Alder Sew Along Day 10: Attaching the Collar

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Today we’ll be assembling and attaching the collar. This post is extremely photo heavy, about 32 photos, so if you’re here for the sew along, click below. If not browse on!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Begin by interfacing the upper collar and one of the collar stand pieces. If you’re using fusible interfacing follow the instructions included with your fusible, if you’re using sew in interfacing baste it to the pieces with the basting stitches falling within the seam allowance.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Sew the center back seam of the undercollar and press open.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Pin the collar and undercollar together along the three outer edges. Stitch around the collar. At the corners I use this little trick to get sharper points.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Grade around the collar and snip the corners.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Turn the collar right side out. This is where I use the bone folder mentioned in the supplies post, it pushes the corner out sharply but isn’t sharp enough to go through the corner like a lot of corner point tools are. Once you break through the corner with one of those it’s a real pain to fix.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Press the collar and topstitch around the outer edges. Stitch across the bottom at 1/4″ (you want this to fall inside the seam allowance) so that the two layers act as one when applying the collar stand.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Stitch the interfaced collar stand piece to the underside of the collar at 1/4″ with the right side of the facing towards the right side of the under collar.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Flip the collar over and stitch the non-interfaced collar stand to the collar/collar stand sandwich. The collar should be in the center of the two collar stand pieces and the right sides of both collar stands should be facing each other.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Grade the seams and clip the curves of the collar stand. Rather than notch my collar curves I trim them to a scant 1/8″ which I find makes a smoother curve. You can see a post on my reasoning for that here.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Turn the collar stand right side out and press the seams flat. You are now ready to begin attaching the collar/collar stand to the neckline of the dress.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Begin by laying your collar and dress out as above. The dress should be facing right side up and the collar should be laying with the under collar facing up. This is how the collar will eventually sit on the dress so it can be nice to visualize this before we start attaching things left and right.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Flip the collar down so that the underside of the collar stand / under collar is facing the right side of the dress. Match your ends and notches and pin the collar stand in place.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Since we’re matching the seam lines and not the edges of the fabric (as you always do on a curve) you’ll have an end that looks something like this.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Take your dress over to the machine and stitch the collar stand you just pinned to the dress together. You’ll want to start stitching right at the edge of the collar stand and not go over into the other side of the collar stand. To do this I like to place my needle with the presser foot up, then go to town.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Make sure you stop stitching at the same place on the other end as well.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

After stitching the last seam you should have a dress / collar that looks like this. We are now going to do some fancy footwork to attach the rest of the collar to the dress.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Tuck the collar point under and inside the collar stand like so. You want to make sure you don’t catch this in the seam during the next steps.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

With the collar point still tucked turn your dress into the above position.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Flip the unattached collar stand around the front of the button band and line it up with the collar stand attached to the neck edge. Make sure nothing inside is twisted.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Pin the two layers together for about an inch or so.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Stitch through the two layers. Do not trim the corner yet…

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Right the corner edge to make sure everything ended up in the right spot and nothing extraneous got sewn into the seam.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

When you’re sure everything is in its proper place, flip the collar stand back and trim the corner point.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Again, right the collar stand and repeat for the other side.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

This is what the underside of the collar stand looks like at this point.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Clip the dress seam allowance about every 1″ just to, but not through, the seam line. Press the seam allowances up into the collar. I don’t typically grade here because the thicknesses of the collar/collar stand and the neck edge seam allowances are pretty equal so the entire collar stand is approximately the same thickness but if you’d like to grade to to town.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Fold the seam allowance of the collar stand under, press, and pin in place.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Topstitch around the collar stand, this also seals the bottom of the collar stand you just pinned. I like to start in the center top of the collar stand so that my back tack is hidden under the collar. This works unless you’re a collar popper, but that’s not really my jam.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 11 | Attaching the Collar

Here’s your finished collar! If you’d like to see a video version of this method, you can check out this post from the Archer sew along. Beware, I sound really awkward but I think it gets the point across. Armholes are next!

18 replies on “Alder Sew Along Day 10: Attaching the Collar

  • Grace

    Do you have any tips for matching the front edge of the collar stand to the edge of the button placket? whenever I make shirts I always muck up this area.

    Reply
    • Jen

      Make sure that the seam lines meet at the edge of the button band and don’t stitch past onto the other collar stand and you should be good! Also clipping the seam allowance at the point.

      Reply
  • liza jane

    I put my collar on a couple of days ago and I give myself a C-. I’m with Grace above- any tips on matching up the collar stand to the edge of the button placket? I bunched up that edge a little. My next one will be better, however 🙂

    Reply
  • Rebecca

    If anyone is biting more off than they can chew with this pattern just like me I would not trim the curves of the collar stand to 1/8″. This is because later, if like me you have to try again and again to stitch the two edges of the collar stand together without catching anything, the seams of the curves of the collar stand will give way from the endless pulling of the material inside and out to check if you have got it right. My seams gave way and ruined the collar stand that I had to unpick the whole thing and will need to recut the pattern pieces. And I got such perfect collar corners! Oh well.

    Reply
  • Kathleen

    I just assembled and attached the collar to my second Alder. Thanks for flawless drafting and instructions! My collar turned out great! But there’s something I’m wondering about. After so many Archers, I noticed the interfaced side of the collar stand is on the inside of the Archer, while on the Alder the interfaced side of the collar band is on the outside…. I’d love to know your reasoning!

    Reply
  • Bkove

    Would you be willing to post a video tutorial on your fancy collar-flipping trick? No rush (I know you’ve got more variations coming and have plenty on your plate already!); in spite of how detailed your photos are I can’t quite wrap my head around it. I’ve still been able to finish the collar on a few versions of the alder but would love to learn more about your method!

    Reply
    • Jen

      There’s a link to the video tutorial in the last paragraph of this post. It’s for the Archer but this part is constructed the same way for both garments.

      Reply
  • Maili

    You are my collar messiah. I had printed scores of tutorials, stitched hundreds of mediocre collar stands–those that either stuck out a tiny, nettlesome millimeter or pinched inwardly the same–and thought I’d just have to resign to a “homemade” collar. Nope! I followed your Archer tute to the letter and finally–FINALLY!–sewed my first “handmade”-worthy collar! (The trick–and what other tutes miss–is the folding over and inch sewed underneath, it makes all the difference!) A printed copy is now in my slim binder for aha!-moment-inducing instructions. Thank you!!

    Reply
  • jaimn

    I don’t know the best way to say thank you, but please accept my most profound “Thank you” for this tutorial! The need for a collar is the #1 reason that many outfits stay in my WIP tub until it becomes a UFO and moves out of sight. Thank you thank you thank you! Maili has the right idea – print out for saving for later!

    Reply
  • Molly

    Making my first-ever Alder…and my first-ever collar, eek!
    My question at this point is, if I am doing an accent fabric for my under collar and collar stand, does it matter which collar stand I use interfacing on?
    Just looking at your photos (which I am forever grateful for!), it appears you have put interfacing on your collar stand that it on the inside of the dress. Just unsure if it matters!

    Thank you, thank you! This pattern has been a pleasant surprise of an introduction to sewing my first garment for myself!

    Reply
    • Jen

      I prefer to interface as in the instructions / photos because of the support it gives, that said, nothing is going to go terribly wrong if you do one vs the other.

      Reply

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