Tale of two Freya tops (Tilly and the Buttons)

Hello from very changing London. I am so confused with this weather and not sure what to put on in the morning as the temperature is ever changing. After making my last summer dress it got so cold that I had to put the heating back on in my flat…brrrr, hence I though why not make a couple of Freya tops. Some of you may think I’m crazy to make turtle neck tops in the summer, but hey, is it really a summer at this point????

I had in my stash two fabrics that I purchased some time this year with intention to try this pattern, so traced required pattern pieces and was good to go. If you aren’t familiar with the Freya, you must have had lived under the rock lately as it is all over the internet, but in short you can find this pattern in the book written by Tilly Walnes called “Stretch“.

I had received this book for free last year when I purchased a yearly subscription of “Love sewing” magazine and it has been sitting on my book shelf till now. The book contains 6 patterns with many variations and different levels of difficulty. The main aim of the book is to introduce and explain techniques and tips of sewing with knit fabrics that you can become comfortable handling this “difficult” material and expand your skills. There are lots of reviews of this book online, so go check it out if you haven’t done already.

Pattern alternation

Based on my bust and hips measurements I would have to use size 8, which normally I need to shorten due to having a petite frame. This time however I wanted to try something else so I traced size 6 on the top half of the pattern pieces- shoulders, neckline and armhole and blended to size 8 at the side seams. This automatically decreased the lenght of the bodice and I did not have to fuf around with adjusting the usual way. For the sleeves I followed the same approach- trace size 6 and blend it to size 8 at the seam. Other then that I had reduced the curve of the side seams because I do not have such a tiny waist.

I wanted to make a version with small turtleneck and 3/4 sleeves, so it took me around an hour to trace and cut all necessary pattern pieces.


For my first Freya I used organic cotton jersey fromFabworks Online. This was the first time that I bought anything from this store, and at the time they had a 35% sale on their organic knits section so I thought it would be good to try it and see the quality and type of fabric on offer. I got 1 meter of the Wide stripe jersey for £6.00 that just about manage to squeeze out first version. The lenght is about 3cm shorter due to having only a meter, but it is still ok for me. The fabric was easy to sew and press and in turn I have very comfortable and breathable top. I had washed it few times already I must say that it hold beautifully and does not bubble.

For my second version I used 1.5 meter of grey slinky ribbed knit fabric that I bought online from 1st for Fabrics for £6.00 a meter. They have a lovely quality pieces and I have two other materials from their shop that I will use in near future. This fabric has bigger percentage of stretch in comparison to my first version, but for this style it does not make much of a difference.

It took me about 30 minutes to cut each fabric and about 2 hours to sew an individual top, however the second one was quicker as I mainly used overlocker after testing the fit of the first make. Since then I reduced the seam allowance on all pattern pieces, because I am planning to make other versions or maybe a dress.

Final thoughts

This is very easy and quick project, that would be perfect for a begginer or someone who is scared of sewing with knits. Simplicity of Freya can be transformed into interesting and completely different styles due to growing number of hacks and options available online. This is going into my re-use again pattern stash.

~ have you made Freya yet?~

Monika xxx

Yet another simple hack -V neckline alternation on a dress

We are having a beautiful weather in London lately and it could be seen that the Spring is here in full swing….but wait a minute! I am not ready!!!! Time to make some dresses so I can swoosh around the town.

Hope you are ready for some pattern hacking? I will demonstrate this alternation using Honeycomb dress pattern by Cocowawa Crafts that I did sew along to last year, but you can adapt any top/dress pattern that has a button up front placket.

Hacking the pattern

We are altering a neckline on this dress so the only pattern piece that you will need to copy is the front bodice unless you are happy to cut your original one.

Measure desired lenght of your neckline drop (mine was around 13 cm) and draw a V shape up to first fold line. Cut along this new line.

To draft a facing for the new neckline start with coping the front piece at the neckline and centre front including placket.

Measure about 5 cm parallel to those lines smoothing any corners so you end up with a nice arch line.

Measure 1 cm from the second fold line and eliminate all the excess on both the front and facing pattern pieces.

On the front pattern mark a placement of a top buttonhole, around 2 cm from the edge (remember that you have a 1cm seam allowance so the neckline will become even lower) and adjust place of any following buttonholes if they don’t match with the pattern.

To draft a back neck facing draw a parallel line 5 cm from the back neckline and trace it of on a separate piece of paper including any necessary markings.

Tip: it is best to interface neckline facing to give some structure and reinforcement.

That is all for today!

~let me know if you need tutorial on how to sew it up~

Monika xxx