Tilly and the Buttons Orla Top

Oh my goodness! I’ve got so many plans and ideas at the moment. There seems to be a mass influx of new patterns and gorgeous fabric and I want it all! I’ve had a bit of a pattern and fabric buying binge this weekend so have lots of lovely things planned for the near future. I’ll fill you in later in a separate post.

After reading and watching a whole load of new to me sewing blogs and vlogs I’ve been massively inspired to up my sewing game. I’m going to try and put more time aside for sewing (otherwise I’ll never get everything made that I’ve got planned) and I’m going to get more involved in the sewing community. I’m going to make more effort to join in sew a longs and challenges. One challenge that I’m thinking of joining is the Cocktail Hour sew a long from Love Sewing magazine and Vogue Patterns. It’s for such a great cause and it would be fun to make some evening wear. Again, I’ll fill you in at a later date what my plans are.

I’ve also set up a new Instagram account purely just for sewing. Please follow me @readysteadysew_ and you can see what I’m up to sewing wise.

I’ve also been inspired to add a review section to my blog posts every time I sew a new pattern and I’m going to start with my latest make, which is Tilly and the Buttons Orla blouse.

orla completed

I chose to make this pattern after I purchased some lovely heart print crepe fabric and knew I wanted to make a blouse. Then I remembered that I can’t do button holes so decided on Orla as it has a zip fastening and I can do zips! The fabric was very slippery to cut out. In fact, I hated cutting it out as it constantly moved no matter what I did! I seriously considered abandoning the whole project because I was convinced the top wouldn’t sew up correctly due to my cutting out probably being so inaccurate. However, I persevered. I cut out the pieces in several sittings so I didn’t get too cross with myself and found that despite being slippery when cutting, it was fine to sew. I think the static or the texture of the fabric held it together well when being sewn. I used a few new skills such as adding a collar and a hem facing. I also practised skills that I had only used once before like an exposed zip and setting in sleeves, so was an enjoyable sew.

orla set in sleeve

I also found the sewalong on Tilly’s website really helpful, especially with some of the fiddlier bits – inserting the zips, sleeves and collar!


Pattern review

Name: Orla

Company: Tilly and the Buttons

Description: A semi fitted shift top with delicate details. Choose from long sleeve or short sleeve, collar or collarless. I made the long sleeved version with a collar.

Printed or PDF: I have the printed version.

Sizing: The patterns sizes are 1-8. Tilly doesn’t the same dress sizes as most pattern companies. I think this is to stop you from having shop sizes in your mind when selecting your size. I made a size 5 which is probably a 12-14 for other pattern companies.

Alterations: None. I was actually between sizes but went for the bigger size with a view to take it in if needed. After trying it on at several stages, I was happy with the fit. It’s possibly a tiny bit too big but it’s not a problem as the top is supposed to be a bit loose.

Fabric: Heart print crepe from Remnant Kings £7.99 p/m. I bought 2 m. The pattern requires 1.7m of 150cm wide fabric.

Difficulty rating: The pattern is labelled as ‘Improvers’ on their website and I’d agree with this. It is probably a bit too hard for a complete beginner due to zips, collars and sleeves but is easy enough for a confident beginner.

Difficulties encountered: During this make, I realised how much I hate pressing and finishing seams! The instructions are fabulous and clear. Tilly is well known for her easy to follow, step-by-step guides. Any parts that I didn’t quite understand were explained more thoroughly and broken down further in the sewalong on her website. I made a few errors that needed to be unpicked but nothing disastrous. As I said, for me the trickiest parts were probably the collar and sleeves. My collar and neck facing could be neater and I can see a little bit of interfacing peeking out at the bottom of the zip. These are because I’m not always accurate and I can rush!

Time taken: I made this in several afternoons. It maybe took around 8-9 hours including cutting out. You could probably do it in less as I’m quite a slow sewist!

Recommend: Yes. It’s a lovely pattern and easy to follow. It gives confident beginners a chance to consolidate skills and maybe try something new. I really enjoyed the process of sewing this together.

What would I change (if anything): The only thing I might change is make the sleeves a tiny bit longer. Maybe I have long arms!

My favourite thing: I love love love the exposed zip. It adds a pop of colour and is a really nice design feature.

orla pattern

Hopefully this review was useful. Please comment and let me know if I should add any information or change anything.

Now I need to decide what to make next!

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