One of the hallmark traits of the Berkshire Blazer is the shawl collar. Shawl collars are formed by adding a collar extension to the jacket piece, which is then sewn to the back neckline to form the collar roll. Because the collar piece is part of the jacket front, careful cutting and stitching is required here to make the collar look good. So today we’re going to go over how to sew a shawl collar.
Did you miss Day 1 of this Berkshire Blazer sewalong? Here it is:
- Day 1 Suit fabrics
So, I know stay stitching is often one of those steps that gets skipped. In fact, I’ve been guilty of skipping it myself at times. But trust me, this is not one of the times you want to skip it. In fact, stay stitching the corners and clipping into them is one of the most important steps to making sure this blazer looks good. So cut carefully, stitch carefully, and clip carefully.
Now the pattern demonstrates my preferred method to stitch down the collar, but sometimes that is hard for people. So I’m showing another method here that might make a little more sense.
To start, make sure you’ve staystitched and clipped your collar, and that you’ve sewn the center back seam on the collar extensions.
Then spread your collar into a flat line – so in the picture below you see the front shoulder seams on the right and left and the collar in the middle.
Match your jacket back pieces to this flat line, making sure you don’t have puckers at the clipped corners. You may need to slightly stretch and ease your front or back pieces a little to get them to match up. The collar seam should match with the center back seam of the jacket.
As you can see below, there will be ridges – the important part is that the stay stitching line is flat and the ridge is below it.
Another trick I’d like to share is how to undercut the collar so that it naturally rolls the way you want it to. A lot of the time, this isn’t important, but when you’re dealing with two different types of fabric, it can help a lot.
The trick is to trim 1/8″ off the collar edge on the jacket, not the facing.
Then when you align your raw edges of your collar and facing, the facing is just slightly wider than the collar, so the facing will roll toward the outside.
To make sure this happens, you can also pin the back neckline of the jacket and lining together through the seam, making sure it matches exactly. Then stitch in the ditch of the seams to make sure they stay together.
And then your collar should look like this, with the contrast fabric out and the undercollar rolled neatly under.