A PDF download of this tutorial is available HERE.
The notched collar is most often found in tailored garments, where the collar is cut in two pieces and seamed together.
However, in some vintage patterns the notched collar piece is a single shape and usually cut on the fold. The piece is then folded in half and joined at the short edges to make the collar.
Sewing a Notched Tailored Collar is a little less fussy than sewing a Notched Single Collar. So simply go slow, and for the best results don’t short cut or skip any of the steps.
The Bodice Front will have an extended facing as shown in the illustration above. Sometimes you may see this referred to as a “Cut On Facing”. This simply means that the facing is attached to the Bodice Front, rather than sewn on as a separate piece.
As a note: Extended Facings are occasionally found on other garment pieces than the Bodice Front.
Here is what the Collar looks like after it is cut out, and laid out flat. The Collar for your garment may be shaped differently than this one – but the process of sewing is just the same.
Finish the raw edges of the shoulder seams and the shoulder edge of the extended facing, by overcasting, using a zig-zag stitch, or serging.
Once the collar and lapels are finished, you won’t be easily able to get in and finish the raw edges, so do it now before construction begins.
Stay-stitch the curved edges of the Collar, and the neckline of the Bodice Front and the Extended Facing. Run a line of stitching close to the raw edge on these areas. This will help reduce the stretching of these edges during construction.
FINISHING THE FRONT EDGE OF THE EXTENDED FACING:
NOTE: I am marking directly on the muslin with an ink pen, and using a high contrast colored thread to clearly illustrate the steps. Be sure that what you use to mark with is 100% removable, and use a thread close in color to your fabric.
I also have not finished any of the raw edges for this tutorial.
On the right side, mark the full seam allowance at the shoulder edge of the Extended Facing.
On the front edge, mark 1/2 of the width of the seam allowance. Note: my seam allowance for this garment is 1/2 inch – so the front edge is marked at 1/4 inch.
Press front edge to the wrong side on the marked line.
After pressing, on the right side, mark the front edge the remainder of the seam allowance width.
Note: my seam allowance for this garment is 1/2 inch – so the front edge is now marked at 1/4 inch away from the folded edge.
Turn the edge to the wrong side along the marked line and press again. The raw edge should be enclosed inside the fold.
On the wrong side, stitch close to the folded edge as shown in the illustration above. Seam the entire length from shoulder edge to lower edge. (I ran out of bobbin thread before finishing the seam – but it should go all the way up to the shoulder.) After stitching, press to get nice and flat.Once the edges of the extended facing are finished, sew the back and the front together at the shoulder seams, and press seams open. Do not sew the side seams yet.
After the shoulder seams are pressed open, turn the extended facing to the inside by folding on the indicated line. Match the notches, and the neckline edges. Put a couple of pins in (away from the neck edge) to hold the facing in position. Repeat for the other side.
On the right side of the Bodice Back, mark the center back. Fold the short ends of the Collar together – right sides together - to find the center. Mark the center back of the Collar on the wrong side.
With right sides together, match the Collar to the Bodice Back at center back. Pin Collar to neckline from center back to the left end, and then from center back to right end. Match notches (if any) and ease as needed to fit. The ends of the Collar will not match to the end of the Facing.
Note: On a Notched Collar, the Collar does not extend all the way to the end of the Facing.
At each end of the Collar, make a mark on the neckline of the Bodice Back. Unpin and set the Collar aside.
On the right front, mark the seam allowance to the left of the Collar Mark. On the left front, mark the seam allowance to the right of the Collar Mark.
Note: My seam allowance is 1/2 inch – so I’ve placed my second marks 1/2 inch away from the first.
Unpin the Extended Facings and open them up so that everything is flat. Transfer the markings to the wrong side of the neckline.
Turn the Extended Facing on the indicated line so that the right sides are together. Match neckline edge and notches.
Pin away from the neck edge to hold everything in place.
Stitch from the folded edge to the second (seam allowance) mark.
Clip into the seam allowance at the second (seam allowance) mark, being careful not to snip the stitching.
Trim the seam narrowly, and turn the Facing to the wrong side. Use a small rounded object to push out the corner, being careful not to make a hole in the fabric.
Press everything nice and flat. If you get wrinkling where the clip is, you may need to go in and snip just a few threads at a time, until it lies smoothly.
When all the stitching, clipping and pressing is done – the Fronts should look like the illustration above on the right side.
Flip the garment over so that the wrong side is up. If needed, remark the seam allowance at the Facing shoulder.
Turn under the Facing Shoulder at the seam allowance mark, and pin to hold in place. Tuck under any stray edges that want to peek out.
Baste through all layers, close to the edge, across the top of the Facing shoulder, and down along the neckline.
With right sides together, join the Collar along the short ends.
Trim the seam allowances at an angle as shown above.
Then trim the seam allowance narrowly as shown above.
Turn the Collar right side out, pushing out the corners, and having the seam on the edge. Match curved edges, and press.
With right sides together, match the center back of the Collar and the Bodice Back and pin to hold in place.
Pin the seam end of the Collar to the neckline, having the seam extend just a tad beyond the clipped seam allowance. Do the same on the opposite end.
Pin the Collar to the neckline from the center back to each end as you did as previously. Ease the curve as needed to fit.
Baste the Collar to the neckline working from the center back to each end, just as it was pinned. Be careful when basting, not to pull the stitches too tight and cause the fabric to gather.
Press the curve of the neckline and the Collar over a tailor’s ham, to smooth out the curve. Be careful not to press folds or pleats into the fabric.
Sew the Collar to the neckline. Remove basting. Flip the Collar upwards, and press seam towards Collar over a tailor’s ham.
Clip a series of V shapes into the length of the seam allowance as shown above.
Open up the seam a bit, and trim the layer closest to the Bodice Back narrowly.
Where the Extended Facing is – will be an extra layer. Trim this seam allowance so that it just extends past the first.
Trim the final seam allowance, so that it extends just a bit beyond the other ones.
Note: This is called “grading the seam”, and both reduces bulk in the seam line as well as allows the Collar to turn smoothing around the neckline.
Press the Collar and neckline again over the tailor’s ham. Be careful not to press folds or pleats into the fabric.
Flip the garment over, so that wrong side is up. Mark the seam allowance on the curved edge of the Collar. Tuck the clipped edge of the neckline seam allowance up inside the Collar.
Clip a series of V shapes into the length of the seam allowance as shown above.
Press the seam allowance under along the markings, so that it is turned inside the Collar.
Pin the turned edge of the Collar to just above the seam on the wrong side.
Baste close to folded edge to hold in place, removing pins as you go. Press well to flatten the edge as much as possible
At this point you can opt for one of two ways of finishing the Collar. You can machine stitch close to the fold to join the final edge of the Collar. This will result in a seam on the outside near the neckline, which will generally be concealed when worn. Using thread that matches closely to the fabric will help the seam to blend in with the fabric.
I prefer to hand stitch this part of the Collar, because I like a more couture look. And I’m not a great fan of having the stitching show on the outside.
To hand finish, thread up a needle with thread that matches your fabric. Tie a knot in one end of the thread.
To hide the knot, come up with the needle from the inside of the Collar through the edge to the outside. This will place the knot inside the Collar.
To start the stitch, come up under one of the machine stitches with the needle, and then take a tiny bite from the edge of the Collar just above.
Continue to hand stitch across, catching the thread under the machine stitch, and then up through the edge of the Collar. If needed take a stitch or two into the Collar at each end to close up the seam.
NOTE: You can chose to catch every machine stitch, or every other stitch. The longer stitches at the upper right of the illustration shows every other stitch. The smaller stitches are made through every stitch. I’m using a dark thread here so you can clearly see how it looks – but use a thread color that matches your fabric.
This is what the finishing on the inside looks like when using a matching thread. The little blue dots you see at the edge is the blue thread from the machine stitching.
When the Collar is finished, tack the Facing shoulder edge to the shoulder seams of the garment.
Here is the finished Collar on my dress form. The pulling you see at the shoulders, is because the size I used for the tutorial is much smaller than the form