When sewing my collar this weekend, I noticed that the instructions for sewing the collar are a little scant. If I were a beginner and followed these instructions, I have a feeling I'd be confused and unhappy with my results. (Not ragging on the pattern here--I know they only have limited space!) So I thought I'd do a tutorial with more detail to help you out if you want to sew this pattern.
Here we go.
1. Select your interfacing. Choose a fusible interfacing that gives good support but isn't too stiff. For my lightweight pique, I choose Fashion Sewing Supply's Weft interfacing in white. I did samples on scraps with three interfacings before I decided on that one--be prepared to try a few and see which you like best!
2. Preshrink your interfacing, if necessary. I only use interfacings from the above source because they are preshrunk. If your interfacing shrinks after washing your garment, you will hate the effect and never want to wear it, trust me. You'll get ugly bubbles on your collar that won't iron out. To preshrink interfacing, put it in a bowl of warm water, let the water cool, and then hang the interfacing to dry.
3. Cut out four of the collar piece in your fashion fabric, and two in interfacing.
4. Apply interfacing to one set of the collar pieces. Use a presscloth to avoid mucking up your iron. Note: your interfaced collar pieces will be the top collar pieces, and then uninterfaced set will be the undercollars. These totally look the same, but the one on on the right is interfaced!
5. Pin one top collar to its undercollar piece, right sides together. Transfer the stitching line marks from the pattern; these will help you immensely. (If you don't want to dig out your pattern piece, you can just draw in a 3/8" stitching line around the scallop--that's all the marking is. It's there to help you figure out where to pivot when stitching.)
6. Stitch around the outer edges of your collar, pivoting at the scallop point. Note: The seam allowance here is 3/8", not your normal 5/8".
7. Notch the curves and the scallop point. Where the curves are most extreme, you need to do a lot of notching. You can ease up on the notching on the less curvy curves. Around the scallop, make thin notches about every 3/8". Notch all the way to (but not through) the stitching lines.
8. Trim down the seam allowances to about 1/8". If you've notched all the way to the seamline, your tiny little notches will still be there.
9. Using a hard surface like a point presser (I'm guessing there are other household items that would work well too), press open those tiny seam allowances as best you can. You will need to keep maneuvering the collar around the surface to get where you need to press.
10. Turn the collar right side out. Use your fingers to turn the edges all the way out. It will look a little funny.
11. Remembering that the interfaced collar is the top collar, work from the underside of the collar, pressing it so that the seamline is nudged toward the underside so that it's not visible on the edge of the collar. Use lots of steam and don't press to hard--you don't want to flattern the collar. You may see some ripples from the fabric easing, but that's ok since it's on the bottom.
13. Baste the collar edges together. The seam allowances will be uneven because of how we pushed the seamline to the underside. Trim the undercollar seam allowance so that it matches the upper collar seam allowance.
14. Now it's ready to baste to your dress!
I know this looks like a lot of steps for one measly little collar, but they're worth it, I promise!
One last thing: I'm having a week-long 10% off sale in my fabric shop! Use coupon code HAPPY4TH until this Friday. I have the lime gingham above, new eyelet and polka dots, and more!