Almost exactly one month ago, for Martin Luther King Day, I posted a blog post about this McCall’s 9449 doll clothes sewing pattern. In that blog post, I talked about how rare it is to find vintage patterns with representation of African American dolls on the envelope’s cover art.
Well, it’s now February, and here in the US, we celebrate February as our Black History month. So today I thought I’d revisit this lovely little pattern, and talk about one of the features of the patterns inside it: the yoke.
A yoke is an extra layer of fabric that adds thickness to the garment, and can often make an attractive stylistic feature to the garment while also giving it a certain sturdiness that makes the clothing last longer. If you look at our sweet little African American baby doll model, pictured in Figure 1 below, you’ll see that the top of her dress is a separate garment piece from the rest of her little orange dress.
In Figure 2, you can more clearly see the yoke because I’ve made it out of a different fabric than the rest of the dress. The V-shaped polka dot fabric at the front of the dress is the yoke. The navy blue bottom part of the dress is sewn to the V-shaped polka dot fabric.
In Figure 3, you can see that there’s no yoke in the back. However, it should be noted that a yoke can be used at the back of a garment as well. Western shirts often have both a front and back yoke.
Have a look at Figures 4 and 5 to see what a finished yoke looks like on the front (figure 4) and back (figure 5) of a typical western shirt or denim jacket:
In figure 6, we see how the V-shape of the front yoke for McCall’s “Chubby Baby Doll” pattern number 9449 comes to a point, to exactly match up with the V-shape at the front of the lower half of the dress.
When we sew the yoke to the dress, they will be joined at the front of the dress, to form a pretty V-shape, like we see on the doll in View A of the pattern envelope:
The dress and pinafore in View B in the McCall’s pattern‘s envelope, and the nightgown in View E, use a C-shaped yoke instead of the more traditional V-shaped yoke. But you would sew them in exactly the same way, layering the fabric to give the garment a sturdy lining, as you can see in the image below:
Perhaps you’d like to see what the patterns, themselves, look like when I first take them out of the pattern envelope. Here’s an image of that:
I guess you could say the yoke has a little “shelf” at the bottom of the pattern, to make it easier to attach it to the lower half of the front of the dress. Not all yokes look like this, as I just said, though, so this little “shelf” won’t always be a part of the yoke’s pattern.
Most of the commercial patterns I display and talk about here on ChellyWood.com, like this adorable little baby doll clothes wardrobe pattern from McCall’s, are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.
And by the way, if you use the links I’ve provided to make your eBay purchase, this website will receive a small commission, which helps fund the ChellyWood.com website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.
To read more about my free sewing patterns and tutorials, please visit the “Helpful Tips” page.
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Maybe you already own some great commercial patterns, but you really wish you could alter them to look just a little different. If so, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” may be just what you need to make your commercially designed patterns into the pattern you see in your imagination.
Are you worried that you won’t have time to take a course in doll clothes pattern alteration? You’ll be happy to learn that, for any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.
It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So please go have a look at my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.