Before we can attach the collar we need to address the back. This will involve creating the vent or vents. I mentioned in the first post that I wanted a double vented jacket and drafted the pattern accordingly. Many jackets come with a single centre vent at the back (mostly due to the cost involved in making a double) but I find a double vent sits better. It allows you to put your hands in trouser pockets without dragging the jacket out of shape.
Alter vents on a pattern
If you are using a pattern it is easy enough to add a double vents. Here is the outline of a back pattern piece with the centre back seam line marked in red. The vent protrudes out from the bottom edge and is folded into place after sewing the centre seam.
To adapt a pattern simply cut off the original vent (keeping the same distance from the seam line). Now add a vent to the opposite side on the back and to the corresponding side panel (shown in green)
The sizes given are not exact but roughly around these sizes will work.
Now go ahead and sew the centre back seam and press open followed by the side back seams. Press the vents into position and baste closed temporarily. Remember the back vent is above the side vent.
Now this raises a question. What is the best method of finishing the hem/vent facing? Most patterns will show the vent facing being pressed in place then the hem is pressed up over the facing. This method creates a very bulky finish and looks unsightly.
Mitred hems and facing
A professional looking finish can be achieved by mitring the hem and facing together. This method creates a really effective join between the two and is much less bulky: Particularly good for the corners of the vents as they should sit flat and tidy.
It is a very simple method but rather than explain, I made another video!
Obviously after the lining is installed (not for a while yet though) it looks really neat.
The collar is constructed and attached to the jacket, however it is done in a different way than shown on most patterns. The collar is made from two pieces; the under collar and the upper collar. The under collar is made first and is generally made from melton wool (or similar). Baste some canvas or French collar canvas, to the wrong side of the under collar with the seam allowance removed.
Now the canvas is pad stitched to the collar piece. There are various different schools of thought on this but I always pad stitch in a circular way. From the centre draw circular rings (use a compass) and pad stitch following the guidelines.
Continue and pad stitch the entire canvas to collar. The curved pad stitches shape the collar in two directions; it curves the collar to the shape of the neck and curves over as it would sit when folded down. When finished, cut the bottom seam allowance off of the collar (along canvas).
Turn the top edge over the canvas and baste into place, then do the same for the ends of the collar.
Cut the seam allowances off the top and ends of the collar. trim the canvas along these 3 edges so no stray fabric is visible.
The under collar is now attached to the jacket. Place the raw edge along the seam line on the jacket neck (both right sides facing you) and baste in place. The collar is then attached with a herringbone stitch (by hand) using silk thread. It forms a lapped joint not the usual seam.
Thats it! Vents done and under collar ready to accept the remainder.
The next post will finish the collar and prepare the sleeves.
Until next time…..Happy Sewing