Spring into Sewing: Adding a Collar

Let’s continue my theme for May (now into June) – personalizing your spring sewing. This week I’m still working on the blouse made from one of the beautiful florals in my stash paired with a fresh spring-green gingham.

I’m sorry to say we had a death in the family which took precedence over all else. So I’m now starting up again…I’ve just completed the added collar I’d shown in my colored pencil brainstorm on my last blog about adding a collar of your own!

The collar I’ve chosen is a simple rounded one. The first step is creating the pattern:

I chose to trace the neckline on the semi constructed blouse onto a piece of paper. Fold the neckline in half with the back zipper and middle front back to back; place on the paper and trace the neckline. This becomes the top edge of your collar.

Draw the collar shape and width you desire NOT including a seam allowance by measuring along your traced line. I’ve chosen a 1-1/2″ width.

Once you are happy with the shape and width, add your seamlines and cut out your pattern

Time to cut some fabric. I highly recommend making a “muslin” out of muslin or any scrap fabric. I had some blue flannel and cut the draft from it and laid it on my dress form. I discovered it wasn’t laying flat and took a little tuck at each shoulder:

So I sewed the tack and remade a another flannel pattern piece, retried it on the dress form and looks great!

Now that my “pattern” is set I can cut my collar from the gingham. Now, I didn’t say it in the beginning, but the green check fabric is actually being reused from a favorite old blouse and I discovered after cutting the sleeves and piping and neck facing (why did I do this??) that there wasn’t enough for both sides of the collar so the collar underside is the floral.

I then sewed the upper and underside with a light interfacing in the middle; turned the collar; basted the upper seam line and laid it on the blouse……since I chose a 1/2″ seam on the collar, and the blouse neckline has a 5/8″ seam, I laid it down with the required space to accommodate the difference.

Per the pic above, my collar is laid right side up directly on the blouse. Then the neckline facing is laid down right side down on top of the collar.

Sew everything down with the 5/8″ seam and then trim the seams, clip and understitch the seam.

Then, carefully iron the collar down, pin the inside seams down and sew another understitch under the collar. This will help everything to lay flat:

I realized after everything was sewn that I hadn’t top stitched my collar! So I did. This was followed by ironing the collar with my ham…this is a great “tool” in your sewing room “toolbox” to keep those curved seams down.

My “signature” on every piece I make is a button. I have a wonderful collection. Since this blouse is closed with a zipper, I’m going to put the buttons on the collar. I selected these blue vintage beauties…they bring out the lovely blue accents in the fabric and they add a perfect vintage flair to the blouse while keeping it modern too! Here is the finished collar – you can see front and back….:

Now is on to the ruffled sleeves!

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