Freya dressCotton: print, 1.80m; plain contrast, 40cmConcealed zip, 23cmHook and bar fasteningFreya tunicChiffon print, 1.20mContrast fabric, plain, 40cmConcealed zip, 23cmElastic, 1m (5mm wide)Hook and bar fastening
Sizes 8-18Cutting guideFreya DressFront and Back Dress: cut two on foldFront Yoke: cut two on foldBack Yoke: cut two on foldFreya TunicFront and Back Dress: cut two on fold and cut along line indicated on the pattern pieceFront Yoke: cut two on foldBack Yoke: cut two on fold
Sew a yoke dress
1 Download the Freya Collection pattern pack and print off the pieces you require; each page is numbered grid-wise to make identification easier. Cut out the pieces according to the cutting guide and transfer any markings.
2 Cut two 4cm x 30cm bias strips from the remaining fabric. The bias of a fabric is a 45º angle from the grain. Fold and press in 1cm on either side of the strips or use a bias binding tool.
3 Neaten the seams. Take the front and back dress pieces and neaten the edges of all the side seams by overlocking or with zigzag stitch. Join the seams, right sides together, working one from top to base; the other seam should be stitched from the bottom as far as the zip notch. Press the seam allowances open.
4 Insert the zip. Stitch the concealed zip into the side seam opening using a zip foot or a concealed zip foot. Fold and press the seam allowance along the two edges of the side opening. Open out the seam allowance and, with right sides together, place the opened zip face down, matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance. Pin in place. If you are using a concealed zip foot then place the teeth of the zip into the groove and as you stitch the foot will uncurl the teeth and the stitching will be placed right alongside them.
5 If you are stitching with a normal zip foot, you will need to uncurl the teeth with your fingertips; stitch from the top of the side seam. It is impossible to stitch to the end of a concealed zip so leave approximately 3cm of the zip base unstitched. Back stitch and then sew the other side of the zip in place. Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side at the base of the side seam and pull up to close. This seam becomes the left-hand side seam.
6 Attach the bias binding to the armholes. Open one side of one of the bias strips and position it, right sides together, around the inside of the right armhole, aligning the edge of the armhole with the edge of the bias strip. Pin in place and stitch along the fold line pressed into the bias strip. Next fold the strip over onto the wrong side of the armhole and position the remaining folded edge over the stitching line, pin and edge stitch in place by hand sandwiching the raw edge of the armhole inside the bias binding. Trim away any excess binding at the tops of the armholes.
7 For the left-hand armhole, cut the bias strip in half, stitch the two pieces in the same way as before leaving approximately 1cm protruding over the top of the zip ends. Fold these ends in after stitching the first row and then complete the process, folding and edge-stitching.
8 Gather across the front and back of dress. Adjust the stitch length of the machine to a wide, straight or gathering stitch. Make two lines of stitching close to one another between the two notches within the seam allowance. Pull up the threads until the top of the front and back dress pieces fit between the notches of the front and back yokes.
9 Stitch the yoke shoulder seams. Separate the yoke pieces, matching the front and back pieces together across the shoulder seams, pin,then stitch together. Press the seams open.
10 Stitch the two yokes together around the neckline. With right sides together, match the shoulder seams and the necklines together. Pin in place and stitch all the way around. Clip the seam allowance around the curved lines and press the seam allowance in one direction. Turn right sides out and stay stitch on top of the seam allowances on the right side of the fabric. This side will become the lining of the yoke and help the seam to roll inside the neckline.
11 Attach the front and back dress pieces to the front and back yoke pieces. Position the gathered top front dress between the notches on the right side of the front yoke. Pin, then stitch. Repeat the process attaching the back dress to the back yoke.
12 Stitch the lower edges of the yoke and yoke lining together. Carefully fold and press in 1.5cm along the lower edges of the outside yokes on either side of the gathered areas on the front and back dress. Fold and press 1.5cm around the lower edge of the lining yoke. Match the two folded edges of the yoke and yoke lining together, pin, then slip stitch the two edges together.
13 Neaten the base of the dress, then fold, press up and pin 3cm. Hand stitch the hem in place. Finally hand stitch a hook and bar fastening to the top of the zip.
Stitch a tunic top
1 Cut the pattern pieces required for the tunic, then follow steps 1-12 of the instructions for the Freya dress. Cut a piece of elastic that fits comfortably around your waist very slightly stretched. Pin the elastic along the line indicated on the front and back pattern piece, evenly stretching it as you pin. Machine stitch through the centre of the elastic.
2 Make a small machine stitched roll hem at the base of the top. Finally hand stitch a hook and bar fastening to the top of the zip.