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Understand Turn-of-Cloth

Learn how to compensate for turn-of-cloth— when an outer curved layer of fabric is slightly longer than an inner curved layer.
Learn how to compensate for turn-of-cloth— when an outer curved layer of fabric is slightly longer than an inner curved layer.

Learn how to compensate for turn-of-cloth— when an outer curved layer of fabric is slightly longer than an inner curved layer.


Adjust the pattern for turn-of-cloth
Find the extra cloth your fabric needs by trimming the underlayer- here are two ways:

1. Cut the amount off the pattern. (If your pattern has an upper and under collar, cut two upper-collar pieces.) Use a rotary cutter with a gridded see-through ruler to trim 1/8 inch off three outside edges of one collar piece. Use this smaller piece as the under-collar pattern.

Adjust the pattern


2. Cut the amount off the fabric.
Use the upper-collar pattern piece to cut both the upper and under collars. Hold a see-through ruler 1/8 inch inside the cutting lines on the three outside edges and trim along the fabric edges. Do not reduce the neck edge.

Cut the fabric


Stitch a collar

Allow the feed dogs to ease the turn-of-cloth along the edges.

First, pin the edges as shown in the photos below, then stitch with the upper collar on the bottom to allow the feed dogs to ease in the excess fabric. If your machine has differential feed, disengage it since it works against you. Begin stitching at the neck edge, across the short end to the corner, easing the excess fabric as you sew. To keep the corners accurate and symmetrical, stitch off the end. Then stitch the other short end using the same principles, starting this time at the outer edge and stitching to the neck edge.

Align the center backs and pin together. Do not use any more pins. Let the feed dogs control the ease. Start at one end of the long outside edge and stitch to the other. Note: When applying the collar to the neck edge, I stitch directionally. But on the outside edges of the collar, it's more important to stitch with the larger piece against the feed dogs than to stitch directionally.

Match and pin the neck edge
With right sides together and the under collar on top, match and pin the neck edge together.
Match and pin the short end
Force the outside edges to match on the short end and pin. Notice the excess fabric, which will accommodate the turn-of-cloth.
Reinforce the corners
Reinforce the corners: Set the stitch length to 1.5mm, and stitch on top of the previous stitching for 1/2 inch on either side of the corner. As you approach the corner, stop with the needle down, pivot, and take a couple of diagonal stitches across the corner, stop with the needle down, pivot, and stitch on top of the previous stitching for 1/2 inch.
Remove the original stitching
Remove the original stitching from the seam allowance in the corners. Note how the points of the collar turn up. This ensures that the points will turn down when you are wearing the garment.
Press and turn
Press the seams open, grade, and turn the collar right side out. With the under collar facing up, steam the seams and mold the edges with your fingers so the seam is visible. (If you can see the seam when you are pressing it, the public won't be able to see it when you are wearing it.) Press the edges well.
Fold the collar
Fold the collar as it will lie on your body. Don't force the neck edges to match, but allow them to fall where they may. Baste the neck edges together. When applying the collar to the garment, use the outside edge as a guide for sewing. This collar application ensures that the seams will stay hidden. What a simple way to get a professional look!

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Comments (6)

evacaroll evacaroll writes: useful tips.......
Posted: 11:53 pm on September 10th

RosaWallace RosaWallace writes: Thanks and Great article........
Posted: 5:17 am on September 10th

LunaOpal LunaOpal writes: nice shirt.
Posted: 4:13 am on September 10th

10860 10860 writes: i like this......
Posted: 1:11 am on September 10th

Susan_R Susan_R writes: This information alone is worth half the subscription price to your magazine. I am saving my nickels. Thanks!
Posted: 11:02 am on September 18th

AZwanKenobi AZwanKenobi writes: Now I get it! I read the article "Understanding Underlining" and from that article didn't understand how to adjust for the turn of the cloth. This article cleared it up. Thanks! Great article!
Posted: 6:33 pm on April 5th

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