Sunday, October 9, 2011

Time for a PlayDate?

I love this dress. and the yoke is so simple to do

PlayDate dress by oliver+s in Modern WorkShop
A dear friend recently had a baby girl,Lidia has grown out of hers and I had a very sweet request for a tutorial.....three excellent reasons to do some sewing!

Sewing the Yoke

Fold,press and sew the button loops.

If you sew them on tissue paper there is less chance of your machine ''eating'' them(oliver+s tip) and sew with a smaller stitch length for a neat finish((Clever Charlotte tip).

Transfer the markings and pin the yoke backs to the yoke fronts.
Sew both sets,yoke top and yoke lining.

The sewn yoke(you will have two)

To help sew a very smooth curve I like to trim even the tiniest excess seam overhang.

Following the instructions fold and press the back yoke seam to the inside on both pieces.

Pin the yoke right sides together.
I like to pin the seams and centre front first.

Remember when stitching the outside seam start and finish sewing at the transferred dots!
Note,if your child has a bigger head,stitch  a larger seam allowance around the neck.
It can also help to draw the stitching line with chalk.

This bit is left unstitched!

After sewing give it a good press.

Trim the seams from the marking dots.

Consider reversing a few times at the shoulders seams....this seam can loosen with repeated ''tugging'' over the head.

Stitched and trimmed.
Ready to turn through.

Pull the yoke through gently!

Roll the seams under your fingers to get a nice curve. When you are happy with seam press well.

At the centre back yoke fold the unstitched seam allowance up.
Take your time and be accurate. You want a gentle curve not a straight line.

When you are happy with the finish press well.
These folds will be your sewing guides when completing the yoke.

Following the pattern,pin the top yoke out of the way.

Unfold and pin the centre back seam together from the bottom of the yoke up to the marked dot.
Note-if your child has a big noggin don't stitch all the way to the marked dots. This will give you a little more ease.

After sewing press the seam open taking care not iron out the previous fold lines.
Flip the yoke over and repeat on the other yoke piece.

This is what you should be left with.

Following the directions twist the yoke,match the back seams and pin together.
Consider drawing the sewing line to get a nice curve.

After sewing,trim and press the seam.

Turn,finger press and then press with the iron.

Insert the button loop on the correct side and pin in place.

Top stitch the open edges of the yoke together making sure both pieces are caught.
Consider reverse stitching at the bottom of the yoke opening,as this piece takes some stress when tugging over your daughters head!

Ta-dah! A perfect yoke.
Next attaching the yoke to the dress.
I hope you will come back for a look.....
x N


  1. Nicole,

    Your step on the yoke for stitching center back, pinning out of the way the top section, then again on the lining side, I do that exact same step with the ice cream dress! I lengthen the ice cream yoke pattern piece by 1/2". I still stop at the marking from the pattern, but now I have a 1" seam in which to work with, doing exactly as you have done here. Only, I do not stitch them together (front and back) in the end. I have a nice, separate front and lining to attach easily to the skirt front and back.

    Great work!

    ps I am very curious, do you cut some of your pattern pieces and trace off others? I would love to know how you trace off your patterns, if you are willing to share. :) I'm always on the look out for short cuts. ;)

  2. We all know who we can count on for a good tute! :) I'm looking forward to seeing how you stitch down the yoke and finish the seams inside.

  3. So glad you are doing a post on this. I'll be making mine soon and this helps! Thanks! Great stuff as always!

  4. Thank you Carol.
    To save time I only draft what I need to. I do cut my patterns to reduce bulk and some patterns(like the School Photo dress)I fold the pattern and use carbon paper and a press wheel to do the curves.
    Any thing to save time but still keep my originals multi size.

    Thank Mel,that bit is next!

    You do not need my help Sarah,but thank you,I will take the compliment!

    x N

  5. Ha ha - I have just completed this part of my playdate dress! I am now up to putting on the piping and then attaching the yoke but not sure that I will get time to sew today.
    Looking forward to seeing your finished dresses.

  6. So we are having our own private sew-a-long!