Double Yoke Shirt Project Review:
I have a heart for a lot of western twang and all things classic-vintage. This project fit in the middle of those quite well. For my son’s second birthday I finally wanted to make a button up shirt for him. I’ve been massively intimidated by the idea of making small sleeves, cuffs and not to mention matching up front panels. Over the last year, I have been making my own designs for girl’s and adult dresses… but little button ups seemed outrageous.
I went to digging for a pattern on this project, as I usually just “wing it” on all things clothing (okay, most everything). I either trace existing clothes that fit or design something “off the cuff.” In the future, I hope to share those designs with you, too. However, for this project, I decided on a user-friendly pattern found on Etsy. I would suggest this to anyone willing to try a beginner to intermediate sewing project. You can find the pattern here. This pattern (once paid for) can be printed on a printer at home and assembled easily by matching up the notches on the sides of each page, taped and cut out. It Is a pdf so that you can repeatedly print and use it as your little loved ones grow.
Here are some photos of my process. I cut my pattern at the 4T markings because our 2 year old is growing fast and I’d like the shirt to last more than a couple of months. I actually made him two shirts because it was such a smooth process. I unintentionally deviated from the pattern a bit on a few parts, but it turned out in my favor.
- 2-3 yards of fabric depending on shirt size. Cotton blends are great for beginners with standard sewing machines. Fabric can be complimentary patterns/colors or all the same. I would suggest having similar weights if using more than one fabric.
- Scissors- both fabric and paper
- Printer and white paper
- Pins or clips
- Standard sewing machine
- Iron (not entirely necessary)
- 6-12 buttons
- Needle and thread
- Interfacing (Optional: I used interfacing in one shirt for a dressy look and went without in the other shirt for a more casual look)
My first attempt at this shirt was all about the bug fabric that my son often wore on top of his head. I didn’t have enough to make much of anything out of it, but it sure made a sharp collar and sleeve cuffs. Not to mention our toddler is so excited there are bugs on his shirt. The black fabric for the yokes is actually a black sheet that was once a table covering for my art shows. That is all to say, piece your own shirt together however you want to. No matter what, it’ll be a special heirloom for your child to keep no matter how long it fits, along with being totally customizable.
Things I learned:
- Sleeves are so much easier than I realized. I used to try to get my machine to swivel in that tiny armpit as the last step. Turns out, it is far more efficient to sew the top of the sleeve to the shoulder fabric before sewing the seam along the side of the shirt up the sleeve to the cuff.
- The placket piece inside the cuff needs to be folded into the cuff before sewing together for it to lay right. I’ll do that on the next one… for these shirts, the sleeves will have to just be rolled up or ironed flat (not the end of the world).
- You can get away with 3-4 buttons along the chest for toddlers. I did 8-9 buttons along the chest and our boy is not so patient.
This project was worth the money I paid for the pattern and the time I put into the shirts. To see my son in clothing I made for him is a fulfillment I could never find in a store. To provide for him in this way is truly an honor.
Note: this shirt can be made for boys or girls