notched collar Haider Ackermann Spring 2011 runway

A notched collar on the Haider Ackermann Spring 2011 runway during Paris fashion week. Photo: Getty Images

From Dries van Noten to Lanvin to Haider Ackermann, dramatic, notched jacket collars were all over the spring 2011 runways in Paris last week. It's enough to make you want to run for your mom's vintage jacket with a butterfly collar. Here's how to create the look you want by hand:
  • The Basics: First you'll want to get a primer on notched collars. Wild Ginger, a flat-pattern software company offers some fabulous directions for making the basic notched collar. You can also use the software to make your own wide lapel jacket design.
  • Making Alterations: One of the simpler ways to create a pattern is to adjust or redraft an existing pattern. Look for a style that is similar to what you like, and then widen the lapels by taping tracing paper to the pattern and redrawing the lapel lines. (Just remember, wide lapels need more reinforcement, so look to extra stiff interfacing for making your lapels stand out.)
  • Go Vintage: If you ever want a pattern for sewing something hot off the runway, always look first to vintage patterns. With fashion recycling at lightning speed, chances are good that you will find something in the patterns vaults from years past. Here are a few examples of what you can dig up online, like this close facsimile of the recently revived MaxMara 101801 Icon Coat. Keep in mind that pattern sizing and directions differ from decade to decade so check both carefully.
  • Getting Complicated: If you are deadset on finding a new pattern with a wide, notched lapel, look to Marfy, an Italian pattern company that is as quick as it gets when it comes to echoing the runway. While you'll find plenty of high fashion to choose from, what you won't find is step-by-step instructions or seam allowances included in the pattern.
For more DIY Design articles, click here. Next week, adding fullness with pleats and gathers.

And if you're an accessory addict, click here to learn how to DIY two accessories for under $5!