So far I have made the body of the coat; set the inside pockets; lined the upper body area and sleeves; and made the dog-leg back split.
Time now to do the collar and lapels.
The upper collar is made from two pieces: the visible collar and a neckline part, which is below the roll-line (see below, left). You will notice that they both curve, but in opposite directions to each other. When they are sewn together (see below, centre) the two curves pull against each other, creating a natural roll to the collar (see below, right).
The assembly of this style of collar is quite different to how I usually do it on my Tennant Coats. This time the lapels are sewn together and the collar is put in place without its underside. Its edge is then folded and pressed to form the final shape and adjusted until I am happy with it (see below).
I then need to cut the under-collar from melton, a form of thick felt which, because it has no weave to it, does not pull and distort the collar above it (see below, left).
This is the only pattern piece I leave to cut in-situ as it need to be a perfect fit to the upper collar, the line of which I have just been adjusting and refining.
I transcribe the shape of the collar with tracing paper (see below, centre) and once it is cut out, mark it on my melton, flipping it to produce the entire under-collar (see below, right).
Because the edge of the collar and lapels are bound with piping, I can cheat a little at this point and top-stitch the melton in place around the notch and edge of the collar. This then just leaves me to hand-stitch the bottom of the melton at the neck line. I do this with a diagonal zig-zag stitch so there is a little give and take to allow the collar some movement.
I can then crack on with piping the collar and lapels.
I machine stitch as much as I can for time (see below, left) before hand stitching the awkward bits around the notch (see below, right).
Getting nice sharp points to the piping at the corners is a little tricky, but once I found a technique it was pretty simple.
First I sew the edges together at the inside of the corner (see below, left); the pinched corner is then pushed inside out and I loosely zig-zag stitch the diagonal line to the corner point (see below, centre); I then carefully pull the thread and the zig-zag stitch closes up, drawing the piping to a sharp clean corner (see below, right).
This is done for all four points, and before long the lapels and collar are piped and looking quite dashing!
The coat is suddenly starting to look finished and ready to wear, but there is a little way to go yet . . .