Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
6,675
United States
New York
East Hampton
I received the following question from a member who is hesitant to post:
quote:Good afternoon Mr. Kabbaz,
I'm in need of your shirtmaking expertise in regards of collars points. I'm slowly learning how to sew my own shirts and was wondering what techniques do you use to achieve a perfect point when constructing a collar? I've come across several sewing books and websites and have tried several of the techniques, but I'm still not happy with my results.
This is an extremely difficult question to answer without showing. Wish you had been at A Collection of Sartorial Excellence ... but I'll give it a quick shot.

Step One: Sew the three pieces of the collar leaf (2 shell cloth and 1 interlining) together on the three sides which do not join to the collarband.
Step two: Trim all excess cloth and interlining away from the point areas leaving 1/16" of each remaining outside the stitch. Trim back from the point about 3/8".
Step Three: Using your fingernails after years of practice or an iron in the interim, crease and fold the seam allowance 180°. Press as flat as possible.
Step Four: This is the hard to write part. Place your thumb over the folded under seam allowance so that your thumbnail is right on the point and pushing into it on one of the short sides. Place your index finger in the same position, at the same corner, on the long side. Grasp the uppermost layer of the shell cloth and turn the shell cloth over the other two pieces (1 shell cloth, 1 interlining) in the same manner in which you would right an inside-out pillowcase. Do not, under any circumstances, release the pressure of your thumb and index finger on the seam allowance.
Step Five: With your free hand, begin to work a bone folder or other small pointed object down into the corner until you can feel it under the thumb and index finger. A ground-round small skrewdriver is fine if you haven't a bone folder. Once you feel the folder point has reached your thumbnail, you may release pressure.
Step Six: Using a gentle but firm circular motion, move the bone folder 'round and 'round in the corner, pushing to and fro until the point begins to take shape. You can pinch the point with your free fingernails or your teeth all of which, in combination with the folder, is meant to push the point out from the inside as much as possible (until all interior stitches are at the seam edge) without pushing the folder through the cloth and making a hole.
Step Seven: Repeat for the other point.
Step Eight: Using your free hand to guide the shaping, pull the undercloth sufficiently while ironing to cause the seam edge to be ever-so-slightly to the underside. Press flat.
Step Nine: Topstitch the three showing sides.
Step Ten: Run a staystitch along the non-showing side to keep the three layers taut while performing the next process, attaching the collar band.

OK, class dismissed for today. And for those of you who aren't trying to sew your own shirts ... why the he** did you read this far, anyway? [8D]

EDIT: It has been pointed out to me (thanks Luis) that I never said that all seam allowances on professional shirts are always 1/4".

Dear Andy and Malinda: I really do know how to spell the tool which is used to turn small nails with threads around and around while they lower themselves down into a hole. But the Snitz God won't let me write it unless I want it to look like this: s****driver. Aren't we taking moral righteousness a bit too far? [?][?][?]

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