Pattern Review: No Yoking Matter

Spring in the Stitch Lab included some seamstresses who were advancing in their skills. (Oh yes!) So we ventured into the real world of following store bought patterns. I let the girls pick out patterns that suited them and then I helped them pick fabric that would be appropriate for the pattern.

Here I offer our attempt at Simplicity 2364.
We were making the image shown, version B. It is a long top, and that is very current. We were using a cute white knit with a dot pattern on it. There was a little bit of lycra in it, so we had some forgiveness built in.

I am happy to see lots of other ladies who had some success with this pattern on the internet, because I can tell you, for us, this one ended in a ball of flames. The back piece was pretty straight forward. The front kind of had a “self lining”, so you cut the front and then you cut “up and over” and folded that down so that there was a double layer at the chest. This one feature was the beginning of the end. Now you had two layers in the front arm pit area.

Next we added the yoke piece. We got the giggles with our “This is no yolk” puns. “Stop yoking! I don’t know how this works!” And on and on, in the manner of a fifth grader. That was unavoidable. The yoke piece somehow folds down and is secured into the side seams in the arm pit area. (The math is adding up now, the back, the front, the fold-down and now the doubled over AND GATHERED yoke will all be in the side of the armpit seam.) We cut out the sleeves. They were standard cute, small cap sleeves. We had a big discussion about careful marking. We made sure we were joining this yolk in the proper place. I thought maybe if we added the sleeves the shirt would make sense. I hoped the arm holes would come into focus and the whole thing would take shape. I had the model try this strange thing on. It was dress-length on her. (more fits of giggles.) And the yolk part was just wrong. I tried pinning where I thought it was supposed to go, and then the arm pits did not meet up correctly. I tried just adding sleeves and ignoring the yolk in hopes that we could cut that off and just get a t-shirt out of the story. But no, this was not going to happen. My lovely G just looked up at me with huge eyes. Her dark, thick hair framed her face, and she was begging to be set free. All of her friends were making tote bags and mermaid tails and even wide leg pants. She was trapped in this “yoke” thing. I got down on her level, and looked right in her eyes and said, “Are you going to be okay if we just end this? You have put a lot of time and effort into really trying to make this thing right.” She eagerly nodded her head. “Okay, take it off, and be done.” The other girls were solemn. “What are you going to do with it?” someone asked. “Oh, I think we are going to acknowledge the lessons we learned, and then do a little dance and throw it away.” Gasp.

I am all about “not wasting” and the “up-cycling.” They all know this. Some of them suggested, “She could wear it as pajamas!” But really, it was so far from fitting. It didn’t have sleeves. The yoke debacle meant that it hung down below her chest AND had gaping wide open arm holes. We would have to work hard to get this to a point where it would be even decent as pajamas. So, with relief, G came back in her regular lavender ensemble, holding the shirt. We said, “Don’t yoke about wasting fabric! Its not funny!” Then, we threw it in the trash and did a little dance. She was so relieved. She is free to work on something else now.

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9 years ago by in Needlecraft , Reviews , Sewing | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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