Drafting a Skirt with Waist Yoke

A skirt with a yoke at the waist looks great and fits well - without darts!

This page shows how to draft a skirt pattern using your skirt block. Remember to finish your skirt with hems and seam allowances!

skirt with yoke seam at waist

You can use the skirt portion of your basic block pattern to draft any kind of skirt. 

But the pattern has darts at the waist, and you may want a look that's a bit more sleek and smooth.

Adding a yoke to the waist allows you to move the dart to the yoke seam, giving a smooth waistline and a decorative touch at the same time.

Drafting the yoke skirt

To draft your skirt yoke, start by drawing a line from the side seam to the center front (or back), just below the point of the darts.

You can make your yoke a little higher or lower, but dart height is the easiest, most direct approach.

Cut along this line to separate the upper and lower parts of the skirt.

yoked skirt draft 1

yoked skirt draft 2

Then - just close the darts!

Closing the waist darts forces the dart into the "seam" between the upper and lower skirt.

The bottom edge will be a bit "bumpy", with a series of straight edges from one side to the other. Just smooth that out and draw a nice curve at the bottom edge of the yoke.

And you have a waist yoke for your skirt!

Your skirt will fit exactly the same way it did when you fit your dress block, but without the darts.

You can keep the yoke subtle by just seaming it to the skirt without "fanfare", or you can play it up with stitching (contrast stitching on a denim version will look jeans-like).

You can even cut the yoke in a contrast fabric - think faux leather for the yoke, with faux suede, corduroy, or even wool for the skirt itself.

You have lots of options!

Before you create these dress, skirt or blouse styles, you'll need a well-fitting dress block.  You can create one from a commercial pattern, or draft your dress block using your own measurements. 

Once you have your fitted block, create an almost infinite variety of styles using the in-depth tutorial "A Beginner's Guide to Designing Skirts, Blouses and Dresses".  Check it out now!

What's the Next Step?

The next step is finishing your pattern, then cutting and sewing your skirt!

You can add a yoke to a full skirt or pleated skirt, too, so take a look at those options.

More Skirts and Dresses

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