This is not our first time around the block sewing notched collars. We sewed notched collars (with piping!) for our Carolyn Pajamas, and had even more practice with our Jasika Blazer. As you follow along, it is important to pay attention to when the seam allowance changes from the usual 5/8″ to 3/8″. This will be marked in the instructions in addition to this tutorial.
ASSEMBLING COLLAR & LAPEL FACING
To start, sew a line of stay stitching around the neckline of the jacket between the circle match points, just within the 3/8″ seam allowance.
Ensure the top collar, back neck facing, and lapel facings have been interfaced. The under collar pieces are not interfaced. Mark the match points from the pattern pieces with your preferred marking tool. We used tailors tacks sewn with red thread for our markings.
If you would like to add a me-made clothing label or a fun hanging loop, stitch them to your back neck facing now. Baste the hanging loop within the 3/8″ seam allowance at the top of the back neck facing.
With right sides together, pin the lapel facings to the back neck facing along the shoulder seams.
Stitch at 5/8″ and press the seams open. It’s easier to prepare the long curved edge of the facing now before the collar is attached and everything is sewn to the jacket. You can either press it under by 3/8″ along the entire outside edge or trim by 3/8″ and enclose it with bias tape. If you are pressing it in place, staystitch a press guide for yourself at 3/8″.
Right sides together, pin the interfaced top collar to the neckline of the facing between the inner set of circle match points. The curvy edge of the collar is the one that is attached to the facing neckline.
To line things up precisely, stick a pin directly through the match point on the collar and through the match point of the lapel facing.
Sew the top collar to the facing neckline at 3/8″. Start and stop sewing precisely at each circle marking.
To finish attaching the collar to the facing, pin the collar to the lapel facing between the inner and outer circle marking.
To start sewing, drop your needle precisely at the first (inner) circle marking where the first stitch line ends. Sew carefully at 3/8″, stopping precisely at the outer circle marking. Repeat for the other side.
Cut notches so the seams can be pressed open. At the inner circle marking, clip into both the facing and the collar. Clip close to the stitchline without cutting into it. At the outer circle marking, clip into the lapel facing only.
Press the seams open. A point presser is very helpful at this step since it lets you get into tight spots.
Once everything is pressed open, put the collar and lapel facing aside while we attach the under collar to the jacket.
ATTACH UNDER COLLAR TO JACKET
With right sides together, sew the two under collar pieces together along their straight edges at 5/8″. Press the seam open.
Right sides together, pint the under collar to the neckline of the jacket between the inner set of circle match points using the same technique as for the top collar and facings. Stitch at 3/8″ precisely between the circle markings, backstitching to secure.
Pin the collar to the lapels of the jacket between the outer and inner circles. Stitch precisely between the markings at 3/8″.
Clip to the circle markings so everything can be pressed open. Again, clip through both the jacket and under collar at the inner circle marking, and clip through the jacket lapel only at the outer circle marking.
Press the neckline seams open.
Sew two rows of stitching 1/8″ away from either side of the neckline seam between the two inner circle markings to secure the seam in place; you can do the same for the facing with top collar.
This stitching will help the seams lay flat within the finished collar.
ATTACH COLLAR & FACING TO JACKET
If you are sewing View A or B, assemble your belt and D ring strap and baste them in place along the waist notches at right and left center front. For all views, pin the top collar and facings to the jacket with right sides together,
It’s very important that all the circle match points line up at this stage. Ensure the outer circle marking of the top collar is matching perfectly with the outer circle of the under collar – using a pin through each circle will help you align them.
Sew the top collar and under collar together at 3/8″, starting and stopping precisely at the circle marking, backstitching to secure. Keep the seam allowances out of the way of your stitch line (it may help you to pin or wonder clip them out of the way). Keep your needle down to turn the corner. You can check out our tutorial on sewing sharp collar points to get more tips!
Now sew the facing to the lapel of the jacket at 3/8″. Ensure the circle marking match up perfectly before you start sewing, and keep all the seam allowances out of the way of the stitch line. Your new stitch line will basically pick up where the collar stitch line ends. You may find it helpful to draw in the seam allowances at the point of the lapel so you know when to turn the corner.
Please note: because we are demonstrating an alternative way of hemming the jacket, we have extended the lapel facing pieces to match the hem of the jacket.
If you are following the instructions as written for the traditional method of hemming the jacket, your facings will stop at the hem allowance, 1.5″ from the bottom of the jacket. If you are sewing View A or B, the belt and D ring strap will be sandwiched between the facing and the jacket on either side.
Once everything has been sewn in place, turn the collar right side out to make sure the seams align perfectly. If they do not line up, adjust now before grading the seams.
Press all the seams open using a point presser if you have one. Try to get as close as you can to the corners. Pressing the seams open before turning everything right side out may seem a bit fiddly, but it’s worth the time because it will ensure a really crisp finished edge.
Trim the points of the collar and lapel, and grade the seams. Remember, when grading seams you always want to trim the seam that is closest to the body and leave the seam facing the world the longest (this ensures you “thin” the seam but it won’t be visible from the outside where you did it). You could grade the entire seam in one pass, but we have a trick to ensure the seam is graded depending on where the lapel breaks. There is a notch on the lapel to indicate the “break point” where the lapel will fold over and you can use this as a guide. Start by grading the under collar seam allowance by about 1/8″. Next, grade the seam allowance of the jacket body between the collar and the lapel break point notch the same amount. To finish, grade the seam allowance of the facing from the lapel break point notch down to the hem. This ensures that when the lapel is folded open, the longest, ungraded seam is always the one facing the world.
Turn everything right side out, using a point turner to help with the collar and lapel points. Give the collar and lapel a good press. To hide the seamline, try to slightly roll the seams of the under collar and lapel of jacket body under to break point. From break point to hem, roll the seam of the facing towards the inside of the jacket.
Secure the seam allowances of top collar and under collar together by sewing a basting stitch by hand at the back neck facing.
Since we are hemming our green cropped sample with an alternative method, we have a couple of extra steps before we can topstitch around the collar to finish. Skip this step if you are hemming the way we’ve suggested in the instructions.
The finished hem will be stitched inside the facing for a clean finish with sharp corners. Fold the facing over the seam to the jacket front with right sides together and pin in place. Draw in a stitch line across the facing at the hem allowance, 1/5″ from the bottom. (Ensure the raw edge of the facing has been finished by either pressing it in 3/8″, or by trimming 3/8″ and covering in bias tape.)
Sew across the stitch line, backstitching at beginning and end. Trim the corners and press the raw edge of the hem under by 1/2″.
Turn the facing right side out. Make sure the ends of the facing match in length on either side. Press the hem up by 1″.
Now! It’s time to topstitch the edges of the lapels and collar. Start stitching on the facing side of the right jacket front, 1/4″ from the edge.
We used a triple stitch to topstitch our green sample. When you reach the corner at the point of the lapel, keep your needle down to turn the corner. It may help to draw in the seam allowances here with chalk so you know exactly where to stop.
When you reach the collar, turn 90 degrees and stitch towards where the collar and lapel meet. Turn again and stitch in the ditch 1/4″ down the seam of the collar. Turn again to continue stitching 1/4″ around the perimeter of the collar. Repeat the same pattern on the other side of the collar.
This is what the topstitching will look like where the lapel and collar intersect.
Pin the pressed edge of the facing in place on the inside of the jacket around its entire perimeter.
Topstitch the facing in place by sewing 1/8″ from the pressed edge. It is easier to do this from the wrong side of teh jacket, but make sure your bobbin thread looks nice on the outside! If you are sewing View A or B, please note this stitching will overlap the inside pocket on the right jacket front.
Pat yourself on the back, you just sewed a beautiful polished notched collar! The next step will be to assemble and attach the sleeves.