Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Long Absense

Please forgive my long absence. There seem to be many things demanding my attention other than this blog. I thought I would post a little section out of one of my class handouts about the preparation of a Peter Pan collar. I always work my collars in a block method which seems to help eliminate the possibility of stretching the collar out of shape before it is even attached to the dress. The collar was designed to complement the smocked dress shown below. The collar is white cotton pique and the dress is a Fabric Finders 100% cotton floral print.

A. Preparing the Collar

1. Cut a 14” wide by 8” long rectangle of the collar fabric. Using a #2 pencil trace the collar outline (make sure to do a left and a right) onto the right side of the fabric. Be careful to line up the grain line of the collar to the grain line of the fabric. DO NOT cut out the collars. Mark the center front, center back, and the shoulder line. Fuse lightweight interfacing to the wrong side. Mark and work the hand embroidery on the two collars using the embroidery guide provided.

2. Cut a length of piping the approximate length of the collar perimeter. Clip into the seam allowance at 1/2” intervals. Working with the grooved foot used to make the piping stitch the piping (2.0L) to the collar, stitching just inside the stitching line on the piping. Be careful to keep the raw edges of the piping aligned to the drawn collar perimeter. Do not stretch the piping while stitching.

3. Matching fabric grain lines lay the collar backing, right sides together, over the piped collar front. Pin in place. Neither the collar front, or the collar back is cut out yet. Using the stitching line from Step 2 as a guide, stitch again, (1.5L) around the collar perimeter.

4. Stitch again, (1.5L) in the seam allowance 1/16” from the stitching line in Step

5. Trim through all layers right next to the second stitching line.

6. Cut out the neckline curve, through all layers, approximately ½” from the pencil line and turn the collar right sides out. Gently press the outside edges of the collar keeping the tip of the iron on the piping.

7. Make a ¼” turned bias tube the measurement of the outside of the collar plus at least 2”. Work over two layers of tissue paper and use the edge of your sewing machine foot (adjust needle position as necessary) to make a stitching line 5/16” away from the fold line of the 1 ½” wide bias strip.

8. Tear the tissue paper away and trim the seam allowance down to 1/8”.

9. Turn the tube right sides out with a ‘Fasturn’ and gently press rolling the seam line slightly to the wrong side.

10. Baste (5.0L) the piped collar onto a double thickness of notebook paper, stitching just inside the piped edge of the collar. Backstitch to secure at the beginning and the end. Stitch a second time, ¼” away from the piped edge of the collar using a 3.5L stitch.

11. Using a steam iron, shape the turned ¼” bias tube around the ¼” stitching line. Machine baste (5.0L) down the center of the bias tube, backstitching at the beginning and the end to secure.

12. Trim both layers of notebook paper to within ¾” of the turned bias tube.

13. Using a #8 crewel needle and #80 tatting thread, faggot the piped edge of the collar to the ¼” turned bias tube. Keep a consistent tension around the collar. Work with a long thread so as to not have too many tie on's and tie off's. Use the machine stitches on the ¼” second stitching line as a guide to place your hand stitches at the turned bias edge.

14. Be sure to start the hand stitching below the cutting line so the hand stitches will not be cut when the collar in sewn into the neckline.

15. Remove the basting thread lines from the piping and the
turned bias tube to release the stabilizing paper. Press well.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

P.S. - Oh to be fifteen, flying, and fearless. My youngest son is permanently attached, except in this picture to his much loved Flying Bhangra.


  1. I just finished making three of these dresses for my granddaughters for Easter, and three doll dresses, and one matching boy doll outfit. What a great pattern... I need to send pictures! And thanks so much for sending me the size 3 pattern.

  2. Love the details you've packed into the beautiful collar. It's the small touches that set garments apart and this dress has them in spades. Your hints are super helpful, as always.

  3. Wow, that tutorial is wonderful, thanks. funny, my son is 40 and did bicycles instead of skateboards, but still managed to have 2 wrecks this year where he flew thru the air and ended up on his back (uninjured,thank God). something about boys

  4. That 15 year old boy is "the bees knees"! (And the collar tutorial is pretty wonderful too.)

  5. I feel like I'm back in your sewing room again. Those were the days...Great memories.


Teaching Schedule for 2018

6-11 Sewing at the Beach
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

22-26 - Private Class

19-23 Teaching Studio
St. Louis, Missouri
(or text 314 974 7561)

7-8 Bewitching Stitchers
Boston, Mass

10-14 Children's Corner
Nashville, Tennessee
Contact; www.children'

20-22 Bewitching Stitchers

30-June 2 Private Class

4-9 Private class

23-27 Private Class

7-8 New Orleans/Baton Rouge SAGA

17-23 SAGA National Convntion
Winston/Salem North Carolina

4-10 Beating Around the Bush
Adelaide, Australia

29 - Nov 2
Teaching Studio
St. Louis, Missouri
(or text 314 974 7561)

6-10 Private Class

I have several open dates in 2018 for private or public groups.
For teaching information, a current class list, and available dates, contact