Friday, September 11, 2015

Sewing Indie Month/Pattern Hacking the Spearmint Coat

As I shared with you last week, I'm the Pattern Hacker for Sewing Indie Month. It's always a lot of fun to take a pattern, maybe cut it up a bit, or manipulate it into something a little different. My first project is the Spearmint coat from Lolita Patterns. It's a lovely and ultra feminine coat that has a cascading ruffled collar. The issue is that I live in Chicago and an open collar in the dead of winter, well, it just won't do. So what to do?
Rather than all of the ruffles,
I decided that I would rather bring the collar up closer to my neck. Great idea, but how?
As you can see, I had already made the collar as the pattern dictated. To determine where I would like the collar rollover in the front, I began by matching the center back line of the collar to the center back line of the coat.  
I pinned the collar to the edge of the neckline and brought it around to the front and then pinned it where I would like for it to close. As you can see, the bottom portion of the original collar will no longer match the neckline of the coat.
In the picture below, you can see that the collar is pinned to the neckline of the coat and I also have a pin where the collar will make the turn to attach to the other side of the neckline. This will become an important notch.
This point will also need to be marked on the neckline of the coat as you see below.
I have now removed the collar from the coat and you can see the pins marking where the collar will make the turn and where it will attach to the other side of the neckline.
I want to keep the basic shape of the collar from center back to about the middle of the collar. In the picture below, I have matched the original collar up to the pattern and I am pointing to the 2 pins that mark where the collar will make the turn and where it will attach to the other side of the neckline. By the way, the collar will not be permanently attached to the other side of the neckline. I will sew a loop and a button at this point to close the collar.
From each of these points, I want to draw a straight line down that will be at least as long as the neck opening of the coat.
In the picture below, you can see how the collar no longer has the curl for the ruffles, but comes straight down the front of the coat. 
To drape the collar, begin at center back and match the center back seam of the collar to the center back seam of the coat.
Bring the collar around to the front and pin it to the neckline. At the point that was determined to be the turning point, the collar is then brought over to the other side of the neckline. Pin the extended portion of the collar to the coat.
Now, take a piece of marking wax and mark the edge of the coat neckline on to the muslin. Be sure to mark the center front point of the coat.
There is a 1 1/4" overlap at center front. 
 After I marked the edge of the collar, I removed the muslin. I then extended the line of the collar to match the 1 1/4" extension at center front of the coat, and I added my seam allowances.
Once I added my seam allowances to the new collar, I then put the collar back on the coat, matching the notches that I established.
I matched up the collar to the entire neckline to make sure that it is fitting as it should. Keep in mind that this is just half of the collar. Once the collar is completed, there will be a button on the opposite side of the neckline that will hold the collar closed. 
When the collar is left opened, it will basically look like a big shawl collar. So it can now be closed for added warmth and when it's left open, it will still look very pretty.
I've included the picture below so that you can see how the new collar compares to the original collar.
This is a fairly easy draping exercise. If you have never done any draping, but think that you might like to give the collar a try, please don't be intimated. Just be sure to do the draping in muslin so that you don't end up ruining your fashion fabric.
 The final edition of the coat with a completely finished collar will be posted on September 24th. I'm supposed to do my posts on Thursdays. I'm a day late this week. Hopefully I'll make it up with the other hacks that I intend to show.
Hope you're enjoying Sewing Indie Month. Be sure to check out all of the other posts that are being done throughout the blogosphere. Just click HERE to find the direct links.

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  1. Ooh clever. Looking forward to see end result.

  2. A much more practical collar for cold weather.

  3. Love the new look. I prefer drape to ruffles for me.
    Thanks so much!

  4. I too prefer the new look collar. You are so clever and talented Rhonda. I keep saving information about draping and one of these days I will dip my toe in the water!
    Could you tell us a little about the fabric you are working with in terms of weight etc. I am assuming from the picture that it is wool or maybe wool with cashmere?

  5. Great post on how to drape a collar. I love the "portrait" style of your new collar better than the open ruffle. That's partly because I totally get having a closed up neckline for wearing in a really cold climate.

  6. I love the changes that you are making with this coat. It look really loves and will have such interesting lines. I think that we would need similar changes to a winter coat for here. Xx

  7. First of I love the color you choose for this coat and suits you perfectly. I have to agree with everyone else, adore your collar.

  8. Oh, how gorgeous! I love the style and color.

  9. Yesssssss Rhonda!! I can't wait to see this finished!

  10. The coat looks fantastic, the size & scale of the ruffled collar balances perfectly with the style and cut of the coat body.
    I am currently making an 'optimistic muslin' of a hacked Sugar Plum dress and Sorell top, it's more of a mashup than a hack!