Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Collar Pattern & Fitting, Part 2

I worked on the collar pattern a little more, and I'm much happier with it now. I did take it into work for pattern help - I wasn't sure if the problem was the neckline or the collar, and I didn't want to waste time "fixing" the wrong thing. Turns out the major culprit was the collar - much easier to fix.

To review, here's the collar in the 1st Fitting:
1st Collar Mockup - Collar is pulling away at the neckline seam where it meets the Lapel

Collar Pattern after 1st Mockup - Darker Line shows the refined Point

So here's the fix - the collar needs to curve up more along the neckline seam. Because the collar seamline was too straight, it was tugging in an odd direction. I decided to curve the neckline up about 1" higher than it was before (1" was just an educated guess).

I traced the straight-ish back neckline edge with no changes, marked the new point I was aiming to curve up to, and slashed the collar from edge to the neckline (at one point I thought this was all wrong and threw away the process pattern, so no pics...but I'll do some if anyone ever asks). Keeping the front neck seamline the same length (bottom edge), I curved it up into my new shape. But! By overlapping the outer edge to make the new curved shape, the pattern became too tight on the outer edge, which was the same problem I had with my very first collar draft. GOING IN CIRCLES!! So I laid the pattern back out flat, and traced that top edge in the shape it wanted to be - but it's now longer than my original CB line, so I had to change the angle of the CB seam.

Collar After Correction - Neckline edge is more curved (bottom edge), Point remains the same
 The collar pattern looks completely different from any of the examples I've been looking at (thus the trashed collar pattern mentioned above). But I decided to give it a shot and stitch it onto my mockup - VICTORY!! Now the collar lays much more nicely where it joins the lapel. (Okay, I have to take out a smidge from CB, but you can't really tell here.) If I ever make another coat from this pattern, I'll want to rework this area, but I think it's time to call it good enough and MOVE ON. :)
Corrected Collar Mockup - Note the smooth roll where the lapel and collar meet


  1. WOW! That's amazing!! Such a small thing and it looks so awesome. Thanks for sharing this :)

    P.S.- my code word for posting was unchris

  2. Geez, what a headache! I'm glad you were able to figure out what was wrong with the piece. I would have had a nervous breakdown and given up :P

  3. Luckily the project had been going pretty smoothly up to that point, so I didn't mind putting a little extra time in on the collar (although I'm stalling on working on the sleeves. ;) Being able to take it into work for fitting help is a big asset. There's far too little info on fixing fit problems out there.

  4. It's clear from your progress so far, that you are an experienced dress-maker, and know what you are doing, and though I have already made my husband's tailcoat, and learned a heck of a lot from it, I will also learn a lot from your blog too.
    I'm now thinking about undoing his coat and making it fit better