With Back Neck Opening
I love this little top, as the yoke offers lots of opportunity to add detail and contrast. In the version shown here, the main part of the bodice is gathered at centre front and the yoke itself accentuated with piping. The semi-fitted, A-line style is relatively easy to work with in terms of getting the fit right. The comfortable, slightly wide neckline has a small stand collar. Make the top in a crisp cotton print, as here, or in lightweight silk, as shown in the variation, for a dressier look.
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You Will Need
Cut out fabric pieces
Using the pattern and following
the cutting layout, cut out all sections of
your top. Transfer all pattern markings
onto your fabric.
Cut one collar piece from interfacing and two strips of interfacing, each 17 x 4cm (6 . x 1 . in). Iron the collar piece to one collar section (this will be the outer collar) and iron the strips to
the centre back of the inner yoke pieces.
Prepare front bodice
Using a long stitch length, sew two rows of gathering stitches between the two dots at the top of the front bodice 5mm (.in) and 1.2cm (.) from the edge, leaving long thread tails. Pull up the gathers to fit between the two points on the front yoke and fasten the gathering threads temporarily by winding them around
a pin at each end. Set this section aside.
Join side seams
Matching notches, pin and stitch the side seams and finish off the raw edges.
Attach bias binding to armholes
Apply bias binding to the armhole edges of the main bodice, folding it over twice so that the binding is on the inside. (The yoke armholes do not need binding as they will be finished with the lining.)
Understitch inner collar
Press the seam allowances towards the inner (non-interfaced)
collar. Now, working on the right side, stitch through the
inner collar and seam allowances, close to the seamline.
Press the collar along the seamline so that the inner collar
rolls to the inside; the understitching, as it is called, helps
you to do this and keeps the seam allowances in place.
Neaten inner collar edge
You now need to press under 1.5cm (⅝in) along the bottom edge of the inner collar, which is a little tricky as this is a curved edge. You can make this easier by stitching along the bottom edge at this distance and using the stitching as a
Join front and back yoke
Pin and stitch the outer front and back yoke sections
together at the shoulders, with right sides facing. Repeat
for the inner yoke sections. Press all seams open.
At the bottom edge of the front inner yoke (only),
machine-tack 1.5cm (⅝in) from the raw edge; using this as
a pressing guide, press the fabric to the wrong side.
Attach outer collar to outer yoke
With right sides facing, pin (tack if you wish) the outer collar to the
outer yoke, matching the notches on the collar to the shoulder seams and to the notches on the yoke neckline. Stitch the seam.
Trim the seam allowances in half and then notch them to reduce bulk. Press them towards the collar.
As this is a curved seam you may need to fiddle around to get the
raw edges to line up. Insert the pins perpendicular to the edge and use plenty of them. As you stitch, make sure that the fabric underneath is lying flat and that the raw edges remain aligned. Or, if you prefer, tack the seam before stitching.
Join inner and outer yoke at armholes
Pin (tack if you wish) and sew the outer and inner yoke sections together at each armhole with right sides facing, stopping when you reach the pressed under seam allowance at the bottom edge of the front inner yoke. Trim seam the seam allowances and notch them to reduce bulk.
Understitch armhole seam
Turn the yoke right side out. Understitch the seam allowances to the inner yoke as for the collar in Step 6. Press the seam flat, ensuring that the understitching is on the inside of the garment.
Join outer and inner yoke and collar at back opening
You are now going to sew the edges of the back opening where the buttonholes will go. First fold the inner collar wrong side out and pin it together so that the right sides of both collars are facing. Pin the raw edges together. Line up the inner and outer back yoke pieces, right sides facing. The top edge of the inner yoke should overlap the seam allowances at the collar. Pin (tack if you wish) and stitch all the way from the top edge of the collar to the bottom of the back yoke on both right and left opening edges. Turn the yoke right side out.
Make the buttonholes
Make four buttonholes in the yoke on the left-hand side.
Add optional piping
Cut two lengths of piping, each about 2cm (3/4 in) longer
than the lower edge of the front and back yoke. Pin one to
the right side of the back bodice section along its top edge
with raw edges matching. Machine-tack it in place, leaving the ends unstitched where they meet the stitching joining the binding at the armhole edge. On the front bodice piece, distribute the gathers evenly, then apply the piping in the same way.
Join outer yoke and bodice
With right sides facing, pin (tack if you wish) and stitch the
front outer yoke section to the bodice front, matching centre
points and taking in the piping, if used, at the same time.
(If you have not previously adjusted the gathers, as in Step
15, do so now.) At each side of the top edge of the bodice,
you will have a 1.5cm (⅝in)overhang. This is normal and
will ensure that the binding around the armhole is hidden.
Press the seam allowances towards the yoke.
Sew inner yoke to front bodice
Fold under the seam allowance on the inner yoke that you
pressed under in Step 9. Pin it over the seam joining the
bodice and outer yoke, enclosing those seam allowances,
and sew it in place with ladder stitch. Turn the ends of the
piping in at the armhole edges to conceal them, trimming
them if necessary.
Join yoke to back bodice
Place the outer and inner back yoke sections together. Placing
them on a flat surface, tack them together about 3cm (1in) in
from the lower edges to make sure they lie smoothly against
each other. Pin and tack them to the back bodice with right
sides together and with the buttonhole opening side under the
other side as shown. Stitch the seam, enclosing the piping, if
used; turn up the piping ends (trimmed if necessary) to hide
them in the seam. Finish off the seam allowances together and
press them down towards the back bodice.
Hem garment and sew on buttons
Turn under and press 2.5cm (1in), then another 2.5cm (1in) along the bottom edge. Topstitch the hem in place 2.3cm (⅞in) from the bottom. Stitch the buttons on following the pattern markings.
Variation Top with pleated bodice
Mark the pleats on the right side of the bodice, following the pattern markings.
Fold the pleats w
Starting with the centre pleat, fold the bodice as
indicated by the pattern markings and pin the
pleats in place. Machine-tack across the top, 1.2cm
(. in) from the top edge.
Make bias binding for armholes
From the main fabric, cut 50cm (20in) of bias binding, 18–20mm (. in) wide. Use this to bind the armholes of the bodice section as instructed in Step 4 of the main version.
Complete the top as for the main version, steps 3–19.
Other Variation Ideas
* Use a bold contrasting patterned fabric
for the main bodice with a plain fabric for
the yoke sections, or vice versa.
* Use lace for the outer yoke, with a plain
lightweight fabric underneath, to make it
more of a feature.