Back with another episode of jacket-making using the Smart Tailoring with Kenneth King DVD set. I made the undercollar.
I braced myself for this segment, because it seemed like the “old-schoolest” of the old school techniques. Collar felt! Pad stitching! Pressing! Pad stitching! Steaming and shaping! Pad stitching!
However, once again Kenneth demystified the process. Although making the undercollar was labor-intensive, it wasn’t hard, and was even kind of fun.
For the undercollar Kenneth used a collar canvas:
It’s a little bit stiff; it feels a little bit papery. It’s a canvas that’s treated with a sizing so that when you steam it, it gets malleable, but then after it cools it gets rigid again.
Somehow I missed putting this special collar canvas on the shopping list for this project.
What I had on hand was a canvas and collar felt combination, bought for the notorious sportcoat
project UFO in 2003 or ’04. It had been so long since I’d looked at this supply that I was surprised to see it wasn’t just collar felt but had canvas almost invisibly stitched to it.
As the undercollar is cut from the canvas in two pieces and seamed, but the felt is cut on the fold as one piece, I don’t get why the two materials are essentially fused together.
I thought I might as well cut the two units apart, use them separately, and see what happened.
Having practiced pad stitching on the body canvas, I was not fazed by all the pad stitching of the undercollar.
However, I was surprised that it took me just about three hours to accomplish. The good news was I got into a pretty good rhythm.
Also, because I wasn’t constantly putting down my work and taking up the camera to document my process, as is usually the case, I was able to pop a DVD of The Women into the laptop and listen to witty dialogue as I worked away.
In an earlier segment Kenneth recommends listening to rhythmic music while you pad stitch. Certainly a movie that can be listened to if not watched is also a good pad stitching companion.
Shape is built into the undercollar with pad stitching. Also with pressing and steaming.
With the undercollar ready to assume its supporting role, it’s time to turn my attention to its partner: the upper collar.
But first I’m going to take a breather. Which line in The Women is my favorite? Guess I’ll have to watch it all over again before deciding.