Oh Nora Nora Nora.

The new autumn Tilly and the Buttons pattern was released a few weeks ago. (Sorry I probably should have warned you…it’s yet another Tilly pattern post!) and I obviously had to give them a whirl! There’s the cute Ness skirt and the Nora top: a straight skirt with a shaped waistband, and a boxy top with loads of options.

Being on maternity leave I spend 90% of my time in lounge-y trousers and cropped jumpers. I’m currently living for loose fit clothes around my shoulders and anything boxy but flattering over my tummy area. I was certain that the Nora was perfect for lounging but wasn’t sure if I would wear it out…until I made it of course! I’ve worn it umpteen times already and it’s now my go-to throw on during these chillier days. So on to the review!

Pattern Review:  Nora Top @Tilly and the Buttons

Difficulty: “Confident Beginners”

Sizes: UK 6-20

Type: Paper and PDF

Price: £12 in paper form, £9.50 in PDF

Fabric: I bought 1.5m of this jersey knit from The Textile Centre at the Knitting& Stitching show but I can’t find it online unfortunately. I think its a relatively popular print because people have mentioned it at other stores but so far my hunt for it has proven unsuccessful (more on that later*).

Sizing and fit: It’s a boxy, oversized shape in theory and a super boxy and oversized shape in practice! There’s a lot of ease in there so consider that when choosing your size. I went with the size suggested and used my bodice block to check where the hemlines would hit on my body. I went for the split level hem with the back hem coming down to my hips. The length of the sleeves are HUGE on me. I mean huge. I wear them rolled up (which make it look like a cuff) but if they are unrolled they go way beyond my hands. Bit other than that, it’s the perfect fit!

Construction and instructions: The instructions are nice and clear with the trademark Tilly photos and its a really quick sew to make from start to finish. It really is a perfect beginners pattern.

Adaptations/hacks: No adaptations or hacks this time! Nada! Zilch. But the pattern itself has a great range of options- high neck, low neck, short sleeve, long sleeve, split level hem, level hem. 

Tips ‘n’ tricks: Again, I actually made it as is so don’t have much to add. If you go for a drapey knit you might want to stabilise the hems before you twin needle stitch them. If you don’t have anything to hand to stabilise the shoulders I’ve seen a few people mention that they just snip off the ribbons from their shop bought dresses and use those! (The ones used to help hang things on hangers.) Genius!

Overall: Like I said, I knew for sure this would be a prefect addition for my home wardrobe so I’m surprised by just how many times I’ve worn it out! I’ve mainly worn it over a jersey skirt but have plans to layer it over my black Cleo too.

I went for the high neck which, as well as being super cosy and warm, is really good for the hijab! I can wear it tucked in or even wear my hijab a bit looser and know my neck is covered. It’s a perfect neckline for those of you who might wear a turban style hijab but want more neck coverage.

I’ve got plans to make some more, especially keen on making one out of sweat shirt fabric. The only thing I would do next time is shorten up the sleeves.

*So why am I hunting for more of this fabric? Well I’m gonna blame baby brain for this one. But when I was cutting my sleeves I couldn’t decide on whether to cut them so the stripey pattern laid perpendicular to the main body or should match across. For some reason I didn’t take the easy way out and tried to match the big black stripe across the front and back. Unfortunately for me I forgot to flip the pattern piece (such a rookie mistake!) and ended up with the stripe matching beautifully up the right sleeve and the front but not long the left sleeve and vice-versa. So if you see me from one side it looks like I’ve done a decent job at pattern matching but front ways on it’s pretty obvious. It’s very much one of those things that no one (apart from say Patrick or Esme) would notice unless you point it out. But I know and it kinda drives me a little mad. But I shared my dilemma with everyone on Instagram and was reminded by so many people not to be so hard on myself. It’s easy to be bogged down by striving for perfection when actually we’re doing a lot better with our home sewn clothes than pretty much every item in the stores right now! The last dress I bought annoyingly has the lining peaking out from under the hem. How annoying is that?? So I haven’t fixed it. And I probably won’t. I might even wear it as a me-made badge of honour.

Have you got a sewing mistake you’ve embraced or did you go back and fix it?



P.s. How are you liking my sketches? I find its a really helpful way to visualise and plan a project and so far they’ve been pretty close to the real deal! My next project is going to be the leopard print Eloise because it looks so lush in drawing form!

2 replies on “Pattern Review: Nora

  1. This looks incredible! I love the entire look, and the fabric and pattern combination is so beautiful. After seeing this I’m really tempted to make one too! I really like your sketch as well.

    1. Thank you! It’s part of my “must wear more patterns” pledge! It’s a very quick and simple make 🙂

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