Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Much of the commercial Barbie clothes are created using many, many shortcuts. While some of these are necessary to avoid bulk, most are due to financial constraints. And though I too use glue, Velcro and try to keep the number of seams to a minimum, I still wanted to create a jacket with "real" collars.

One jacket, two looks when you add a fur collar.
In my last post, I showed you how to create a fitted blazer without collar. To illustrate the versatility of that jacket, I begin this post with a very simple way of creating one with a collar. Back in the 1960's, my mother had suits with removable fur collars! With that thought, I took one of the suits I featured already, and gave it a second life with a bit of faux fur, tacked in place.

I made another suit of out of an old fringed shawl. I cut out the pattern pieces so that the hemline fall just above the fringe. After you have finished making the suit, cut off some of the fabric near the fringe and sew or glue in place over the rough edges. I've actually creating a facing (see below), added the fringe then stitched it inside the jacket so that the collar lays over neckline.

Now that we've got those juices flowing, let's attempt our first "real" collar. This looks more complicated than it is. Just take your time.

1. Begin with your front hip length sloper (lower the armhole by /8-inch and extend the front by 1/4-inch). Draw a diagonal line from the shoulder neck point to as far down the front as you want the V neck to be on the CF (Center Front) line. This is your "break point." Mark

2. Measure the distance between point B to point A on the neckline of the back sloper.

3. Extend the diagonal line you drew on the jacket front the length of A to B (on the back sloper).

4. Draw a perpendicular line up from the diagonal line. Decide how high you want the collar to rise and make a mark that is twice the desired height. (Remember, this will be folded over). Then mark (C). My collar on the above jacket is 1/2 inch which folds down to 1/4-inch.
5. Draw a curved line from point C to the break point.
6. You pattern should look like this.

7. Add seam allowance.

8. Make a facing. Mark as shown (about 1/2-inch from cutting edge).

9. Trace the facing and add seam allowance.

You will sew the facings along the CB (Center Back seam). Press. Next, pin the facing to the jacket right side to right side and sew. Clip all right angle points, diagonally. The turn inside out and press well. Fold the collar down onto itself.


1. Use the jacket pattern as is (without cutting away the neckline). Be sure to add the extension over from the CF and add your seam allowance.

2. Using a cheap cotton or muslin, create a "toile" so that you can adjust for fit and create your collar.
3. Create the collar. Begin by placing a small rectangle of fabric at the base of the doll's neck. Make sure the CB is indicated both on your "toile" as well as on the cloth.

4. Pin this fabric around the neckline, keeping the cloth close to the doll's neck.
5. Clip around the neck as you pin. When you arrive in the front, your collar, shape the way you want the upper collar to appear.  Mark where the collar attached to the neckline (about midway between the shoulder and the CF).
6. The under collar (folded over from the bodice) should remain on top. Pin and mark.

7. Remove from the toile. Smooth out the lines. Make sure the collar is even from one side to the other. Create your pattern.
8. Turn under the top and sides of the collar. If you chose to line it you can, but leave the neckline seam flat.
9. Baste the collar to the jacket, respecting the end points you have previously marked.

10. Create a facing by marking roughly 3/8-inch from the edge around the neckline and down the front of the front. Same thing from shoulder to shoulder on the back. But make sure it's the same width as the front facing at the point they join on the shoulder. Add seam allowance.

Sew the facings together at the shoulders. Then, right to right side, pin the facing to the jacket (and over the collar). Stitch all the way around. When you turn the facing outside in, the collar will pop up but the rough seams will be hidden under the facing. Press well.

Here's a variation of the fitted jacket with a notched collar inspired by Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto's Spring2014 collection. It's a shaped jacket but cut long. Afterwards, I've cut the jacket so that it is a bit shorter in the front. I added oversized patch pockets set in at an angle. The sleeves are attached only at the bottom of the armhole.


1. Again, start out with the jacket pattern however, lower the neckline by 1/8-inch.

2. Create collar: Measure the back neckline (A-B). Draw a horizontal line and mark.
3. Measure the front neckline B-C. Extend that line and mark.
4. A-D represents the collar height.  The collar on my jacket is 3/8-inch (which frankly, I discovered was a bit too tall. If I were to do this again, I would make the collar at 1/4".) To camouflage the fault, I added beads.
5. At point C, measure up by 1/8-inch. Mark. From that mark, measure 1/8-inch to the left.
6. Create a curved line between A-C. Repeat that curve on the top.
7. This was only 1/2 collar. You must fold the paper at the CB and trace off to complete the full collar. Add seam allowance.

Again, you will baste the collar onto the jacket at the neckline, right side to right side between both CF points on the jacket. ( At this point your collar is upside down, joined at the neck.)

8. Make your facing as described for the notched collar. Add seam allowance.

Attached to the jacket right side to right side.
Stitch. Turn inside out. The collar is now upright. But you will need to clip all curves and press really well. The following photos illustrates how this works.

All images and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2013. Please do not reproduce without prior permission. Thank you.

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