Tips + Tricks | Smooth Collar Curves

I’ve got a few garments ready to be photographed, including the one that this collar belongs to, but it’s been so chilly and Luke’s been so busy that we haven’t done it yet so, in lieu of a finished garment, here is a new installment of Tips + Tricks.

You know how sometimes when you clip and notch a curve, then turn it right side out it can create a very slight angle at the point where the clip or notch is? To avoid that and get super smooth curves trim and grade the seam close to the stitching line as I’ve done above. The reason this works : if you were to measure it, the length of the outer edge of the seam allowance is much longer than the stitching line. By notching you are reducing the length and allowing the seam allowance to lie smoothly inside the stitching line. Trimming close to the seam allowance effectively does the same thing by reducing the measurement of the outside edge but without creating those weak points in your curve that are prone to denting. I know this might sound crazy with all the importance put on clipping and notching as the way to do curves but if you have a ready to wear peter pan collar in your closet, check it out, it’s most likely done this way. All mine are!

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17 Responses to Tips + Tricks | Smooth Collar Curves

  1. sallie says:

    interesting! I always hated those little ridges that can turn up unexpectedly when I clip and notch…

  2. Yep! This is exactly how I do mine! Makes a *much* better curve :)

  3. hahaha I use this method too. Got it out of one of my books and all the RTW people do it this way too. Can’t wait to see the garment you’re working on, I have that same fabric (in two colourways) and haven’t used it yet XD.

    • Yep, RTW all the way, though a lot of theirs are patterned so that they don’t have to do any cutting at all. I’ll be posting the top tomorrow. LOVE this fabric so much, what colorways do you have? I really want to order another but am worried about overkill. Not like I’d be wearing them all at once though…

  4. Miranda says:

    Everything you make is so impeccable. I love picking up these little tricks from time to time. Maybe someday my details will looks something like yours!

  5. hyemi says:

    What fabric is that? It’s pretty!

  6. It seems to me that this method would work not just on collars but curves in garment construction in general. I am going to be using thi tip from now on.

    • It will, though I wouldn’t recommend using it on any seams that will be bearing stress like a princess seam or something like that since you’re cutting so close to the seam. The shorter graded seam allowance in the photo is just slightly wider than 1/16th of an inch.

  7. Quinn says:

    I am always afraid to cut close to the seam because I fear it will come apart, especially in the wash. Of course, I am afraid to clip notches close to the seam for exactly the same reason. I am a timid sew-person! I suppose I could just leave big seam allowances, wear my clothes inside-out, and call it a fashion statement??

  8. gingermakes says:

    Great tip! I’ll have to try that out soon!

  9. Harini says:

    Hi I am new here. I have started on a dress with V neck and dress is more or less finished but the neckline I am scared to touch becos i have problem with V neck’s the front tip it invariably stretches and looks ugly and ,can you please tell me How to get a perfect V neck.

  10. Michelle says:

    I just finished a collar that I so carefully sewed, clipped and notched, trying to avoid those annoying corners. And then same old story-I always thought I’d sewn the curve poorly. Thanks for this tip! I’ll definitely be doing tngs this way next time.

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