Thank you so much everyone for the amazing response to the coat! Sewing it this past year has been a huge project, but a very fun one. There are few projects that have taken so much time and so much head-scratching but that I've still loved the entire time (in fact I think this would have to be the only one...) =) I've learned so much, and I wanted to share the solution I worked out for the one thing I couldn't find the answer to in either the Tailoring book or Gertie's posts: tailoring a cut on shawl collar. The book, and Gertie, talks of sewn-on shawl collars, but cut-on presents a few problems with the order of sewing. So here's what I worked out! Heads up: long and very, very geeky post ahed =) All the pictures are in full size if you click on them, for clearer details.
Click on the post title to continue reading...
To begin with, here's my working order for the coat (sans lining and interlining):
-Darts (bustdarts on sidefront and collardarts on front)
-Sew sidefronts to fronts
-Horse hair canvas and tailoring the undercollar
-Sew center back, and sideback to back
-Make a backstay for the top back
Sew backpiece to frontpieces:
-Waiststay (a 1 cm grossgrain ribbon cross-stitched to the wool, as stated in the pattern instructions)
-Sleeves, sew and set in
-Hem sleeves and skirt
Tada! =) This order differs in some places from the one given for coats with sew-on collars, since the entire front needs to be sewn before the undercollar can be tailored and steamed. So let me elaborate the Horse hair canvas and tailoring the undercollar part...
1. So the fronts are sewn together, and depending on the fabric thickness the seam allowances are either just pressed or they are pressed and catchstitched to the fabric. Make sure that the back of the collar is also sewn together, pressed and -if desired- catchstitched.
2. Cut and mark the horse hair canvas. I chosed to make mine just a little bit wider than the facing, but the top extends along the shoulder to the armhole. However, it does not extend down into the side-seam, but ends about 5 cm/2" from the sideseam.
I set two pad-stitch lines at 0.5 cm width closest to the roll line and in the collar stand. For the rest of the collar I set the distance between the padstitches to 1 cm (the stitches are as long as the distance between the lines).
3. Shoulder reinforcement. Basically you cut a piece of horse hair canvas that goes from just beside the collar and out to the shoulder. It's cut on the bias, and then quilted to the main horse hair canvas piece. This is one of those things I will do different: next time I'm so hand sewing this step! I thought about not adding this reinforcement, as neither Gertie nor the pattern mentioned it, but I'm glad I took the time. There's no stretch what so ever in the shoulder now!
4. Dart and center back (still only the horse hair canvas), done as Tasia explaines here. Basically seam allowances are trimmed, seams are fused and then zig-zacked.