Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby trench part 5: The collar

Now that I've got the embellishment sorted I've been steaming away on the baby trench! Today's mission was the collar. I used the same folding trick described in this post to give the turn-of-cloth allowance to the upper collar. (Why does my camera focus so much better on this type of photo than one looking directly down I wonder?)

See those dark dots on my fingernail? I hit myself with a hammer as I was hammering in domes on something. What makes it irritating is that it was THE SAME DAY as I'd cleaned the last of the last one out of the same fingernail. I may not be accurate, but at least I'm consistent ;-)

Just before I forget to mention it, I interfaced only one piece of the upper collar so it stays softer, but both pieces of the collar stand to give it the needed support. I used a nice soft interfacing, because I really don't want this ending up feeling like cardboard!

After the upper collar was sewn I sewed it into the stand. Since the stand was to be inserted between the body of the coat and the facing I topstitched it at this point. Look how nice and wrinkly it looks - if I'd stuck with my original draft it would have been a flat one piece collar. This lovely shapely two piece one gives me great satisfaction.

Next up was sewing the shoulder seams. Since the flaps are lined with a fairly bulky fabric I trimmed that away in the seam allowance after I'd stitched the shoulder seams but before I'd topstitched them. (And another lovely sharp photo. I clearly need to have words with my camera)

To attach the collar I like to pin a lot, and perpendicular to the seam so that I can sew very close to the pins, over them if necessary. It makes sewing a convex curve to a concave one more controllable I think.

I usually sew the collar to the body of the coat first, then sew the facing to that. Since the curves have been anchored together I can use fewer pins and place them parallel to the seam. I sew this from the body side of the coat, sewing right over my first line of stitching.

A quick check to make sure I don't have any puckers in my seam.....

And on to clipping the concave curves (and a bit of the collar's convex curve too) so everything will lie smoothly. I always offset my clips as it helps give a smoother curve when turned, and there's always at least one layer of seam allowance in any given spot. You can see the clips offset in this photo.

By this time my sister was about to arrive for a visit, so sewing was over for the day. I tossed the coat on a hanger so I could get the first glimpse of how it will look when finished.

I am so happy with my proper collar!
Since I took this photo I've sewn on the belt loops, made the belt, and sewn and topstitched the side seams (I like topstitched side seams). But there is no way my camera will play nicely at night, so that's all for today folks!


  1. This is going to be so adorable!

  2. You made a lot of progress. Nice sewing!

  3. You should be pleased with the collar - it turned out beautifully!

  4. The collar is great. I can't wait to see this coat finished.