Tilly and the Buttons

Tilly and the Buttons Nell Blouse and Dress

Regular price £14.00 GBP
Sale price £14.00 GBP Regular price £14.00

We print out the A0 pattern sheets, but you’ll need to download the digital instructions, as we don’t print these. The PDF files will be emailed immediately after purchase, and the printed A0 pattern sheets will be dispatched next working day.

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Buy the Nell Blouse and Dress sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. Meet your new favourite sewing pattern! Nell is a timeless, easy-to-wear blouse and dress that will be on regular rotation in your wardrobe. Simple to sew, this mix ‘n’ match pattern includes four blouse and dress options and four sleeve styles to choose from, plus optional patch pockets and the choice of a button-front style or on-trend tie opening. The only question is which version will you make first?

– Straight blouse, peplum blouse, or knee-length or midi-length gathered dress
– Relaxed fit bodice with bust darts
– V neckline finished with a facing
– Choice of a button-front opening or faux bow ties with hidden snaps
– Four sleeve options: short and straight, bracelet-length, flutter, or lined puffball
– Optional patch pockets on the bodice or skirt

This sewing pattern is available to buy in the following formats:

– PAPER (next working day dispatch on orders and FREE UK delivery over £50)

– PDF (available to download immediately after purchase). What is a PDF?

– PDF pattern + Printed A0 copy shop (We print out the A0 pattern sheets, but you’ll need to download the digital instructions, as we don’t print these. The PDF files will be emailed immediately after purchase, and the A0 pattern sheets will be dispatched next working day). What is Copy Shop?

Suggested fabrics: Light- to medium-weight woven fabrics such as cotton lawn, poplin, chambray, flannel, linen blends, Tencel (lyocell), viscose (rayon). For the puffball sleeve, choose a fabric with body that will hold its shape. The straight sleeve dress could also be made in needlecord or lighter-weight denim.

Fabric requirements: Quantities given are for puffball and bracelet sleeve. See note in chart for other sleeve variations.

140 cm (56″) wide fabric: Straight blouse, 1.8 – 2.6 m (2 – 2 7/8 yd) // Peplum blouse, 1.8 – 2.7 m (2 – 3 yd) // Knee-length dress, 2.4 – 3.3 m (2 5/8 – 3 5/8 yd) // Midi dress, 2.9 – 3.8 m (3 1/4 – 4 1/8 yd).

115 cm (45″) wide fabric: Straight blouse, 2.2 – 2.7 m (2 1/2 – 3 yd) // Peplum blouse (sizes 1-12 only), 2.2 – 3 m (2 1/2 – 3 1/4 yd) // Knee-length dress (sizes 1-12 only), 2.8 – 3.9 m (3 1/8 – 4 1/4 yd) // Midi dress (sizes 1-12 only), 3.3 – 4.6 m (3 5/8 – 5 yd).

Sizing: UK 6 – 34. Please check the designer’s size chart and finished garment measurements.

Notions: 0.9 m (1 yd) iron-on interfacing (similar weight to your fabric); 10-15 mm (3/8″-5/8″) wide buttons (or sew-on snaps for faux tie versions): 6 for straight blouse, 7 for peplum blouse, 10 for knee-length dress, or 11 for midi dress.

PDF pattern includes: Step-by-step instructions; A4/US letter print-at-home pattern (49 pages); A0 copy shop pattern (3 sheets) // Layers: Yes // Projector file: No.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Tanya Brooman
You had me at puffball sleeves!!

The moment I saw the puffball sleeves of the Nell top/dress I was sold! 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 as well as 4 different sleeve types, plus there is an option of 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 went for the puffball sleeves, top length and with the faux ties.

I decided to jump straight into the pattern and cut a size 4 and made no modifications as I know that Tilly patterns fit my shape well. 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. I'm tempted 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


(You can read my blog here )