Friday, 7 October 2011

Tutorial: Leather (or not) Collar

Over the past couple of months, I’ve seen plenty of collars in fashion magazines. In fact, fashion seems to be having a bit of a flirt with collars! But I’m not talking of the likes of Fluffy’s diamante flea-collar. Consider this: collars, as you’d find on a shirt, worn as neckwear unto itself!

Now for once, I’ve been feeling ahead of fashion in the collar department. I made one back when I was at uni!
But of course, that’s not to say I can’t have more!

A number of famous brands have done collars this year. Stella McCartney’s take on the trend being a gold, steel collar-shaped choker; Louis Vuitton also went for gold with a metal peter pan collar.

But it was after seeing Erika Trotzig’s collar - black, slightly shiny and definitely contributing to the dominatrix trend – I decided ‘why not?’. 

 Beautiful designs by Erika Trotzig
(sorry, couldn’t find a better picture of the collar)

Out came my sewing machine and over an hour or so I put together this:

Admittedly this isn’t leather, but good enough for this--and here is how I did it.
 Please ignore how horribly creased the shirt is; it’s just come out of storage!

Time needed: 1-2 hours

You’ll need:
Fabric (I used some leftover vinyl)
A shirt that fits you (to use as a pattern)
Tailor’s chalk or similar
Needle and thread
Press studs
Glue (not pictured because I forgot)
Dressmaking pins (ditto)
Sewing machine (optional, though much easier!)
Roller foot for your sewing machine (optional)

1. Take your shirt and draw around the two parts of the collar (neck band and collar) onto the wrong side of your fabric. I’ve learnt from experience that it’s better to keep these two parts separate, rather than cutting it all as one piece!
If you don’t have anything like tailor’s chalk, make up a paper pattern first by tracing around the collar with a pencil onto scrap paper.

2. Cut out the two pieces leaving 1cm seam allowance and lay them onto the fabric (right sides together). Cut around them to make duplicate pieces. I’m a lazy crafter so I just cut rectangles since I find it easier to sew that way.

3. Sew the pieces together, leaving one edge open: on the collar, sew the top and side. On the neck band, sew the bottom and side. Trim down the seams on the sewn sides.

4. Make snips in the curved seams and turn both pieces the right way round.

5. Spread glue over the inside of the collar. Make sure you get it either side of the seam, and into the points of the collar. (When I did this step, I screwed up a little as I didn’t get it far enough into the points. I make mistakes so you don’t have to!)
Stick the two sides together and weight down, then leave to dry.

6. Pin down the seams on the neck band, wrong sides together, pins on the right side. Try to place pins along the line you’ll sew, since holes are permanent on leathers and vinyl! This step is only here to make step 7 easier...

7. Starting in the centre, pin the bottom of the collar into the top of the neck band, removing the pins from step 6 one at a time. This step is probably the most fiddly and time-consuming!

NOTE: Before moving on to the next step, fit your sewing machine with a roller foot, if you have one. It will prevent the vinyl/leather from sticking to the foot of the machine!

8. Sew the two pieces together, removing the pins as you go. Follow the stitching line all around the neck band.

9. Finally, hand-stitch a press stud onto the ends of the neck band. 

These steps look too hard? Stay tuned for the easiest tutorial ever! Easy-peasy collar tutorial now up!
Alternatively, if the urge to spend is greater than the urge to craft (hey, it happens!) ASOS are selling one for the princely sum of £15.

A quick search on ASOS brings up all manner of collars from sequinned to rhinestone-embellished, crotched to fake fur! Definitely worth checking out!

I'll be linking up at the awesome link parties in the side bar! 

1 comment:

Reading all your sweet comments makes me happy! :) I appreciate each and every one and try to reply to all that I can!

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