First, I feel like I need to make a confession. In this series I'm showing the machine tailoring method, for a couple of reasons: it's slightly less labor-intensive than hand tailoring (padstitching) and gives a different hand to the completed jacket than fusible interfacing. I also chose it for its novelty factor - you just don't see a lot of it showing up in blog posts. But I have to say: having machine tailored this collar, I don't love it. I found that I wasn't able to work a curve into the fabric like I can with hand tailoring, so there's going to be a bit of wrinkling on my under collar when it's turned back. It's never going to show, but I know it's there and it kind of bothers me. So I'm going to think about maybe reworking this collar with fusible. My fabric is a densely woven cotton twill, so hand tailoring isn't a good option here.
OK, now that I've got that off my chest, here's what I did this afternoon. First off is marking the canvas under collar pieces. You'll need to mark the following lines:
1. CB seam (dark blue)
2. Roll line (magenta)
3. Tailoring lines inside the collar stand (turquoise) - parallel to the roll line, spaced 1/4" apart (optional, as I explain below)
4. Tailoring lines in the fall of the collar (orange) - think of this as a big M which roughly divides the collar into fourths, starting and ending at the outer collar edge. My collar piece is about 8" wide, so the points of my M are spaced 2" apart.
Next, overlap the CB seam lines and sew together with a zigzag stitch:
Trim away the excess seam allowance:
|You can see I messed up the marking on the left side. NBD|
Now sew the under collar's center back seam of your outer fabric. Press this open on your tailor board. We're going to be pressing open every seam from here on out in this way, so pay attention! (It's not hard.)
Drape the piece on the board so the seam is centered on the wood:
Open the seam allowances with your fingers and press with steam - use a press cloth if you need to for your fabric.
As soon as you remove the iron, press down firmly on the seam with the clapper for 5 seconds or so, to lock in the steam and cool the fabric.
You will be amazed at how crisp your seam looks.
Arrange your canvas on the under collar piece. I like to draw in the seam allowances here to help me line things up. I also use my little measuring gadget to make sure that the outer edge stays at the 5/8" line and the neck edge stays at the 1/2" line. I even had to trim a bit away - the canvas is shifty and stretched out of shape a bit when I sewed the seam. Pin everything in place to hold.
Now start sewing the tailoring lines, starting with the roll line. All of the tailoring lines will be sewn from the center back out to the edge and off the fabric. Here I've found (both times I've done this) that my lines are more accurate if I use the 1/4" guide on my presser foot rather than the lines I drew, so if I use this method again, I'll save myself some time and not bother drawing all those lines! You'll be able to see in the following pictures what I'm talking about.
Sew both sides of the roll line, center out, then go back and do the rest of the collar stand on one side, then finish up with the rest of the lines on the other side.
Now remember: with this method, the stitching lines do show on the outside of the garment (but only when the collar is turned up), so be as exact as you can. That's why I decided to follow my presser foot guide rather than the lines I drew.
Next, go back and stitch that big M, one side at a time, starting from the center back. Here's what you'll end up with:
Now take this whole piece over to your ironing board and give it a nice press. I used my press cloth so I wouldn't make my fabric shiny.
Grab your ham and shape the collar around it as if it were a neck. Pin one side, then fold the fall back from the stand and wrap it all the way around and pin on the other side.
Hover your iron near the collar but not touching it, and shoot some steam at it. Immediately put your iron down and press lightly with your hand - your hand is taking the place of the clapper here. We just want to work a soft fold into the collar, not make a crease.
Work your way all around the collar a few times like this, then set the whole thing aside to cool and dry. Leave the collar on the ham until you need to sew it to the jacket. Or until you need to use the ham, which will come first if you have darts in your jacket like I do.
Whew! I think I can safely say that my resolution of shorter posts is out the window! Is this helpful to anyone? It takes a LOT of time to sew, photograph, edit, write and re-edit; if no one is benefiting from it, I'll save myself the trouble!