Sewing Vloggers

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's done!

What looks like a ghost coming back to haunt an aging pik-up is the Great White Shirt. It's been Bizzed, rinsed, and hung to dry in the sun. It was very difficult for me to find something to hang it on that wouldn't contribute to soiling so I grabbed a plant hook and covered it with a towel. I will let it dry till barely damp and give it a good press. The beading REALLY shows up out here in the sun so my final pics may be outside shots. We'll see. I hope to get the rest of the pics up tonight.

In the meantime, here is a mini tute on how I did my collar band. Collar bands are something many tend to avoid, myself included on occasion. But I taught myself to do the Nancy Zieman "Sewing Express" method and am pleased with the results. Two things: first, the collar band on this pattern is too wide in my opinion. I always scale down details due to "petite-ness" but have never felt the need, before or after sewing a garment, to scale down the collar band. This collar band is 1 1/4 inch wide finished width. It really should not be over one inch wide, for anyone, in my opinion. But on me, even more so. So what I have learned from this latest sewing adventure is to not make a collar band more than an inch wide, ever. Second, I think Zieman's technique for collar bands is the same as Margaret Islander's "burrito" deal. Someone correct me here if I am wrong. So without further ado:

* First, IF YOU HAVE 5/8 INCH SAs the neckline and neck edge of the collar band, need to be cut back 3/8 of an inch, which will leave you with a 1/4 inch SA. Have to say on this fine weight linen I had to take care not to overhandle and ravel out the small SA. After that I meticulously lay out the pieces against the original pattern and double check the match. It is amazing how on a fine fabric the stretch can set in. I also double checked the curves on the edges. There was definitely a need to re match and recut. So, I highly suggest you make this a habit before proceeding.

* Once rematched, make a sandwich. Pin one collar band WS down. Then place the neck edge on top, face up. Then another collar band wrong side up. Pin away only on the neck edge. Sew directly across, neck edge only.
*Remember you cut back so only sew with a 1/4 inch SA. I used my quilting foot for this as you can see at left. Grade seams back to an 1/8th of an inch. I did not go quite that far back due to the ravelly nature of the fabric.

* Next, roll the blouse back on itselfso it is way clear of the curved edge which you will sew next. I pin it out of the way once rolled. You can see I drew in my curve with a light mechanical pencil and a Gutterman spool so they would perfectly match. While some of you may be gasping, my mechanical pencil has yet to fail me but the Mark B Gone has. If the fabric is starched the pencil does not sink in and comes out no problem. I do the marking VERY VERY lightly. OK, so once the blouse is rolled and pinned out of the way I flip up the SA and stitch with a small stitch around the curve to the point where the collar will be set in. The neck band will be clipped back to that spot. Once again. Grade seams. I dotted on some Fray Bloc here for obvious reasons and was glad I did.
* Here you now see the turned and pressed collar band. From this point on it is quite easy. The collar is now pinned and stitched to under collar band SA. After that, the collar SA is graded back. The remaining unstitched collar/neck band SA is folded under, pressed, trimmed back, and then topstitched, closing the whole connection up.
*( This one is pinned in place and ready to go. I think you can see how wide this collar band looks. Certainly not my preference but I always try to learn something with each garment and with this one it was check the width of the collar band. For some of you really tall sewists this may be fine, but remember to check.

Out to the pickup to see if my "ghost" is almost dry and then clean my sewing room as per usual. Pics tonight or tomorrow on the finished project. ...Bunny


  1. Oooooooooooooooo - you tease with that picture all the way out there - can't wait to see it on you or up close! Your work is so exquisite!

  2. I know. I'm dying to see the close up. Thanks for the tute on the collar band. I haven't done a collar band before; so I'll be sure and refer to your explanation on how when I am ready.

  3. Oh, can't wait to see this - I know it will be beautiful!

    This method is similar to David Coffin's in his shirtmaking book, if I'm reading the post right.

    I've never had to cut down the height of a collar, either, for petite reasons. Might have something to do with the fact that I have a long neck compared to the rest of me. BTW, by the numbers (from your petite post the other day) you and I are the same size - with the exception that I'm an inch or two taller.

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  5. I've got that long neck too!

    The Coffin book is one of the few holes left in my library. I just keep forgetting about it but will pick it up one day. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Great tute, Bunny! I can't wait to see the finished garment!!

  7. Bunny, I found your blog a few months ago and occasionally stop by to catch up and read old (and new) posts. I'm working on a shirt for my hubby using a Kwik Sew pattern and have made changes to the pattern following David Page Coffin's book. I'm probably an average home-sewer and have read a lot more about sewing than I actually sew :-). So, this pattern has no collar band and I used a pattern from DPC's book and added one. Hopefully, it will turn out well. I put the collar band on yesterday and hope to get the collar attached today and have a fitting session before proceeding with sleeves and side seams. I have a question: I noticed that in another post, you said you used NZ's method to make most collars (understitching with ZZ). Did you do that with the white shirt collar?

    1. Just found this and am replying in case anyone else has that question. Yes, the underside of this collar is triple zigzag stitched as per the tute "the Zieman Collar". What I did do here, a bit different, is not extend the zigzag all the way across. I just didn't want it to show near the collar points. If you look closely at the pic on the left you just barely see the zigzags but on the right they are not there.


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