La Françoise….

Françoise reminds me of school. Not school uniforms but of French classes. Our French textbook at school was called “Arc en Ciel” and all I remember from that text book was the name François and Françoise. I always found it odd how in French you could have interchangeable masculine and feminine names when in English we don’t. Anyway, boring history trip of my life aside… Tilly (& the Buttons) has used the name for something infinitely cooler than my old French language textbook….


I’m not going to lie to you, this is a fabulously easy dress to make! Even more so with Tilly’s brilliant instructions. I spent precisely one afternoon doing this, so I can tell you, it’s quick too!

Françoise, Francoise dress, Tilly and the Buttons Sewing Pattern

And for an added bonus, I used up fabric from my fabric hoard, that I had dug out of the remnant bin for £4 – a lovely weight stretch cotton sateen. And in a completely shock move I chose a fabric that was not predominantly black or white!

Due to the stretch, I didn’t even bother with a zip…. The only downside is that with such a bold print, it detracts from the French darts on the dress which are an interesting feature in themselves.  For a wearable toile, this dress has turned out quite well, I added 2 cm length in 2 places but next time I will be needing to lower the bust dart a little bit.

Françoise, Francoise dress, Tilly and the Buttons Sewing Pattern



Posted in Clothes | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Style Arc Maggie…


Style Arc, Maggie Shirt

This is the Style Arc Maggie shirt and it’s the first Style Arc pattern that I’ve tried. This is the kind of shirt that I normally love – loose and baggy, perfect over a pair of skinny jeans.

Judging by my face, you can tell I’m not 100% Enamoured…

Style Arc, Maggie Shirt

Ok – it’s not that bad and I’m not that grumpy…. Well, not normally unless I haven’t had a cup of tea and you’re talking to me less than an hour after I’ve woken up.

Whilst the pattern is printed on nice thick paper, the instructions are scant. So if putting in a shirt placket puts the fear into you, I’d probably avoid this pattern until you’ve tried a pattern with more comprehensive instructions. I’m not a beginner sewist, I’ve put in plackets before and when I followed the instructions even I was scratching my head. I’m not sure about their method to do the front pleat/placket but hey, it’s wearable and I don’t care that much. I’ll probably make it again and vary it slightly.

I made up the shirt in a white spun viscose and added a random 4 inches to the shirt but actually could have got away with adding less.

And hey look, it’s another item of clothing in white!! Looks like I’m on a roll here… Anyone want to bet the colour of the next item I make? Funnily enough, I can tell you that it’s not that hard…


Posted in Clothes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A little Trip to Paris…

Last week sort of blew my mind. Going back to work this morning is going to be a crushing blow to reality… I just wish I had some more pictures to show you.


Last week I met some awesome people who love sewing just as much as I do, if not more and spent time doing what we’re good at – Shopping! So, I probably thought I’d been restrained, but hey, who am I kidding?

I shared a bijoux Paris apartment with crazy disco lighting and chandeliers in every room with the fabulous EmmieTillyLauren and Kelly.

I got to meet so many amazing sewcialists/spoolettes/awesome people in general: CarmenNicoleJoostRhiannonJulie JoLisaClare and Tania.

I always get really nervous meeting people who I don’t know and feel really awkward but people were so welcoming and lovely. Just another reason why I love sewing so much!


This trip would not have been possible if it were not for the extraordinary efforts of Carmen who organised personalised goody bags for us all and a discount at the Coupon Shop St Pierre. Plus Julie from Jolie Bobines who took us on a walking trip of Paris. And to Tilly, for if she hadn’t mentioned it to me, I wouldn’t have gatecrashed this trip in the first place!

Thank you to: Maison Sajou, Ma Petite Mercerie, Peace and Wool, La manufacture Bohin,, Atelier Brunette and Coupon Shop St Pierre.

Then to top it all off, more sewing fun on Sunday at Tilly Towers with Tilly, Lauren, Emmie, Roisin, Jane and Karen.

Sunday Sew-in

A photo posted by Tilly Walnes (@tillybuttons) on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:41am PST

Wow, what an awesome week and I feel blessed that I met so many awesome people!

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Psychedelic Fabric Giveaway

So I was going to show off another creation…. But guess what? Winter’s here and the light is officially rubbish for taking good photos, so unless I have a chance to do it at the weekends, I just can’t get it done….  Oh yeah, I also can’t take them when I leave my camera on and drain the battery…. but that’s another story :-)

Oh well, here’s a sneak peek – Any guesses what the pattern is? I’d be impressed if you could guess it from this picture though!


So instead of a completed garment, I’m going to give this away:- Some left over polyester satin fabric that to be honest is far too psychedelic for anything that I would ever make but might bring joy to somebody else (courtesy of my friend Jamie). And whoever wins this lot – I would love to see pictures of what you do actually make with this :-). (Green remnant is roughly 11ocm by 85cm and the black remnant is roughly 145cm x 55cm).

Polyester Satin Print


Posted in Fabric Stash | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Lace Banksia

I’ve been on a bit of a monochrome kick lately…

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top

This is my last black and white outfit, I promise! Although I am thinking of making something in grey…. Anyway, today’s offering is technically probably cream or ivory:

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top

This is probably my favourite make for a very long time! Those who know me well, know how much I love lace and silk. I had a genius moment a while back whilst out shopping with my sister at a local antiques barn when I spotted a lace doily being sold for about £3. It was in really good condition and very fine. I looked at it and thought it would be perfect embroidered onto a simple top. And you know what? I think I’m right!

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top

A little while later, I got round to actually making it up and I used the Megan Nielsen Banksia Top pattern as the base and omitted the sleeves. I used the same silk as my previous Banksia top which complimented the cream colour of the lace. I used some ivory bias binding to finish the raw sleeve edges and I French Seamed the interior of the top before simply appliquéing the lace to the top. As there was so much of it, it was a little bit fiddly.

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top

This is one of those tops that looks like it could be very expensive but in reality all it cost me was the £3 for the doily as the silk was a hand-me-down from my grandmother and the binding was also given to me by one of my grandmother’s friends. Yep, at times likes this, I’m a very lucky girl!

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace TopIn case you’re getting sick of me only wearing jeans…. This is what it looks like tucked into a skirt.

Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top Lace Banksia, Silk and Lace Top

Posted in Work in Progress | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Bumblebee Banksia…

Bumblebee Banksia Top, Megan Nielsen Pattern

Ok, so the Megan Nielsen Banksia pattern isn’t a new pattern but it’s kind of new to me. Well who cares? I eventually got round to making it despite it being in my pattern pile for a while.

Bumblebee Banksia Top, Megan Nielsen Pattern

I have to say, the instructions for this pattern were really easy to follow and there are two methods for the placket construction which are really thorough. I hate putting in plackets and buttons in general but I’m actually really impressed with the results of my placket.

Unusually for me, I didn’t alter the length of the top nor adjust the bust and yet the length isn’t too short for me and nor are the bust darts in too weird a position. I wouldn’t normally wing it but on this occasion it seems to have worked out!

The fabric is a pretty little bumblebee print on a fairly thick-ish cotton, it’s probably quilting cotton but it feels softer. With the weather turning, that’s not such a bad thing to be honest as i’m looking for warmer tops.

Bumblebee Banksia Top, Megan Nielsen Pattern

Initially I tried to make the plackets from the same cotton but it was far too thick for the placket. As I’d bought the end of the roll, I didn’t have enough for the collar and used a coordinating cream silk from my stash, which is what I used for the placket too. I’m glad I did because I think it looks really smart. Despite my initial hesitations about the peter pan collar (because generally I don’t really suit cutesy type clothes), I’m actually really liking it!

Bumblebee Banksia Top, Megan Nielsen Pattern
I can definitely see a few more being made in the future…

Posted in Clothes, Finished Projects | Tagged , | Leave a comment