Monday, September 10, 2007

How I attach the collar to the jacket

Here's my method, which I like because it seems bulkless to me. It is a combination of several methods, some picked many years ago from the Burda illustrated course, some from sewing tips in a French magazine. I think it was Marie Claire but I'm not sure, this was 20 years ago!

First of all, my apologies because I forgot to take pictures at the beginning, therefore I must replace them with sketches.

1) If your pattern doesn't have a separate piece for the undercollar, make yourself one, by copying the upper collar and trimming 1/8 inches (3mm) all around. Sew the upper collar to the undercollar (my undercollar is cut on bias), stretching the trimmed undercollar to match the upper collar. Stop at the notches (marked with "stop here" on my drawing). Trim seam allowances if needed, turn, understitch and press. If you match the neckline seam on the uppercolar and undercollar, you will see that the uppercollar is bigger. Now fold that collar, still matching the neckline seams and put it around your neck. See now why the uppercollar is bigger? To adjust for the so called turn-of-cloth. The collar folds and rolls beautifully around your neck.

2) Sew the uppercollar to the facing (the collar's neckline seam to the facing neckline seam).

Trim, clip and press that seam open, like me:

3) Sew the undercollar to the jacket. Again, trim, clip, press open:

4) Sew the facings to the jacket.

5) Now, fold your collar and put one seam allowance of the uppercollar and one seam allowance of the undercollar together (the other two seam allowances are inside the collar). Sew those seam allowances together, either by hand or by machine (using a zipper foot in this case). Turn and press. Isn't it beautiful? Light and without bulk.

Peaking inside my WIP jacket... I've used Marcy Tilton's article for Threads, Armani jackets: The inside story:

I taped the lapel roll line with fusible tape, about 1.5 cm shorter than the roll line. The majority of the ease is in the middle third of the lapel line and the easing is done by steaming.

I stabilised the center front edges with 5/8 (1.6 cm) tape which is actually a lining selvedge. Tha tape was sewn with a basting stitch, without stretching. The tape is clipped at roll point, to allow the lapel to roll.

The armhole is stabilised with 1/4 (6 mm) twill tape - the tape is slightly stretched while sewn, thus forcing the armhole to "hug" the body - and at the shoulder, the seam allowance is pressed open for 2 inches (one on both sides of the shoulder point).

I'm also planning to attach a floating chest piece made out of canvas cut on the bias and a wigan strip (also cut on the bias) at the sleeve hem.

Stay put for the completed jacket and more inside pictures.


Summerset said...

Hmmm. . .very clever - I like it! Thank you so much for the tutorial - I know how much work goes into doing them.

Cherie said...


Great illustrations/photos! I love that technique also, may have learned it back in the middle ages when I was in college. Hmm I wonder if it was in the Bishop's Method?

Love the houndstooth very much.

dawn said...

Yes, I think you're right that that is the collar attaching method used in burda instructions. I've used it myself and I remember plowing through the (pictureless) directions on blind faith, then being fascinated with the result.

Great work, I can't wait to see it done!

Tany said...

Great tutorial, Laura! I prefer this method to any other too!

Anonymous said...

Well, thank you for this tutorial! At some point I have to try my luck on a jacket with lapel, so this will be very handy then.

LauraLo said...

Thank you so much, ladies!
I'm glad you find this useful, sometimes I think that my English is quite confusing and am not sure if I manage to help anyone...

Marji said...

Your english is just fine!
I've always done jacket collars a little differently, but am about to embark on several suits, so may give this a go. Thanks for posting it.
Love the houndstooth. Is it the houndtooth from Timmel?

LauraLo said...

Thank you, Marji! I don't know why I get his impression that I use too many word when writing a tutorial in English and therefore am not very clear.
I would be really happy if you tried this method and it worked for you. Let me know...
The houndstooth is indeed from Timmel and it is a great fabric! Not only it is beautiful but it fuses like a dream! Best fabric I've tried to fuse interfacing to!

BettyBoop said...

I can't wait to try your method. I'm a beginner sewer and completely ruined a jacket because I could couldnt get the collar right. The fabric was woven and kept unravelling and I kept trimming...and anyway hopefully I'll get better results using your instructions.

Unknown said...

THANKYOU! I'm trying to make a Burda pattern and I was so confused by the collar instructions because there were no pictures. This is a huge help, I am in your debt!

Austragirl said...

Hi Laura. Both your article and your English are excellent! I shall use this on a wool check jacket currently under construction. Do you have any advice on interfacing the collar pieces?