Amanda from sasikirana handmade joins us today to walk us through making, attaching and finishing the Jump Rope Dress collar!

How is everyone doing this morning? Are you eager to get right on the collar after finishing your plackets? Well, let’s get right to it!

Today, we will be:

  • Sewing the shoulder seams
  • Preparing and making the collar
  • Attaching the collar
  • Finishing the collar

Shoulder Seams
Sew staystiching at the neck edges 3/8″ from the edge. Start at the shoulder edge going down to the center back neck or neck edge. This will make sure that the neck will not stretch when you’re attaching the collar.

For the the straight shoulder seams, we could do it with French seams to give it a clean finish. There are excellent tutorials here and here. Press seam allowances on both shoulder towards the back.

Collar Prep and Assembly

After sewing the 1/2″ guide to fold the lower collar and before pressing the fold, clip into the seams allowance every inch or so to make it easier for you to fold it. Finger press it first to make a smooth curve then press with your iron.

Trim the collar interfacing seam allowance by 1/2″ and attach it to the other collar piece (the under collar).

Draw the seam lines on the upper collar using your ruler as a guide. I like to do mine in small bits and then smooth it out by hand.

Pin them both together and sew right on the seam lines. It would help if you shorten the stitch length and lift the foot presser every few stitch with the needle down to readjust the position of the collar to get a smooth curve on the corners.

Turn the collar right side out and finger press the edges before pressing it. Admire your collar! Soon it will be turned from a flat object to a beautiful three-dimensional object. I am always amazed at this transformation.

Collar Attachment
Match the side edges of the collar to the edges of the placket and pin.

Make sure that this edge lines up perfectly because you see it clearly after it’s finished. Match all the other notches and pin. You will have four quadrants of the neck divided by the pins, left front, left back, right back, and right front.

We will work on one quadrant at a time to make it easier. Position the quadrant that you’re working on so that the body lies on your four fingers and the collar is on the top. Make it curve with your hand so it will stretch lightly (here’s where that stay stitch come in handy!). Match the collar to the neck line and pinch it with your thumb right in between the two pins. Don’t let it go until you insert an actual pin. There, one curve down and three more to go! Do the same with the other quadrants.

Now you can certainly just go at it with your machine, but I like to take my time and do some hand basting to make sure sewing the collar is a one time deal. Trust me, I used to make fun of hand basting and after so many puckers and wrinkles on just one collar, I am a convert.

Use a different color thread than the one you’re currently using. A basting seam is just plain old running seams but longer. I did mine at about 1/4″ long.

There’s no need to make a knot in the beginning or end. To start, take a few stitches in the opposite direction of the way you actually want to sew. Then turn back and sew in the right direction. You begin from one of the placket edges and end at the other edge.

Finish your basting by taking a few stitches in the opposite direction of the way you just sewed, like you did in the beginning. Remove the pins after you pass them, not before, just for extra insurance.

After the basting is finished, check the collar from both sides. If you are satisfied with the result, sew the actual seam with your machine with the collar facing up. Sew slowly and always check your seam on both sides every inch or so. Lift up the presser feet with the needle in down position. Distribute the fullness of the neckline edges by moving it to the back of your needle when you lift up your presser. You only have to worry about what’s immediately in front of your needle; it has to be completely smooth to avoid puckers.

When you are finished, check again for puckers. If you do see puckers, unpick the stitches on those parts and sew it from the other side (body side up). Make sure you pin the upper collar out of the way to avoid sewing it. After you are satisfied, remove the basting stitches. You just sewed a collar, yay!

Finishing the Collar
Press the seam allowance towards the collar.

Trim the seam allowance just above the staystitching. Now you have two options to finish the insides of the collar– With some more hand stiching to give it an invisible finish, or you can edge stitch the whole collar for a fast finish. Or you could do both of them if you are so inclined!

To hand stitch the collar, take small stitches just inside of the collar seam. That way you will be sure that you can’t see your stitches from the outside.

As you can see from the photos, I chose to do mine with both options. I edge stitch my collar with a 1/8″ allowance; if I do it without the hand stitching, the seam allowance would not be caught in the edge stitching. If you want to do just the edge stitching, be sure to do it very close to the edges to make sure the trimmed seam allowance will also be sewn.

Now flip the collar to the right side and give it light press. You’ve finished the body of the dress!

* Win a new Oliver + S sewing pattern of your choice, courtesy of Oliver + S. (4 winners, See the selection at Sew,Mama,Sew! & Badskirt.)

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