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September 21

Fitting a Yoke Waistband: Part 2

This post has been a long time coming, which is quite silly since it’s so simple.  I meant to take another photo of the muslined yoke waistband, but hadn’t gotten around to doing so.  I’m soo close to having the actual skirt finished that I figured you guys wouldn’t mind waiting a bit more to see that my alterations ended up working in the end.

As a refresher, the only change I needed to make to my yoke waistband for the Twinkle Skirt via Burda was to increase the length in the center back in order to make the yoke hem parallel to the floor all the way around.  So this quick tutorial will show you how to do just that for the newbie sewers out there.

First off, trace your pattern piece out on a fresh piece of paper (tissue paper, freezer paper, etc.) :

Be sure to copy all of the pattern markings onto the new pattern piece also.

I guestimated that I’d need about 1 inch longer at the center back of the yoke after trying on my muslin.  (I figured I could always reduce the yoke hem if I needed to, but you can’t increase it again so easily.) 

I marked 1″ down from the original hem at the center back (fold) which is on the right of the image below.  Then I began to draw a nice curve, that really starts about half way towards the back.

 Each individual person will need a slightly different curve, depending on how your muslin fits on your body.  You may need more fabric at the hip, or perhaps some of you may need less fabric at the center back.  You can make these slight changes at the seam lines where you need them.

But when you make any drastic changes, you’ll have to make sure that you also adjust the connecting pattern piece to ensure that the seams line up.  For the Twinkle Skirt, I fit this skirt so that I would have the yoke hem ending at the largest diameter on my hips/butt.  Therefore I just cut the bottom portion of the skirt out using that measurement since I knew I didn’t need any additional fitting below the hips.

Here’s the final pattern piece:

I ended up adding a little bit of paper at the center back to make the curve, more curvey.  (My drawn line just above that looked a bit flat IMO.) 

So for now, you’ll have to trust me that this alteration worked out until I finish the skirt (and then take some photos of it once I have a matching top).

If any of the newbie sewers out there have any questions, be sure to leave me a comment.

  1. Jo / Sep 22 2011

    Hi, I really enjoy when people put up nice detailed posts about fitting. I’m a very green beginner and fitting sounds so scary to me! So thank you :)
    The only thing I’m not sure about is how you would adjust your skirt piece to match the new seam!

    • Liz / Sep 22 2011

      Hi Jo! I’m glad you’ve found these detailed posts helpful. But let me tell you, you’re not alone in thinking that fitting sounds scary. In the beginning I had the hardest time making alterations on patterns to fit because I was scared and didn’t want to mess anything up. I consider myself a pretty good sewer, but I still feel like a beginner when it comes to fit. I’ve found that I learn best through trial and error, which is why I make muslins. :)

      To answer your question:
      The front skirt piece for this pattern is actually a pure rectangle, that incorporates pleats in the front to give it some shaping, and there’s a slight curve at the hip on the back piece to give that the A-line shape (but only slightly). But for my adjustment, adding in a bit more curvature to the center back to accommodate my full booty, didn’t really require any major adjustments to the matching skirt piece below it. But if you do add in A LOT more curvature to the yoke, you would have to add a bit more width to the side seams of the skirt piece. By adding in more curvature, you’re adding more length into the piece, and would need to widen the skirt piece to match up to it.

      And one more thing I will say is that you can always trim the side seams down if you find that you’ve cut a piece too large, but you can’t add more fabric if you cut things too small. I’d encourage you to use 1 inch in your seam allowance, just in case.

      Why I didn’t need to add in more width on MY skirt piece:
      In all honesty, the yoke fit perfectly width wise for my hips/butt, before I made this adjustment. So technically no adjustment was needed on the bottom portion of the skirt piece for the two seams to match up. What I did was add more curvature the yoke center back only so that the bottom of the yoke would be parallel with the floor.

      As a newbie sewer, this may not matter to you yet. But with reading more and more books, it began to make sense to me why it ultimately does matter.

      If you fix all of the little things at the waist (perpendicular side seams to the floor and parallel seams to the floor on yokes/waistbands) this will help may other issues down the line, like hemming.
      Exa: If you make the bottom of the yoke parallel to the floor, the hem on the bottom of the skirt should be even all the way around (and you then wouldn’t need anyone to help you mark for an even hem line you could just sew it straight all the way around.)

      I hope I haven’t completely overwhelmed you here! I have a tendency to give too much information…. So do let me know if you’re still confused and I can draw you a diagram to help explain. :)

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