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Tilly and The Buttons Freya Dress with a Gathered Skirt Hack

Hi All! I’m Sally of The Yorkshire Sewist showing you my latest make on the Minerva Crafts blog.

Today, I’ve reviewing this beauty of a Fabric! It’s a beautiful floral print that is primarily navy blue in colour with highlights of the flowers in white/cream.

This Ponte Roma Jersey Knit has a beautifully soft finish and is an excellent quality fabric, it’s made from a blend of polyester and rayon fibres. Did you know that Ponte Roma is an easy jersey to sew as its quite stable and behaves even with my Mr Singer (Quantum Stylist 9960 has issues with some jersey’s with eating it!!) so perfect for beginners to try their hand at sewing with knits. It is a steal at just a mere £9.99 per metre as it is such fantastic quality and is 60.8” wide!

I have recently purchased Tilly and the Buttons Book Stretch! It’s such a fantastic book covering everything of how to get you started with sewing with knit fabrics and even if you are experienced in taming Knit fabrics, there is plenty of hacks of the patterns for you to try out and that’s what I’ll be showing you today!

I’ve made the Freya Dress with a gathered skirt instead on the A-line as I find a gathered skirt is more flattering!

So when you come to tracing out your pattern pieces, you only need to trace the Front and Back Bodice – stopping at the Waist notch and drawing horizontal line to complete the Pattern Pieces.

Don’t forget to trace out your mock turtle neck band too!

Sew your Bodice together following the instructions. 

Now we’re going to cut two rectangles of fabric to make the skirt.Working out the width of each rectangle isn’t an exact science – it depends on how gathered you want the skirt to be. As a guide, I used 1.5 x your hip measurement for the full width of the skirt, so half of that for each of the two rectangles. I worked mine out to be 34 1/4” for the width which included as Seam allowance of 1.5cm.

The length of each rectangle should be the length you want your skirt to be from where it joins the bodice to the hem + 15mm (5/8in) seam allowance + 20mm (3/4in) hem allowance. So I worked my length to be at 22” as I am only short.

Cut two rectangles to this size, making sure the sides run parallel to the straight grain of the fabric so it isn’t twisted. Fold each piece in half widthways and snip a notch at the top of the fold to mark the centre.

Sew the rectangles together at the side seams. Press the seam allowances open.

Fold the Freya Bodice in half too and snip notches at the bottom of each fold to mark the centre. These notches will help us join the pieces together later on.

Cut a piece of elastic (the strong but really stretchy kind used for lingerie is ideal) the same length you want your final gathered edge to be. I worked this out to be the width of my bodice x 2 to include the front and back bodice width. I also split by elastic into 4 so that the elastic will be equalled spaced all the way round and I pinned the points to the sides and the middle of the skirt. Anchor the end of the elastic to your fabric by stitching and backstitching a couple of times. I used zig zag 2.5 stitch length and width to secure the elastic. 

Stretch the elastic towards you as far as it will go and carefully stitch, firmly holding the fabric from the back and feeding it through from the front. It's a good idea to practice with some scraps as it can be a little tricky at first getting the stretched elastic and fabric to go through the machine smoothly - but it's pretty easy to get the hang of... and so worth it!

Hem the skirt, I found that a double hem worked a treat of keeping the hem down as I find with other jerseys that if you just turn over once it has a nasty habit of flipping to the outside of your garment which isn’t a good look!

Hey presto Tilly and The Buttons Freya with a Gathered Skirt hack!

Hope you found my tutorial helpful!

Sal @ The Yorkshire Sewist

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