When I asked what part of sewing jackets you find the most intimidating to sew, many of you left a comment about the collar and lapel. I must have had a premonition, as this week’s episode of It’s Sew Easy gives you a few tips for success. You are right, the collar and lapel is what really makes your jacket stand out … and the good news … it’s easier to sew than you think. In fact, sewing is only a minute part involved in tailoring a collar. The most time-consuming part involves preparing the center front jacket, upper collar, and under collar pattern pieces with interfacing and twill tape, not to mention pad stitching if you are going the traditional tailoring route. The weight of the interfacing will determine the thickness and stability of your lapel and collar, so be sure to test a sample first. My two favorites for jackets are armo-weft fusible interfacing (shown here) and horse hair canvas (perfect if you plan on pad stitching – which I will show in a later blog post). Fusible interfacing can be added in layers if you need more structure at the end of the lapel, keep that in mind if you interfacing supply is limited.
Despite adding interfacing, extra measures need to be taken to prevent the neckline and center front of the jacket from stretching out. Twill tape is the perfect solution! Look closely and you can see hand stitching attaching the 1/4″ wide cotton twill tape to the front edge of the jacket. As I am hand stitching, I am holding the twill tape tight and allowing the jacket fabric to ease in. Not too much easing though! Make sure the jacket doesn’t change shape or become skewed.
What about that perfect roll on the lapel? Again, twill tape is hand stitched to the roll line (the roll line should be printed on your jacket pattern)
When hand stitching the twill tape to the roll line, keep the twill tape tight (tighter than when we added twill tape to the center front and neckline). Again, easing in the fashion fabric. I use a pin to hold one end of the twill tape and start stitching from the other end. You can see below how much I am easing!
Here I started hand stitching the twill tape in place, the main part of the stitch is on the twill tape and I am just picking a short fiber in the fashion fabric, then back through the twill tape. You can barely see the stitching from the right side of the fabric. When you are finished steam press the lapel roll using a seam roll. Again, for more details see this weeks episode of It’s Sew Easy, scroll to the bottom of their page and click on the video.
Another Giveaway, this one is for my online class: Sewing a Designer Unlined Jacket on PatternReveiw.com. Does your favorite jacket style close in the center front or asymmetrically? Just tell us your preference to enter the jacket class giveaway. (A random winner will be drawn next Monday) Congratulations to last weeks winner JRP53 who will be joining me in the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview! Good luck on your jackets!