Freya Shirt: Tilly and the Buttons

I could not wait to make this top! I bought the Tilly's Stretch book a while back and have been wanting to make this for so long! It turned out way cuter and more retro than I could have imagined! I am in love! I am just going to restart That 70's Show and wear this shirt day one!

I am going to go through how to make this a ruffled Freya which is done VERY well in the book! This blog will hopefully give you some extra help if you need it, but you definitely need her Stretch book to make this top!


I will briefly discuss:

-fabric choice
-pattern layout
-pattern construction
-pattern fit
-styling your garment

Fabric choice:

I couldn’t decide on the fabric for this garment. I had read in the book that the recommendations included thicker knits, such as Ponte, sweater knit, French Terry etc. Then, I saw this fabric and I call it a fabric/pattern epiphany or lightbulb moment but when I saw this laying in my stash, I was like ummm yes! This retro knit is from Girl Charlee. The name was Mustard Burgundy Retro Multi stripe cotton spandex. It was 60 inches wide and I ordered 2 yards which was definitely enough. I was nervous picking a thin cotton knit for the pattern, but I decided to try it! It turned out wonderfully! The only difference I could notice was that the thicker knits would have held the shape of the pleats/ruffles a bit better! However, I really like how mine turned out!



I didn’t make any new modifications, but I did do the ruffle addition as explained in the book! It is important to add the ruffle on before you close the underarm and side seams just as it is pictured in the book on page 113.

Brace yourself because this section can be a little confusing and there is lots of math! I love science and math but some don't! I tried to explain it the best I could. My brain is always on a different wavelength as other people, sooooooo good luck! Please write me with questions or reach me on instagram!


You need to measure out the path that your ruffle will take over the whole front and back of the shirt and multiply this times 2! This is because you want to add a ruffle and need doublet the amount. I was wanting to cut out all of my fabric and notions before I started assembling the shirt. So, what I did was measure the approximate distance on the front and back pattern piece. It was approximately 10 inches on the front and back. This is not how she does it in the book! It’s the lazy way!

This is only half of the back and front because they are cut on the fold. So I doubled those measurements and then doubled again because you are doing pleats! Does this make sense? The amount for the front of the shirt is 20 inches and for the back it is 20 inches. However, you have to double this amount to have ruffles (20+20=40 x 2= 80).

I essentially wanted to make this very easy on myself so I used my 18x3 inch ruler. I knew I would need 2 long pieces that were 40 inches (10 (half the pattern piece) x2=20 and then doubled =40 for the front) and 40 inches for the back sewn together (total of 80 as stated above). Well this is all just an estimate so I wanted it to be easy! So, I used my 18 inch ruler and measured two lengths of it to make a 36 inch long piece and another 36 inch long piece (both 3 inches wide). I cut my pieces to travel along the grain or parallel to the selvage, because I wanted the stripes to be perpendicular to the shirt (90 degree angle). I only chose to cut 2- 36 inch pieces because I didn't not have enough fabric to cut a piece 80 (or 72) inches long! I didn’t sew both short edges together make a continuous circle because I didn’t know if I would have too long of a piece to go around the shirt. I thought if I had too much at the end, I could cut off the excess. I also marked the middle of the shirt front and back with a pin. I separated the long piece into 4 and marked those areas with a pin. I also noted how low I wanted the ruffles to go. And marked this.


This is NOT an exact science and I ended up using more fabric in the front so my ruffles don’t travel as far down in the back. I folded the pieces under as recommended by the book on the free ends. This, however, left the pieces disconnected and I didn’t not like that. So I flipped the ruffle over and zigzag stitched it together.


The next image is the underside of this seam.


I just eyeballed the ruffles and did the best I could! I tried the shirt on multiple times to make sure they were falling where I wanted them too. You haven’t sewn the side seams yet but you can tell what the finished product will look like on the front.

When you cut out your two long pieces, you had to sew them together, to make one long piece and this seam does not have to land on the opposite shoulder exactly, I hid this seam in one of my ruffles because it didn’t quite make it there!

Pattern layout:

This is very simple and straightforward. I didn’t change any of the layout and the fabric requirements were appropriate!


Pattern construction:

So easy and quick! I appreciate the detailed instructions and I like how everything is done! Just a quick note when I hemmed the bodice, I made sure to fold along the same stripe all the way around.


Pattern fit:

I made my size appropriate to the measurements and it turned out wonderfully! Leave it to Tilly to be awesome!


Styling your garment:

This garment gives me major 70’s vibes! I love the play on stripes and the pattern contrast. I absolutely love the colors! I may wear this under my burnside bibs and well as with skinny jeans. I think it will look fabulous with my lander pants! I think wide leg or bell bottom pants would look awesome such as my culottes!! Corduroy is the best!


Shirt: Tilly and the Buttons Freya from the book Stretch with an added ruffle

Fabric: Girl Charlee, Mustard Burgundy Retro Multi stripe cotton spandex.

Pants: Heron Culottes by Afternoon Patterns made in Italian Stretch Corduroy from Sewing Studio. See previous blog post about these culottes!

Hat: Disney World; Epcot, Paris Pavilion.

Socks: Anthropologie

Shoes: L'Artiste

Victoria SmithComment