The Freya Top From TATB Sewing Pattern Review

Caley Vitella
by Caley Vitella
4 Materials
3 Hours

Today I am beyond excited to share my very first knit sewing project - the Freya top from the Tilly and the Buttons book Stretch!

Sewing with knits is something that I’ve literally been telling myself I want to try while simultaneously dreading for the past year now, and I decided to finally bite the bullet since this pattern was absolutely perfect for my Sabrina look. I learned so much from this project, and I picked up a couple of helpful tips and tricks along the way!

I don’t have a serger/overlocker, so I made this on my standard sewing machine using a zig-zag stitch. This was ultimately the biggest source of my fear since I had no idea how my machine would handle stretch fabric. I used a bamboo rib knit that had a decent amount of stretch and directional lines (the ribs), so I was very nervous about uneven feed causing rippling or distortion. BUT- I will say that the book has SO MANY helpful tips for sewing knit fabrics on any machine, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much a good pressing with the iron really helped out. In some cases, there was a distinct night and day difference between how my seams looked after they were pressed.

I also made sure to do a few test stitches on a scrap piece of my fabric before going for it on my pattern. I didn’t end up needing to adjust my thread tension at all, but I did mess around a bit with the spacing of my stitches and the tightness of the zig-zag. I also tested pressing here to see what I could get away with, so I would highly recommend trying that on your test swatches as well!

Although I didn’t run into too many headaches with this make (can I get an “AMEN”?!), I immediately realized that I would need to add 2 things to my sewing supply stash for future knit projects. The first being a walking foot for my machine. The feed was definitely uneven between my fabric pieces when sewing, and that caused wobbly seams that a walking foot would have solved. The other is fabric clips. The pins I used to secure my fabric didn’t damage it or leave tiny holes, thankfully, but using them did distort my fabric, making it a bit bumpy and uneven. I think the fabric clips would have gone a long way in helping my project to lay flat for a cleaner finish.

My biggest struggle with the pattern was the neckband. My first attempt went in great, but was way too big and stuck out. I unpicked it and took off about an inch from the neck. Then I just could not get it back in after that. I think I ended up unpicking and resewing it about 5 or 6 times. This tutorial on Tilly’s IG helped a lot, but it was still tricky. I’m not too mad at it though, because I know my biggest obstacle was the learning curve from never having done it before. I know the more I do it, the easier it will get, so I haven’t sworn off knits, yet!

I also ended up taking about an inch out of the sleeve width and length as well since they were just slightly too big and long. Looking back, I’ll probably sew a size down next time and just do a full bust adjustment, since the size 5 fits perfectly in my bust, but is baggy everywhere else (my measurements are below if you’re curious). This top is incredibly comfortable and easy to move in as is it, so although I would prefer a size down, I have no problems with the roomy fit.

Have you tried sewing with knits yet? If you have, what’s your favorite knit sewing pattern? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to get some suggestions for my next project!

Happy making




PATTERN: The Freya Sweater + Dress from  Tilly and the Buttons book Stretch

FABRIC:  Bamboo Rib Knit in the color Redwood from  Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics

SIZE: I made a size 5 based on my measurements, but would size down with a full bust adjustment in the future:

  • Bust: 38”
  • W: 31″
  • H: 40″
  • Height: 5’4″


  • Took 1 inch out of the neckband and sleeves.
  • Shortened sleeves by 1 inch


  • I should probably get a walking foot and clips for future knit projects
  • Test pressing your fabric as well as sewing machine settings to get the full effect
  • Show no fear and you’ll do great

Suggested materials:
  • Ribbed Knit Fabric   (Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics)
  • Walking Foot   (JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Ballpoint Sewing Machine Needle   (JoAnn Fabrics)
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