How to Sew a Notched Jacket Lapel
Ready-to-wear suits all have something in common: smooth lapels with nice, crisp edges. Achieving that professional finish can get a little tricky because one tiny detail can cause big sewing trouble-the notch where the collar joins the lapel.
|More on lapels:
• How to Edgestitch and Topstitch a Collar Lapel
• How to Match Plaid on a Curved-edge Lapel
• Understand Turn-of-Cloth
There's no need for frustration once you know this technique for achieving a flawless lapel. Manufacturers long ago solved this challenging part of jacket construction, and you can use their solution easily at home. The secret involves a bit of prep work on your pattern pieces and a careful, but simple, seven-step process to stitch, clip, and press for lapel perfection. Through this process, you'll also discover how understitching can enhance edge seams and sharpen corners-sewing information that will improve your results in a variety of garments.
Sharpen Your Collar Corners
First, prepare and sew most of your jacket seams. Interface, staystitch, tape the roll line (where the lapel folds back and the facing turns to the outside), and join the shoulder seams as your pattern instructs. Then proceed with the steps described here.
Interface and Assemble the Collar
1. Interface the undercollar. If your undercollar pattern is two pieces, interface both and join them at the center back. Trim the center-back seam allowances to 3⁄8 inch. Fuse tailor's canvas (minus seam allowances) to the undercollar. Pin the undercollar around a tailor's ham, and steam it to set the shape. When it's completely dry, sew the upper collar to the undercollar along the top edge only with right sides together.
2. Trim and understitch the collar's upper edge, then sew the corner seams. Trim the sewn seam allowances to 1/4 inch, then fold them toward the undercollar and understitch (see "Understitching Secrets" below). Then, sew the collar corners with right sides together. The seams will cross the folded and understitched end seam allowances of the collar's upper edge.