Donny Shirt

Donny shirt With Front Yoke Sewing Hack by Mallory @Queer.Sewist

Donny shirt With Front Yoke Sewing Hack by Mallory @Queer.Sewist

Hi! I’m Mallory, @queer.sewist on instagram. I started sewing because I wanted to create bright, fun, quirky, queer, gender-fluid clothes that fit me. In this blog post I’ll be sharing with you how to create a Donny Shirt with a front yoke inspired by a vintage pattern I found at a thrift store.


I picked up this vintage pattern from 1976 at a thrift store because I liked the style of the front yoke on the shirt.  After looking at the pattern pieces, I wasn’t sure about the fit and sizing of the pattern.  Thankfully soon after that the Friday Pattern Company released the Donny Shirt and I thought the front yoke design would be a perfect match for the pattern.  I like the front yoke because it allows you to play with pattern direction, add in-seam pockets if you want, and it adds an interesting style line.  The fabric I chose to use is a pink, blue, and white striped fabric.  Although I have always been intimidated by sewing with stripes, I was drawn to the fabric because it is the colors of the trans pride flag.  

The creator of the flag, Monica Helms, explains that “The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional masculine color. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional feminine color. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender.”  I sewed this shirt to wear to the trans march during San Francisco Pride and I have been wearing it a ton since then.  


My measurements matched the size small on the size chart.  I cut a size small except for the armsyce and sleeve which I cut a size medium.  I also added 4 inches to the length. 

Pattern Pieces:

The only pattern pieces I needed to alter were the front and the front facing.  The sleeve, back yoke, back, and collar remained the same as the original pattern. 

For both the front facing and the front, I drew a horizontal line ½” below the circle marker and cut the pattern pieces apart using the line as a guide.  I then added seam allowances to the front facing piece and both of the front pieces.  I added a ½” seam allowance so I would have enough fabric to use a flat-felled seam when connecting the pattern pieces.  

For the bottom half of the front, I drew a vertical line ⅜” from the center front and removed the seam allowance.  I made a note on the pattern piece to cut it on the fold

The final front facing, front yoke, and front bottom pattern pieces looked like this 

Sewing Instructions:

Below I’ve outlined the steps to take to sew the top.  

Follow steps 1-7 of the pattern as written.  You can skip step 8.  

For step 9, sew together the back yoke and the front yoke pieces 

Complete Step 10 as written to attach the collar to the front and back yokes 

For step 11, I attached the interfacing to my front facing pieces by sewing the interfacing to the pattern pieces right sides together (the right side of the interfacing is the non-sticky side) then turned the pieces and pressed to attach the interfacing.  This means the edge of the facing was already turned over and finished.  If you’d like to see this method, you can see my quick tutorial on tiktok 

Follow steps 12-16 as written.   

For step 17, follow the step as written, but you’ll only be stitching the short 1” section of the front facing.  I skipped steps 18 and 19 because I chose not to top stitch the facing to the front yoke, but you could do this if you want to.  You should now have the top part of your shirt finished and it should look like this. 

Once the top half of the shirt is complete, you’ll need to attach the bottom back and bottom front.  The order does not matter.  

Attach the back of the shirt following the instructions in the pattern 

Siryn was super helpful during these steps, so I thought I’d include a cute cat picture here for encouragement 

Next, sew the bottom front piece to the front yoke right sides together.  Press the seam allowance upwards and finish with a flat-felled seam.  You could also finish using a different method.  This is also where you could add inseam pockets.  

Follow the remaining instructions to finish your shirt 

I hope you all enjoy this hack and I can’t wait to see how you use it!  I think it would be fun to add embroidery on the front yoke like the original pattern I found from the 70s or to add some fun pockets along the front seam.  

Shop the Donny Pattern here

& Check out Mallory on Instagram here

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