Subscribers free pattern – Sleeveless deep frill top – How to make:

This month’s free newsletter subscribers pattern is an adaptation to the first basic boxy pattern. With Spring in the air the simple addition of a deep frill adds a new feature to the simple shape perfect for warmer weather.

The basic boxy top pattern and all other variations are free to newsletter subscribers, details for how to access the patterns are published in the newsletter each month.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

Body measurement size chart

Fabric requirements:

This sleeveless deep frill top will work in a variety of fabrics including cotton lawn and cotton poplin for a crisp boxy look. It  would also work in softer fabrics like double gauze for a more relaxed look. I used craft weight cotton for this version.

Use the fabric quantities from the basic sleeveless version, allow approx 25cm extra for the frill for sizes 14 and under on fabrics 150cm wide and an extra 50cm for larger sizes or 112cm wide fabric.

To Cut:

Use pieces A, B. D and E from the first pattern cut 1 each on the fold.

Cut 2 frills – see notes below for sizing.


You can alter the proportions of the body length and frill as you like, this may affect the amount of fabric required. For this version I shortened the bodice pieces by 18cm. This can be done by simply evenly cutting this amount off the bottom of the pattern.

Cut a rectangle for the frill – for this version I cut two pieces to make the frill measuring 21cm x 75cm I made a size 14 top (this includes seam allowances).

You can work on 1.5 x the width of the hem edge as a basic measurement for the frill length and cut 2 rectangles.

How to make:

The seam allowance is 1.5cm unless otherwise stated.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

1.Turn and press the seam allowance at the shoulder edges of the facing pieces on both front and back facing pieces. With RST (right sides together) and raw edges matched pin the front facing to the front bodice piece at neck edge and armhole edges. Keep the pressed shoulder seam allowance pressed downwards as shown. Do the same with the back facing piece and back bodice.Tip – Try to be as accurate as possible with measuring the seam allowance as this will make the next stages easier.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

2. Stitch the neck edge and the armhole as pinned on front bodice and then do the same on back bodice. Reinforce the start and finish of each seam with backward stitch. Trim and clip seams. Before moving on to the next stage lay the front and back shoulder seams together to check they match. If they don’t match you can re-stitch a new line to get a better match. It is worth tweaking this to be accurate for a neat shoulder seam.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

3. Turn the front and back pieces to the right side. Neaten the lower edge of the facing. If you have an overlocker you can simply overlock this edge. If not zig zag stitch or turn a 2-3mm turning and stitching with a straight stitch are good alternatives.

4. With the outer right sides together pin the shoulder seams together.

This is where a good match will pay off. Its not to late to turn it back and tweak the seam if its not a good match.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

5.Take care to keep the inner folded seam allowance clear, stitch the shoulder seams. Reinforce well at the start and finish of each shoulder seam. Lay the top flat and press the shoulder seam open. Allow the pressed facing seam allowance to close over the shoulder seam. Discreetly slip stitch the back and front facing seam allowance together.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

6. With RST pin the side seams together. Open out the facing so you can start from the facing edge and stitch all the way to the lower hem edge of the top. Neaten raw edges.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

7. Press the seams open. Hand stitch the facing discreetly to the seam, ensure the stitches attach only to the seam not all the way through.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

8. Make the frill –

With RST pin and stitch the short edges together, neaten raw edges. Sew two rows of long gather stitches at one long edge starting and finishing at each side seam.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

9. Before you start to gather the frill mark the centre of the front and back and also mark the centres on the bodice pieces.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

10. Pin the frill to the top at the centre front and back, gently draw the gather threads until the frill fits the bodice edge. Ease the gather threads so they are even within the space and pin. Stitch and neaten the raw edge.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

11. Turn and press a narrow double turned hem to finish.

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

Bobbins and buttons free sewing pattern

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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