Friday, 2 December 2016

Knitriffic Blogs: Tilly and the Buttons, plus New Fabrics & A Special Offer!

Today we have an amazing blog for you!  Not only do we have an interview with the wonderful Tilly Walnes, creator of Tilly and the Buttons, plus our regular New Fabric Friday feature, but we also have a very special offer!

First, our interview with Tilly - 
Tell us a bit about yourself...
Hi, I’m Tilly. I live in Brixton in South London with my lovely fianc√© James. I’m the founder and director of Tilly and the Buttons, which creates gorgeous, easy-to-use sewing patterns and video workshops for the new wave of DIY dressmakers. Before starting my company, I worked in the wonderful world of cultural cinema and film festivals, where I was responsible for devising national and international training programmes.

What inspired you to start your blog & your business? 
I started my blog seven years ago as a way of connecting to other people who were passionate about making their own clothes. Back then, sewing wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, and I didn’t know anyone else who was interested in it.
The company evolved later on, as I decided to combine my professional background in education and training with my passion for dressmaking to create user-friendly sewing resources to inspire a new generation of people to get into making their own clothes. We now create sewing patterns and video workshops that are friendly and accessible, packed full of helpful sewing tips, and – crucially – don’t assume you already understand the technical jargon. Our aim is to give people a joyful experience while sewing and learning new skills.

Where did the name come from?
I’m Tilly, and the Buttons are my sixties girl group backing singers! Seriously though, it was the first thing that popped into my head when I started my blog, not thinking anyone would read it, let alone that it would one day become a company!

How long you have been sewing/blogging and what are your goals for the future?
I’ve been sewing and blogging for seven years now – no signs of a seven year itch though! As soon as I started sewing, it became an obsession, so it feels like I’ve been doing it a lot longer.
I’ve got loads of ambitions for the future – immediate goals are to finish up our next sewing pattern (it’s a beauty, I can’t stop wearing it!) and start writing my second book (eep!).

What inspires you/what would you describe as your design aesthetic?
My personal style is a cross-between sixties Nouvelle Vague chic and seventies denim with a contemporary twist… and with lots of ponte and jersey Breton stripes thrown in!

What are your favourite Girl Charlee fabrics at the moment?
Turquoise Charcoal FairIsle Deer Heart on White Cotton Jersey Blend
This would make a lovely top to wear as the dark winter nights are setting in.
Black Leopard Spots on Heather Grey Hacci Sweater Knit
I’d love to make a little sweater out of this, brightened up with a turquoise necklace and red lipstick. 
Black Triangle Arrows on White Cotton Jersey Blend
This is a very wearable design, great for t-shirts and dresses.
True Red Solid Cotton Spandex
Let’s not forget about solids! I ordered some of this recently and was super impressed with the quality. Might just have to get some more!

What is your favourite thing about sewing?
I love the magic of making something with your own hands – taking an idea for a piece of clothing and turning it into a reality, taking a flat piece of fabric and stitching it into a wearable sculpture. It really does feel like magic.

What is your least favourite thing about sewing or your biggest challenge?
When you run a sewing business, it’s hard to switch off from work and just sew for fun. I enjoy sewing with other people’s patterns purely for my own pleasure, but I always end up admiring their marketing copy or thinking about how I’d explain the instructions differently or feeling like I should blog about what I’ve made… so it always takes me back to work mode in the end!

Who do you look up to in the sewing community?
Anyone who makes things and shares the love is a winner in my eyes. There are so many lovely, creative people in the sewing world, and I’m always in awe of things people make and their generous spirit in encouraging other people to make things.

Business-wise, Sarai Mitnick from Colette kickstarted the indie pattern revolution and inspired a whole generation of stitchers – I still remember the excitement I felt at finding her patterns in 2010. I recently got to hang out with Gretchen Hirsch, who is an incredibly talented dressmaker and all-round lovely lady. Lisa Comfort from Sew Over It is an astute business owner with a huge amount of energy – I’m always in awe of how polished she looks while managing two shops and a pattern line!
Fancy taking a sewing workshop from the comfort of your own home?
Want to learn to make comfortable, wearable tops for every day?
Need to get to grips with sewing stretchy jersey?

Sign up for Learn to Sew Jersey Tops online workshop, and watch helpful video lessons taught by Tilly and the Buttons founder Tilly Walnes. Tilly will take you through her no-fuss approach to sewing stretchy jersey fabric on a regular sewing machine – no overlocker required!

" Build your confidence with tips and tricks for stress-free sewing
" Watch the sewing in action through video lessons, supported by text, images and printable checklists
" Learn from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you
" Learn at your own pace - pause, rewind and replay the videos as much as you like
" Learn skills you’ll use again and again
" Make gorgeous clothes you’ll want to wear every day!

The course materials also include the Agnes sewing pattern – a comfortable, versatile top with lots of variations.
Tilly says, “Jersey has a reputation for being tricky to sew because of its stretchiness. I want to show you that it doesn’t have to be difficult once you know a few simple tips and techniques.” 

The online workshop is self-paced, so you can take it at a time that suits you, and revisit the lessons as often as you like. You can even do it in your pyjamas!

Watch the trailer and sign up HERE or click any of the pictures above.

As a special offer we are giving you 10% off the price of the workshop!  

Simply enter the code GIRLCHARLEE when you sign up for the course.  The code is valid up to 17th December so don't delay, sign up today!

With 10% off and the free Agnes pattern included this really is an amazing bargain!

Below are some gorgeous examples of the Agnes, made with Girl Charlee Fabrics - 

As if that wasn't enough, we also have some gorgeous new knit fabrics available on the site right now! 
1.  A new vertical stripe Ponte De Roma in black, teal blue and grey on off white.  This is stunning and can be used with the stripes in their normal vertical or horizontal as in the dress below (bear in mind this changes the stretch from across to up/down). 

2.  Our popular black triangle squares on off white ponte de roma is back in stock!  This sold out fast last time we had it so grab some while you can! Perfect for a warm beanie (see below)

3.  A slightly flawed but heavily reduced cotton jersey in burgandy, navy and cream stripe.  This is super soft and the flaws are minor so it's a great bargain!

Click on your favourite or visit our New Arrivals Page where you can see all our exciting new fabrics/patterns.
Don't forget to sign up for our email updates to keep up to date with all our New Fabrics, Sales, Giveaways and all our Knitty News!  The sign up box is top left of the blog. 

Happy Sewing!
~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

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