After I wrote my previous post, about how my plan to make a tailored jacket came to a grinding halt, I rallied. I posed my question in the PatternReview.com forum, Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting section:
I composed what I hoped would be a catchy title for my thread, “Success Using Kenneth King’s Notched Collar Adaptation?” Translation:
- “Success.” We all want to know which instructions really, really work.
- “Kenneth King.” He teaches online classes through Pattern Review and has an enthusiastic following.
- “Notched Collar.” A thorn in the side of many sewers.
- “Adaptation.” You mean there could be a better way? Tell me about it!
Then I wrote my question:
I am getting ready to make a jacket following Kenneth King’s “new school” method step by step on his Smart Tailoring DVD set. (I have only buttonholes left to do on a jacket that faithfully followed his “old school” method, which was quite successful. See my blog for the blow-by-blow.)
Here’s where I’m stuck–right at the beginning of my project. In this “new school” method you eliminate a seam and bulk from the notched collar by combining the front jacket pattern piece with the under collar piece. Kenneth illustrates this (briefly) in his April/May 2006 Threads article “A Notch Above,” which is also bonus material on the DVD. He also mentions this method on his Tailoring CD. I am NOT a natural at pattern-drafting, so I just could not fathom what to do and how to check my work.
Has anybody experienced success with Kenneth’s method? Any tricky parts to be aware of?
I will be taking Kenneth’s tailoring class in Cleveland in July so eventually I will get an answer with the amount of detail I need (which is a lot). However, I was hoping to produce another jacket before the class so I could test all the “new school” instructions and be ready with questions. Thanks for any help.
I hit Post Topic and then waited for replies to roll in.
Pretty soon a Pattern Review member answered. She was curious about this pattern-drafting trick, too.
Then another member wrote in. She scoured the Internet to help me, and found this photo, which she posted in the thread:
It’s a little strange to have a photo of a project from your own blog cited as the answer to your problem. But the intention was so very nice.
Even though I didn’t get a tidy little answer to my question, the tone of solicitude and interest from fellow sewers made me resolve to give this patternmaking method another try. I owed it to myself, and to my correspondents who were taking pains to ease me back onto the sewing road.
I saw where the under collar intersected with the shoulder seam and transferred the marking to the pattern piece.
Matching the circle and the shoulder seam, I noticed that the seamline on the under collar was barely curved, while the front neckline was much more curved. The distance stitched was the same, though.
So, back to what I wanted to accomplish: combining the under collar and front. If the stitching lines don’t match, do I alter the under collar to compensate in some way? Transfer the difference to another edge? Does this make sense?
I was observing; I was reasoning, but I didn’t know the patternmaking principle to apply to this situation, so I was not solving the problem.
But something I had read on Kenneth King’s “Tailored Jacket” CD book came back to me. He describes eliminating the seam by combining the two pattern pieces, and then says,
An aside: This doesn’t work for peaked lapels, as the edges of the collar are too close together.
Then he shows a photo of a peaked lapel and a line drawing of the pattern pieces of a peaked lapel fitted together.
I returned to my muslin and compared it with the drawing.
Does my jacket have a peaked lapel? I’m thinking it does. At least, the pattern pieces are behaving like a peaked lapel.
After I’ve given my brain a good rest I may further investigate this matter of notched lapels, excluding those of the peaked kind.
Or I may wait a month. I will probably get all the information I need in a five- or ten-minute explanation and demo from Kenneth.
At least, Pattern Review correspondents, thanks to you, I made a good faith effort.