Meet Nell - the newest pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the Nell pattern by Tilly and the Buttons when I was at the Stitch Festival earlier in the year, when I managed to have a chat with Tilly. And now it's here it really doesn't disappoint. Nell is an easy-to-wear style - it's a relaxed fit and there are bags of options for customising. You can choose from 4 different lengths - top, peplum, knee-length and midi-length dress - as well as 4 different sleeve types - bracelet length, short sleeve, flutter sleeves and puffball. Plus you can choose a traditional buttoned-up front or go for hidden poppers with faux ties. The latter style definitely has a Ganni-vibe but with less risk off flashing any skin.

I decided to jump straight into the pattern as soon as it arrived as I want to wear it to the Thread Festival in a few days time. I was completely taken with the puffball sleeve the moment I saw it, so I knew that would be option for me. In order to make the puffball work, I needed a fabric that had a bit of structure to it but isn't stiff. So I chose our Superbloom cotton poplin in the green colourway.

The pattern itself is well-written as you would expect from a Tilly & the Buttons pattern. If I had one niggle it would be that because there are so many options I wasn't sure exactly which pattern pieces I needed for my option as I didn't want to trace and cut more than I needed. But I got there in the end.

The blouse itself is very straight-forward in construction - if you have a couple of makes under your belt it's definitely not hard. The biggest learning curve for me was the puffball sleeve. This is formed in two pieces: the first outer sleeve is large and has gathers at the sleeve head and also the hem. The inner sleeve is smaller and effectively pulls in the outer sleeve to create the puff shape. It's just like the bubble hem skirts of the 80's. You need to be accurate for attaching the inner sleeve to the sleeve head but otherwise it went together straightforwardly.

The faux ties are formed by strips of fabric which are sewn shut and then attached to the outside of the placket in the centre of the blouse. Don't do what I did and hand sew the poppers on backwards. What a twit!!

So all in all I'm delighted with my blouse and I'm very excited to wear it at the Threads Festival this weekend. I'm temped to make a drapier version of Nell next time, possibly as a midi-length dress for holidays. I think a linen/viscose blend would work perfectly for the shape and it'll make a great everyday option.

Happy sewing

Tanya xx