project winter coat: the collar and facing

now we’re ready to sew on the under collar to the shell. this can be a little tricky, and honestly i don’t have too many words of wisdom here other than TAKE YOUR TIME. this isn’t one of those “i just want to finish one more step before i stop” bits. if you rush through it, you will most likely be disappointed.

this the the under collar piece with  an extra layer of fusible to
serve as a collar stand. this supports the collar and helps it fall properly.


now, some jackets have a neck seam that is curved all the way around and some are squared off and have a pivot point. either is tricky, but i tend to prefer the type with a pivot point because you can stop and evaluate your work before getting the whole thing in. for the type that curves, just remember that you are lining up the seam line not the edge of the pattern pieces. how ever your pattern is drafted, you will need to stay stitch the neck at the seam line and clip in a few places to make all of this easier. if in doubt, hand baste first to check your work! i don’t really have pics of all this because you wouldn’t really be able to tell what i was doing anyhow, but here is sherry’s post with really nice pictures! when you have the collar on, press the seam allowance open. if it doesn’t lay perfectly flat, clip where necessary.


now that your shell is complete, you can assemble your facings and/or lining. if your pattern has a back neck facing, sew your facing pieces together at the shoulder seams and attach the upper collar. if there is no back neck facing piece, you will need to assemble your whole lining, front facing pieces and then attach the upper collar. if your pattern doesn’t have a back neck facing and you want one, see how to draft one here.

now, i’m not doing much hand sewing for this coat, but i found it really helpful to catch stitch the seam allowance on the collar side up. doing so is optional, but it keeps this seam out of the way nicely.



okay, now things start to get serious. pin the collar pieces together around the outer edge. your pattern should have some turn of cloth allowance so the upper collar will be slightly larger, and need to be eased onto, the under collar piece. the easiest thing to do is let your sewing machine feed dogs do the work by sewing with the piece that needs easing on the bottom. where you begin and end sewing around the collar, make sure you turn up the seam allowance. most likely your pattern is marked with a dot here, this is the notch in the collar. by the way, if you have a shawl collar, obviously this won’t apply and your collar and lapel will be all once piece.

once the collar is sewn, next you sew the lapel. beginning at the notch (again, your pattern should be marked with a dot here) and making sure not to catch the collar pieces, begin sewing and sew all the way down the front edge. repeat on the other side. there should also be some easing of the facing onto the shell, just let the machine do this work for you.



now you’ll need to trim, clip and grade all the way around the collar and facing. i ended up trimming down the corners to about 1/8″, but leaving the straight bits as you see below.


once the collar and lapel is sewn, pressed and under stitched where necessary, reach up and grab the seam allowance under the collar around the neck edge and stitch them together as close to the seam line as possible making sure all your points are matched. this will anchor the collar in place and keep the shell and facings from shifting.

i first line up and pin on the seam…


…then flip up the facing, grab the SA and stitch


lastly, i basted the entire collar, lapel and front edge so i could give it a good hard press. if you do this, make sure you roll the seam allowances under around the collar and lapel, then toward the inside from the break point down.


things are looking good now! so close to finishing…

—lisa g.

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4 thoughts on “project winter coat: the collar and facing

  1. soisewedthis says:

    looking great! very impressed! it doesn't usually get too cold here, but i really am thinking of making a knit jacket as one of my next projects after i knock out some christmas presents and my current WIP top

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