Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shirt Yoke Construction - Ascot Chang style

I recently had my hands oh a very fine shirt from the house of Ascot Chang. Shirts made by Ascot Chang are considered some of the best in the world. I took a long hard look at it. All his finishes were not only perfect but they were also the best possible finishes - the plackets on the sleeve were the best, the collar was immaculate with boning inserts in the under collar etc etc etc. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the shirt but then again would those pictures do it justice anyway?

This post is to show the reader how Ascot Chang attaches his double yoke to shirt bodice. Modern machinists sometimes sew all three layers of the yoke and shirt together at the one time. But this can lead to some unsightly gathering and even puckering as the three layers move along under the sewers needle.

If you apply a little intelligence as you practice this method I will GUARANTEE you that your finished yoke will be completely flat and pucker free.

So - here we go:

1. Stich the left w/s of the front bodice to the left r/s of the under yoke.

2. Press the seam allowance up.

3. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" (6mm).

4. Smooth the outer yoke over the pressed seam matching all the notch points with the attached under yoke (outer and under yokes are wrong sides together). Trim the seam allowance on the front left side of the outer yoke to the same width that you trimmed the left front side under yoke seam allowance to in step 3.

5. Fold the left front outer yoke seam allowance under so that it JUST covers the stitching line created  when you attached the front bodice to the under yoke in step 1. Press.

6. Pin-stitch the front yoke to the front bodice - making sure your pin-stitching line is JUST below the stitching line created when you attached the front bodice to the under yoke in step 1.

7. Top-stitch a second line above the pin-stiched line. This second top-stitching line should be no wider than the width of seam allowance you trimmed in step 2 and 3 - i.e. 1/4" (6mm).

8. Press. Now stand back and admire your perfectly flat and fitted front yoke.

Repeat the same steps for the right side of the garment.

9. After completing both left and right front of the yoke, lay the garment on the pressing board with the yoke completely flat - match all the notch points around the yoke. If needed, trim any excess fabrics off the back of the yoke. Attach the back of the yoke to the back shirt bodice using the above techniques.

If you're using a striped or symmetrical patterned fabric as I am here you should always obey the pattern on the outer panel of the yoke as your guide if you need to trim.

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