DIY Pleated Yoke Shirt Tutorial

Well this is embarrassing.  Apparently I never shared my final Hey June June garment I sewed!  But it’s really too good to just let go, so let’s all pretend like it’s not 3 months overdue.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

The final garment I sewed for Hey June June is the Phoenix Blouse.  The yoke on this Blouse is a great opportunity to add special detail, use special fabric, or feature a technique.  

I started with an inspiration photo, maybe from Anthropologie?  The pleated yoke and button tabs were the details from this photo that I wanted to incorporate into my blouse.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

Next, the hunt was on for the right fabric.  My fabric stash produced some lightweight, very sheer mystery fabric.  A burn test revealed it’s contents to include polyester, although probably a blend. 

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

But I wanted to use it anyway even though it’s quality is subpar because of the lines that would make the pleating very easy.  Basically I didn’t have to trace any pleat lines because they were there already.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

After the pleat guide lines are in place, the pleating begins.  I pinched up and pinned along the lines, about 1/4”.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

Next, fold the rest of the shirt out of the way and sew along the pinned guide lines.  Press down the pleat toward the outside edge.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

Skip over 1/2 inch and repeat the process over and over again.  At the center of the piece of fabric I was pleating, I switched directions and pressed the pleats over the other direction so the yoke would have symmetrical pleats.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

After I had a large enough piece of fabric pleated that I could fit my yoke pattern piece on, I cut out one pleated and one plain yoke piece.  

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other changes I made to this Phoenix blouse to make it better match the inspiration picture were to make the yoke a button front.  Because of the poor quality of this fabric, this ended up being the most stressful part! 

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

The edges of the opening ended up fraying the longer I worked with it, and will also probably be the 1st part fo the shirt to wear out.  Live and learn to use the best quality fabric, right?

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

I covered the buttons and used elastic cording to make button loops.  Adding buttonholes to this just wasn’t going to be a possibility (see poor quality fabric notes above) but catching the tiny elastic cording loops proved impossible too!  Finally, someone on Instagram shared a method where you sew in a whole length of elastic cording and just pull it out in the areas where button loops are needed.  

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

The final change was to the sleeves.  I used the pretty tie sleeves from the Lucerne Blouse.  The Lucerne, Amalfi, and Phoenix have interchangeable sleeves which allows for many exciting variations.  The only change I made to the sleeves was adding the covered buttons and buttonhole loops to the openings.  

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

Overall, I’m very very happy with the design of this shirt and disappointed that it won’t last very long due to the quality of the fabric.  At least I have the knowledge and ability to sew another one!  Now to find the time…

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

See the rest of our Hey June June makes here:

Willamette Shirt

Santa Fe Tops

Lucerne Blouses

Pattern: Phoenix Blouse from Hey June Patterns

Next time I’ll use this viscose rayon challis fabric.

Phoenix Blouse with DIY pleated yoke sewn by Skirt Fixation

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Published by skirtfixation

Audrey, a mom of 9, sews and blogs at Skirt Fixation, your home for everything skirt related! There's lots of other sewing goodness too...after all can't leave the boys out of sewing adventures! She also designs and sells pattern through Project Run & Play.

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