Select Page

Readers,

Here’s the collar unit I made for my 1941 McCall “Misses’ Mannish Jacket” pattern, continuing with my project to follow Kenneth King’s “old school” tailoring techniques from his Smart Tailoring DVD set.  It was fun to make, and unlike any collar I’ve ever made before.

The collar edge is fell stitched. the collar is now ready to attach to the jacket body. Yay!

The collar edge is fell stitched. The collar is now ready to attach to the jacket body. Yay!

I think the collar turned out well, but I’ll know for sure when I actually attach it to the jacket in the next segment.

The upper collar is drafted with a larger seam allowance, which will be trimmed later. I drafted my pattern piece with a 1-inch seam allowance.

The upper collar is drafted with a larger seam allowance, which will be trimmed later. I drafted my pattern piece with a 1-inch seam allowance.

The upper collar is a single piece cut on the fold.

The upper collar is a single piece cut on the fold.

From the center back to the ends  gently steam, press, and stretch along the collar neck edges

From the center back to the ends gently steam, press, and stretch along the collar neck edges.

I’ve always followed a method where the undercollar is part of the jacket unit and the upper collar is part of a facing and lining unit. Then the two big units are sewn together. This method can work beautifully–or not. Much depends on being accurate in the approximately 1,462 steps preceding the big joining-together.

The upper collar after a little stretching is starting to take shape.

The upper collar after a little stretching is starting to take shape.

The upper collar is going to be wrapped around the undercollar.

The upper collar is going to be wrapped around the undercollar.

The upper collar is going to be wrapped around the undercollar, wrong sides together.

The upper collar is going to be wrapped around the undercollar, wrong sides together.

So it was very different to lavish all my attention on just the undercollar, in the previous segment, and then basically wrap the upper collar around the undercollar in this segment.

The upper collar is basted to the roll line of the undercollar.

The upper collar is basted to the roll line of the undercollar.

The upper collar is basted to the roll line of the undercollar.

The upper collar is basted to the roll line of the undercollar.

The basted edge is trimmed of excess bulk.

The basted edge is trimmed of excess bulk.

“In old school tailoring,” Kenneth says in the video,”putting the upper collar to the undercollar would happen after the undercollar was joined to the body. But what I found was it’s very difficult to get all of the shaping–like getting the shaping of the seam allowances on the gorge line in here, and also to get the shaping of the outer edges. So I just figured I would do it separately.”

Now the neck edge of the upper collar is wrapped snugly around the undercollar and pressed in place.

Now the neck edge of the upper collar is wrapped snugly around the undercollar and pressed in place.

Pinning in place before basting.

Pinning in place before basting.

After the neck edge is basted, excess is trimmed.

After the neck edge is basted, excess is trimmed.

As with the undercollar, the method for the upper collar is covered in the Threads magazine article “King’s Collar” from the October/November 2014 issue. This article is part of the bonus material on Disc 3 of the the Smart Tailoring DVD set.

Now the upper collar is basted to the undercollar along the roll line and both long edges.

Now the upper collar is basted to the undercollar along the roll line and both long edges.

And now the basting is removed from the collar edge in preparation for felling.

And now the basting is removed from the collar edge in preparation for felling.

The upper collar is pulled back to reveal the canvas, which will be trimmed in the next step.

The upper collar is pulled back to reveal the canvas, which will be trimmed in the next step.

I was glad to have Kenneth’s demo of steaming, pressing, and stretching the upper collar on the video because the Threads article has no pictures of this.

I pad stitched too close to the seam line and had to remove some of the stitches in order to trim the canvas back by 1/8 inch.

I pad stitched too close to the seam line and had to remove some of the stitches in order to trim the canvas back by 1/8 inch.

The canvas has been trimmed, although less than neatly,by 1/8 inch so that the collar felt is longer.

The canvas has been trimmed, although less than neatly,by 1/8 inch so that the collar felt is longer.

The collar edge is ready to be fell-stitched.

The collar edge is ready to be fell-stitched.

As you know if you have read more than three one of my posts, my two usual sewing speeds are slow and slower. So I was astonished yesterday to follow Kenneth’s instructions for the upper collar and suddenly find myself done with the segment.

This article is part of the bonus material on Disc 3. This is where you can find the steps to doing a fell stitch. Threads Feb./March 2008

This article is part of the bonus material on Disc 3. This is where you can find the steps to doing a fell stitch. Threads Feb./March 2008

The upper collar is fell stitched to the collar felt.

The upper collar is fell stitched to the collar felt.

So much the better. I’m more than ready to move on to sewing the shoulder seams and attaching this collar to the neckline.

Another step closer.

Another step closer.