Following Kenneth King’s “old school” instructions in his Smart Tailoring DVD set, yesterday I hand stitched my collar to my 1941 McCall “misses’ mannish jacket.” I was surprised by how straightforward the process was and gratified by the result.
It was also the first time I can say that making a notched collar was relaxing and fun. With Kenneth’s demos I always knew what to do next, and it always worked.
What’s more, I didn’t feel as if succeeding in making a nice notched collar worked because I just got lucky. I think I succeeded because I had good instruction.
For me, good instruction involves helping learners understand objectives and processes in addition to teaching step-by-step methods.
As I was fell stitching the undercollar and slip stitching the upper collar to the neckline I understood the process and felt in control of the process. With each hand stitch I could control the placement of the collar precisely along the neckline.
Although I’ve tested high in dexterity aptitudes and gravitate toward detail work I realize I’ve nevertheless absorbed a certain attitude toward hand work as time-consuming and fussy.
Well, my experience with the “old school” methods Kenneth King teaches in Smart Tailoring is that the hand work is giving me so much more freedom and control than I had before.
This collar method cuts out (ha!) all the grading I was doing previously because it keeps bulk from happening in the first place.
I have a very heavy wool begging to be made into a full-length coat with a collar and lapels that could be pulled up around my face and neck to ward off wintry blasts. I’ve wondered how I could handle such bulky seams with my sewing machine at all, much less accurately and elegantly.
Now I have an alternative method: skip the machine and proceed by hand.
And–watch the video!
The video format has been a fantastic resource–often more helpful than even an individual lesson with a teacher, because I can see extreme closeups and pause the video repeatedly.