Shibori

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I’ve been making a lot of dresses with yokes lately. I like how they look, but more than that I like the built in neckline and upper armhole facing. With a split back like this one, you can sew the front and back together at the shoulders, then sew the yoke to the lining along the neckline and armholes, and turn it right side out without leaving any extra opening. All edges are now neatly finished and can be pressed flat. Then you sew the bottom edge of the yoke to the top of the dress, keeping the yoke and its lining together. For the back I sewed each half out from the middle so I could line them up the way I wanted, and trimmed the armholes to match. The lower armholes still have to be finished somehow, which I did with the “napkin edging” setting on my serger. I finished the hem the same way.

The dress is cut on the bias, which means I can get into it without any fastener. It’s shaped with bust darts and side seam shaping, but the bias drape also pulls it in a bit, making it more flattering and comfortable (although harder to sew) than the same dress cut on the grain would be. The fabric was very narrow, so I used the yoke to lengthen it from the top, and added a ruffle at the bottom. The bias cut makes it hard to cut a straight hem, so I didn’t try. The bottom of the skirt is angled one way and the bottom of the wedge shaped ruffle runs the other way.

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