Collars – Two Ways

Here are two ways of putting the collar on.
The first method is from the Second and Third Edition pattern instructions.  It is the easiest way, especially if you are shortening or shaping the collar (like I have below with the scalloped edge).  The downside to this method is that you do get some seam allowance tickling the dancers’ neck, but if you are planning to put a lining in your dress, it’s no big deal.
The second method is from the First Edition pattern instructions.  I replaced it because it is a bit more complicated.  However, it creates a nice clean seam by pushing the neck-edge seam allowance up into the collar itself and is great if you want your collar to really stand up straight and tall and bold.  Since I wasn’t working on another dress while taking these pictures, I’ve done it in muslin with just a lazy zig zag instead of a full satin stitch.

First Method

1.  After your shoulder seams are sewn, start by trimming away your neck-edge seam allowance and finishing the edge with a satin stitch.
2.  To make up your collar pieces, flat all three layers together and satin stitch the top edge (no seam allowance).  Serge or zig-zag the bottom edge to keep the layers together.
3.  Mark the seam line on the front of the collar pieces with thread or disappearing marker.  Clip the seam allowance along the length of the collar, not clipping closer than 1/8″ to the seam line.
Back side (left) and front side (right)

4.  Pin your collars to your bodice, matching the notch with the shoulder seam.


5.  Using a thin satin stitch (and I say thin here in referring to the density, not the width), sew over the neck edge stitching to attach the collar. 

You can instead do a straight stitch-in-the-ditch along the left edge of the satin stitching.  I think this is what I put in the 3rd Ed. instructions, and makes it easy to alter later…less seam ripping!


6.  Viola!  Collar on!  View from the inside:

View from the outside.  I used too thin of a satin stitch in step 5, so the stitching of my neck edge isn’t as smooth as it could be.  I might redo it later, but you get the idea.


Second Method

1. Start by basting the stiffener to the front layer of fabric.  Baste 1/16″ inside of the stitching line along the bottom edge.  Then, trim the seam allowance away (on the bottom edge only) and satin stitch the edge to finish it.
2.  Add the second layer of fabric to the back side, so the stiffener is sandwiched.  When you line them up at the top edge, the second layer (which will be our lining) will be longer since its seam allowance has not been trimmed away.  Along the top edge this time, baste 1/16″ inside the stitching line catching all 3 layers.  Stop (this is important) 1 inch away from the center-front point.  Trim the seam allowance away again (all the way down to the point), then satin stitch the edge to finish it, stopping 1″ above the point.
3.  Press the lining seam allowance to the inside, clipping if necessary.  It should look like this:
 4.  Draw the stitching line around your neck edge with a disappearing marker, or mark it with a basting thread.  Clip the curve of the seam allowance liberally.
 5.  Pin the stiff collar outer layer to the neck edge, matching the notch with the shoulder seam and the point with center-front.
 6.  Do the same on the underside.  The priority here is that the collar lining is laying flat.  If the folded edge is a bit off from the stitching line, don’t worry.  So long as it’s not more than an 1/8″ too high, it will get caught by the stitching.
Once this step is done, the neck edge seam allowance should be sandwiched between the two collar layers.
 7.  Using a thin satin stitch (and I say thin here in referring to the density, not the width), sew over the satin stitching on the bottom of the collar.  This step is similar to step 5 in the first method, except for that the stitching you’re going over is on the collar, instead of on the bodice.
8.  Now that the collar is attached, go back to your front point and satin stitch those last 1″ segments.
 Ta-da!  Your collar is now complete and ever-so-distinguished (or it will be if you used lovely dress fabrics, rather than muslin).

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