


Repeating myself again but another super dooper pattern from Tily. More will be sewn in the coming months. Oh and yes I did finish the wearable toile and it is definitely wearable! Sorry haven’t had a chance to take a photograph.

I am now truly addicted to making clothes. There are so many patterns I want to try, however I have decided I am not going to make any more clothes until I have an overlocker. Role on Julys payday, which is now tomorrow!

Can anyone recommend a good pattern for a tshirt and a pleated skirt?

Happy Sewing.

5 thoughts on “Tilly, Megan, Lilou and Bettine.

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