Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Accept

How to: replace the yoke on a shirt

Posted by Ron McQuade Oxfam fashion blogger

31st May 2012

materials you will need

Lace is everywhere this spring/summer, from hosiery to dresses, but it can be difficult to wear it without looking like a bride or a pair of vantage curtains. The trick is moderation; one popular way of incorporating lace into clothes is through lace inserts. A touch of lace adds a delicate detail and is a subtle way of showing a little skin. Most oxfam shops will have a variety of shirts, especially white, so you're bound to find one that suits you. So then, why buy an overpriced high street lace shirt, when, with a little creativity, you could make your own? 


  • Shirt with a yoke
  • Lace
  • Scissors or seam ripper
  • Something to mark the lace with
  • Needle and thread

Step 1:

Cut off the yoke. Use your seam ripper to take apart the seams that attach the yoke to the rest of the shirt, or if you don't have a seam ripper, use your scissors to cut as close to the seams as possible while leaving the seams intact. The neater the seams look when you cut them, the cleaner the look of the final shirt.

Step 2:

Place the cutout yoke onto your lace and trace the shape. Add 1cm of seam allowance to seams that have been cut with scissors and add none where the original seam allowance is still intact. Cut out your new lace yoke.

Step 3:

If you're not too certain about sewing, simply flip your shirt inside out and pin the yoke exactly where you cut out the old one. Then sew along the existing seams as closely as you can. Cut off any seam allowance that's sticking out too much.

For those of you out there that are sewing pros, pin the lace yoke to the shirt right sides together and sew it on. Start with the bottom seam, followed by the shoulders and collar and finish with the arm hole. Trim away any seam allowances as necessary.

That's it, a wonderful new top! For variations, you can cut out your own shapes in the shirt (not just the yoke) and replace those with lace. Or for an autumn/winter '12 Isabel Marant inspired look, replace the yoke with block colour fabrics instead and use contrasting thread to add a decorative touch to the seams.


Blog post written by Ron McQuade

Oxfam fashion blogger

More by Ron McQuade

Ron McQuade