RTW Tailoring Sewalong #10 – More Sewing

Today I assembled the remainder of the outer shell of the coat, and a few other bits and pieces:

As usual, I sewed all I could at the machine, then pressed, then repeated…

  • I sewed the pocket bags to the side fronts, then sewed the side front seams:
  • I sewed the side back seams – don’t you love those little armhole steps we added to our seam allowances?  It removes any guesswork where the seam ends:
  • I sewed the under collar to the front facing/back neck facing unit:  
(EDIT: I made a mistake here – this should be the top collar sewn to the facing unit – sorry for any confusion!)
  • Take care here as matching those notches is crucial for a nice collar: 
  • Start 1cm in from the collar edge, and this point must match the collar notch on the front facing exactly:
  • My gorge line is curved – it is important not to stretch these curves while sewing, and your shoulder notches must match.  Notice how much easier it is to sew opposing curves with a smaller seam allowance!  
  • If your gorgeline seam has an angle like this one, you will need to sew with the facings on top:
  • Match those endpoints (marked here by blue dots), and sew to the angle leaving the needle down.  The needle must be passing through the correct point on both layers – 1cm in from all edges:
  • Raise the presser foot, and clip the facing to within 1mm of the needle:
  • Still with the needle down and presser foot raised, swing the collar around so it lays in the sewing direction:
  • then pivot the facing to align with the collar, you can see the shoulder notch aligns with the shoulder seam:
  • Flatten the layers behind the needle so you don’t get any puckers, then carry on sewing towards the shoulder notch:
  • Continue sewing to the CB notch, round to the next shoulder notch, then the opposite gorge line seam – remembering to match the end point of stitching exactly to the collar notch:
  • Then I set in my sleeve lining – there is quite a lot of ease, so I used a gathering stitch:
  • Draw the threads up to approximately the armhole length.  I always use the top threads so you can easily adjust them as you sew.  Place the sleeve into the armhole right sides together – check you have the correct sleeve, ie back sleeve to back armhole.  Starting at the front or back notch, with the sleeve uppermost, sew the underarm portion between the notches:
  • When you get to the notches and gathering thread, adjust it to fit, aligning the notches.  The cut edge of the sleeve will ripple, but the area we are looking at is the stitching line – between the gathering threads – it should be drawn up to sit almost flat:
  • When you reach your starting point, continue around the underarm area to the opposite front or back notch, so the underarm is actually sewn twice for reinforcement.
  • Next I tacked the back vent in place:
Then I pressed it all:

shot of steam!

For an angled gorge line, press like this:

And clip the overlapping corner away:
There should be no puckers:
Back at the machine:
  • I closed and overlocked the pocket bags:
  • Then sewed the side and shoulder seams.  I found it easiest to sew the side seams with the blockfused panel on top, so the feed dogs helped prevent creeping of the layers.  
  • For the shoulder seams I would normally do the same as the feed dogs help to ease the back shoulder onto the front.  However this didn’t work for me this time, there is quite a lot of ease and I found it easier to use some gathering threads.  Unpressed v pressed:

  • Back at the iron I then pressed the seams open.  When pressing the shoulder seam you need to be careful not to stretch the neckline edges – I placed weights to prevent the coat slipping off the ironing board and stretching this edge:
The shell is finished!  You can try it on at this stage – place the facing inside to get a feel for the collar – but take care not to stretch the neckline or armhole.  Hang it up so you don’t need to repress anything!

Sit back, admire, and have another Easter egg!
Next up – the collar…
(PS – Sorry for the long break – it’s been a busy week!)
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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

16 thoughts on “RTW Tailoring Sewalong #10 – More Sewing

  1. Sherry, your coat is looking great and your step-by-step tutorials are fantastic. Just wanted to say thanks for the effort you have put into this sew-along, its exemplary! I will definitely be participating and have my coat pattern picked out ready to go. However I need to finish another project first. I'm almost there and was able to use the earlier step you posted to redraft the lining for the evening jacket. It doesn't have a notched collar though, but my coat will. Happy Easter.

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  2. Your coat is coming along so nicely, I am terribly far behind on my sewing, I´m afraid, but I am really looking forward to diving back into the jacket making progress once I get back from a little holiday I am on. Thank you so much for the thorough instructions!

    Happy Easter!

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  3. Sherry, your coat is looking great. I am so glad you showed the clipped photo. Clipping fabric can be scary. It's these little things that add up to a great looking garment. Best to pay attention to them. Great instructions Happy Easter!

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  4. Sherry, Thank you so much for removing the mystery from a tailored jacket! When it comes to aggressive clipping, I am pretty much a scaredy cat. Yet, seeing your photos, I know it has to be done to get a smooth result. I appreciate that you are taking your time to share your knowledge and I have been looking forward to each new post.

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  5. Hi Sherry – your coat looks great and again those instructions are superb. Have been drafting (experimenting more like it) on a coat for my daughter – now I'm ready to sew mine today. Happy Easter!!

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  6. Uhm…. I'm working on this right now. I've never made a tailored jacket this way so maybe I'm confused, but do you mean stitch the upper collar (top collar) to the facings? I followed your directions and it seems like the undercollar now rolls over and shows on the outside? Maybe I'm mixed up? Mine looks like yours in the photo…

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  7. ~Steph – Yes I sewed the wrong pieces together!! I actually woke up in the middle of the night and the first thing that sprung into mind was: Uh oh, I sewed the under collar to the facings! I've corrected it in the next post.

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  8. Sherry, these instructions are so clear. Thanks. I am up to day three of getting my muslin to fit ;/ I have recut my front for an FBA and hopefully I have fixed all the issues. The plan is that by tomorrow I will have started sewing and by Tuesday all caught up! Thanks again and happy Easter 🙂

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  9. This is such a wonderful blog! Thank you so much for your generosity in showing us this tutorial. Very interesting and well explained.
    Thank you and Happy Easter!

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  10. Sherry, your coat looks great and don't apologize for the long break. It gave me time to get caught up. I must say, things are looking good on this end too. Thanks for the very detailed instructions. This sewalong now has a permanent home next to my sewing station.

    OH, and Happy Easter to you too.

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  11. Your jacket is looking amazing – it's going to be so great! I'm making good progress on my jacket (following nearly all of your instructions) so will post an update soon just to prove it…

    Happy Easter!

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