Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Collar on the VOT Dress

I had a question in my email asking about the collar's construction...so here goes...

As you know this dress was suppose to be a simple sheath dress.  I liked the fabric, I thought it would make a great layering piece...dress/cardigan combination...but somewhere between the thinking and the cutting out something else occurred.

I've been seeing a lot of those retro collars and I thought this would be the perfect time to add one to the dress.  I thought it would play off well against the embellished band.  So I went looking for a collar pattern and since so many of my vintage patterns have collars, I started with one of them.  This one to be exact:

Simplicity 6985

I measured the pattern against my neckline and it was way too short.  So I added some to the pattern piece to get this:

Then I cut 4 pieces from the fashion fabric.  Sewed 2 together without adding interfacing.  I didn't want a stiff collar ~ so no interfacing.  Then I played with the collars by pinning them down starting at the center back of the dress.  I was trying to get an offset affect.  I finally achieved that by pinning one collar flat and then pinning the other on top.  Flipping a piece of the collar back onto itself and gathering it up.  All of this was then basted down.

The original vintage pattern had facing pieces.  I did not want facing pieces in a dress with a lining.  So I went digging through the bias tape drawer and pulled out the brown/tan striped bias binding.  It was applied to the top of the collar with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Then I trimmed the seam down and wrapped the bias binding under the seam.  All of this was pressed into place.  Press a section of the collar, use a lot of steam and a clapper...let it set...and then move to the next section of the collar.

After the pressing, it was pinned in place and the binding was handstitched down.  It made a much nicer and cleaner finish for the neckline, imho, than the facing pieces from the pattern.  The final step to give the collar a little va-va-voom will be the large covered button made from a piece of the embellished band.

Finally, there was another question about how I buy patterns.  If I purchase them just for the details? 

Definitely!  *LOL*  I purchase them for details, for inspiration, for the instructions (especially the vintage ones!).  And quite a few of them I purchase believing that some day I will make a garment from them!  I guess that would be true if I stopped fiddling around with my TNT patterns!

I get home so late in the evening that I won't be working on this dress again until the weekend.  So pics of me in the dress this weekend after all of the finishing details are completed...I promise!

...as always, more later!


  1. The inside of the dress looks great! I love the collar too and your post is very helpful. I will buy patterns, esp. vintage, for details too.

  2. Your dress is really cute. I love that collar.

  3. Thanks for telling us about the collar. I think it makes the dress.

  4. Wow, I'm just in awe of your abilities!!! You are truly an inspiration! This dress is just gorgeous, can't wait to see it ON you!

  5. I buy patterns for details also. And have a couple of excellent draftint patterns that enable me to copy RTW. Great dress.

  6. I really love that collar detail--thank you for the info on it!

  7. Great job at making it all work!

  8. Hello carolyn
    I love vintage dresses,and this collar is perfect,very helpful post
    thanks for the detaills.
    happy week

  9. Carolyn, I really love this dress. Will look forward to the modeling shot! Very attractive collar. I agree about the pattern instructions on vintage patterns. I am a little "vintage" myself and was appalled when I returned to sewing and saw the poor instructions and lower quality control standards.

  10. Great inspiration for that collar. The finish on the inside is really nice - no chaffing seams to annoy you.

  11. Interesting post as for me. It would be great to read more concerning that theme. Thanks for giving that data.
    Sexy Lady
    English escort


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