Monday, February 11, 2008

BWOF 01/05 #134: What Makes the Freakin' Collar So Freaky

I compared BWOF's method with the method given in Alto, Neall and Palmer's Jackets for Real People in which McCalls patterns are typically used. There are several differences which account for the freakiness of the Freakin' Collar.

1. Collar Pieces
BWOF's collar is in two pieces: the collar and the collar stand. The collar rolls along the area between the collar and collar stand. (Yellow arrow) Since the JFRP collar is in one piece, extra interfacing and a line of stitching are used to define the roll line.

2. Assembling the Collar
BWOF's upper and under collar are sewn together before the collar is attached to the neckline and facing. The under collar is sewn to the neckline and the upper collar is sewn to the facing. In JFRP, the upper and under collar are sewn to the facing and jacket, respectively, forming a Lining/Facing Unit and a Jacket Unit. These two units are sewn together along the outer edges of the jacket.

3. Attaching the Collar
The BWOF collar attachment seam is sewn in three segments. The first two segments are from each notch to the corner (red arrow). Stitching is stopped and the corners are clipped before sewing the remaining neckline seam (between the corners). This is repeated to sew the upper collar to the facing. (Remember, the upper and lower collars are already sewn together.) JFRP's method uses two symmetrical right-left segments. Sewing starts from the notch, pivots at the corner and continues to the center back, where stitching stops. This is repeated for the other side.

Some BWOF methods are not seen in Big 4 patterns. A more experienced seamstress or tailor might be familiar with The Freakin' Collar treatment, but I'd never seen the method until I ran smack into it, head first, in July 2006 . (I still have the bruises.) My experience with tailored jackets is limited, but if anyone has seen these methods anywhere other than a BWOF pattern, I'd like to know about it. JFRP's method looks easier to me. It seems easier to attach the collars to their respective units and then sew the units together. I'm sure, with careful sewing, the results are the same. But, I was determined to learn the BWOF way. When I'm pressed for time, I can use the JFRP method. It's always good to have options.


  1. I have not seen that collar construction in any American patterns. Maybe Sigrid or Tany can tell you if that method is used in Knipmode or Patrones, respectively. That makes me wonder how Paco in Barcelona does his jacket collar/lapels.

  2. I wonder if the BWoF method allows for less bulk in the notch? Burda methods often seem more complicated when you read through them, but produce nice results. My experience anyway.

  3. I've used both methods and I believe they produce similar results. In either method you must take the turn of the cloth into account and be very thorough grading, clipping and pressing the seams open and making sure that the collar stand (inner and outer) SAs overlap exactly. Excllent job comparing the two methods!

  4. I've looked and looked and Looked for directions other than BWOF's, but haven't been able to find any. Most other patterns don't seem to have those sharp inset corners but a more angled/sloped one; and that's the only kind anyone ever seems to address in sewing books. It's true that they're a lot easier to sew. But perhaps there's something sharper structure-wise about the inset corners?

    If I remember correctly, a BWOF coat I made last year not only had the sharp inset corner, but when you sewed the collar neck in, once you got to the inset corners, you continued onwards into a shoulder dart too. Fun!