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Sunday, 14 May 2017

How to sew Tilly And The Buttons ORLA top - and how to insert a Zip

A review of Tilly and The Buttons ORLA top 

More about exposed Zips

I really like this top and I now have three versions of it, the latest one being stitched in just half a day last week!
The pattern is available from Jaycotts.co.uk Tilly and the Buttons ORLA top




This is the first top I made which has the unusual snowdrop collar.

The top was easy to make, you need some sewing skills but nothing that you cannot handle.  This top would challenge a beginner in a nice way, so if you have not sewn much, you will gain experience of setting in an exposed zip for example, which is a great skill to learn.







The thing I like most about this pattern is that it forces you to do something I go on about constantly, and that is to take your measurements and cut out the pattern size which most closely resembles your actual measurements.  If in doubt go up a size, it is easy to take seams in, not always easy to find extra room if you did cut out the wrong size.


You should know by now that I like unusual prints and bright colours, this fabric is a vibrant but soft cuddly jersey. It does stretch but is stable.


The pattern instructs you to insert an exposed zip. When I looked in my sewing room I found this diamante zip which I have been longing to use for ages.
The instructions for the top are concise and so easy to follow that I will not go into them too much here. Just be sure to use a normal zipper foot when you are stitching the zip in place.
To sew an exposed zip then please take a look at my blog post Tilly and the Buttons Francoise

Jaycotts are now stocking some wonderful lace zips from Prym which I will be showing you how to use very soon, meanwhile for more information about them or any of their products ring them or fill in the contact form Contact Jaycotts



I did the zip first, then I did the back darts and the front dart. The front has one long curved dart which is very flattering indeed. The back has waist darts and shoulder darts which make the back very fitted. It makes a lovely shape believe me.


This is the front dart from the right side, it looks really elegant and will flatter any figure


When it comes to making the collar you need to iron on some good quality lightweight interfacing to one pair of collar pieces.
Stitch the collars together. Then you need to reduce bulk by trimming the seam allowance and cutting triangles out along the seam allowance, cutting almost right up to the stitches. Press, turn right sides out, press. Attach to the top, with the collars meeting in the middle.




The sleeves are next and again the instructions are tremendous, everybody will be able to follow them if not Tilly and the Buttons have a tutorial on their site, so again Excuse me if I do not go into fitting them, I cannot improve on the instructions already available.

The hem is interesting.  It is a faced hem. It is a fabulous way of finishing any curved hem and I am certain that once you have done it you will find uses for it again. It does give an I credibly neat finish to the garment.



Well, here is my top, it even looks good on my manequin!


It is a very flattering style, and I know it will be coming with me on holiday.there are pattern options of long or short sleeves and you can make it with or without a collar. I can imagine it with a contrast collar matching the same Coloured zip

  The back view shows the shaping which nips in at the waist nicely, it is extremely flattering.


I enjoyed sewing this top a lot, it is simple yet there are some clever design features worked into the pattern which give it an expensive designer look.
I do recommend this pattern, for all ages, I guarantee it will quickly become a favourite,  and why not, it is easy to wear and looks glamorous, what is there not to love about it?

Thank you for reading this, if you have been prompted to make one yourself do let me know.

I made another one , this time in a sparkly blue jersey fabric I left the neckline plain and used a lace zip on the back. 



This lovely jersey fabric has a very silky feel to it and a very discreet shimmer.


This is a lovely soft flowing jersey, just made for tops!


This is the top which I made in just half a day earlier in the week. I did make some alterations to the pattern
Firstly I lowered the neckline by just half an inch so that I would not have to insert a zip at all. Then I shortened the sleeve head slightly at the top, removing the need for pleats and instead inserting the sleeve in the normal way by easing it into place.
The rest is just the same as before. I used a marled cotton jersey fabric and I did a small amount of embroidery using a design built into my embroidery machine.


My machine is the Brother Innov-is 800e This really is a fabulous embroidery machine and if you are anywhere near to Chester then why not call in and take a look at it? BROTHER Innov-is 800e
If you love making garments which are totally individual to you then this machine will allow you to personalise just about everything you make. It is easy to use and additional embroidery patterns can be sourced very easily. There is even tuition available in store! 

Jaycotts stock Tilly And The Buttons patterns, the range is on this link Tilly And The Buttons patterns

As always do sign up for Jaycotts newsletter and please do contact them with any questions or enquiries Contact Jaycotts

Angela