The new Rolled Collar with Lapels for the Donna Blouse is an improvement over the Flat Notched Collar with Lapels. I am dissatisfied, though, with the way the sewing of it has turned out. I found that the absence of a back facing at the neckline created many time consuming steps to the process. It also resulted in a strain on the back neckline as well as a lot of fabric layers being pushed upwards under the collar. This would not be a problem with a lightweight fabric but the cotton broadcloth I used resulted in too much bulk.
I’ve decided that in the future I will determine what type of collar to use based on the weight of the fashion fabric. I will not use the application without a back neck facing for any type of fabric. A facing at the back neckline is easier to sew and is also a nifty place to stitch a label with your name on it. It gives great appeal if you are selling your designs to have the label visible as the blouse or dress rests on a pretty, padded hanger. Without the back facing the label could be sewn to the collar stand but that could be irritating for the wearer.
When the fabric is lightweight and opaque, or even medium weight, I will use a collar that benefits from a back neck facing. For shirt collars I’ll use a collar with neckstand created in one pattern piece. There are also such finishes as bias tape around the neckline for collars such as the Peter Pan collar.
I’ve found a free, downloadable booklet on how to sew collars, as well as the different neckline finishes suitable to different types of collars. I recommend adding it to your collection of sewing guides. It has helped refresh my memory on many of the fine finishings possible. Often we don’t see these on moderately priced and budget priced clothing because it involves the use of extra fabric and thread. As sewists we are the designers and seamstress, so we have the freedom to choose. I think choosing the finish that produces a high quality result is the best one. Also, it is important to select the finish that is suitable to your skills level and experience with different fabrics.
Here is a screen shot of the cover of the booklet and the URL where you can save the PDF file.
Prepared by Nadine Hackler, Associate Professor Extension Clothing Specialist. First Published 1985, Revised December 1997.
Adapted for use in Kentucky by Linda Heaton, Ph.D. Extension Professor for Textiles & Clothing, Revised June 2002.
Booklet Description: How to sew and finish a variety of collars plus pointers for improving how they are sewn.
Free, downloadable document from University of Kentucky-College of Agriculture-Cooperative Extension Service