Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


Vintage Detail: Yokes


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Go to Seamwork

We’ve been talking quite a bit about yokes around the office as of late. Which got me thinking about how I don’t really wear a lot of garments with yokes and how I should make some plans to sew some up.

I decided instead of looking through my pinterest board of patterns I wanted to make, I’d look through all the vintage patterns we have in the office to see if anything caught my eye.

I found a few really great ones:


This one is so cool, I loved the different options you could do for the neck. My personal favorite is the collar.


This yoke+tie is super cute.


The shaping in this pattern is interesting. I like how they use the yoke and gathers to help the dress fit to the body.


The version where the yoke and sleeve are one is really sleek and chic.


Due to my newbie knowledge, I had to ask Miss Katie Whittle if this was an official yoke and I got an enthusiastic “Yep!”. A Yoke is really any part of a garment which is shaped and adds form. I really enjoy the shape of this pattern and how the style lines are so clean and feminine.

Do you all sew a lot of garments with yokes? If so, what interesting ones have you made?


Taylor Pruitt   —  

Taylor is an enthusiastic maker. As the graphic designer at Colette she infuses her creativity into all of our projects from print to web.

Comments 20


I’ve been itching to do a lace yoke, but haven’t attempted it yet. Mostly unsure of how the edge would be finished on a sleeveless shirt.


That sounds lovely! I’m not sure how the edge would work either…maybe bias tape?


It seems like I’ve seen lace finished with a tiny satin stitch, but you’d definitely need something to stabilize it, I’d probably experiment with tissue paper first and then work my way up.


Ohh! I love #4–which pattern is it?


It’s Butterick 7162 :).


Recently I’ve made two sleeveless shirts with yokes, it really gives them a lovely finish! I used a bias trim on the edge and stitiched it to the inside, very neat and tidy edge.
I am loving those patterns above too!!!


So cute. I made the Alder Shirtdress last fall, and that may be one of my only makes with a yoke!


I’ve been working with a high round neckline like 7260 above. They are deceptively hard to fit!


I love pattern number 3 and 4! They are beautiful. I love in particular 1940 patterns but I do not easily find them to buy.

Lelia Guilbert

Vogue 5241 is very similar to the bodice I used for my wedding dress in June 1965. The skirt was an A- line. My mother crouched over a hundred tiny white roses which I stitched down the bodice V lines, around the train, and covered the small crown which held my fingertip veil. My daughter and I removed all of the crocheted roses and used them to accent her wedding ensemble in 1997. Those cotton roses can outlast any fragile silk fabric!


this sounds amazing! I wish you had posted picture!


That sounds so beautiful. How awesome that she had something from your wedding dress on hers!

Taylor Pruitt

Oh, beautiful!


I’ve made a couple of things with a yoke. Simplicity #2147 in a woven top version and a cotton knit dress, and I love them! I did a vintage knit top pattern circa 1976, Simplicity #7719. I’m currently working on a steampunk button down blouse with a lace yoke and collar that I think will be pretty cool when I finish. I’m using Simplicity #9796 from 1984(?) for that one. Yokes are great because you can do such interesting things with them. They’re ready made for mixing fabrics or adding special touches. Loving the styling of thosd patterns.
Those vintage yokes are wonderful!


I just finished the Mathilde Blouse by Tilly & the Buttons. It’s my first garment with a yoke and I love it! Made it out of the new Rifle Paper Co rayon from C&S, so that really ups the love factor as well :)


I’ve made a couple of tops with yokes (Camas by Thread Theory for example) and I learned a valuable lesson – don’t use fabric that is too heavy or structured! It can get warm under those yokes and be careful about using the right interfacing (finding just the right one that isn’t too warm but stiff enough to add structure is a bit of a knack!) I love the look of them though and they do offer an opportunity get really creative with lace, eyelet and sheer silks.

Taylor Pruitt

I hear that! My first dress with a yoke is made in Flannel :) haha

SJ Kurtz

For some reason, I’m drafting a western rodeo style shirt for a customer. Think Gram Parsons’ Nudie Cohen suits. The yoke designs were getting pretty baroque, but are now scaling back. Which makes me think I should just make an outrageous one for me to show em how it’s done.
I think Ms Whittle’s definition is a bit broad, but I will bow to her word (as I am too warm this afternoon to find a better set of words). We have a lot of terms in sewing that do multiple duty.
And then there are the pant and skirt yokes.


I’m really into yokes at the moment and have been looking for a top with a yoke. I just bought one from thread theory but would love to know what pattern number the mccalls yoke with tie is… It is exactly what I had been looking for!

Taylor Pruitt

It’s McCall’s 4357! You should try and find a version, I loooove that one.

We’re sorry, comments for this post have been closed.