Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drafting: A Midriff Yoke

In this post, I'll walk you through the process of drafting a midriff yoke like the one I used on my brunch dress.  This style can be very flattering, because it emphasizes the slimmest part of one's frame, just below the bust.  And it's very easy to draft.

First, trace your bodice front and back onto a clean piece of paper.  Then, decide how wide you want your yoke to be.  You should definitely use the bust circle on your sloper as a reference point, but it's also a good idea to use a pattern or RTW dress you like as a comparison.  Full disclosure: In my original design, I went with a 3-inch yoke, and it was terrible!  The bodice was totally disproportionate, and gave me an awful, saggy-boob look.  So I started again and made a 4-inch yoke, which was infinitely better.  The moral of the story is: designs sometimes look different when you're wearing them than they did when you're drafting them, and if I had compared my design to a dress that I liked, I might have avoided this miss-step.  I didn't take pictures of my drafting the second time around, so be aware that the pictures I'm using here are from the initial version.

Mark the width of your yoke on the front and back bodice.  Measure up from the bottom (waistline) edge.  Your line will be discontinuous across the waist-fitting dart.

Label the center front of your yoke, then cut your yoke pieces apart from the bodice and tape them together.  If you made a hash mark across the line before you cut, you'll have a notch to line up you're pieces when you sew.

Now you have two pieces--a bodice front and a front yoke--both cut on the fold.

Do the same to the back:

If you need curved darts to get a good fit, like I do, you'll need to make some additional adjustments to your bodice front.  (Curved darts aren't marked on your sloper: you draft with straight darts, then add the curves in afterward to adjust the fit).  To adjust for curved darts, increase the width of the bodice dart, and remove additional width from the upper edge of the front yoke.  I did this experimentally, by pinning my muslin to get the fit I wanted, then transferring it to my pattern pieces.  But I suppose, if you were scrupulous, you'd have noted down the curve of your darts when you originally fit your sloper, and you could just refer to that information when you were drafting the pattern.

Notice that the midriff yoke you've created here is contoured: in other words, it's not simply a straight strip of fabric.  The result of this, in the end, is a better-fitted garment, since the yoke follows your particular curves.

That's it for the midriff yoke!  In the next drafting post, I'll pick up where we left off here, and walk you though the steps of drafting a sleeveless surplice bodice.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this great tutorial. It's exactly what I was looking for. Question: if you want to create a midriff yoke on a princess seam pattern dress, I guess you need to simply need to cut the yoke area, right?