Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in Liberty Silk

Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in Liberty Silk

This is one of the first patterns I ever bought....I even took it along to the Knitting and Stitching show to get Tilly to sign it! Somehow though it's taken me three years to make it - perhaps I needed confidence in making the adjustments that would suit my style, or that I needed to find the right fabric. In the end I went all out, because this one is in a Liberty silk that I adore. Mathilde is a loose fitting blouse, with a yoke, pleated front, button up back and billowy sleeves. The dexterity required for a button up back is beyond my capabilities, so I altered mine to feature no closures.

Sew Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in sheer or delicate fabric


Liberty silk...eek! I bought this on a visit to the store -I happened to be in London and had to stop by. I was not meant to be buying fabric, and certainly not Liberty silk. But there you go. I got 1.5m for £45. I fell in love with the design on it though, so what's a girl to do?
I think the fact that it did cost a bit is why I haven't used this fabric for a while. I was a little scared to cut into it and figure out half way through I was making a mistake, but the time eventually did come when it had to be done.
It didn't fray too much and ironed well but was super slippery. I used all my own advice on this one (from tips for working with sheer fabrics): I cut it out flat, reflecting any pieces marked on the fold; I used a very sharp, new needle; I used a walking foot; and I used french seams. It even behaved itself a little when I was ironing it into bias tape, which was nice!

Pattern and Instructions

I bought the printed version of this pattern. I've had a look on Tilly's website recently and can only see a digital version available though. Some suppliers might still have printed if you prefer it. I do like having a printed pattern as it's easier for a start, but also a nice package to come to. Tilly's patterns come in expanding envelopes, with beautifully printed colour booklets of instructions. The pattern is printed on more durable paper than most other tissue patterns, which means it stands up to multiple uses. (I cut straight into mine though, because I'm lazy and impatient, and a selfish sewist).

Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in Liberty Silk

I cut a size 4, which usually corresponds to my body measurements. Often a size 4 is a little too large, but given that I was missing out the buttons, and it's a loose fitting top, I went with it anyway. The instructions themselves are really helpful, and guide you through a lot of skills - if it is your first time sewing French seams, this will become your go to guide. you won't fail. I found the photographs helped a lot, and appreciated it when it came to sewing the pleats. It wasn't a difficult make, but did require a fair amount of concentration to get things like the pleats done well. I wouldn't advise this for a complete beginner because of the seams, pleats, sleeves and buttons, but these skills could be tackled by anyone new to them (with a little experience) due to Tilly's thorough instructions.

Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in Liberty Silk sheer fabric


Some alterations came from the sheer fabric that I had chosen to work with. I switched facings for a bias binding made from the same silk fabric, and double up the yoke piece to add opacity to this panel. The pleats add enough opacity down the front to wear with a vest, but because the fabric is quite sheer, the seams do stand out. I used techniques similar to those that I used for my Camas, Alex and Kalle shirts to add this in so that all the seams were enclosed (basically sandwiching the main bodice in between the two yoke pieces, then sewing the seam closed).

The bias strips were not without difficulty! I cut them on a 45 degree angle, and fed them through a bias tape maker and iron. They needed a few goes before they would stay in shape! I also decided not to interface the cuffs as I thought it might make them too stiff, and this is a very drapey material. I think they worked out fine and are holding up for wear.

Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse alterations

I also omitted the back buttons on this top. I folded back the button stands on the back bodice pieces when I was cutting out, making sure I'd still have a 1.5 cm seam allowance. I finished the centre back edge with my narrow rolled hem foot, then stitched the two pieces together. Initially I thought I'd need to leave a bit open at the neckline and secure with a hook and eye, but the neck is wide enough for me to get it on sewn completely to the top. (In the photo below you can see that I had to undo my very secure fastenings when I realised this!)

Next time - I might consider the length of the sleeves. normally I love a 3/4 length sleeve, but because they are so full, they kind of feel they should be longer or elbow length when I'm wearing it.

Tilly and The Buttons Mathilde Blouse in Liberty Silk with no button up back


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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