Monday, July 4, 2011

172: tutorial - sweetheart yoke

We used to be a bit hesitant to post our techniques & patterns online, since we sell our designs online... but we've learned that sharing is caring & that part of our business is helping other gals learn how to DIY. We're sure that our loyal fans still will want to spend on L&B originals in the end, so we're gonna share one of our fave looks.

So we were asked how we do the "sweetheart yoke" design & I'm gonna show you how to alter a pattern in a really basic way!

you can start with any basic tank top pattern that you have. If you don't have a pattern, it's easy to just lay your favourite tank top flat & trace out the front & back pieces.

then just sketch in your desired sweetheart shape. the more eventual the curve, the easier it will be to sew the seams together. for example, if you did a harsh zig zag, the points would be weird to sew together and won't sit flat very well unless you notch it.

fold the pattern in half lengthwise & cut along your 'sweetheart'.

now grab the back of your tank top pattern

lay the front portion of your pattern on top of the back, lining up the bottom hems.

with a pen, just mark off at the side seam where the sweetheart portion begins. You want the yoke to be the same size in general, so that the side seams meet up properly without a strange disjoint!

draw a line straight across! (you can be fancy here & scoop the yoke lower if you want though)

& there you go! Those are the pattern pieces.

Now you can make a yoke top in any fabrics you want, but we like to reconstruct... So I have this Snoop Dogg Rhythm & Gangsta shirt just waiting to be cut up. (You're jealous, I know.)

Use the pattern pieces to cut your fabric. (leave a 1/4" seam allowance if you didn't account for it on your pattern!)
Although the pattern I've shown is for a top, I decided to make this piece a dress!

I usually cut yoke pieces from meshy/lacey fabrics but you can use solid knits as well.

then take the body pieces & serge them together face to face.

do the same with the yoke pieces!

then pin the yoke to the body portion face to face.
(yes, I know I pin things parallel to the seams instead of perpendicular & that's wrong. It's a bad habit.)

and that's it!!!

After that, you just have to coverstitch the hems (or do a double-banded hem or zigzag stitch if you don't have a cover stitch machine) & sew on your tag & you're done!

Easy right? You can do this even with tees or tanks (or even tube tops) that you wanna add a new yoke onto! Good luck & be sure to show us how yours turns out!


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. oh my gosh I love this diy.
    I have a basic brother sewing machine and I really want the neck line and other part of my garments to look professional. so i was wondering how do you do a double-band hem and a zig zag stitch. it would be cool with you did a video on how to do it. :)

  3. i love you for doing this tutorial1 thank you soo much1 :)

  4. Love this! I'm definitely bookmarking this for later.

  5. wowwwww it turned out awesome!! thanks for sharing!!!! =].. I hate sewing the curve areas.. its tooo hard!!!


  6. uuuhh =D
    thanx so much for sharing, I really was wondering whether i should ask for this tutorial,for the same reason you stated at the beginning of your post. But I am oh sooooo happy that you are sharing this great technique!
    Your style is so unique that you won't loose customers through this. Even if somebody has the machines neccessary and the fabrics and all, your style isn't so easily copied ^^.

    If I am ever in the vicinty I totally drop by, but that may take a little while, since I live in europe ^^(that's not stopping me from dreaming about ist ;-)<< weird little psycho)
    notice that I am talking too much when I am happy XD

  7. Your post really cool. I glad to be here. I enjoyed reading your articles and if allowed I want to bookmark your posts....

  8. i love you for doing this tutorial1 thank you soo much1 :)

  9. I'm totally going to try this one out!

  10. I love this too!!  I've always loved the sweetheart neckline and it looked easy to make, but I never tried it.  Now I can.  Hmm...maybe I'll try to make a color block top like this. :)  New follower! <3


  11. i think this is great a models
     loekeloe kaskus

  12. You made some good points .I did a little research on the topic and found that most people agree with your blog. Thanks. Mulberry outlet

  13. I have wanted to make a sheer, sweetheart yoke for a dress for ages and now I finally know how! Thank you for this tutorial!

  14. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been asked to recreate a Weeping Angel costume (from the Dr. Who episode BLINK) tutorial posted by a blogger on by penwiper. The underdress has a sweetheart yoke (more of a gentle sweetheart than you show here) and I wasn't sure how to best go about doing this! You rock!

  15. Thats a super idea! Thank so much for sharing. I love it and will try it next time :-)


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