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Help: Alter Coat Collar Double breast it

Prototype | Posted in Fitting on

HI, I’m new to the discussion forum but have been reading Threads for a long time and love to sew. I have two questions that I’m hoping you may be able to assist me with. First, can anyone please explain to me how I may alter the collar on a wool coat pattern so that it is two pieces (has a collar stand like classic shirts do) instead of the usual one piece? Second,  I would like to make this coat to be double-breasted instead of single-breasted, any ideas? Thank you so much for sharing your feedback, knowledge & suggestions ladies!


  1. moira | | #1

    I'm afraid that with the two questions you're asking, I'd suggest looking at patterns again to find one that includes the two-piece collar and the double breasted front. A collar is a precision piece which can't easily just be extended to double-breast. The bias on which the reveres will lie, would change with a style change. Why spend hours trying to work that one out, when there will be a pattern already 'invented' which is closer to what you want?

    Maybe not a very creative answer, but life's too short for some things!

    Edited 12/3/2007 6:58 am ET by moira

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #2

    Welcome to the forum Prototype.  Your double breasted part is easy.  Prepare your pattern by marking a long pencil line down Center Front.  It should be marked, if it's not, look at the button placement.  The buttons are on CF and the button holes are 1/8" outside CF.  Tape tracing paper to the front edge and fold the pattern on the CF line.  Now, with the pattern flipped over, you can look at half the coat and draw a new edge with your ruler.  Be sure to follow the neckline curve, and add seam allowances.

    After you open up the pattern, you'll need to get a fresh peice of tracing paper and trace your facing from right off your coat draft.

    Now the collar.   Your collar will need to stop at the CF line on your pattern, and you wont be able to button it.  I think that's why double breasted coats don't have collar stands, however, I have seen mandarin collars on Double breasted coats.  You could always get really creative and make the stand with a huge overlap and a whole row of buttons or a wide pin.  Have fun with this one.

    On your coat pattern, pencil in the seam line around the neck (5/8" inside the cutting line).  Measure the seamline from CB to CF.  On a piece of tracing paper mark a long line and hash in the measurement.  Mark another long line above the first, the height of your collar stand.  On the left square off Center Back, on the right mark your seam measurement on the bottom line and subtract a 1/2" and mark that on the top line.  Connect those marks with the angled CF line. 

    Now for the curve.  Fold the paper back at the CB line so CB is a clean visible edge.  Fold the collar pattern in half, putting the CB on the front angled line directly over CF. 

    Trace the CB fold so the CF line is a couple inches long, transfer the collar top and bottom lines from the CB to the CF line.  This will be above the initial flat draft.

    Now, fold the pattern again.  The left side to the CF angle line, directly over the CB fold.  When you unfold the pattern you will have creases dividing the pattern in quarters.  Now fold CB to the first crease and mark the collar top and bottom line and then the 2nd crease and mark the collar lines, and again with the 3rd crease.  Take a french curve and connect the dots, then add seam allowances.  If you were to make a shirt pattern you would need to add your button overlap and curve the front edge in the overlap area. 

    For the falling portion of the collar.  Put a clean piece of tracing paper over the collar stand pattern and trace the top seamline from CB to CF.  This part doesn't overlap (unless you design it that way... maybe one side stops at CF and the other goes to the overlap edge in an asymmetrical fashion...going from narrow to very wide... or a bias tube... OK I'll stop now)  You can pretty much do what you want with this, as long as the seam line between the collar stand and collar fall are the same.  Have tons of fun, and don't forget to make a muslin.  I make my muslins out of something that can be sewn in as interlining.  That way, I don't feel like I'm wasting fabric.  Kind of a mental thing I guess.  Dollar rack flannel is great.  You can mark it up with a magic marker and do your pocket lines and all that happy stuff and no will see it under your lining fabric.



    1. moira | | #3

      Mmmm... Like I said, life is too short!!! But I hope this helps Prototype!

  3. suesew | | #4

    I think CostumerVal just validated moira's point. I would never tackle that one. But I think it's great that someone else can!

  4. Teaf5 | | #5

    I agree with the poster who suggested starting with a pattern that is double-breasted; that way, you won't have to draft patterns for all the lining, interlinings, and facings as well as the main body pieces of the coat.

    A coat could have a collar stand, but if you're making it out of thick fabric, you might end up with a LOT of unnecessary bulkiness with the two extra seams at the neckline. Even on a lightweight cotton shirt, a collar band plus collar combination will add considerable bulk in an area that is very noticeable (near the face). Unless you have a very, very long and thin neck, you probably won't want a lot of extra bulk in that area.

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