ALICE IRVINE

Whenever I’m not working or running around after two kids – I’m on the sewing machine!  I love bright colours, clashing prints and vintage styles from the 50s and 60s. And pompoms. Love a pompom.

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Mila Dungarees

£14.50

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Agnes Top

£14.50

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£9.00 per metre

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£10.00 per metre

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Tilly and the Buttons’ Mila and Agnes – a match made in heaven

It’s always exciting news when you hear one of your favourite indie pattern designers is releasing a new pattern, so I couldn’t wait to get started when I was asked to review the Mila dungarees from Tilly and the Buttons.

The dungarees require a fair bit of topstitching and I wanted mine to pop so I went for this bright blue poly sheen thread against this lovely black stretch denim.  This also meant I set up two sewing machines, one with black thread and one with the blue to save time changing thread!

As with all Tilly instructions, these were really clear and straightforward, so if you fancy taking the leap to make a pair of trousers but feel nervous about fitting or construction, this is the perfect pattern for dipping your toe in the water. If you’ve made a Cleo dress many of the steps will look familiar, again making this an adventurous but non-complex garment to make.

As far as tweaking the pattern goes, the design sits right on the hip but I wanted mine to sit a bit higher so I added an inch on to the front crotch (lovely term there!). I also added patch pockets, which I’m glad I did because I think they look great!

I wasn’t sure how ‘fitted’ I wanted the legs to be so I sized up rather than down, cutting a size 2 on the legs and 3 on the hips. However, as you may have seen on my Instagram stories, they ended up absolutely HUGE! I had a full on 90s rapper look going on. The sides have button tabs so I couldn’t work out a way to remove any excess fabric there, so I took 12mm off both the front and back seams and blended it in to the seam allowance. Luckily this did the trick and the rest of the garment came together really easily. For the fastenings I went for silver jeans buttons, which were really fun to whack on with a hammer as the last step – highly recommend!  

I’m twinning my Milas with an oldie but goody (if you can even say that for TATB!), the Agnes top. With eight possible combinations, Agnes is an extremely versatile wardrobe staple. For this insanely beautiful viscose jersey I opted for the simplest shape, a scoop neck with short sleeves so nothing distracts from the fabric! The pattern is a no-nonsense make, straightforward and quick to sew, the only part that’s potentially fiddly is the neckband, so that just needs a bit of slowing down when pinning for it to sit evenly and flat. This jersey is so soft and comfortable to wear, while looking super smart because it’s so bloomin’ pretty. Winning and twinning!