Tuesday, 26 November 2019

How To: V-Neck Mini Dress with Gathered Chest Yoke

I've been intrigued by this type of neckline/gathered chest for while and had to experiment. Turns out it's very easy to do! You basically just work with two rectangular pieces which join at center front, and become the sleeves & upper part of the top/dress all in one.. The logic is the same as when making the back yoke of a shirt.

TOOLS:
Fabric (I used a full-width cotton, only just over a meter but 1.5 m is safer)  |  Scissors  Thread, sewing machine  |  Pins  Not pictured but optionally small piece of bias tape for back of neckline


I. I started by cutting the top pieces - here are the measurements (the sizing is pretty loose on this one and although I'm a EU36/US4 this would prob fit a size up from that. If you are curvy definitely add a bit to the width.
II. I took the two front pieces, finished the vertical center sides with my serger (or zig-zag) and then pressed a wide fold (about 5 cm). I also added a basting stitch along the bottom of both pieces:
III. Next I took the back piece and finished the neckline with bias tape (more detail on how to do that here). You could also just do a double fold.
Back piece neckline done:
IV. Then I pinned the shoulders of the top and sewed them, and pulled on the basting stitch to gather the front pieces to match the width of the back.
On the shoulders I did a flat-felled seam, aka trimmed one seam allowance to half of the width of the other..
.. Folded the wider seam allowance over the narrower one (with the help of my iron) and stitched to secure flat.
V. To finish the sleeves, I stitched the back and front together by just 3 cm or so from the bottom, and then did a double-fold on the rest:
VII. At this point I still wasn't sure if I was making a top or a dress, so I first added enough to make a top. I cut 4 pieces as wide as the top and about 12 cm long - 4 because I wanted this part lined, to create a clean join at the bottom of the V neck. I cut the pieces at a slight A-line..
.. And sewed the pairs together at the sides, right sides facing..
.. So I could then pin the outer layer to the top, right sides facing, and the inner layer with right side facing reverse of top, so the top got sandwiched in between. Sewed all around.
And so I had a top. 
Here's the reverse. Thanks to the double layer, a clean finish.
I almost left it as is, but decided this fabric would be better over a larger area. So I (still don't know how, as I did not have enough fabric) made a skirt from a few scrappy pieces, and sewed onto the top to create a dress.
If I'm honest, I wasn't crazy about how this turned out when I first put it on. But it kind of grew on me since. I'll definitely be using the same technique to make a top, but with less gathering in the front and probably longer front pieces (more plunge).
xo,

Julia

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