Tilly and the Buttons

All sewing projects using Tilly and the Buttons patterns

Heart Print Rosa Shirt Dress – Tilly and the Buttons

For the Love of French Fabric

I started making this shirt last year and it sat half finished, waiting for buttonholes and sleeve tabs for five months. When I saw that @stitch_make_bake and @patsypoomakes were organising a Rosa sewalong, it gave me the motivation I needed to complete it in time for Spring.

Claire wearing a navy heart print shirt dress
Claire wearing a navy heart print shirt dress

I used 2.5 metres of heart print stretch cotton from Pretty Mercerie because I wanted to make a shirt dress that was similar to this one from Sézane:

Pretty Mercerie sell some beautiful fabrics but they sell out so quickly! If you find something you like that's sold out, sign up for stock alerts and you'll receive an email if the fabric is ever re-stocked.

Another great French fabric shop is Make My Lemonade. They sell lots of brightly coloured prints, their delivery to the UK is reasonably priced and their site can be viewed in English if you don't know any French.

Back to the Rosa shirt!

I cut out a size 4 (UK size 12) and shortened the bodice by 1¾″. I usually add this back on to the length of the skirt but I forgot this time so the finished length is a little shorter than it should be. I often have to do broad shoulder and large bicep adjustments with most pattern companies but I've never needed to do that with Tilly and the Buttons patterns.

Shirt dress collar pieces and rose gold scissors

Because I wanted a clean look, I skipped the topstitching on the princess seams and yoke pieces and only topstitched the collar and button band. I also decided to use plain navy buttons since the print is already quite busy. For the buttonholes, I used the stabiliser plate attachment that came with my buttonhole foot (previously mentioned in my button front Cleo post).

Tilly Buttons Rosa shirt made with navy heart print fabric
Close-up of the collar of a navy shirt with a red and white heart print

I had a few issues sewing the collar:

  • The points of the collar kept getting stuck in my machine despite using a wedge of fabric to level the presser foot (see more on this below if you don't know what I'm talking about). I think I may have needed to adjust
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Lipstick Fifi Pyjamas – Tilly and the Buttons

Long Lists and Short Shorts

This project has been on my to-do list since the pattern was released and now the nights are getting warmer I thought it would be the perfect time to make some summer pyjamas.

Claire wearing white and pink Fifi pyjamas

I used the Fifi pyjamas pattern from Tilly and the Buttons and cut a size 4 with no adjustments. I should have done a small bust adjustment to take an inch off the bust since my chest measurement is 35" - I've since discovered that there are instructions for bust adjustments for this pattern on Tilly’s blog. I think I'll also try lengthening the crotch depth of the shorts next time because the measurement from my hips to my waist is greater than the standard 8" (a problem I have with most store-bought trousers/shorts). I've started making my own skirt and bodice slopers using the courses by Suzy Furrer on Craftsy so I'm starting to get a better idea of the adjustments I need to make for future projects.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pyjamas sewing pattern envelope

The lipstick print fabric is a soft viscose from Wear Lemonade (now known as Make My Lemonade). If you've followed me on Instagram for a while, you may remember that I already made some pyjamas with this fabric using the free patterns and tutorials from the Make My Lemonade blog[1]. I've not posted a photo of the finished set yet though because the pyjama top is hidden somewhere in the unfinished projects pile just waiting for me to sew on the buttons!

Make My Lemonade lipstick print fabric tied up with ribbon

Nothing I sew is ever perfect and these pyjamas are no exception - I must have slightly stretched the bias binding as I was stitching it together because the straps are a little wrinkled. I used some pre-made satin bias binding from eBay because I didn't have enough fabric left to make my own and I think this particular bias binding is intended for stretch fabrics (I didn't realise at the time I bought it) and should be stitched with a walking foot.

White and pink pyjamas on a mannequin
White and pink Tilly and the Buttons Fifi camisole top with pink bow detail

Unintentionally rocking the bedhead look in this picture but it fits in with the theme

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Rifle Paper Co Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons

Abandoned Projects and Perfectionism

I started making this Cleo dungaree dress back in November last year and since then it's been sat in a basket with all my other half-finished projects.

Image of the insides of a navy dungaree dress with pink floral facings

I had trouble sewing the buttonholes through this corduroy fabric - my machine wasn’t feeding the fabric so it would just stitch in one place and tangle up! I threw it on the pile and forgot all about it until I had a similar problem with some buttonholes on a corduroy skirt.

After searching through the instruction book, I discovered that my sewing machine came with an additional stabiliser plate that attaches to the buttonhole foot and helps feed difficult fabrics. This solved all my buttonhole problems and now I want to add buttons to everything!

Image of Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern envelope

I made a size 4 with no adjustments except for adding an extra inch to the length. I tried it on just before hemming and it still felt a bit short so I folded it over by 1cm instead of the recommended 3cm.

I used The Crafty Pinup’s button front Cleo tutorial but I changed the width of the button band to suit the size of my buttons. Instead of adding 2 inches plus the seam allowance to each front piece, I added 4cm (folding and pressing at 1cm and then 3cm). I only added 3cm to the facing pieces so I didn’t have to topstitch through extra layers.

Navy dungaree dress with silver buttons

I accidentally started my first buttonhole too far down (it starts 2cm from the top when it should have been 1cm) but I didn’t notice until it was too late so it will forever bug me! I used plain hammer-on jeans buttons to contrast the textured needlecord and added matching sliders to my straps so I can adjust them if they shrink or stretch over time. For the facings I used a beautiful pink and navy Rifle Paper Co quilting cotton. I don’t own an overlocker so I finished the edges with the double zigzag stitch on my sewing machine with the overedge foot.

Insides of a navy dungaree dress with pink floral facings
Navy corduroy dungaree dress with silver buttons worn over a spotty navy shirt

You can't really see the

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