Second Muslin, and Sewing a Collar the Easier Way

With the pattern adjusted, all the fabric was cut to check fitting again. I had found a decent flannel at a good price, and was optimistic in how the updated pattern would fit, and so I went ahead and cut it.



The construction process is all the same after the alterations, but I do want to highlight some variations I used.

The first variation is how I construct the collar and collar stand. Traditionally, the collar is made, pressed, and top-stitched, and then it’s attached to the 2 collar stands. Then, the entire contraption is fitted to the neck of the shirt. This technique has never worked too well for me. It requires too much precision, and has very little room for error. The instructions that come with the Granville shirt teach a third variation that I haven’t tried yet, but looks interesting.

The method I like to use came from one of the big 4 pattern makers, I just can’t remember which. This technique has been the most user friendly for me, and gives much better results.

The first step is to attach the interfaced collar stand to the neck line of the shirt, right sides together. I mark the center back of the neck opening on the body, and then I fold the collar stand in half, and mark the 1/2 way point with chalk. Line up your marks, and pin. Remember there is a top and bottom to the stand. The longer part of the stand is sewn to the neck opening, while the shorter side receives the actual collar.


Check that the stand extends beyond the ends of the shirt by at least your seam allowance. The beauty in this technique is that variations in the length of the stand can be adjusted for, without changing the look of the collar. It is important though, that both sides are even in length. You shouldn’t have one side extending 5/8 ths and the other extending 1 inch. If this happens double check your center points and make sure they are true.

When everything is lined up evenly, sew it on.


In this picture you can see how the stand extends beyond the shirt openings. This is the necessary seam allowance. With this technique there is room for variation in the stand length. If they extended by 3/4 inch or a 1/2 inch it is okay, so long as they are even.

Next, create your collar by sewing the two pieces, right sides together, leaving the shorter length open. Turn, push your points, press, and topstitch.


Now, fold the collar in half, the short way, and mark the center with chalk. The collar will be sewn to the upper edge of the collar stand that is sewn to the shirt.


The picture above shows the centers of the stand and the collar. The collar stand is pushed up, in its natural direction, while the collar is laid down. Put these together, right side to right side, pin, and check fit. Again, the length between the collar, and the end of the collar stand should be even. When it all checks out, sew the collar to the collar stand. fullsizeoutput_2ba

The picture below has the collar turned up, to its natural position, after it has been sewn to the first collar stand. This is looking at the shirt from the right side. For the last step, the collar will be turned back down.


Now, take the last remaining collar stand, and press the seam allowance of the long edge. You want to press the wrong sides together.


Once the second stand is pressed it needs to be attached to the first collar stand (the one that is already sewn to the shirt).

To do this, push the first stand up on the shirt, in the direction it will be naturally when the shirt is finished. Next, make sure the true collar is laying down, with the top of the collar pointed toward the waist line. This is the same position we used to sew the collar on to the first stand.

Now, take your second collar stand and lay it over the true collar, creating a sandwich, with the true collar in the middle.


In the picture above you can see the interfaced collar stand on the left. This is the stand that was sewn on first. The shirt front extends down towards the bottom on the screen. The true collar is the triangle to the right of the shirt front. The second collar stand is the furthest left triangle. If you look closely you can see the pressed seam allowance.

Line up the ends of the two collar stands and trace your seam to facilitate a nice curve.


Once everything is lined up well, sew all three layers (first collar stand, true collar, and second collar stand) together. When rounding the ends of the collar stand it helps to reduce your stitch length, and don’t be afraid to hand crank the machine to make a neat arc.

Trim the seam allowance when everything is sewn together, and notch the curves.  Turn everything right side out and push out the curves of the collar stand. Press all seam allowances towards the middle of the collar stands.


The collar stand edge that was pressed under should fall neatly onto the stitching line of the first collar stand. The true collar should stand upright, still sandwiched between the stands. In the picture above I have basted the second collar stand down into place. Fabric glue works well here too, or lots of pins.

Lastly, edge stitch the entire circumference of the collar stand from the right side of the shirt.IMG_2285

From the inside of the shirt mine is not quite perfect, but will do just fine for me.

This seems like plenty for one post, so I’ll end it here. Next I’ll detail the updated sleeve placket technique from Pam Erny, variation in the sleeve setting process, and some before and after muslin fitting pictures.

To see the first muslin of the Sewaholic’s Granville pattern: Shirt-making

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