I first heard about Tilly and the Buttons last year, when Tilly was on the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Well, Tilly has a few sewing patterns out, all with French names and retro French style. I was particularly drawn to the Mathilde, since it has a back opening, like the Style Arc Robin. I ordered the paper pattern from Tilly’s website and it arrived within a week.
The pattern itself is printed on heavy paper, which I love, and it comes with a fully illustrated (in colour!) booklet.
The instructions are clear and thorough. The Mathilde is not particularly difficult to make, as it is not a fitted garment. The sizing is a bit different on these patterns, going from size 1 to size 8. I used size 4, for a 91,5cm (36 inches) bust, the only measurement that really matters for this blouse.
The Mathilde has a front yoke, six pin tucks on the front, a back button closure and sleeves gathered into a cuff. It is cute and feminine. Recommended fabrics are lawns and voiles. I used a cotton voile, described by Fabric Mart as “Deep periwinkle/navy/white/tan ikat print cotton voile”.
In this particular fabric, it is difficult to discern any of the lovely details of this pattern. It is, however, the perfect weight for this top. I will make other Mathildes in fabrics that will show off those details.
Without trying, I managed a pretty good pattern match on this fabric. Not perfect, but very close. It must be the inherent symmetry of the ikat technique!
I also made little crosses in the buttons when I sewed them on. There are seven buttons down the back, and I was thinking I may have to employ a dresser to put this top on. Not to worry! There is a lot of room in this top and it can be buttoned up and slipped over the head, as the neckline is a bateau. The only shaping is a bust dart in the front, so it presents no dressing issues for those of us without ladies-in-waiting.
Although I am not convinced that I will wear this particular blouse (I am really iffy on the fabric), I will definitely make the Mathilde again. It is a wearable piece and I need more tops! I have a few (read: several!) voiles and lawns that would work well as Mathilde blouses and I definitely plan on making more.