Toying with Yoyo

When there’s a dress shape I like, testing it for a good fit is worth the effort. Testing also tells me if the design actually suits me.

Papercut patterns Yoyo dress/skirt is a fitted dress style I love. What’s clever about it is you can easily grade the pieces to suit your sizing, or my ‘ever-changing’ sizing. The bodice and skirt pieces are separate and the shaping is minimal so there’s definitely room to adjust this pattern as you go.

The skirt lent itself to adding pockets as you can see from the adjusted skirt pattern above.

The front open ended zipper can be a challenge to find if you appreciate matching zippers to fabrics. These days, it’s more on trend to have an exposed zipper in a contrasting colour, to add interest to dresses, skirts, jackets etc. This helps when you limited zipper options.

The easiest option for making this version was to use this black on white all over print by JohnKaldor and use a black zipper. It’s a lovely suiting and it’s not heaving as a suiting.
The pattern provides all in one facings for a clean finish. I planned to fully line this dress because I like fully lined dresses. Ok, I love fully lined dresses.
My test dresses used the facings from the pattern and they’re good but I’m biased towards fully lined dresses. The cotton lining is soft and smooth so this is perfect for lining Summer dresses.


The first test version was totally medium sized and through some carefully checking, I soon found that I am small at the bust and have a medium sized waist.

I also removed 5cm from the skirt length. I took this length out horizontally from across the middle of the skirt. Removing the length from the middle of the skirt doesn’t interrupt the hem shaping.

Be aware that taking any length off this dress will affect the zipper length you use. I still used a 60cm zipper for this dress. I was just able to use the zipper so I know I can use a 55cm zipper in future.

The John Kaldor fabric has good body for this dress and the cotton lining helps the dress shaping stable.
Before cutting out the dress I marked the 1cm seam allowances on the pattern pieces. I learnt that marking the seam allowances makes pattern matching more accurate.

What I realised is that for this fabric, pattern matching is great for beginners as the print is dark and doesn’t have an obvious repeat.

Ok enough of the technical talk.

On the test versions I hand basted the zippers before machine stitching them. This keeps the zipper in place as you machine sew the zipper into the dress. This also allowed me to check the dress fit.

Machine sewing in the zipper isn’t something I can do in one go, so this also allowed me to sew the zipper into the dress in a couple of stages.


One thing I did learn from the test dresses is to leave the centre front facing loose until the zipper is sewn into the dress, for a sharper finish.

Yoyo is now my key Aussie Summer piece I can easily throw on when I have somewhere to go and it’s boiling hot outside. Having the dress fully lined means I’ll be a touch more comfortable in this heat that started before Christmas.

Cheers everyone and thanks again to Minerva Crafts for providing everything for this dress.


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