Georgina's Leopard Print Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

Sew… I’m back as part of the new Sew Me Sunshine blogger team, yay! My first project is using this amazing on trend pink leopard print jersey and it’s been super popular and has already sold out! Keep reading until the end and I will suggest some other amazing Sew Me Sunshine fabrics you can use as alternatives.

I’m definitely out of the “make all the pretty summer dresses” phase of my sewing journey and have been concentrating on a more practical me made wardrobe. I was really drawn to the new(ish) Tilly and the Buttons patterns; Ness and Nora. I’ve already made them both, check out my Instagram to see my Sew Me Sunshine stretch cotton leopard print Ness skirt. The Nora top definitely has potential but some alterations were needed after my first attempt. I’m fully aware this is an oversized top but it felt too oversized on me and kind of drowned me.

I’m not going to go into the construction as we all know Tilly’s instructions are the best but I will tell you about the alterations I made. First up the neck. Due to my (very) large bust I find high constricting necklines unflattering. I didn’t want it too low though as I still wanted the casual t-shirt look so just increased the neckline all the way around by one inch. Just remember to increase the size of your neckband when altering the neckline. I definitely prefer this neckline so this will be an alteration I do on future Nora’s because there will be more.

I found the sleeves so so so so long and had to shorten them by a massive 5 ½ inch. They were also very oversized so to remove some of the excess I graded them down to two sizes smaller at the wrist.

There was lots of excess fabric in the back bodice but I found the front was fitting ok. I didn’t want to have to work out how to do an FBA so I cut the back bodice piece two sizes smaller. If you do this you will have to make sure the shoulders and side seams match up.

And ta-dah my much preferred version of the Nora. Oh but ignore the centre back seam, I went for a random cutting out plan and couldn’t get it to fit on the fold. If you can’t fit all your pieces on the fold then you can add a centre back seam easily but remember to add the seam allowance to each piece.


I know the fabric has sold out but I just want to say its amazing! Its described by Harriet as a lightweight polyester jersey with a 40% crosswise stretch. Its so soft and hardly needs any ironing which is a bonus! It was lovely to sew with both on a regular sewing machine and overlocker. It didn’t curl at the edges and didn’t slip or stretch whilst sewing. 

Here’s some other Sew Me Sunshine jerseys which you could make a Nora out of:

Leopard mustard yellow jersey.

Crosshatch berry jersey.

Evelyn organic jersey.

Italian orange marl fleeced back jersey

I was provided this fabric free of charge in exchange I wrote this blog post. I chose the fabric, and chose what pattern to use. 


  • Hi – this is a great post. My Nora was also massive on the back but fine on the front. What do you mean when you say cut the back smaller but make sure the side seams match up?! Think I will try that for my next one x

  • Lovely to hear about what alterations you made as I also have a large bust. Great fabric choice it suits you x

  • I love your fabric choice and you’re so good with your alterations – it’s so cute and flattering now!

    Joy Margot

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