Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Crazy Collars

I love a great collar.  And this suit definitely has one!

The main reason I decided to go all in with the tailoring on this jacket is that very collar.  The mid-weight cotton has quite a bit of drape and not enough structure to keep the proper shape.  Hair canvas seemed like a good bet.

The upper portion of the collar is underlined with silk organza, and the under collar with hair canvas.  I knew the under collar needed to be pad-stitched.  The question was, what to do about all of those darts.

I wanted a lot of body through the collar, but not the bulk that multiple layers of hair canvas would give.

The stitching lines are traced on the hair canvas and organza.  The underlinings are then basted to the cotton along those traced lines.

The darts are removed from the hair canvas, and those cut edges get catch-stitched to the cotton.

Next, the darts are pinned and basted.

And then they are finally stitched!

Once they are pressed, the darts are catch-stitched in place.  (The darts are balanced by pressing the under collar ones in the opposite direction to the upper collar ones.)

The same goes for the silk organza, although none of that gets cut away.

Which leaves me with this . . .

And it looks like the hair canvas is doing a fine job of shaping!

I am going to need to count the number of darts on this project because I think it may be an all time record for me!


  1. Who doesn't love a collar? And please count those darts!

  2. Aaah this is seriously cool, and quite helpful since I am doing my first foray into tailoring too. Quite insightful.

  3. I can't wait to see the final result! This collar will be amazing.

  4. Beautiful handwork! I would not have thought to underline the upper collar but I assume the reason you underlined with silk organza was for body and to prevent the shape being distorted at the dry cleaners. I will be watching to see if you underline the body and sleeves as well. Thanks for sharing your beautiful techniques. You inspire me to put thought and time into every detail of making a garment.

  5. wow - this is a massive labour of love and that is one statement collar! so great to see all your lovely handstitching on the insides.

  6. I'm so enjoying watching this come together. It's looking fantastic!

  7. Awww, so beautiful! Although I will apply this process to a hat I've got going, not a collar, I thank you in advance.

  8. I cannot wait to see this! That collar will frame your face beautifully.

  9. Your posts are so interesting and informative, I learn such a lot. This collar is so intreaguing.

  10. Exceelnt idea to lesson the number of darts you would have to sew! Looking forward to the finish product :-)

  11. So gorgeous! I'm so happy to see someone attempting a vintage suit pattern. There were so many beautiful suits in days gone by. Also I counted the darts, there are 20 in the collar. Count the skirt and so far you've done 40! Way to go! As usual a great read for the vintage obsessed public.

  12. What wonderful work -- just thinking of all those darts gives me hives -- or at least pause. I can not wait to see this all finished up and modelled. It's already so beautiful.