Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Call it Collars

Last September's challenge over at the Monthly Stitch was "Stick Your Neck Out". Make something with an appealing collar design, whatever you like -- but of course I took this quite literally, and made a few detachable collars! I've had them finished for ages but haven't had the chance to take photos, as I don't have a top with a high enough neckline to work with them. But I wanted to share them so just decided to use the one closest to working, and snapped some quick and silly selfies!

I've been wanting to try out some of these collar patterns for a while -- I've made a Vogue dress with a detachable collar previously, but never just a collar on its own.

I started with Simplicity 1727, intending to try a couple of the views, but only got as far as View A. You can see that this one would require a neckline that fits quite snugly in order to work properly. This dress with a fairly high scoop neck isn't high enough. But you get the idea...

The pattern is quite nice, although I did find that it's quite small in circumference, suited for a narrow neck or a really high collar. It's a bit too tight for me; I'll be adding 1/2" to the centre back the next go round so that it fits a little more evenly. I used a hook and eye closure instead of ties, but they aren't quite even so I have to reattach the eye properly so the collar front lays smoothly. There are a number of other views to be tried as well.

However, the pattern instructions are useful, giving assistance in some techniques that will keep a flat collar like this rolled to the underside, including understitching the facing as far as you can, and I used these techniques on the next collar, which was a better pattern for me but with hardly any instructions -- typical Burda! Here it is tied loosely to match with the edges of the neckline of this dress.

I found this pattern in the September 2017 Burda magazine. When I saw this I knew I'd have to try it, even if I didn't like the way it was styled in the magazine, over another frilly neckline. Too much going on! I'd like to try a velvety black collar using this pattern though.

This one was a better fit for my neck; it's the right circumference and I like the design. The only thing I realized after I'd finished was that once again I forgot to add seam allowances to my Burda pattern! Thankfully it still works on a project like this, it just made a skinny collar. I have retraced it and have plans to make another Burda shortly to test that out.

Tied tightly, pretending I have a full black background there....

The final one that I tried out was the free, downloadable Alva Collar from Named Patterns. I don't have any Named patterns yet (not even the Alva), but thought I'd try out this free addition. It's a different style of collar, as instead of tying or clipping at front centre, it has a button closure at the back. Imagine the ways you could personalize this shape.

 I laid the tissue around my neck first to test it out and determined that I needed more length. I added in 3/4" at each side, at around the shoulder, and I like it -- but I've reduced the extra length to 1/2" at each side for future attempts. It is just a smidge too long. But I really like this style and can see it done up again in many different ways. I was pleased with the design & the back closure; it works best of all of the designs so far.

These will be handy to add some spark to a bland tee or shift dress, for sure! I also have a very vintage pattern with some pretty wild collars to test out in future.

Have you ever made accessories like this?


  1. I have never in my life considered a collar on it's own. But... I can see many possibilities. It is a bit like having a reversible top in that you can change the collar each time, if you have a few per top, and each time you can have a different look. I think I would like to make collars for v necks, as they often suit my body type more than a high round collar. I will have to investigate. Thank you for an inspiring post!

    1. They were a lot of fun to try out -- if I can get it just right I know I'll repeat that perfect collar in a few different colours and textures. Hope you will give it a try too!


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