Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Collar Pattern & Fitting, Part 1

With all these options, it seems like it should be easy enough to make up some sort of collar, right? Well hopefully for you it's easier than it was for me...for the last couple weeks I've been struggling to get my collar to fit and lay right. 

Remember how I changed the front neckline in the first fitting, and the neckline curve became a tighter circle? Because the neckline shape changed, I decided to scrap the collar I scaled up from the Tidens Toej pattern and draft a new one using Men's Garments 1830-1900. This book has been extremely helpful to me so far, but that version of the draft didn't work because the neckline is so much tighter...the inner edge is so tightly curved, that the outer edge became too tight.

Original Collar draft - probably should have stuck to this version!
Drafted Collar, Slashed and Spread to open up the outer curve
I was just hoping that my new collar would be big enough, and I planned to tweak it significantly in the next fitting. The shape of that outer edge is really ugly!

It turns out, I over-spread the collar draft a little bit, so I'm taking about 1" out of the center back collar. We also shaped the collar to be a little more narrow at the front - it's on the smaller side for the period, but not quite as small as the original inspiration portrait. I kind of insisted on having the "M" shaped collar point - I don't think Chris cares for it much, but to me it's a really cool feature of the period that I didn't want to leave out.

One part I'm still struggling with is getting the collar to roll correctly at the front collar/lapel - you can see it pulling away from Chris's neck where I've got it marked with a pin on one side. I think it's the neckline shape that's the problem, not the sewing. I'm going to ask a patternmaker at work for help, and I'll post the correction here.

BTW, taking pictures when we fit has been really helpful to refer back to when working on the pattern. That way I don't have to ask him to put it back on every 5 minutes!

Viewer's Left: Unshaped Collar as drafted
Viewer's Right: Collar is trimmed and "M" Point defined
Viewer's Left: Collar Trimmed
Viewer's RIght: Unshaped Collar

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