Home Tailored suit Part 5 – Collar and sleeves

I left you last time with the lapels finished and half of the collar complete. Today we will finish the collar and move onto the sleeves.

Upper Collar

The under collar is finished and attached to the jacket as per the last post here. Now attention turns to the upper collar. Unlike many commercial patterns, the upper collar is attached by hand. It first might seem a more difficult method but in fact is easy and produces a beautiful finish on the lapel notches. I know how difficult it can be, to attach the collar and facing by machine in one go, only to end up with wonky lapels!

The upper collar is cut and the top and bottom seam allowance pressed over (to the wrong side). Now place the upper collar onto the under-collar with wrong sides together. Keep the under-collar standing up at this point. Starting from the centre, baste the long edge of the collar in place, ensuring it overhangs the under-collar by a scant 1/16 inch or so.

Now turn the collar down into it’s finished position and pull the upper collar into place. Baste into position allowing for the roll in the collar. The ends of the upper collar will extend past each end of the under-collar and the seam line will meet along the top of the lapel (gorge line). Turn the ends of the upper collar to the back of the under-collar.


A little more hand sewing

Begin by sewing along the collar edge and secure the upper and under collar in place. Use a small slip stitch. Now the ends of the collar (reverse side) are secures in place with a straight stitch along top and bottom and double cross stitch at the raw ends. Remember the stitching should not show on the upper collar.


The gorge line (where collar meets lapel) is sewn in place using a small ladder stitch. Take your time here as the stitching should be completely invisible. Every 3 or 4 stitches take a stitch in the centre (between lapel and collar) securing to the canvas.


At this point I like to add the lining for the front and rear of the jacket. I prefer to complete the linings in steps rather than with a complete lining (including sleeves) as I find you have more control for the finish. The front lining has a small pocket inserted and is attached to the front facing. Add 1/2 inch of ease in the lining along the length as you sew.


The rear linings are then basted to the back panels and the shoulder seam for the linings sewn. Where the lining meets the bottom of the upper collar (on the inside) it is sewn in place by hand with a slip stitch. The bottom of the back lining, around the vents is finished in the same manner.


With the main jacket finished, including linings in place we can move onto the sleeves. First we tackle the shoulder pads. I have written about making and attaching shoulder pads in several other posts so won’t repeat it now. Have a look here. You can download a template for shoulder pads here. Once the shoulder pads are secure in place we can move to the sleeves. Baste everything well ready to accept the sleeves.


The sleeve is constructed in two (upper and under sleeve) which allows for an opening cuff. Sew the seam along the inside of the sleeve first. This lets us finish the cuff vents. Now cut a piece of pocketing fabric about 5 inches tall and as wide as the sleeve. Place inside the sleeve aligning the bottom edge with the hem. Baste in place then turn the hem and vent facings to the inside.


Finish the facings as you did for the jacket vents with a neat mitred joint. Don’t forget my Youtube video.


Finish the sleeve by sewing the other seam. add buttonholes ready for buttons. Note my customary odd left cuff button and sew the lining into place along the hem and facing.


We need to ease the sleeve head so it fits well into the arm scythe. Run two rows of basting stitches side-by-side. Make the stitch so they are alternate. Pull the threads to evenly gather the sleeve head.


Place the sleeve into the jacket and carefully baste into place. Make sure everything lines up correctly or the sleeve will not hang correctly.


Sew the sleeve into position and check it is set correctly.


This particular jacket pattern is drafted to have smaller, less pronounced, sleeve heads and the picture before is exactly what I wanted. The last job it to attach the sleeve lining to the jacket lining. Again this is done by hand with a small slip stitch. Turn everything the right way out and enjoy your work.


We will finish the jacket off in the next post. So until next time……..Happy Sewing!

4 thoughts on “Home Tailored suit Part 5 – Collar and sleeves”

  1. Jamie, at the end of this project could you put all the steps together into a document with the pictures, I am going to make a jacket and follow thru all the steps.

      1. Thank-you so much, I greatly appreciated. I am job hunting right now and I need to start getting a “new work wardrobe” with mix and match jackets, pants, and shirts.

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