Making the Nora top with a twist!

Did someone say dress making with a personalised touch?

Introducing my new favourite me-made project to date!

I have been so incredibly excited to tell you about my most recent make. I have been creating more and more sewing projects recently from cropping jackets to now making our first t-shirt in the HappyFabric studio.

I had been eyeing up the Tilly and Buttons new fabric collection for a while now and I finally made a decision on three fabric designs. Yes, it took a lot for me to choose my top three, as I love them all. My plan was to make a simple t-shirt that I could make in a few hours to get back into sewing again as I haven’t made a garment since leaving university.

We were kindly gifted the Tilly and the Buttons ‘Nora’ pattern (everything used is linked in the tutorial section of this post) and I chose to create the long hem, narrow neckband and short sleeve version. The pattern also has many other elements where you could add a high neckband, long or elbow length sleeves. It is the perfect pattern to get started on with such a versatile style. Sewing this was the best thing I could have done as it has definitely given me the confidence to push myself further to sew more. Plus, how amazing would it be to personalise your own me-made outfit with your own design?

I particularly liked this Rainbow Breton black cotton jersey as the pastel colours are my absolute favourite and I had a vision in my head to create a retro style slogan across the top in our vinyl. As I was planning I realised that some of our BRAND NEW COLOURS worked gorgeously against the fabric and I just fell in love, what a happy(Fabric) accident.


You will need:

-Tilly Buttons ‘Nora’ pattern

-Rainbow Breton black cotton jersey


You will need:

-HappyGlitter: NEW Watermelon, NEW Pale yellow

-HappyFlock: NEW Mint

-HappyFlex: Pastel Purple, Light Blue

-Vinyl cutting machine such as Silhouette Cameo OR Scissors

-Heat press/ Iron

-Greaseproof paper

Included within the Nora pattern are easy to follow instructions to make your T-shirt. Once you have sewn this together you are ready to add your design.

Cutting the design:

Step 1:

Use a cutting machine to cut your design out into the back (non shiny side) of the vinyl. We have chosen to curve our font and cut a variety of coloured vinyls to layer with.

Tip: Remember to reverse your design before cutting.

Alternatively you could draw onto the back of the vinyl (non shiny side) and cut your design out by hand.

Tip: Use a stencil to draw around onto the back of the vinyl – remember to reverse the design and make sure all pen marks have been cut off.

Step 2:

If you have used a cutting machine weed out your design- taking the access vinyl away to reveal your design.

Layering the design:

Step 3:

Pre- press your t-shirt to eliminate all creases and moisture from the fabric.

Step 4:

Lay your first layer onto the top shiny side up. We used the stripes of the fabric to line up our wording and measured either side to make sure it was central.

Step 5:

Press for 10 seconds on the 150 degree (2 dot setting) with greaseproof paper on top.

Step 6:

Once cool to touch peel the plastic carrier off of the vinyl to reveal your design.

Step 7: Repeat steps 4-6 using the black vinyl lettering, for this effect we staggered the black over the white to create a shadowing effect.

Step 8:

Place each letter on top of the outlined lettering (in white and black) shiny side up. We placed them so that black and white lines could be seen for a highlighted and shadow effect. This is something new we hadn’t tried before and it works so effectively.

Step 9: Peel the plastic carrier off of each letter once cool to touch (the glitter can be peeled while warm).

Step 10:

Give your design a final press for 10 seconds across the top with greaseproof paper on top- This is a must as without the paper on top this will melt the vinyl!

You now have a completed rainbow top full of gorgeous colours of the retro rainbow, woohoo!

Now wear it with your favourite jeans or a skirt for a dressy feel.

Lots of love, Hayley x

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