Vienna Tank Top Sew-Along, Part 2

Before we start sewing, I wanted to mention one last point for preparation. Silk fabric is often very slippery and tends to  shift. To make life easier, you can use spray starch. This makes the silk stiff and easy to handle. After finishing the garment simply wash out the starch. Be sure to test this treatment on a scrap first.

IMG_0374_Bildgröße ändern

The first step is to staystitch the neckline to prevent that it stretches out. It is important to sew in the same direction for both sides, this means from the shoulder to center front. The keyword is “directional stitching”. Here is a nice article which explains the background a bit. You should always keep in mind this principle while sewing.

IMG_0258_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

Yoke – Method 1

This method is as described in the pattern instructions. Armhole edges from yoke and bodice are finished separately.

First put your yoke pieces with right sides together and stitch along the armhole edges.


IMG_0260_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

I interfaced the armhole edges of the bodice. As I did not have bias fusible stay tape, I made my own. I cut a bias strip from a lightweight fusible interfacing…

IMG_0262_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

…and applied it onto the left side of front and back along the armhole edges. 

IMG_0264_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

I finished the edges with my serger. As the fabric would not fray, this step is not necessary, but I think it just looks nicer on the inside.

IMG_0265_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

Then turn the seam allowances to the inside and topstitch along the edge. The last 5 cm (2″) towards the side seam are kept free. I marked this point with two pins.

IMG_0267_Bildgröße ändern

I topstitch from the right side as the stitches my sewing machine makes on the left side don’t look as nice.

IMG_0270_bearbeitet_Bildgröße ändern

Now we prepare the bodice pieces for gathering. Stitch two rows with a big stitch lenght and decreased thread tension along the shoulder seam of the front and between the notches of the back.

IMG_0273_Bildgröße ändern

Now we take one front piece and slip it between the yoke pieces. It is very important that the armhole edge is pushed as near as possible to the yoke seam. The left side of the front piece shows to the inner yoke. If both yoke pieces are from the same fabric, it does not matter how the front is aligned. 

IMG_0274_Bildgröße ändern IMG_0276_Bildgröße ändern IMG_0277_Bildgröße ändern

Before I pull the threads for gathering, I pin the front at the left and the right. This way I know how much I have to pull my threads.

IMG_0286_Bildgröße ändern

IMG_0287_Bildgröße ändern

With a bit of patience distribute the gathers evenly and pin. Then I put the other yoke piece on top again, pin and stitch through all layers.

IMG_0288_Bildgröße ändern

Before grading the seam allowances I turn everything right side out to check if I am happy with the gathers and the intersection of yoke and bodice.

IMG_0289_Bildgröße ändern

Looks good, so turn inside out again and grade the seam allowances. When grading seam allowances, the outermost seam allowances that is the seam allowances facing the outside will stay widest.

IMG_0291_Bildgröße ändern

Do the same for the second front piece. Then roll up both front pieces and put them inside the yokes so they stay out of the way. 


Now we slip the back piece between the yoke pieces from the direction of the neckline. The left side of the back is facing the inner yoke.


Slip the back the whole way through the yoke. Align center back and notches of back and yoke. Pin.


Pull the threads and distribute the gathers evenly. Pin a bit more….


….put the second yoke piece on top, align and stitch through all layers. Again be sure that the armhole edges are pushed as near to the yoke seam as possible. I turn everything right side out to check if I am happy with the result.

IMG_0300_Bildgröße ändern IMG_0301_Bildgröße ändern

Turn back inside out and grade the seam allowances. 

IMG_0302_Bildgröße ändern

Then clip the armhole seam allowance of the yoke pieces and press them towards the inner yoke. 

IMG_0305_Bildgröße ändern

To keep the seam allowance in place it will be unterstitched. This is a bit tricky and you won’t be able to stitch along the complete seam. The seam allowance is stichted to the inner yoke only. I put the yoke under my sewing machine in a way that the seam is in the middle of my presser foot. I shift the needle towards the inner yoke, in my case to the left. While sewing I take care that both yoke pieces are smooth.

IMG_0315_Bildgröße ändern

This is how it looks from the inside:

IMG_0319_Bildgröße ändern

and this is from the outside:

IMG_0321_Bildgröße ändern

Now we are nearly there. Both yoke pieces are basted together around the neckline. 

IMG_0322_Bildgröße ändern

Now we can close the side seams. Make sure that the seam allowances of the armholes are kept open. You remember that we did not stitch them down the whole way. I finished the side seams with my serger.

IMG_0323_Bildgröße ändern

Turn the armhole seam allowances to the inside, pin and topstitch. 

IMG_0327_Bildgröße ändern

This is how it looks from the right side:

IMG_0330_Bildgröße ändern

I don’t backstitch here, but pull the thread ends to the inside and tie them of.

This is all for today. I will show you the second method how to construct the yoke tomorrow.


Leave a Reply