Saturday, July 24, 2021

 Hi fellow sewers,

At last I am getting back to sewing my At Every Angle view B shirt.  I've been working on projects that had preliminary deadlines, and you'll see the results later.  But for now, I can continue my shirt!  I've reached the point of working on the collar.  One reason I chose to create blogs for this shirt, besides the fact that I love it, is because the collar is constructed in an unusual way.  I'll go through all the steps.  The early steps might be a review for some of you, but others may find some of the techniques to be new.

The first step is to interface the collar.  Of course I'm using one of our lightweight fusible interfacings, which I've preshrunk according to the instructions available on the website.  (Take a look at the Interfacings page. If you click on an interfacing to read about it, you'll also see, right below the Add to Cart button, that our instructions for using our interfacings are only a "click" away.)  

I've laid out my piece of parchment paper (the same stuff you bake cookies on) on my ironing board.  The fabric collar goes on, wrong side up.  The interfacing goes on, glue side down.

The collar pattern goes back on top to check the shape of the collar/interfacing "sandwich".  If the shape is distorted and the interfacing is then fused, the collar will never lie properly--so be sure to check.  Remove the pattern.

Then my silk organza press cloth goes on top to form what I call my interfacing "sandwich".  The parchment paper protects my ironing board, and the press cloth protects my iron.  

Beginning in the center of the collar, I lower the iron straight down onto the layers.  One shot of steam, count to 6 or 8, then pick the iron straight up, move to the next area, and repeat till the entire collar is fused.

Next, pin the short ends of the collar together, stitch at 5/8", trim to 1/4", and press the seam allowances open.  (Use really sharp pins with glass heads that won't melt when you're pressing near them.) Now the unusual part of this collar begins.  First, let's look at how the collar edge compares to the garment neckline edge.  Unfortunately, I laid the collar down with the edge that attaches to the garment toward the top of the photo, but the point remains that you're trying to attach a straight edge to a circle.

So how can you make that easier?  Once again, the trick is in the pinning.  At this point, I'll explain that there's no neckline facing on this shirt.  The collar encases the neckline edge of the garment.  So pinning is crucial.  First, make sure you are pinning the edge of the collar with the shoulder match dots.  It's the shorter edge.  Also, you'll pin one layer at a time.  Begin by matching the short seam of the collar to the center back clip of the garment, right side of collar to wrong side of garment.  Place a pin, head sticking out from fabric edges and catching only a few threads at 5/8".  The garment edge will be up inside the collar.  Match a clip at the front fold of the collar to a front edge of the garment and pin.  Same for the other end of the collar.  Let's look:

Match a collar dot to a shoulder seam.  My turquoise dot is barely visible in the photo above.  Pin.  Repeat for the other shoulder.  Now you can pin the remaining seam allowances.  

It's looking weird, but it's halfway there.  Wrap one end of the collar around the garment front so it's snug.  Remove your pin at that end of the collar and pin again through all the layers.  Repeat at the other end, then repin the entire collar by placing each section of the second layer, removing your pin, then replacing it through all the layers.  Match all the same clips and dots.  

I'll say again, because it's so important, that the secret to success is to pin by catching only a few threads right at the stitching line.  The fabric edges--one curved and one straight--don't want to cooperate with each other.  Look at the edges in the photo above.  The only part of this seam that you want to control is at the 5/8" line.  Let the edges do what they want.  You take control where you need to stitch.

Once everything is accurately pinned together, you can stitch across the seam at 5/8".  I love this pinning technique; no matter which side is up when you stitch, it's easy to remove each pin when you come to it because the heads are out where you can see them.   Just to be clear, I'll say again that the garment is up inside the collar.  

This is already a long post, so I'll cover the second part of the collar construction in my next post.  I hope you're finding it helpful and that you are making an At Every Angle shirt along with me.