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Jkt w/o collar – how to prevent ‘flop’?

carolynfla | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Does anyone know of a past THREADS article – further resource – that will teach me techniques to prevent the “flop” forward of a collar-less jacket?

Thank you…


  1. mimi | | #1

    Do you mean that the jacket falls open at the neckline?  Underlining with a fusible web that is slightly heavier than the fabric used might help.


    1. carolynfla | | #3

      Thanks Mimi: Yes, this pattern has no buttons and no collar. There is a small dart at the neckline (lf/rt front at collarbone area) but no attached collar.

      I'm getting a slight flip (in/out) at the first button area of the jacket center front. A slight curl where the two fronts meet - the top button right angle of fabric. I don't think the flipping is due to me not trimming the seams, etc. I did steam (wood clapper) this area too.

      I did interface the facing and interfaced the fashion fabric (before cutting the pattern) as it was woven very, very loosely. Should I possibly go back and insert another fabric (poly/cotton tighter weave)-- attach this tighter weave fabric at the seams, but not fuse to the facing or fashion fabric?

      It's a first run of the pattern for me. I did a muslin, but of course minor issues come up with the various fashion fabrics. Maybe if my chosen fashion fabric was not as floppy then the problem would be handled different.... and so it goes.


      1. mimi | | #6

        carolyn:  I'm thinking if you have used a fusible web interfacing and it is still foppy, perhaps a woven interfacing would help.  This would involve taking the front pieces apart and attaching the woven to the inner piece of the front, basting the two together and then sewing the inner and outer back together again.  This might just give it enough body to stand on its own and stop flopping.

        Let me know how this turn out!


        1. carolynfla | | #8

          MIMI: I checked over the jacket and luckily I did use a very light Pellon interfacing to prevent the sag of the loose weave, and a second woven fusible interfacing on the facings. So, we both are thinking together here. Yes, I agree a woven is best.

          I'm going to press again with the ham and insert a nonfusible (woven) interfacing as a test. If it works, I can always carefully stitch the nonfusible into place as you suggested.

          I thank you for your advice. I so love this Gatherings forum as it is comforting to receive quick, caring advice and ideas from so many who love to sew.

          Thank you. Carolyn

          P.S. I have already inserted the lining and just need to do the hemming of sleeves and base. But the floppy center front got me down and I stopped working the jacket in frustration. I should be finished before the weekend - I'll write you back. I'm a teacher and have this glorious summertime off. Albeit... no hurricanes... yet. (Florida).

          1. mimi | | #9

            carolyn:  I am a teacher, too (kindergarten).  Summertime is the only time I have to sew, I am too tired during the year!  We have been out for two weeks and so far I have made a fitted sleeveless top with some beautiful fabric imported from India and I have plans for a few dresses, some shorts and a nice pair of trousers.  I also have plans to go over to G Street Fabrics as soon as I can talk my DH into driving!

            Happy sewing!


          2. Josefly | | #10

            If your fabric is very soft, could the weight of the facing and two layers of interfacing be too much, causing the corner to flop down? Also, do you think a stay of the kind used in men's shirt collars could be inserted between the fashion fabric and the facing, with the pointed end of the stay against the corner of the neckline/center front line, and the other end angled out 45 degrees? Might that hold the corner up?Good luck, and let us know what works.

          3. carolynfla | | #11

            JOSEFLY: Okay, good point. I'll only experiment and not sew down anything - sew down any additional interfacing. A stay is a good idea too, but the neckline is designed to sit lower that a man's shirt.

            I'm playing with the neckline dart too. I'm thinking that the 'flop' is possibly an issue with the opposite curves of the bust and neck/collarbone area. I'm so glad that this was the first run using bargain bin fabric! 

            Thanks for the help!! CAROLYN

          4. Josefly | | #12

            I was thinking that a shirt-collar like stay would give some rigidity to the corner of your neckline, but it might just cause a wider "flop", so it's good to try something easily removable. On a man's shirt collar, the stay is inserted into (and removed from, for laundering) the interior of the collar point through a buttonhole-type opening in the facing of the collar. To test the stay on your garment, though, I would just use some scotch tape to hold the stay in place inside the facing.I'd like to see a picture of the neckline you're talking about. Can you post the pattern type and number?

          5. carolynfla | | #13

            JOSEFLY: Sorry, I don't have a scanner but the pattern is VOGUE 8209. I'm trying to make jacket "A". I thought it would be a good pattern for a "D" bust and shoulders to match -- I'm 5'10".

            The flop isn't as bad as you may think, I'm just picky because I'm sewing the jacket vs. purchasing ready-to-wear. I wanted a great fit and thought I could use this pattern over and over. A pattern with great potential... I thought.

            I'm now thinking the pattern (as I've altered it) is just too small for a "D" bust. The pattern envelope describes the jacket as semi-fitted which echoes the minimal ease at 43 1/2". But I'm not convinced this is truth. I did a muslin, but obviously made a mistake by not creating one in similar fabric.

            I do have problem with VOGUE and the larger bust. I thought this jacket design would have been a good fit for my shape with minimal (usual) pattern adjustments.

            I did add lining to this pattern and enlarged the back-neck facing to make things look smoother. That shouldn't have made things tighter, would it?

            Thanks for asking, CAROLYN

          6. Josefly | | #14

            Thanks for the pattern number. This jacket is very pretty, and the darts in the neckline and in the back shoulder seams would seem to be details that would make it fit well, so I can see your disappointment.In reading over your early comments about what is happening - a slight curling out of the top center corners of the jacket fronts, as I understand it - I can't see how the bust would affect that curling out. You mention that the fabric is loosely woven. Is the curling out occurring on both sides of the front? I would suspect that perhaps that top corner got stretched somehow in sewing to the facing or lining, then relaxed back into shape, making the facing want to curl to the outside. In which case, releasing the stitching at the corner and for a distance of maybe 2 to 3 inches on the side and below the corner, then steam pressing, and re-pinning to the facing so that the two lie flat against each other and re-stitching might do the trick. If you have already done the top-stitiching that the pattern suggests, though, this might all seem like too much work if the curling is slight enough. I'm assuming you tried the suggestion of another poster concerning pressing the corners over a curved ham to try to reverse the curl?You suspect that the pattern with your alterations will not accommodate your D bust. It may be that the added lining has made the jacket fit more closely than intended. Did you make a full-bust alteration in the pattern? Did you add the lining because you were concerned about the loose-woven fashion fabric, or just because you prefer a lining?Good luck with this project. I'd like to hear how you progress.

          7. carolynfla | | #15

            JOSEFLY: To answer your questions... and THANK YOU for asking!!

            1. Is the curling out occurring on both sides of the front? It's a very slight flip, and the fabric "flip-flops" both ways. Yes, it flips on both sides. I haven't top stitched yet. 

            2. Did you make a full-bust alteration in the pattern? In a word, NO. I guess because I'm not sure I know all the steps to do so. What I did do was (muslin) line up the pattern's bust point, shoulder, arm hole, sleeves, etc., to my body. I thought this would be all that I needed to do... Ha!

            I usually choose princess seam designs as they seem to fit me very well without any bust alteration. I should learn to correctly alter for a full-bust for those patterns not w/princess seams.

            3. Did you add the lining because you were concerned about the loose-woven fashion fabric, or just because you prefer a lining? The decision to line was just to make the jacket look better -- inside and out. I didn't want the seam showing, etc.

            When you asked earlier for the pattern number I looked again at the photo of the jacket. Studying how loose the jacket is on the model, the jacket doesn't fit the same on me. I re-measured the pattern's ease and this still holds true, but the jacket looks to be a much tighter fit on me than in the pattern's photo. The jacket just doesn't fall/drape the same on me as in the photo.

            My original complaint/question was a slight flip at the neckline. But I think it is the bust that I'm not happy with. If the bust fit me as the pattern suggested (photo) then the "flipped neckline" wouldn't bug me so much.

            I had already decided this first sewing to be a trial-run using bargain fabric. I'm thinking now I should go back to the original pattern, trace again my pattern (I don't cut the original patterns) and re-fit for a full bust. Start all over.

            I'm betting that my saved years of THREADS would have a step-by-step on how to alter for a full bust. I'm on a hunt to find something.

            THANKS for guiding me to rethink this !! C


          8. Josefly | | #16

            Good luck with the second version. Just remember that adding the lining will change the fit, and you may need to size up to account for it.Click on Magazine Index, and search using "bust" or "bustline" for related articles in earlier issues. Or you can search the Gatherings forum for bustline fitting to see if anyone on this forum has discussed the full-bust pattern adjustment topic. Alas, I don't have this problem.I was just looking over the last issue of Threads, and re-read "Fix Your Patterns Before You Sew", and the suggestions on layering adjoining pattern pieces to be sure the seam-lines match up. It occurred to me that if your lining or facing was cut a little larger than the front jacket bodice, it might cause that rolling out. I know this is no longer your main objection to the pattern, but it seems there ought to be a fix for this problem as well.

  2. PASDENOM | | #2

    You may need a sturdier interfacing. If you do a bit of "crowding" ease as you sew the facing to the jacket front at the top corners it will help pull the section inward. Also sew with the facings against the feed dogs so they get eased more than the jacket front. Just be careful not to ease so much that you get puckers or ripples. Do some practice with scraps first. Trim closely to eliminate bulk that adds weight to the neckline, especially at the front corner. If you're not top stitching add a drop of seam sealant to those trimmed edges so they don't fray and have threads escape to the outside.

    1. carolynfla | | #4

      Thank you Pasdenom: I didn't think of the issues of ease and sewing against the feed dogs (I never have paid much attention to the direction of the dogs).

      Yes, I've trimmed close, but I neglected to tell you that my fabric was loosely woven and I first interfaced (very light fusible) the fashion fabric before cutting the pattern. Maybe, just maybe I need even more interfacing.

      The facing was interfaced too. I'll check again (because I can't remember) how much interfacing I placed on the facing. This could be my problem?

      The seam sealant is a good idea too. I've known of this, but never tried it... it would be a great idea since my fashion fabric is loosely woven.

      Thanks, Carolyn

      1. PASDENOM | | #5

        You might be able to do a quick fix by re-steaming the front. That dart sounds as if it gives the right shaping, so all you need to do is put the problem area over a ham, right side up, and steam a slight convex curve into it. This assumes it can take a good steaming. Use a press cloth, even a terrycloth towel should work well for a loose woven fabric. As always, test a scrap of fabric to see how it tolerates the heat and moisture.

        1. carolynfla | | #7

          THANKS! I looked at the jacket again to check what I had already done with interfacing ... I was frustrated before and had it on the dressform until I could get back in the mood to continue. I have (I believe) sufficient interfacing in the facing, but it could stand to use some stiffness between fabric and facing around the neck area, etc.

          I have a ham and Rowenta iron that I love. I'll press it again as you suggested.

          The flippy-floppy may be just that there is no body to the fabric -- too lightly woven maybe? I'll also temporarily insert nonfusible interfacing to see if additional pressing, and/or interfacing will do the trick.

          Yes, the neckline dart was the catch that first got me to purchase the Vogue pattern... maybe I chose the wrong fabric? I'll keep trying and get over my frustration.

          Thanks tons! C

      2. SewNancy | | #17

        Did you tape the cf and the neckline? This gives added stability.

        1. carolynfla | | #18

          SEWNANCY: Thanks for the suggestion, but NO I didn't. I'm unfamiliar with "taping", please explain. Thanks so much.


          1. SewNancy | | #19

            Depending on the weight of the fabric, you use either twill tape, iron on straight tape or selvedges cut from lining or other light weight fabrics. Then sew them into the back neck seam, and the front seam, leaving out the corner so that you don't add bulk. This keeps the line from stretching when worn or even just on a hanger. On a lapel, you tape the roll line and pull it in for cup size and ease between the ends. Take a look at Sandra Betzina's book. Also, though I haven't seen it yet, Palmer Pletsch reissued its Tailoring book. The original was very good.

          2. carolynfla | | #20

            SEWNANCY: Thanks! I have learned some taping techniques from a Louise Cutting class but the "lesson" was for a much different jacket front.

            I'll check these books. I do have books, but not these specific ones.


          3. PASDENOM | | #21

            A full bust adjustment may also help the neckline sit where you want it, as there was probably some pull on the upper front which will now have the right amount of ease.

          4. carolynfla | | #22

            PASDENOM: Yes, thank you. You are so right.

            Yes, the right amount of ease at the right area - as the design intended.

            I really needed everyone's opinion and help on this one. Thank you!!!


          5. mygaley | | #23

            Just a thought--is the garment so tight in the back neckline and shoulders that it is "riding" back on your neck?  Don't give up.  Galey

          6. carolynfla | | #24

            MYGALEY: It's not tight in the back at all. It's really not tight overall. It's just that the front is smooth across the bust and the photo on the pattern seems to not be smooth across the bust. The description said semi fitted vs fitted. My jacket is "fitted".

            I guess the jacket does fit ... it just doesn't fit like the photo. And, as we all do, I bought the pattern because I liked what the photo (design).

            Nope, I won't give up... you girls just won't let me. You all are such great cheerleaders.

            Thanks CAROLYN

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