Monday, February 06, 2012

Pointed Yokes

Someone from Stitcher’s Guild asked if it was hard to make pointed yokes on a western shirt. The answer is no. They are actually the easiest of all the yoke designs I put on my shirts. So here we go.
For my husband’s shirts, I use Simplicity 5366 and I use only the back yoke. The front yoke is one I copied from a ready made shirt he owns. The front yokes on this shirt are too deep and can actually be used as a flap for the pocket.
To begin with, go to Pointed Yokes and down load both the front and back pointed yokes which are in pdf format. These are going to be you jumping off point to making yokes to fit your shirt pattern. You will notice the arm hole and the shoulder seam on the back yoke are not completely there. Don’t worry, you will fix that when you do your tracings.
For lady's shirts we have used this pattern.
The husky boys shirt is a basic pattern and we added length to the body and sleeves for our first go round. The size I am showing you is in a medium but you can over lay the yoke onto other sizes to change the size of yoke.
When I made the front yoke patterns, they fit a large man’s shirt and I had to skinny them down. I laid the body pattern pieces onto my yoke pattern lining up the front and center back as such. I took care to make sure I liked where the point was on the front, I moved things around making sure everythings was on the straight of the grain.
003                         004
I then (on an old pattern) traced the yoke right onto the body pattern pieces. That gave me my outline for the yoke. I then traced the yoke onto another piece of tissue paper using the neck, shoulders,front and back armholes and fold/center front of the pattern plus what I had traced onto the shirt. It was quite easy to do.
Onto the sewing:
Cut out all  your pattern pieces and put all aside but the front and back body and yoke pieces.
If you are adding darts to the body, do them first. Then sew the body of the shirts together at the shoulders wrong sides together and press the seams open. Set aside.
As I have an issue with getting 5/8” correctly folded under, I stitch it on the yoke fronts prior to sewing the yokes together. Only stitch the pointed parts using a long stitch.
Stitch the shoulder seams of the yokes right sides together and press the seams open.
Fold under the yoke points and press well. Remove basting stitches.
Turn over and put Steam-A-Seam or Heat-N-Bond (1/4” width) onto the seam near the folded part. Steam into position. I am using regular Steam-A-Seam but Ron Collins recommends light.
Pin the yoke onto the shirt. Line up the shoulder seams at both the neck and arm hole and pin into place. Then line up the fronts and pin into place. Smooth out the neckline area and pin into place. Finally do the pointed part and pin into place.
Remove the paper from the fusible webbing and steam it into place. No shifting of the yokes when you move it around to sew.
When you look at the inside of the shirt, there are no raw edges showing at the shoulder seams.
I use two different presser feet to top stitch. The first foot I use is the Left Edge Foot. I use a longer stitch and set the needle so it is –2.0 or very close to the edge of the yoke.
The second foot I use is the Edge foot. I set the needle to be 1/4” from the edge of the yoke and the stitch length is the same as the previous row of stitching.
You can do this without these feet using your regular sewing foot. I did it on one shirt and didn’t die doing it.
Give the yokes a good press and check the underside to see if the yokes fits at the neckline and the arm holes. If not, trim off the excess.
I always stay stitch the neckline 3/8” from the edge to keep the yoke and shirt bodies from shifting. Give a final press and you are ready to sew on the front button band.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Cuff Idea

 Karen from Stitchers Guild showed the cuff she used on the a shirt she recently made. She used Pamela Erny’s tutorial for a wrapped cuff that I am going to do on a shirt for the Spousal Unit someday. Where Pamela has stripes, I will  have the plain fabric; one front placket, inner collar band, sleeve placket, and the under cuff.