Freja dress sewalong - Part 1

Follow along step by step as I'm sewing the Freja dress.

Freja is my free PDF sewing pattern and also the first pattern I ever created. I have learned a lot since then and I have also extended my size range. Freja is now available in the complete Ploen Patterns size range (12 sizes). To celebrate this I thought it would be a great time to create a sewalong blog series. Let's go!

What you will need:

Freja dress PDF Pattern. 

♥ Fabric (You will need at least 1.75m, 1.9 yards). 


♥ Regular sewing machine

♥ Overlock/serger for finishing edges. You can also use the zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine. 

♥ Iron + point presser (optional). 

Suggested fabrics: medium weight woven fabrics such as chambray denim, cotton drill, gabardine, light canvas, light wool, linen, medium weight viscose/rayon.
If you choose a lighter weight fabric and don’t use any interfacing on the neckline it might lose its shape and don't stand up - which isn’t necessarily a problem - just another look. Use a smoother surface rather than a lot of structure for the belt to run smoothly through the loop.

My fabric: I'm using this fabric from Storrs London called Isabel Navy Multi for my Freja dress. In collaboration with them I am offering you a discount code for 20% off your purchase! How great is that? Use code PLOEN1 at checkout when buying any of their gorgeous cotton lawn fabrics!

Read through all the steps before you start! 

Choose a size using the guide. This design doesn’t require extremely perfect fit, so choose the size that is closest to your bust and hips. Waist is flexible. However I always suggest you make a toile before you cut in your fancy fabric. 

A toile is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected.

Print the pattern. Make sure your settings are set to “print to actual size”, “100%” or “true to scale”. Do not add “fit to paper”. In the pattern you will find a test square that is 5 * 5 cm (1.5 x 1.5"). Measure your printed square to ensure your printer didn’t scale your pattern! When you have printed your pattern assemble it like this layout.

PDF assemble the pages

PDF Pattern assemble


Now it’s time to cut or trace out your size. If you know you would like to try to make more than one size it’s a better idea to trace your size on tracing paper right from
the beginning. However if you know your size you can cut out and then should you still want to make another size further along the line you can print it out again! That’s the perks of a PDF pattern! Just make sure you don’t waste paper just to waste paper if you get me ;)

I chose to add pockets to this version of the Freja dress I'm making. I used the pocket pattern piece form my Vera dress pattern, you can find it here if you want to add pockets to your Freja too :)

You will need 4 pocket pieces (2 pairs). 

cut your size

Place your pattern on the fabric and pin it down making sure the grain line is right and there are no wrinkles underneath. Make sure everything is placed right before you cut! Then cut out fabric with seam allowance as follows: 1 cm or 3/8" around every piece. 

place pattern on fabric


EXCEPT the hem line. There you should add 5 cm or 2 inches to get the same look as in the FREJA dress illustration. You could add 1 cm here as well, but that would provide a different look to the garment. If you choose 5 cm remember to adjust the side line like this:

I chose to add a 2cm seam allowance to my version so I can do a double fold hem with a clean finish. 

add hem seam allowance


Mark your notches and seam lines if you’d like. I usually don’t mark my seam lines. Rather I make sure to cut the seam allowances very accurate and then just use my Pfiffikus (sewing gauge) as a guide. If you have been sewing for a while your eye might be trained to follow a specific measurement and you can do so without a guide. If you are a beginner it might be a good idea to mark your seam line. It’s up to you. 

seam allowance

Cut a few millimeters in to the fabric to mark dart notches and to mark center front, center back etc.

mark dart notches

mark center front

I mark the dart point with a pin. It doesn’t leave a mark like chalk or a pen

mark dart point with a pin

mark dart point with a pin

Then I put another pin to mark the dart point on the other side of the piece. 

mark the dart points with pins

Then fold the dart, match up the notches at the dart legs and pin. 

Draw or pin the seam line of the dart.

pin the dartmark the dart seam line

Sew bust darts and back darts. I like to put a pin at the dart point to mark it. Sew the darts on both shell bodice piece and lining piece. Press bust darts down and back darts towards center back.

sew the dartssew the dartspress bust dart down

Overlock/serge or zigzag short edges of the 4 waistband pieces. Press down and sew edges like this.

overlock waist piecefold waist pieces

Sew bodice shoulder seams on shell and lining pieces separately. Place front and back bodices right sides together. No need to overlock edges. There’s going to be one shell piece and one lining piece sewn together. It will look something like this:

place bodice right sides togethersew shoulder seambodice sewn together at shoulder seams

Press seam allowances apart:

press seam allowances apart at shoulder seam

You now have two identical bodices. Pin them right sides together. Measure the center front opening length (indicated on the pattern piece). Mark with a pin.

measure center front opening

Sew right sides together except side seams and waistline. Sew around armholes and neckline. No need to overlock or zigzag here either. Make sure shoulder seams match up.

sew around neckline and armholessew bodices right sides together

Neckline. Sew with half seam allowance into a point like this:

sew neckline point like this

sew neckline pointsew neckline point and cut

Cut seam allowances to reduce bulk and ensure a clean finish.

cut seam allowances

cut seam allowances to reduce bulk

cut curved seams

Then press the seam allowances open. For this step it’s great to have a point presser or tailor's anvil. 

press seam allowances using a pint presserpress seam allowances open using a point presser

Then you can turn the bodice to the right side (back pieces
goes through shoulders. Then press everything like you normally would.

turn bodice inside outturn bodiceturned bodice to the right side

That's it for Part 1. Go to Part 2.

The Freja Dress!

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