Tanya Whelan of Grand Revival Designs has a new book out, Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time: The Ultimate Dressmaking Guide.

From the publisher:

    With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya Whelan offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.

If the Super Online Sewing Match II inspires you to update your wardrobe with some perfect-fit garments, Tanya’s book is a great starting point for a series of new dresses!

To get you started making quick modifications, Tanya shows you how to change a basic bodice to a yoke in the tutorial below. If mix and match patterns appeal to you (yes!) take a closer look at the multitude of options in Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time: The Ultimate Dressmaking Guide.

How to Modify a Basic Bodice to a Yoke

For a yoke that begins under the armhole like the dresses pictured, first measure from your waist up to where you want the yoke to begin.

Place the front and back bodice pattern so that they are aligned at the armhole. Measure the same amount from the waist stitching line along the center front of the pattern as you did on yourself. From this point draw a line across the bodice to directly above the waist dart, then curve the line downward and around the armhole to the side seam. Make sure the yoke line falls below the armhole seam allowance. Continue the line straight across the back bodice. Slash the lines to create the yokes.

Add seam allowances to the bottom of the yoke pieces and the top of the bodice pieces.

Sew your cut out fabric pieces with right sides together and then make a few clips in the curved part of the seam allowances (without cutting through the stitching).

For a high yoke, above the bottom of the armhole, place the front and back bodice pattern so they are facing each other with the waist lines aligned. Draw a line across the front and back bodice somewhere above the bottom of the armhole and slash the line.

Add seam allowances to the yoke and bodice where you slashed the pattern. Sew your fabric pieces with right sides together.

Note: This tutorial is to make both a front and back yoke but you can also just modify the front pattern for a yoke and leave the back bodice as is.