10.25.2009

easiest way to create a yoke

Yokes are great for adding drama to a dress, especially when there are so many fantastic fabrics to play with. Creating a yoke from a sloper or an existing basic bodice pattern is simple and quick. Here is one of the fastest, easiest way to make yourself a yoke dress pattern.

Before you begin, a couple of quick notes. The instructions and illustrations show just the front bodice but if you desire your yoke to continue around back just repeat the steps for the back bodice piece. If you are chosing to modify a commercial pattern that includes seam allowances, remember about those seam allowances where appropriate once your yoke is created (I'll talk more about this down further.)

Begin with your bodice sloper or commercial pattern bodice piece. Trace the sloper or pattern piece onto a piece of paper (you may only have a half bodice intended to be laid out on a fold - that's cool, just work with it as it is and cut out the yoke on a fold when it is time). Pull out a ruler (and french curve if you have) and measure the width of the shoulder. From several different points measure out from the neckline, marking the same distance as the width of the shoulder. When you connect the dots, you should have a yoke drawn around the neck.
Cut along the line to seperate the yoke from the bodice.

If you are using a commerical pattern with seam allowances included, either redraw the pieces on another piece of paper ADDING a seam allowance to the yoke and bodice portion just cut (blue line in illustrations) or make a note of it on your already existing bodice and yoke.
With a yoked bodice it's easy to eliminate the zippers or buttons in the front or back of a dress by by adding an overlap for snaps or buttons on the shoulders.
And that is that.
Make a practice version first with inexpensive fabric before you cut into the good stuff. You may want to make some modifications to the style once you've got your basic shape.
Sewing the yoke can be a bit tricky, depending on how your closures work. I will have come back again tomorrow and share my method of sewing yokes. Any questions you have I can also address next post. Until then :)

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Find out how to sew a yoke here.


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